Bilge refurbishment

A thankless task unless you like cleaning. I am blessed that my wife does. As both bilge pumps were not working and water seemed to be constantly filling the bilge an early start was made on the main bilge. Initial de-greasing was carried out using motor factors de-greaser. This was followed up by constant flushing and washing. As the boat is in a shed it was not possible to remove the cleaning water with the manual bilge pump as it poured out over the floor so a vacuum pump was used. Over the months the work has progressed and it is remarkable how many nocks and crannies have to be cleaned. Gradually each compartment was cleaned degreased and finally painted with grey bilge paint. This work has taken 6 months of weekends and has been much harder than we originally thought. Not helped by discovering a secret bilge late in the day under the battery compartment. This had access from the galley area about the size of a letter box. There has also been the need to create some additional limber holes to drain some lockers.

The electric bilge pumps were not working and both had to be investigated. The submerged bilge pump seen in the top right photo was discovered to have two faults. One the fuse in the fuse holder was too short and would some times make a connection and sometimes not. Intermittent faults are always hard to diagnose. The second fault was the airmatic auto bilge switch system. This works by water pressure on a small tube setting off a relay to stat the bilge pump. Who ever fitted it very neatly used cable ties to route the tube to the unit. Unfortunately they were so tight it closed off the tube. The second bilge pump did not work because the rubber diaphragm and valves were rotten. A service kit was used and the parts replaced. This now leaves Sephina with two good high capacity electric pumps. For serious off shore there is a requirement for a second manual bilge. As the forward heads are being converted into a laundry and store room the heads pump has been converted to a bilge pump with the addition of a new above the water line skin fitting.

Click photo on right to see more.