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Old 12 October 2006, 15:51   #1
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Rain on boats

Tuesday night we had the heaviest rain I have EVER seen - it was incredible - 1 months rain(a lot around here) in 1 night. Also a fantastic thunderstorm.

Went to check on my boat as the auto bilge pump isn't working. There was about 1 ton of water on board. It was almost up to deck level. The tubes were still only just touching though. Switched the pump on and it took about an hour to pump it dry.

I noticed most of the boats in the marina were suffering - even the ones with covers on. Typically the covers had sagged and filled with water which had then ripped and filled the boat.

Even boats with sealed decks were looking very low in the water. At least with my open bilges I KNOW when the boat has water in it.

I suppose a properly fitted cover is the answer - how do other people manage? Remember it was a very freak bit of weather!!!
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Old 12 October 2006, 16:36   #2
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Can you not just leave the trunk out? Yes I know these work best when out and the boat is moving but if there is that much rain then it must have been above sea level ?

We have a fully fitted cover but as it kept out of the water but the cover is not water proof and any rain it just flows out the trunk.
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Old 12 October 2006, 16:44   #3
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My trunks are just under water at rest so not an option.
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Old 12 October 2006, 17:04   #4
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I'd suggest a 2nd auto pump, on a different fuse, and even on a different battery if you can do that. We have boats left in the marina at work which require pumping out from time to time by the staff cos their pumps have failed or something.

My cover is all in one, but since the tubes are in water when not moving, putting the cover on the boat would result in the cover getting weeded up as well unfortunately.

We had very heavy rain the other week - recorded at 200mm/hr for a fair while, and unfortunately even on dry land my boat filled up
Turned out the trunk had kinked, and was only dribbling water out the back... which is fine normally, but this rain was slightly excessive, and managed to get in at the transom in pretty good quantities.

We've got a 500gph rule auto pump on the dory at work which is constantly open to the elements, and it's lasted nearly 2 years now - all we do is take the top off every so often and clean out the little sive to keep the water flowing. Removing the sive will let crud get in, and the pump blows fuses

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Old 12 October 2006, 17:37   #5
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Can you not just leave the trunk out? Yes I know these work best when out and the boat is moving but if there is that much rain then it must have been above sea level ?
But that will only drain the boat to the point where rainwater on the deck equates to sea level. It won't clear all the water away
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Old 12 October 2006, 17:50   #6
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On my last boat I had a standard rule pump but the boat had a charger built into the consol so when left I could hook up to the mains and ensure no flat battery and clear decks and bilge. Only issue would be a pump that failed but easy to solve with a redundant system.
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Old 13 October 2006, 06:14   #7
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At least with my open bilges I KNOW when the boat has water in it.
That knowledge will be a big comfort when you're out in a bit of weather, constantly shipping water over the deck and your pump packs up.

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it would only save perhaps 10 gallons of additional weight.
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Switched the pump on and it took about an hour to pump it dry.
That equates to 500 gallons then.

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There was about 1 ton of water on board.
I thought you said your bilge doesn't hold much water. Your argument for an open bilge is about the same.


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how do other people manage?
I reckon sealing the bilges would be a good start and if you're really worried about knowing whether there's water in the hull, it takes about three seconds to open a deck hatch and have a look.

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Old 13 October 2006, 13:34   #8
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Switched the pump on and it took about an hour to pump it dry.
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That equates to 500 gallons then.

Actually, something less than that. A 500 gph pump will only pump 500 gallons if it doesn't have to raise the water. Head pressure will reduce the amount pumped. A 500 gph will be down to about 300 or so with a 4 foot head. Still a lot of water.

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Old 13 October 2006, 13:40   #9
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If your putting a pump make sure there is a one way valve on the pipe at the transom end and the pump end, this way what it pumps stays in the pipe and not back in the bilge for you to sponge out.
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Old 13 October 2006, 15:47   #10
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If your putting a pump make sure there is a one way valve on the pipe at the transom end and the pump end, this way what it pumps stays in the pipe and not back in the bilge for you to sponge out.

This is very important, because you'd be surprised how much water a couple of feet of 1/2" hose will hold.
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