Arid Bilge, smells better

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

6 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    A thirty dollar vacuum cleaner does it for me: and it does double duty as a dinghy pump, or (in extremis) a way to clean up the boat.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, but does the vacuum cleaner have a NMEA 2000 output? 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is it weird to expect a dry boat without resorting to such extreme measures? Granted my 40 foot sailboat is just a year old, but it is and always has been bone dry. Is this really a problem for people?

  4. Dan (b393capt) says:

    How is it your 40 foot sailboat is bone dry ??
    My 39 foot sailboat has several potential sources.
    1) Condensation along the walls of the sailboat drain into the bilge.
    2) Thru hull sensors are serviced to remove growth, speed sensor needs cleaning every two or three weeks before I switched to an ultrasonic unit from Airmar.
    3) Water that runs back into the bilge after the bilge pump has pumped out whatever is there.
    4) HVAC system drains into the bilge three different ways (pans under each HVAC condensor, valve to bleed air out of salt water cooling loop)

  5. Scott says:

    One thing you can do to reduce water in the bilge is create a small tank (tupperware or small plastic garbage can) to capture all drains and put the suction from a positive displacement pump (whale makes a shower sump one) in the bottom of the tank. There are more expensive solutions, but in combination with a dripless shaft seal, and sponging out all water when inserting the speed transducer.
    Running a dehumidifier when not on the boat solves the condensation on the bulkhead challenge and dramatically reduces mildew and mold.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why is it bone dry? Good question. I guess being in the San Francisco bay helps – not too cold and not too hot. We get zero summer condensation and so little in winter that two tiny heater/fans (70W) prevent it from building up. Our AC drains to a separate pan that empties via a micro pump. The shaft seal is Dripless. A towel around the speed sensor when removing prevents any mess. Heck, my keel bolts aren’t even discolored.
    That said, if I did have a bilge smell problem I’d spend any sum in the world to fix it!! We rented a 43 in Turkey that, while only a year old, definitely had the funk.

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