View Full Version : Opps almost lost one!

06-08-2016, 08:23 AM
Went to the marina this weekend. Missed church, not feeling good. Finally up and stirring when there is a call from my dock-mate. Unusual, why did he not step over. He is calling from town where they had gone to get a vacuum and asked if i still have my emergency Bilge Pump. No, someone needed it more than me. He then tells me he has water in his 50' Gibson and can I assist. I stagger to the door and his boat is listing. Sure I'll go look. For sure more than a vacuum will handle.
That started 7 hours of work. The Gibson is down by the bow and listing to starboard a foot. More than when they left for town he said.

We turned off the HVAC as it is a marine unit and the Dock water going into the boat. He starts with the vacuum while I start looking for a pump to use. I have my bilge pumps but no easy DC access. I look for my emergency bilge pump but yes it is gone. I am starting to pull my 110v marine HVAC water pump when my dock-mate said he has a bilge pump but no way to use as it won't fit any hoses. I grab it and pull my plumbing box, MacGyver up a wild concoction that allows a water hose to fit and throw it into the front bilge. Whoop it works!
I get everyone off the boat and put a board from the dock to the boat to visually tell if we are gaining or losing. Within 30 minutes it is apparent we are gaining! Finally after several hours I can get to the front bilge and elbow deep try to get it working but it falls apart in my hands. I send them after a new pump that Dottie's marina is nice enough to open up and sell. After that pump is installed and the rear of the boat settled so the rear bilge will work we make fast progress.
While the last of the water is being pumped I crawl thru and find the ice maker line is busted/leaking. Cannot tell for sure as it has no shut off and no easy access but with the dock water off the crisis is averted. It is not a hull leak!
Mistakes #1 The ice maker line has been leaking for a long time. They actually heard it but thought it was just an ice maker noise. Finally the line broke. The amount of water in the bilge indicates it had water in it for some time.
#2 leaving the dock water on. This sinks more houseboats than anything I know of. Don't do it. #3 bilge pumps not in functioning order, check em and replace when old, period. (ok I got to do this one)

Sailors take warning!

Anyone using a good bilge alarm?

06-08-2016, 02:58 PM
Good Job.

Reminds me of Ted655 Now Coming Down the Mississippi with a fresh water tank leak.

06-09-2016, 07:00 AM
Not only do not leave the dock water on, do not leave it connected to your boat when you are not on board.

06-09-2016, 07:57 AM
Easttnboater I agree, better to disconnect in case a kid or dock mate turns water on.
However I have re-plumbed mine so that it is all underwater except for a very short section and it would be hard to disconnect. The rest of the dock uses those yard water hydrants with the galvanized pipe and they cause troubles and rust. My answer to that is I leave a faucet on inside the boat that drains back outside and I leave the dock hose on that is connected to the boat. If someone turns the water back on the hose starts squirting next to them and if they turn that off and leave the water on it continues to drain inside. Not best solution, I am planning on putting a lock on the system.

So no one uses a bilge alarm.

06-09-2016, 04:04 PM
Studies show, most boats that sink, sink at the dock. This is just another reason why.

06-10-2016, 06:34 AM
I run off of internal tanks only. The dock water plumbing was leaking when I bought the boat, so I just disconnected it.

06-10-2016, 06:44 AM
The boat that almost went under is one of two my dock mate owns. The other is almost refurbished and soon will be back home next to mine. It does not even have a dock connection, the water goes straight into tanks. The lady that used to own this boat would shudder if someone suggested a dock connection.

06-15-2016, 08:31 AM
We have found an ordinary sump pump very useful. Mostly it's used for facilitating the annual spring power-wash of the bilge in the sternmost pontoon segments. (Water snakes think that barely-accessible space makes a lovely winter refuge, and leave a mess when they wake up.) Sometimes those ever-so-desirable 'following seas' splash into the engine wells, and the sump pump keeps ahead of the wet that outpaces the bilge pumps on a bumpy Albemarle Sound ride. We had a crowd aboard some years ago, and too many people, a dozen or more, peered over the stern rail, and, yup, we dunked the engine wells. Sigh. The sump pump came to the rescue. If we are away from the dock, we hook it up to the portable generator. The shop vac is mainly for cleaning up the last half-inch or so of water that is below the bilge-pump's float switch. We fill our hundred gallon water tank as necessary, and then promptly disconnect the hose.

06-15-2016, 09:23 AM
we had a dock water fitting on ours and I disconnected it. we carry 200 gal of fresh water and it lasts usually 2 weeks. another thing to watch is the exhaust hose clamps, a dock neighbor was going uo the river when his starboard engine quit,he raised the hatch to find water up to the spark plugs. the exhaust hose came loose and the motor was filling the engine compartment.every spring I spend an entire day checking and double checking anything that can or will leak. another friends 55 kingscraft sank at his dock after a morning launch,he forgot to tighten a clamp on a a/c thru hull.you can never be to careful!!

06-15-2016, 12:13 PM
I had a stripped drain plug on the exhaust manifold work its way out of the one engine. The bilge pump switch was stuck under the strut and couldn't activate the pump. We just happened to stop to talk to some friends and I noticed the back end of the boat was sitting really low in the water. Replaced the manifolds after that and put in ball valves to train the manifolds.