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Eygthene 24 Forum • View topic - Bilges and draining
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Eygthene 24 Forum

A forum for owners of Eygthene 24's
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 Post subject: Bilges and draining
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:08 pm
Posts: 68
Hi,
In my 18 the bilges are separated by the hull reinforcement stringers that the keel bolts go through, this means that although i have a bilge pump the water cannot get from one section to another, nor can it can from the forward bilge to the aft bilge.

Has anyone fixed this problem or have a different setup?
Thanks
Richard!


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 Post subject: Bilges and draining
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:51 pm
Posts: 43
Hi Rich,

It great to see your enthusiastic support of this Forum, welcome aboard!

Siddique has the same divided bilge. the divisions make it difficult to pump out any water as it is spread in shallow pools in each section, but when the boat heels, it spills over from one section to the others.

I did think of drilling limber holes to allow it to go from one section to another, but unless these holes were lined and sealed (eg had a tube bonded in each) then water would also be able to leak into the cores of the wooden cross members (called floors) and rot them out over time. Also, how would one turn a drill that was lying flat along the bottom of the boat to make the holes? If the holes were not right at the bottom, there would still be a puddle trapped in each section. Even if the holes were there, it takes ages for the water to drain through when you are pumping from one place. I know, I had this with an older wooden boat. You have to wait after each stroke of the pump for the water to drain through into the section where the pump's inlet hose is mounted.

A previous owner has cut ports in the cabin sole and fitted those little hatches that are used in dinghy buoyancy tanks. He fitted a very long inlet-side hose to the bilge pump, which is mounted in the forward face of the cockpit. The hose is coiled up in the engine compartment.

If a serious amount of water comes in (as it did when the flexible sterngland tube slipped off the stern tube whilst motoring through rocky shallows in the Isles of Scilly one year), the pump was able to pump out water faster than it came in, so enabling us to get to the harbour and pick up a mooring and re-fasten the hose.

However, whilst it is possible to lift the little hatches in turn, insert the end of the long hose and pump out each section, so much water remains in the long hose that some drains back into each section as you stop pumping and this leaves each section of the bilge still not dry.

Whilst retaining the above fixed bilge pump, for the last few years I have adopted a small pump, designed for draining oil from the engine sump and a bucket. With the access as previously described and this pump, I can pump out each section of the bilge down to a few mls and even wipe them out with a sponge if I'm being fussy. Up to last year, I would get about 2-3 gallons out at the end of every day's sail.

After several years of chasing down every source of leaks, I have finally arrived at a dry boat. Now it only get wet with internal spills or if a big wave splashes down the sliding hatch when it happens to be open. I can lead you through the many sources of leaks if you would like that, but the cheap little pump has met the needs for several years, with the big one still there in case of emergency.

Yours

John Baldock


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:08 pm
Posts: 68
I'm sure to be on here a lot with queries because i am planning an extensive refit of my 18 with a view to eventual cruising/transatlantic etc. I'm hoping to compete in the 2010 jester challenge so i'm trying to do the refit right!

The only thought ive had re the bilges is on the stringers where there are 2 keelbolts side by side, cut out a square section in the middle and the glass a reinforcement member over the top leaving a gap in the bottom. (obv glassing exposed wood) That still leaves the problem of the stringer with the single keelbolt!

Re other work on the boat, i have to fix the leaky chainplates as well as take up most the deck hardware and replace with a new deck layout that i am planning (photos to follow), the bulkhead is thankfully still sound!

Other plans include fitting an inboard engine, the old vire was ripped out at some stage but the runners are still there, and getting rid of as much of that awful black moulding as possible and replacing with wood!

Cheers for the help!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 5:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:51 pm
Posts: 43
Rich,

Please don't cut these floors, they are an extremely important structural part of the hull and its attachment to the keel. No amount of glassing in strips across the cut will recover the strength that you lose by cutting them. If you cut them; when the boat is out of the water, standing on its keel, the hull will dimple under its own weight and sag over the keel. When afloat, the keel will tend to hang lower and pull the bottom of the hull down. When heeled and riding waves, the keel will waggle from side to side and break the bottom of the hull down the middle.

The little water in the bilge can be easily removed as I have explained and if it keeps appearing, you could trace the leaks and cure them.

I'll be very interested in your refit and any problems that I can help you with. I live in Cornwall now, but I used to live in the north-east.

Yours

John


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:08 pm
Posts: 68
Well i'll leave the stringers then!

I'm still determined to bit by bit replace the black moulding, and possibly the forecabin one as well. My last boat had an inner moulding and i vowed never again! This ones better in that it has far more access to the bilges, but worse because it has really rough edges and looks awful!

Honest wood for me thanks, although it will be a long term project, it looks like someone has done something similar already by looking at the pics on the website. (The one thats all painted white)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:51 pm
Posts: 43
Rich,

I have often thought of bonding in a couple of longitudinal "bulkheads" to separate the bilges from the space beneath the berths. These would strengthen the hull too and with your plans to remove the black mouldings, would provide an opportunity to greatly increase the desperately limited space for storage of stores and equipment. On your planned world cruise this type of modification would be of great benefit. You could benefit from replacing the forecabin moulding with purpose-designed storage too.

You will find advice on sealing the leaks at the chainplates in the "Old Forum"

Yours

John


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:08 pm
Posts: 68
Thanks very much!

Its a scary prospect ripping all out and starting again but if you think really, all bunks are are a stretched cabinet with a lid! I'd start with the forecabin probably and hone my skills there!

My uncles boat for the deck head uses vinyl wrapped around very thin ply wood boards screwed to to battens across the deck head. These allow easy access for wires and deck hardware and are also easier then slatted ceiling etc. I will probably end up following that route as well.

Also i would possibly raise the bunk level slightly to gain more useable area underneath.

For the moment though i am concentrating on getting her sailable for the rest of the season, inc new deckpaint, new deck hardware where required, polish, gelshield etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:28 pm
Posts: 15
Hi Rich, John,

It's good to see a bit of life on the forum!!!

Looking at your discussions concerning the draining of the bilge, I was just thinking, why not filling the space between the stringers?
Well not all the spaces, you want to concerve at least one gap between two stringers where the water can accumulate and being pumped out. Also you don't want to add too much weight to the boat. So I was thinking of building a thin plywood floor flush with the top of the stringers and epoxy stratified it to make water tight, do this between all the stringers except between the two centered stringers, like that you are not giving much choice to the water than running just beween those two stringers where you can leave you bilge pump...et voila!!! It is certainly very simple and I beleive should work well enough?!
...and if one day you are having concern about your stringers (ie water ingress, all you'll have to do is cutting those floor boards without too much difficulties.

Also, the Jester Challenge (absolutely great!!), (I am only giving you a suggestion), if you are planning on a transatlantic crossing, I would not bother with an inboard, it is extra weight, extra leaks, takes considerable room that would be precious storage for long distance sailing, in a case of an unfortunate capsize, an inboard could cause loads damage
if it comes out of its mountings, and who needs an inboard in the middle of the Atlantic?
Inboards are great for coastal cruising where you need power and reliability!!

Like you, my Eygthene had a Vire that gave its last puff 2 months ago, didn't want to play the mecanic again for the summer, so I fixed temporarily an outboard, it's not the best for sure but for what I use an engine doesn't really bothers me, althought I am planning to instal a Yanmar 1GM for extra comfort and security.
But I have to say it is amazing the amount of extra storage you have when you can use the engine room!!! And after blocking the stern tube, the bilge is definitely dryer!!!

Stephan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:08 pm
Posts: 68
For me its for the electrical system as much as anything else that i would want a diesel inboard, if i was off a long while i would probably try and get sail-mail through an ssb, these use a lot of power when transmitting! Although your right, with decent wind and solar power i could probably get away without!
Oh and on the engine install, i would be installing it myself and i tend to be sceptical about listed material strengths so would probably massively over-engineer it!

Your bilge idea is good, apart from i am then limiting the bilge to one quite small area (well very small), it would only require a small amount of ingress before the floorboards where awash!

I will no doubt come up with some solution given time...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:51 pm
Posts: 43
Hi Rich and Stephan,

One of the great things about the Eygthene is the space and comfort when seated in the cabin. This is largely achieved by the berths being fairly low so that your head is below the deck level. Seated in many small yachts, the deck catches you in the back of the neck. Do think about this before deciding to raise the berths.

The sterntube was one of the worst places for leaks in Siddique, though it took me a very long time to recognise it, as I kept trying to "fix" the sterngland, thinking it was leaking through there. When I replaced the Petter mini six with the new Yanmar 1GM10, the softer engine mounts allowed the engine to vibrate further at certain revs and the propshaft hit the inside of the rather narrow bronze sterntube. This caused the leak to increase to the point where I realised that the tube was breaking out of the GRP hull, allowing the water to enter between the hull and the sterntube (it had been leaking like this for years, but I hadn't recognised the cause).

I made a cutter from a piece of scaffolding tube that happened to be a sliding fit over the bronze sterntube and used it to cut a much larger diameter hole through the hull, concentric with the old sterntube. Then with epoxy, I bonded in a new, much wider, GRP sterntube. This was fitted with a special stepped flexible "hose" and my old greased sterngland. There have been no more leaks and the wider sterntube accommodates the movement of the propshaft without it touching.

The shelves behind the berths had been fitted with plywood sliding doors to provide some lockers. I found these most unsatisfactory as things would fall against the doors when heeled and make it difficult to open them later. I removed the doors and frames, to leave open shelves. I bought some see-through plastic storage containers with lids which sit nicely on the shelves. You can see what is inside them. A line fixed halfway up and tensioned with a cleat stops the containers from falling off when heeled.(You can see some in the pictures on the "Photos and Articles" page of this website).

Yours

John


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:08 pm
Posts: 68
Well as the sterntube in my boat is now non existent i would be putting in a new one anyway, i will also probably be using a flexible coupling, this along with soft engine mounts seems to be the best way forward.
Aquadrives seem to be particularly well engineered!

Side lockers would be of the door opening on hinges upwards type, except in the galley, in which case i would have a wooden fiddle to stop items jamming the cupboards.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:28 pm
Posts: 15
Hi Rich,

For the bilge, why don't you use a float switch with your bilge pump, the water won't have time to go above the floor level?

For the long distance cruising, you should look at what the guys in the "Mini Transat" use to recharge their batteries beside solar panel and wind turbine, they have a small portable generator when in need.

As for the missing stern tube, to make it easier for you, maybe you should consider a sail-drive inboard, no more propelor shaft, no more alignment, no more stuffing box, there are a few small diesel engines with that option, nice, sweet and easier to instal?!

I think the locker's doors on hinges is a very good idea, mines slide but beside getting jamed, you are also limited on the opening size. I think I will change them and fix new doors on hinges!!

Stephan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:08 pm
Posts: 68
An auto bilge pump would work, but i feel that offshore its nice to have a bigger bilge!
I intend to make as many of the underbunk lockers watertight and seperate to each other. These could then either contain a leak if it occured in the locker, or provide buoyancy if the leak was elsewhere!

Because of a relative changing an engine i have managed to get an inboard for an excellent price, so if anyone has any installation tips, could they put them in the thread i have made! Thanks :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:51 am 
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Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 1:43 pm
Posts: 4
Hi,

We have sliding plywood doors on the lockers behind the berths and galley, like John had.
We don't have a problem with things falling and jamming them but maybe that is because we store most things in see through plastic boxes in the lockers. That way it is also quick and easy to find things as we have dedicated boxes for e.g. first aid, furler parts, searchlight, sail repair kit, tea, biscuits, cutlery, etc.. They each have their own section of the lockers.
We take the locker doors off the boat each winter and this year we have also removed the frames and had everything revarnished. It is very important when putting the doors back each year, to make sure you get them in the right place. Some are very similar in size but if you get them in the wrong place, or the wrong way round, they will stick.
Otherwise we have had no problem with sticking (much to my surprise initially) and we have not been short of storage space, even when living on the boat for a month while we were sailing it home after buying it.

Jeanette


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 1:43 pm
Posts: 4
Hi,

I totaly agree with John on the height of the berths. They were probably designed that height for a reason!

Since we have been looking at larger boats, I have come to reflect on all the things that make the Eygthene great (and leaves many, many larger boats lacking). Although we want more standing headroom (because we intend to use the boat just for cruising in the future and have bad backs) the sitting headroom and comfort in the Eygthene is very good and gives a feeling of spaciouslness not usually found in a boat of this size.The berths are even an ideal height for sitting and watching your toast brown! The storage lockers below the berths (moulded in the black plastic) may be an odd shape but they hold a phenomenal amount of stuff. We have one for boat maintenance stuff, one holds frying pan, saucepan, grillpan, wine and towels, another holds a large plastic box containing colander, pasta, rice, wooden spoon, and also canned food packed around the box and the fourth, which is just a hole in the moulding, down to the bilges, contains a washing up bowl conating the kedge and warp.

On draining the bilges, we have a main, manual pump in the large centre bilge and an automatic electric pump in the small bilge immediately astern of the bulkhead (the one under the mast). These seem to cope. Water does take a time to drain from the front bilges but moves backwards and is then handled by the pumps.

Jeanette


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