Weird question about bilge limber holes mystery spots

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alfricke's picture
alfricke
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Posts: 90
Weird question about bilge limber holes mystery spots

I've been working on a nagging problem. On my 2000' Mk2, water from the packing gland and any other liquid that gets into the pan under the engine has no where to go but through two tubes that have large electrical wires running through them to the batteries etc. I've never seen a schematic of the Catalina 36 that shows where the various bilge tubes/limber holes etc go and how they work in combination. Somehow water in the engine pan moves through the tubes and eventually ends up in the main bilge. I know this because a while back I had to change out the stuffing in the packing gland with the boat in the water. Water flowed nicely out of the pan and eventually into the bilge where the electric pump promptly pumped it overboard. 

My problem is that I am actually getting water backing up from those two tubes on the forward end of the pan (not much, but some) so something has gotten clogged. 

Anyone know what I'm talking about...does this make sense. Thoughts? References? Picture enclosed

Al Fricke
S/V Jubilee San Francisco Bay
Catalina 36' MkII  #1867
Universal 35-B

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kgilbert
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Posts: 13

I'm pretty sure that I don't have holes in the front of the pan under my engine, and certainly not any wires as in your photo. But I've always wondered if water collecting under the engine is "as designed". Water from the packing gland has nowhere to go but under the engine. Is there supposed to be weep holes in the front of the pan to direct the water to the bilge? Or has anyone added weep holes there?

Avalon
1996 Catalina 36 MKII
Lake Superior

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GaryB
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Posts: 570

I have these holes and I have wires that run through them and have rerun new wires when I increased wire size. In my boat the water from the packing gland and any leaks seem to drain through these holes as well. The water than accumulates in the bottom under the galley and works it's way to the bilge. I suspect that dirt or foreign objects could impede drainage, so water could accumulate or slow down. Pipe cleaner or test tube cleaner might assist in cleaning debris out or disconnect wire and back it out, clean and replace back.

Gary Bain
S/V "Gone With The Wind"
Catalina 36', Hull #: 1056, Year: 1990, Engine: M-35
Standard Rig
Moored: Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Home: Auburn, Maine

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Haro
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Posts: 403

Questions have been asked about the omission of the drain opening at the bottom of the engine bilge. The correct answer is that there is not supposed to be one as this bilge is designed to contain any engine fluid that may escape from the engine including antifreeze, engine oil, transmission oil and diesel fuel. If engine fluid is allowed to drain into the main bilge below it will be emptied by the bilge pump overboard and this is not allowed.

At the forward end of this bilge there are 2 1" PVC conduits installed and fastened to the bottom the subfloor using fiberglass mesh, and the other end is at the bottom of the battery compartment. There are no breaks inbetween. These conduits are not there to drain the bilge.

Since these conduits have not been caulked some fluid will escape from the edges of the conduit when the fluid level rises enough. I place an absorbent towel to catch any fluid usually from the stuffing box.

To access the area for viewing, remove the floor board next to the galley and lower a small camera into the 6" opening. I used a cell phone to take images and videos, so some may be sideways since there is only a 3" depth available.

Please View  images in the related album

Images top to bottom: Top= Battery cables in conduit, Next down= Opening to view and access below the floor board, Next =Below the galley sink, I have inserted a stick in the drain opening of a stinger, Bottom= PVC conduit for battery cable battery

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kgilbert
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Joined: 5/25/18
Posts: 13

Yes, Haro, thank you for your excellent explanation!

Avalon
1996 Catalina 36 MKII
Lake Superior

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Pgutierrez
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Joined: 5/14/12
Posts: 224

Haro, what a fantastic job of documentation and explanation!  I had wondered about this (but not enough to ask or do anything about it.  I used a wise surveyor once and he said that vast majority of methods used to build boats have a functional objective.  Make no changes except maybe cosmetic ones until you are sure that your "fix" doesn't make things worse or wipes out a functional build that you might regret.  

peter g

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

 

 

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alfricke
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Posts: 90

Amazing...after owning two Catalina 36s (Hull # 17 and Hull # 1867) I'm still learning, thanks to this forum. Thanks for the various posts...not letting engine fluids into the bilge pump area makes sense to a certain degree I suppose. Thanks Haro for some super pics. I did finally just clean out the tubing, and now packing gland water has an exit. I wonder what where the designer thought the gland water was supposed to go? Maybe a push for dripless? 

Al Fricke
S/V Jubilee San Francisco Bay
Catalina 36' MkII  #1867
Universal 35-B

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