Sketchbook: Bilges

Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

A
Bilges can be mucky places, so make sure there’s enough slack in pipes and cables to get blocked pumps out.

A
B

B
A plastic crate with garden mesh at the bottom creates both a filter for fine particulates that can catch any soap and hair, and a coarse filter to keep out labels, paper or plastic.

C

C
Float switches can fail if they are covered in muck. Raising them up to be activated by another float switch located beneath is one solution.

e-f

D
Electronic sensors, kept well clear of the water, can trigger pumps, alarms and even send text messages if the pumps run too much.

E
A stick that pops up in the cockpit, connected to a float in the bilge, is a simple warning device.

F

F
A big emergency pump, clear of the muck, only cuts in if the normal pump can’t cope.

G

G
A drip tray or absorbent pads help keep oil out of the bilges.

H

H
Some old boats had brass chains rove through their limber holes (drains) so they could be jiggled to remove any buildup of muck. A refinement is to add a length of elastic bungee cord at one end to pull the chain back.

I

I
In some countries it‘s illegal to discharge mucky bilge water straight over the side, and large fines may be imposed if the authorities see telltale oil slicks near your boat. Special in-line filters can be plumbed in to remove any harmful substances. Or a diverter valve can be used to catch suspect bilge water in a jerry can.

J

J
Big storm anchors and keel spanners can get forgotten in the bilge. Do check occasionally to ensure that they’re dry and secure.

K

K
Tin cans often end up there too, and can lose their labels and rust. So protect them against chafe and seal several together in a plastic bag. Be sure, though, to wash and dry them first to remove any possible bug eggs lurking under the rims!
Dick Everitt has sailed thousands of miles in various parts of the world. He has been an illustrator, journalist and engineer for more than 40 years

April 2016

Related

20190614_131026

Kiwi Spirit Takes Line Honors in Bermuda

Mark Riley’s Farr 63 Kiwi Spirit secured line honors yesterday in the Marion to Bermuda race, finishing off St. David’s Lighthouse at 0227 local time. Francis Seldorff’s Kinship, a Baltic 52, was second in the 40-boat fleet, crossing the line at around 0500. With 18-year-old ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com No cracked skulls please Modern boats with aft bathing ladders offer a big advantage when it comes to rescuing crew who have fallen overboard. Not all casualties are basket cases unable to help ...read more

01-Lead-show

France’s Annual Multihull Show

If a boat show could be described as intimate, the annual Salon International du Multicoque in La Grande Motte, on France’s Mediterranean coast, is it. Held in the latter part of April, the multihulls-only in-water show is a boon for builders, because the people who attend come ...read more

Furlex-Electric

Gear: Seldén’s Furlex Electric

Furl Power Seldén’s Furlex Electric offers an easy path into the world of sweat-free headsail furling. The compact unit can be retrofitted to an existing manual Furlex unit or installed as a replacement for whatever you’ve got now. Its DC-DC converter accepts your boat’s 12V or ...read more

11_DSC8423Tom-Zydler

Cruising: Nova Scotia

There’s a unique cruising ground that combines access to urban locations with easy escapes to wilderness and nature. Its native people may be the friendliest on the east coast of North America. Its coastline runs 250 nautical miles in a straight line, but that should be ...read more

01-LEAD-shutterstock_727849660

Boat Monitoring System

Boat Oversight In a world where you can track your friends’ locations in real time and stream yourself live on the internet, it should come as no surprise that you can also keep a close eye on your boat from the comfort of home. In fact, not only is there a plethora of options ...read more