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Old 20 June 2012, 16:10   #1
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Bilge pump - Hole in hull

Hi all,

I recently acquired a '99 Zodiac Pro 470.
I am a beginner to boating and RIBs so I have turned to this wonderful forum for knowledge and advice.

The previous owner of this boat seems to have cut a hole in the aft deck and installed a second bilge pump (in addition to the white one at the back - see pic). The hole was then covered with a block of hardwood and glued down.
I noticed that the wood/deck seal had gaps so I decided to remove the wood and have a look and see what is going on in there.

My questions are...
1) should I be worried about this hole? Is it most likely an indication that water is getting into that part of the hull somehow.
I have not taken the boat onto the water yet, but when I do should I check to see how much water is making its way into that area (if any)
The strange thing is that the bilge pump (the one inside the hull) is not actually connected to the battery. If I touch the two wires to the battery the pump runs, so I guess I need to hook it up to a switch etc..
2) I have decided to put a proper access port into that wooden block (see pics below), but know how should I attach the wood to the deck. Can I just use this stuff (http://www.bottompaintstore.com/images/M05203.jpg )?
Do I need to put some kind of rubber between the deck and the wood? - seems like this is what the previous owner had done

Thanks,
Daniel
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Old 20 June 2012, 17:02   #2
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Hi again Dan, welcome to the forum.

The previous owner of your RIB has a lot to answer for!

There's no reason to cut a hole in the deck to fit another bilge pump. The one in the drainwell would have been sufficient. On the transom there will be a drain valve and bung for getting rid of any surface water on the deck. Any water that made it into the void between the hull and deck - there should be a smaller screw bung, again it will be on the transom.

It should be possible to repair the deck with epoxy and glass-fibre and flow coat that particular section.

Assuming water was getting into the hull (before the previous owner took the drastic step of cutting the floor) then check how the console and seating have been fixed. Sounds like the previous owner maybe didn't use Sikaflex prior to screwing the whole lot down.
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Old 20 June 2012, 17:21   #3
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Hi Spartacus,

Yes the boat was a bit of a spontaneous purchase and now I am dealing with the fixer-uppers

The smaller screw bung that you mention.. it is on the outside of the boat and can only be removed/drained when the boat is out of water? So maybe the second bilge pump was to drain the void while out at 'sea' for longer periods of time?

Thanks for your recommendations, I will do some research on the epoxy/fibre/flowcoat fix. Can I use that with my existing wood/access-port setup or are you suggesting I close the hole up totally with a piece of fibreglass?

Thanks
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Old 21 June 2012, 02:08   #4
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I wouldn't worry too much about either mod, as long as they work as intended. You won't know that until you get the boat on the water.

Having 2 bilge pumps is not a detriment, as long as they actually work. If they cause problems (allowing water to come in where it shouldn't), then you should take steps to correct that.

As long as any holes are sealed up, they shouldn't be an issue as far as future damage goes.

FWIW, a buddy has a 15.5' Zodiac RIB; it get a bunch of water into the hull on every outing (and a bunch into the splashwell, but that's pobably to be expected.)

jky
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Old 21 June 2012, 05:54   #5
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What model of pump is in the lower part? It looks like a RULE 500, does it have a separate float switch or is it the 500 auto which runs electronically every few minutes using its circuitry to determine if there is resistance against the impeller or not which activates it. If the latter then be aware that this will be always on and operating when attached to the battery, so beware of battery drain, if it has a separate float switch then that will only operate when the float rises. The top pump is a RULE MATE, that also has a built in float but only operates when it rises, so no electronic wizardry like the RULE 500 auto
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Old 21 June 2012, 06:46   #6
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Check the back bung of for an O ring - they are easy to come off! If this is missing you know why he used another bilge pump... and ad said previously check console and deck for holes not sealed right...
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Old 21 June 2012, 11:58   #7
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Quote:
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Check the back bung of for an O ring - they are easy to come off! If this is missing you know why he used another bilge pump... and ad said previously check console and deck for holes not sealed right...
Also some bung types don't use an O- ring... It's always worth smearing a load of your favourite flavour of petroleum jelly round the bung then re-inserting. That kept my laser dry inside for years.....

Just remember it will eventually dry out, so re-apply every 6 months or so.
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Old 21 June 2012, 12:14   #8
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As mentioned, the interior of the hull is supposed to be sealed. Water coming aboard washes to the stern and gets pumped out by the white bilge pump. I would look into figuring out why extra water was getting into the hull, seal all the screw holes or whatever that was letting it in. Then remove all that junk under the floor and reglass over the hole. Essentially return the boat to its original design. But that's just me.

Don't leave that red pump installed and glass over the top of it though.
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Old 22 June 2012, 14:19   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SR4 View Post
What model of pump is in the lower part? It looks like a RULE 500, does it have a separate float switch or is it the 500 auto which runs electronically every few minutes using its circuitry to determine if there is resistance against the impeller or not which activates it. If the latter then be aware that this will be always on and operating when attached to the battery, so beware of battery drain, if it has a separate float switch then that will only operate when the float rises. The top pump is a RULE MATE, that also has a built in float but only operates when it rises, so no electronic wizardry like the RULE 500 auto
Here is a picture of the pump.
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Old 22 June 2012, 14:20   #10
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Originally Posted by 9D280 View Post
Also some bung types don't use an O- ring... It's always worth smearing a load of your favourite flavour of petroleum jelly round the bung then re-inserting. That kept my laser dry inside for years.....

Just remember it will eventually dry out, so re-apply every 6 months or so.
Are we still talking about boats ?
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