Beware the Bilge !
As close as I have been to losing the RIB today and I wasn't even in it.
Got a phone call from St Anthony's (Cornwall) yesterday morning...the Rib was on one of their moorings for the week. One of their lads had noticed the boat sitting low in the water. In fact ... inside the Rib, the water was half way up the tubes, no freeboard, the transom was underwater.
Maybe it would have stayed afloat, but then again maybe not, and not willing to find out the limits of floatation, he had started bailing. By the time I got there, there was about 2 inches of freeboard on the transom.
There had been some really heavy rain early in the morning, obviously the automatic bilge pump hadn't worked, and on the Gemini Ribs, the deck is a set of plates over the hull with a Transom well, so heavy rain and an inoperative bilge pump = not good.
I noticed that after bailing for a while, the amount of water in the hull didnt seem to be reducing as much as it should have been, and began wondering if the hull was split. Made the decision to take the Rib out on the next high tide.
Got the boat out on the trailer a few hours later, took out the bung and dropped the drain trunks. Water flowed out strongly for a good 20 minutes.
Opened the inspection hatches on the transom well and had a good feel around ! First thing I pulled out was a partially smashed bilge pump, the snapped retaining clips, and a bunch of assorted white plastic.
Probably in my errrr.... enthusiastic driving style, the bilge pump had become unclipped and then flailed around until it smashed itself to pieces...literally.
This wouldn't account for the refilling hull...everything externally looked fine, but the Gemini has a floating ball type scupper next to the bung, and when I checked this out, I found a 2 inch by 3 inch piece of label from a 2 stroke oil bottle which had forced the ball valve open.
Combination of circumstances - that could have been much worse.
When was the last time you checked your bilge pump and cleaned out the filter, and the bilge?
Anyone got a better solution to replace the floating ball valve? Dont feel that confident in the thing now.