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Floor boards and bilgewater

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JohnA View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JohnA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2011 at 17:52


Things are not quite as they seem!

Following on from my last posting regards water in the bilge. I thought that I had sponged all of the water from the bilge next to the steps and so could not understand that, an hour or so later, more water had entered the same area. I got fed up with this and decided to lift the floor over the bilge area. This was very simple and only required five screws to be undone. The results are shown in the two photos. The first photo shows the area revealed under the floor. The electric bilge pump and automatic float can clearly be seen as can the manual pump to the right of the float. The compartment to the right of the picture in front of the heads area reveals an indentation in the floor which, when I opened up the floor, was full of water. You can also see a hole between this compartment and the underside of the floor of the heads.

 And this is where things do not appear to be quite straightforward!

 Quite simply, if there is a water leak from, say, the heads tap, it runs down the inside of the hull and deposits in the bottom of the boat. As the water level builds up it spills over into the compartment next to the 'bilge' where the pumps are located. When this fills, the water then transfers into the bilge area where it can be pumped or sponged out. The second picture shows the same compartment with holes to and from it. Thus there has to be quite a lot of water in the bottom of the boat long before it appears in the bilge area. This also allows water to slosh around and appear under the galley area and, as the boat heels, the water is also transferred to the storage area under the starboard seating. Clever - ain't it.

I can feel water under the floor by putting my finger through any of the holes. I feel like the little Dutch boy trying to stop the water from flooding out of the Dyke. (Apologies to you Dutch owners and also to any Dykes who may be reading this)!

 I am now in the process of getting a hand pump with a flexible hose which will reach inside the various holes to see how much water I can pump out from underneath the floor.

 I reckon that water has been building up for over a year (since 'Discovery' was new), from the head tap which has been slowly leaking all this time and which has increased since the freeze up during our recent very cold winter.

I also reckon that many of you other owners have a similar problem but may not yet be aware of how much water is in the hull under the floor area yet has not yet appeared in the pumped bilge area.

 I'll let you know how much I pumped out, over the next few days.

John



Edited by JohnA - 09 May 2011 at 18:40
Hanse 320 #464 'Discovery'
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Janni View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Janni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2011 at 20:27
In our H320, the bottom section looks a bit different, we have got the seacock for the heads supply in that area.
Janni

Hanse 320 #548 "SCHNEGGE"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JohnA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 May 2011 at 22:59
Interesting! I presume that you have to lift the floor board each time you wish to operate the sea cock? On this basis I suspect that you leave the valve open all the time?

 Our sea cock for the heads inlet water supply is situated in the heads cupboard below the vanity basin. This means that it is easy to open and close at will.

John
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CharlesP View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CharlesP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2011 at 00:18
Thanks for all that useful info John. I thought the bilge pump should be in the lowest part of the bilge. Where would this be and can you access it.

Our seacock for the heads water supply is inside the galley sink unit cupboard. So that's three different seacock positions during the final year of 320 production. I wonder why?

I assume an access hatch will be provided for you Janni.

Charles
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320 Nr 536 2010

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Janni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2011 at 06:12
Originally posted by JohnA JohnA wrote:

Interesting! I presume that you have to lift the floor board each time you wish to operate the sea cock? On this basis I suspect that you leave the valve open all the time? Our sea cock for the heads inlet water supply is situated in the heads cupboard below the vanity basin. This means that it is easy to open and close at will.John


No. The setup seems to come from the H325 design. The yard has cut an opening into the floorplate, similar to the ones for the inspection of the bilge.
Like that we can operate the sea cock in a good way; we even do not have to go into a cupboard, where you usually have something obstructing the access.
In the heads we still have two other seavalves in the cupboard, for the drain of the shower and the drain of the basin.
Janni

Edited by Janni - 11 May 2011 at 06:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CharlesP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2011 at 09:12
I think you have a good improved setup Janni. Our shower drain combines with the basin drain so there is a non-return valve installed, which makes the basin water very, very slow to drain.

Charles
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote samuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2011 at 14:00
John A
I note the pic you have sent & it differs from mine in that my wire connections to the pump are right next to the pump. If water goes above the pump the whole lot can short out, leaving me with no electric pump - or any other  electrics for that matter
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JohnA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2011 at 23:49
Originally posted by CharlesP CharlesP wrote:

Thanks for all that useful info John. I thought the bilge pump should be in the lowest part of the bilge. Where would this be and can you access it.
Charles


Hi Charles,

The lowest part of the bilge is most likely below the floor of the compartment where the electric pump is situated. However there is no access to it as far as I can see.

 Please see my next posting relating to my pumping out efforts today.

John



Edited by JohnA - 11 May 2011 at 23:49
Hanse 320 #464 'Discovery'
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JohnA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2011 at 00:08
Originally posted by JohnA JohnA wrote:



Things are not quite as they seem!  ......................

 I'll let you know how much I pumped out, over the next few days.



On the same subject I made a further visit to 'Discovery' today armed with a couple of hand pumps of different sizes.

 The larger of the two pumps was used to pump out the general area below the heads floor. This also included the area below the existing sump where the electric bilge pump is installed.

 I pumped out in excess of 50 litres of water from this area alone! I then used the smaller pump to gain access to the area below the floor gained by poking the pump inlet pipe through the foreward facing hole in the sump area to the right of the main sump. From this area I pumbed out a further 10 litres or so.

 I am sure that there is still water below the floor boards which is collected within the areas made by the main framework of the base of the hull. I expect this to migrate to the area below the main sump through the movement and heeling of 'Discovery' at sea. We shall see (no pun intended)!

 I feel happier that I have managed to remove the water from below the floors and hope that I have solved the water leak from the head tap inlet pipes. I think that some (or alot) of the water came from the time during last winter when the main water pump froze and cracked and also possibly from the cracked shower head at the transome.

 It would be nice to be able to see a plan of the construction of the hull sole to be able to see how drainage from the compartments is carried out. I am left with the thought that the disposal of bilge water is very poorly dealt with!

John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CharlesP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2011 at 12:22
Well done John. What you have discovered will be useful to many of us. Hard to believe that so much water can be hidden away without our knowledge. Surely one would have expected to be able to see it on lifting hatches!

One other matter occurs to me. Suppose there was a gas leak. How would it be cleared? I expect it would migrate to the hidden space like your water, so normal methods would not clear it. Also, how effective is a gas detector unless it can be sited where the gas goes.

Charles
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