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Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 9/27/19
Posts: 5
Mystery bilge

I was working on tightening my keel bolts tonight, and I had lifted the floor panel in the forward birth in order to access the forward-most bolt. Under the floor, there is a small panel that is used to access the single, forward keel bolt. 

Now to the issue!  Also under this small panel is what appears to be a bilge area that travels away from the mast towards the starboard side of the boat. It goes under the floor and seems to go quite far... possibly even under the angled cabinet leading into the birth (across from the head). My concern is that this area is FULL of water, and doesn't seem to drain anywhere. There is no passageway to the main bilge area that I can see. Obviously, my other concern is WHERE did this water come from? We are actually on the hard right now, but it did rain pretty heavily today. Thinking maybe it is from the mast? This bilge area IS in the forward right corner of the mast. 

Does anyone know where this area is supposed to drain to, and what would be placing water into it? 


pkeyser's picture
Last seen: 1 day 1 hour ago
Joined: 5/18/13
Posts: 413

Might be part of the grid design built into the hull interior? Any pictures?

The furling masts act like water scoops, especially when the back of the mast faces into the wind/rain. There is a mast drain slightly above the cabin roof  elevation that diverts some of the rain water from traveling to the bilge, but still, a lot typically makes it's way inside. Locate the drain and check that it's unobstructed.

Also- it would be helpful to include your boat particulars in your signature.  Knowing the year, hull number, model, engine type etc can be helpful info to those responding to posts. I think you can add that info from your account set up area in the websiite.


Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

Pgutierrez's picture
Last seen: 19 min 19 sec ago
Joined: 5/14/12
Posts: 136

My boat is hull 1897, made in 2000 with out roller furling main sail.  I also discovered the small bilge like area when I lifted the v birth floor.  I could not see how that pocket drains out and what was in there stank.  In my opinion, the water in that pocket does originate mostly from the mast holes and if you let your big bilge water get too full, that water too could flow forward.  Having owned this boat for seven years, I didn't find more than probably one inch of water there, and there no stains (read mold) on the underside of the floor.  Since boat is on the hard, make sure the boat is angled with the bow higher so any water seeping in flows aft.  My thought is the fiberglass pocket the mast sits in may have a weep hole forward of the mast.  Look for it from the "mini bilge" area and plug it with marinetex epoxy.  Be careful as there maybe some very sharp fiberglass shards there.  If your boat has a winter cover, make sure canvass collar around mast is tight minimize potential water entry down main sail track.
I agree with Phil - give more information about your boat, hull number, age, where you sail it and some of the equipment on the boat.  Others may then be able to share their experience and help solve your issue.
Best to you.  


peter g

2000 C36, MK2, Hull. #1897
wonderful, wonderful, wonderful ! ! !.   5 th Catalina



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