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How to keep bilge dry during outdoor winter storage


Robert Moretti
 

Hello, listmates!

Let me begin by saying that my 1985 C30 has the wooden keel stump beneath a thin coating of gelcoat.  So, keeping the bilge dry at all times is important to me in order to avoid saturating that stump.

I store outdoors, with a shrinkwrap cover.  For years, I have had the mast taken down to avoid the possibility of any rain/snow from running down the mast into the bilge.  Doing that is very expensive, and I don't want to do it this year.  Even though I have looped the electrical lines running into the deck (so they drip and the water can run out the holes drilled into the bottom of the mast), I am still paranoid about water getting into bilge and sitting there for lengthy periods.  

Do any of you have ideas about how to address the problem?  Thanks,

Bob Moretti
S/V Iset
C30, 1985, TRBS, #4317


KWKloeber
 

Hi Bob

You can cap off the mast truck w/ a plate to keep out rainwater. 

Water travels down the bolt threads to get to the plank in the keel buss.   Seal around them well. When I rebedded my keel I sealed underneath each washer. 

I saw where at least one owner affixed pvc pipe to the bilge to surround each nut to keep water away from the threads. 

Install a garboard plug. 

On Oct 10, 2020, at 12:31 PM, Robert Moretti <r-moretti@...> wrote:

Hello, listmates!

Let me begin by saying that my 1985 C30 has the wooden keel stump beneath a thin coating of gelcoat.  So, keeping the bilge dry at all times is important to me in order to avoid saturating that stump.

I store outdoors, with a shrinkwrap cover.  For years, I have had the mast taken down to avoid the possibility of any rain/snow from running down the mast into the bilge.  Doing that is very expensive, and I don't want to do it this year.  Even though I have looped the electrical lines running into the deck (so they drip and the water can run out the holes drilled into the bottom of the mast), I am still paranoid about water getting into bilge and sitting there for lengthy periods.  

Do any of you have ideas about how to address the problem?  Thanks,

Bob Moretti
S/V Iset
C30, 1985, TRBS, #4317


Robert Moretti
 

Thanks, Ken.  While on the hard during the offseason several years ago, I did seal around the nuts/washers.  Only negative there is the way the sealant attracts gunk and turns black -- no big deal.  Although I sometimes wonder if a less-than-perfect sealing job might contribute to crevice corrosion.  I actually like the PVC idea, and may give it a try.

I am also looking into "Pig" brand water snakes that absorb and hold quite a bit of water.  What I don't know is what happens to the water when there are freeze/thaw cycles that occur over the winter.  I sent an email to the manufacturer to find out.

Garboard plug maybe not such a great idea with such a shallow bilge.

Bob





KWKloeber
 

Bob

I sealed around the bolt threads under the washers.  The only gunk, should be what oozes out when torquing them down (just clean up that.)
No fuss no muss no runs no drips no errors. 
Had I thought ahead I could have countersunk the holes, just like doing when sealing around fasteners on a deck fitting. Some suggest a heavy O ring, but I’m not sure that’s wise or would work well. 

If you’re talking about a seasonal/temporary seal, dry up the bilge and could try RV putty tape or Mortite (that you can easily separate into strips as wide as you need) to fillet it tight around the edge of the washers/nuts and tight around the thread above the nuts.

I know that before I’d lose sleep I’d test out to see how much really comes down my compression post.  Could it be a solution in search of not a problem?
Do you have the top of the pvc deck conduit sealed?  Why not stop it above the deck rather than in the bilge?
My issues were due to the PO’s wet bilge, but nothing substantial coming down the mast, but I sealed that off anyway. 

On Oct 11, 2020, at 1:01 PM, Robert Moretti <r-moretti@...> wrote:

Thanks, Ken.  While on the hard during the offseason several years ago, I did seal around the nuts/washers.  Only negative there is the way the sealant attracts gunk and turns black -- no big deal.  Although I sometimes wonder if a less-than-perfect sealing job might contribute to crevice corrosion.  I actually like the PVC idea, and may give it a try.

I am also looking into "Pig" brand water snakes that absorb and hold quite a bit of water.  What I don't know is what happens to the water when there are freeze/thaw cycles that occur over the winter.  I sent an email to the manufacturer to find out.

Garboard plug maybe not such a great idea with such a shallow bilge.

Bob


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