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LEECH21

How does a bilge really work???

20 posts in this topic

This may seem like a really stupid question, but I really don't understand them totally. Can anyone please make sense of this for me. How often do you run the pump? I took my new boat out for the first time on Sunday and no water came out??? When I loaded the boat and pulled the plug, water came out then....does the water come from the same place???

Sorry, just a little dumbfounded....Thanks

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A bilge pump won't be able to pump all of the water out of your boat, but it gets most of it. There needs to be enough water in the bilge to prime the pump, otherwise it sucks air and won't pump the water.

Also, the farther back in the boat, closer to the transom, the more water you'll be able to pump out, since that's the lowest point in the boat. Try running your pump when you're coming out of the hole up onto plane, then all of your water will be in back by the pump.

I like bilge pumps with an automatic float switch that turns the pump on when needed, off when the water is pumped out. Then you don't need to worry about running it, or need to worry about water accumulating during a rain storm or when you're getting lots of waves splashing and spraying into the boat. If you don't have an automatic float switch, just flip your pump on if you think you have water in the boat, and turn it off when it stops pumping out water.

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Dumb question...how many different ways does water get into a boat?

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Just one. From the outside.

bad rivets. bad/loose/forgotten plug.

The bilge pump is only going to pump if you have a lot of water in the boat. The water hopefully will be under the floor and you may not even notice it. If you spent a couple hours out on the water and only had a small amount - half gallon - then you probably don't have to worry about leaks yet. You'll need the pump if you get out on some rough water or in a real heavy storm, but hopefully only then.

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So water from the bilge and from where the plug is, comes from the same source?

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 Originally Posted By: LEECH21
So water from the bilge and from where the plug is, comes from the same source?

Correct, your drain plug drains the bilge, your bilge pump pumps out the bilge.

In addition to leaky rivets and bad/loose/forgotten plug, you might get water from cracked or loose livewell fittings, both in the bilge itself and all the way through the whole livewell plumbing system. And some boats will pump water into the livewell faster than it goes out through the overflow drain, and the excess will end up in the bilge. And if you have your livewell full of water and run high speed, you might get some to splash out.

My boat has a built in cooler, the melted ice from the cooler runs into the bilge also.

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Awesome! Thanks makes sense now.

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Leech You have a hsolist dont have to worry about Rivets! If you have a lot of water you could have a loose hose somewhere/

YOu always get a little water in the boat from livewell overflow, water coming in the splash pan when you back in or come off plane.

If you turn your pump on every couple hours and it pumps for more than 30 seconds something is not right.

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That's what I was wondering about too, how come you get water into your new boat ? You have to find out.

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I know when I forget to put the plug in, I reach over the back and plug it once the floor is half full of water, then the bildge runs for a good 10 minutes. That's just cause I'm an one-who-thinks-I-am-silly on some days though.

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 Originally Posted By: Sandmannd
I know when I forget to put the plug in, I reach over the back and plug it once the floor is half full of water, then the bilge runs for a good 10 minutes. That's just cause I'm an one-who-thinks-I-am-silly on some days though.

I think we've all been there. LOL! grin.gif

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 Originally Posted By: hanson
 Originally Posted By: Sandmannd
I know when I forget to put the plug in, I reach over the back and plug it once the floor is half full of water, then the bilge runs for a good 10 minutes. That's just cause I'm an one-who-thinks-I-am-silly on some days though.

I think we've all been there. LOL! grin.gif

I never done that, I swear, never EVER.... ;\)

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 Originally Posted By: Sandmannd
I know when I forget to put the plug in, I reach over the back and plug it once the floor is half full of water, then the bildge runs for a good 10 minutes. That's just cause I'm an one-who-thinks-I-am-silly on some days though.

At a tournament a few years ago my partner unstrapped my boat and got it ready to launch while I was getting our gear organized in the boat. He launched me and a few seconds later the bilge pump started running so I knew right away that we forgot the plug. My boat is big enough that you can't do the plug from the inside, so I hopped out into chest deep water, grabbed onto my kicker motor to hold the boat in place, and got the plug in. I was soaking wet and had some grime on my shirt from the kicker (and provided some entertainment for the 50 boats or so that were watching me) but it had to be done grin.gif

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had the connection to the drain of the live well come off one day. started slow and gradually got worse. It gets kind of scary when the water is flowing in faster than the pump can pump it out. A nice trip around the lake eventualy let the water pump out.

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I am always amazed how much water comes in when I backtroll. I don't have wavewackers so there is nothing to stop the water. It doesn't look like much, but it's more than you think. The livewell is another good source of water.

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There is one solution that has only been hinted at - if you run your boat around the lake with the plug out you can get most of the water out of a boat. You have to go reasonably fast but not all out.

Came in handy once. A friend lauched his boat and went up to the cabin. A few minutes later I was down at the dock and saw that the boat was sinking. I yelled to get the trailer and in the meantime drove the boat around the lake. It drained OK. The bilge pump had broken and was leaking big time.

Sort of the kicker was that the guy grabbed the wrong trailer and didn't realize it. We had a heck of a time getting the boat properly onto the trailer to take it in for repairs. Didn't realize it until we got back to the resort.

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Bildge is an old naval term for the space between the actual hull and the "floor" or lowest deck of a boat. Hense a Bilge pump is for removing water from the bilge. The upper decks of a boat are not water tight and anything ranging from rain to spilled beer to oil and gas eventually finds its way into the bilge.

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Thanks for all the tips and thoughts!

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Leech21 - Hopefully you know why there was water in your boat. A new boat shouldn't leak. I had my new Crestliner in the water twice now and it was completely dry afterwards.

My old Crestliner had a slow leak in the hose that drained the livewell. If I left the boat in the water for days I would have to put a plug in the livewell outlet at the back of the transom. I bought it used and wasn't about to rip up the floor to fix it.

Nels

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My boat wasn't really leaking. Just a little water came out of the plug after the first outing.

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