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Bayliner 2160 Bilge Question


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Both bilge pumps work as they should. I keep the boat on a trailer in my driveway, so today I decided to rinse out the bilge area from the cuddy all the way back to the engine. It looks like the front bilge area is supposed to drain into the engine area but mine does not. Am I wrong for thinking the the front bilge under the main floor should drain into the engine area? There appears to be a drain tube under the rear of the fuel tank/front of the engine, which is where I think it should drain toward the engine area.

 

I used some household triple strand electrical wire (I think its 10/3) to try to run down the center line of the hull from front to rear and it kept getting caught up somewhere under the fuel tank. It's either clogged really well, or the drain pipe I'm seeing in front of the engine isn't for the front bilge to drain back to the rear.

 

Any ideas whether or not it should drain all the way back, or how to clear a clog if that's what's going on? Thanks!

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Not sure about your Bayliner but I have a bulkhead on a different brand boat that is solid and the bow area is separate from the engine compartment. I also would rather keep any oil spills in the engine section than having it migrate towards the cabin. My shower drains into the front bilge section as well. Don't know if it would be a fire hazard having them tied together or even a floatation thing if you hit something and it buys you some more time.

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That makes sense to have them separate for the reasons you mentioned. That might be why they have a front bilge pump and a rear bilge pump. I plan on using a wet/dry shop vac to remove the water from the front bilge tomorrow. There was "trash" like decayed leaves in the bilge that can clog a bilge pump, so I am cleaning that stuff out real good so it doesn't cause any problems in the future. I have an automotive type inspection camera I can use to see if there is a sealed bulkhead between the 2 compartments. I'll report back with my findings. Thanks for the reply!

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Use a vacuum to see what comes out. Part of periodic maintenance. The other day I sucked a bottle cap from the previous boat owner (that was 11 years ago). Stuff blows around down there. There should be a connecting tube to answer your question

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Thanks Gill-T. I worked on 120ft crew boats and larger fishing boats (53-87ft) down on the Texas Gulf Coast with engine rooms big enough to dance in, and those engine rooms were spotless, even with 3 main diesel engines, so I like a real CLEAN bilge on my boats. I'm still getting this Bayliner up to my standard, but it was already pretty darn good for a 29 year old boat.

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Always try a coat hanger there could be something blocking it. If it has 2 bilge pumps I would be willing to be they aren't connected with a tube. My boat actually has the bilge pumps under the cuddy because of the way the V is actually lower in the water than the transom when floating.

 

Either way I would consider adding a 2nd pump for extra insurance in the rear engine bay. I speak from experience. My proline developed a crack down one of the chines and was letting in some water (I found it later) my only bilge failed and I had no idea the boat was full with water until the waves were breaking over the transom filling the bottom of the boat. It was a scary situation but I made it back to the dock. I learned my lesson and added a 1500gph plus the little 500gph. I also check the pumps every time I leave the dock kick them on make sure they are spinning then off we go.

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Thanks Chas! I have one bilge pump up under the cuddy floor and a 2nd one back in front of the engine. The engine compartment floor sits a little lower than the front bilge area. I am able to push a piece of fence wire up the questionable drain hole in front of the motor, a good 10-12" and not hit anything. I guess I could try to stick my inspection camera up that hole to see if I hit a clog or a bulkhead. I'm pumping it out with my shop vac today, and then I'll rinse it and pump it until I get all the debris out of it.

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The more experience I gain the more respect I have for the dangers boating can present. I try to pick up every piece of 30 lb mono I cut because twice they have jammed my bilge impellers. Check before you leave the dock as suggested. I have updated both fore and aft bilges and added a jabsco water pump hooked to a switch that allows me to clear the bilge dry if needed.

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Fishing line can be bad news. I'm a stickler for not letting that stuff hit the deck. My backup bilge pump is one of those 4ft long, hand bilge pumps from Lowe's, just in case I lose battery power for some reason. So far I have found loose change, electrical tape, connectors and zip ties in my bilge. That's why I'm putting all my attention on cleaning the bilge areas this week.

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Mine used to be pieces of rotten wood...not a good thing in a fiberglass boat. I am lucky that my bilge is sealed off from the deck having a shelf bailing floor. Any mono or rubber bands on the deck cannot make it into my bilge unless you put it there. 

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My Sea Ray has a switch for bilge and one for the Step Down pump although they look to be on the same level they are separated. I had to remove my fuel cell to clean and redo some wood work including the frame work for the tank. Plywood with the cut edges towards the elements??? Really so I ripped down pressure treated wood and sealed it. My two bilges are separated, I assume for the hatch and the head that funnels right to it. The bulk head for the step down is closed off. I would think that a oil spill wouldn't be able to get to the front, the reason my step down is solid is that's the piece that runs from one side of the boat to the other the wall that separates the cuddy from the other side tha has a sink and running water which could also be the reason for the step down pump. This also supports the dash and steering brackets.

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Todd, on my 2252, not sure about yours, my two bilge areas are not connected, there is a solid bulkhead in between, keeps gas fumes, oil and other nastys from the rear getting to the fwd bilge area, I have two bilge pumps, one aft and one fwd, both 1500 gph. Both work on a single switch, and each has it's own float switch. Hope this helps :)

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Thanks for all the feedback everyone! I rinsed and vacuumed the forward bilge area until all I was getting out of it was clean water. It only took 3 rinses with a garden hose and sprayer attachment. All the water that I sprayed back toward the bulkhead came back toward the bow, so it appears that the fore and aft compartments are sealed off from one another. My bilge pumps are wired separately with their own toggle switches and float switches.

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Not that it matters as you cleaned as well as the cramped space allows but there has to be connecting plumbing between the two compartments otherwise how would water in the front compartment ever leave? Bilge pumps sit a couple inches above the bottom of the boat so you would always some water in the forward compartment if there was no connection. My Bayliner has a central drain tube coming from the front compartment, exiting directly below the factory installed engine compartment bilge mount. With the gas tank and water reservoir tank in the center, perhaps you are encountering a "T" in the plumping that is routed around those tanks. Someone who has refurbished a Bayliner may be able to shed some light to the issue. You also have weep holes thru the stringers that can get clogged. They drain near the transom into the engine compartment.

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If you really wanted to try it you could fill up that front compartment and lift the bow nice and high and see if water comes out the back. I have to agree with Gill, there has to be some sort drain for it to get back to the drain plug. I know Bayliners weren't the greatest boats but I would think the builders knew better than that. Unless of course they were related to the Titanic builders.

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There are 1" weep holes all through the hull at the bottom of several stringers. I unclogged a few of them, but the one under the fuel tank in front of the motor is a little harder to get to. I will try a small diameter push-thru snake through that hole because I have already pushed a bent piece of wire through that hole without hitting anything (about 10" thru). There are no visible valves to turn, so I suspect some are clogged.

 

I filled the forward bilge with the bow cranked up all the way, and even added a 6" tall block under the trailer jack, and none of the water would drain back to the rear bilge area. Not even after cleaning everything out. I'll try that weep hole under the fuel tank this morning. I hope it's not a "T" because that will be harder to unclog.

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Attwood makes a portable (e.g. backup) bilge pump for about $50 (proably places like  Walmart) that is run on D cells and I made a hose from a garden hose  to go over the side. The portability is nice because you can use it anywhere even on a friends boat with a questionable bilge. :lol:

Edited by Sk8man
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Not that it matters as you cleaned as well as the cramped space allows but there has to be connecting plumbing between the two compartments otherwise how would water in the front compartment ever leave?

The water leaves the same way it does from the stern area ,through the bilge pump located in the bow section. Any small amounts left have to be sponged out, just like the stern compartment. Many larger hulls are set up with two or 3 separate bilge pump sections ,bow, midship and stern with some sort of bulkhead between them.
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