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Boat Bilge

Post By: strangebow      Posted: 7/21/2019 10:16:38 PM     Points: 3355    
So I have an older Alumacraft boat I am in the process of resurrecting. I couldn't get the bilge to remove water, and on further inspection I found a blockage a good ways into the exit hose. Not sure what it actually is, it seems pretty solid, and I don't see anything in the pump itself that might have broken off and gone down. I'm wondering if any of you boat guys have run into try this before, perhaps you know of a good way to clear the exit hose. Or am I better off replacing the whole exhaust hose? Any input is appreciated.
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: Jul. 22, 6:29:54 AM     Points: 6239    
Can you get to both ends of the hose?
How old a boat are we talking about?
In my boat the bilge is in the very back of the boat and the drain hose only goes to the back corner of the boat(2 feet?) replace it?
Know someone with a wire puller? You could try to push the block out . . . .
Figgure out where the trash came from if you can and get ahead of the problem,so it don't happen again.I know this is long winded,but did someone install a livewell pump instead of a bilge pump? Live well pumps rely on a strainer (the strainer is on the outside of the transom) to keep the trash out and have no strainer cage on them. (just a hole in and a hole out) can you post a picture of the pump, please?
Bilge pumps wear out in older boats,most are attached to the inside bottom of the boat(sometimes rivets) this leads to people putting a quick fix instead of doing the work to get the old pump out first. Look for the old pump . . . .it will be in a spot close to your drain hole. . . .
On most bilges there will be a strainer/base that the pump will attach to via some clips in the pumps base,find the clips and release the pump,you can buy pumps to fit the base.

 Reply by: strangebow      Posted: Jul. 22, 8:04:53 AM     Points: 3355    
Thanks HP. Sorry I have the boat at my buddy's so I can't post a pic of the bilge until tomorrow. I've got a 1992 alumacraft trophy 170, pretty sure my bilge exit is on port side up front. It has a 450 bilge pump, which seems to pump water, but not out the exit hose. It's got a live well pump too, but definitely has a bilge pump. But I can't move the blockage-seems its about 4 foot in from the bilge pump connection, and can't reach it from the exit side
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: Jul. 22, 8:11:50 AM     Points: 6239    
Call me . . .303-431-6190
bilge don't go out the fromt,its almost always in the rear outside coner.
your up front outlet is most likely a drain for the livewell.
Fast way to tell,pour a few gallons of water in your livewell.
Do you have a stand off tube in the livewell? Pull it out.
On the outside of the drivers side of the boat,is there a drain hole in the back around where the large letter "A" is?
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: Jul. 22, 8:26:05 AM     Points: 6239    
Looking at the pic,I see a drain hole on the outside of the boat(just below the windshield line) That should be the livewell drain.
Got a picture of the other side of the boat?
Here is the idea behind the bilge pumps exit hose.The exit hose's exit hole should be as high on the hull as possible (outside,drivers side so driver can see it pump water) and near the rear of the boat (why pump the water all the way to the front of the boat?)
Look for a exit hole near the rear of the boat. (Not on the tramsom,but on the drivers side)

 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: Jul. 24, 6:58:47 PM     Points: 6239    
Tuesdays come and gone . . .what did you find?
 Reply by: GoNe_FiShIn_11      Posted: Jul. 25, 12:26:25 PM     Points: 6205    
I guess we'll never know
 Reply by: strangebow      Posted: Jul. 25, 2:17:43 PM     Points: 3355    
Hey sorry I haven't gotten back to you, been super busy. Thanks for the info, got me in the right direction, found where all my drains lead and where the exit ports are including bilge, tight where you said it was, aft starboard....tiny ittle hole. The drain on the port side front was the live well overflow drain. Main live well drain comes out the stern. I tried a number of things to clear the bilge line: wire runner, steel cable, weed trimmer line, even and old fly rod with the eyes snipped off. What ended up working was stiff copper wire, it was stiff enough to break up the blockage. And from what I can tell the blockage was a mouse or small rodent. What ended up coming out was a nasty ball of fur and crushed bones. GROSS. Amazing something could crawl in such a small hole. Anyways, thanks for the info, it helped me out! Now time to put in a new pump and float test the vessel...
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: Jul. 25, 2:37:24 PM     Points: 6239    
A dead mouse? Who would of thunk!
Have fun replacing that pump . . . .most are installed in the most twisted and fun/hard to reach places!To get to mine,you have to remove 3 batterys and snake your arms and shoulders into a compartment built in front of the transom,its all "blind mans bluff" I use my phone in camera mode to see around the corner.
 Reply by: strangebow      Posted: Jul. 25, 2:44:48 PM     Points: 3355    
The pump should be pretty simple...I've already got pulled out and disconnected. I can't see anywhere where a previous pump was mounted to the hull, but I'll find a spot =)
Seriously, that rotten critter was one of the most disgusting things I have seen in awhile 🤮
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: Jul. 25, 2:50:52 PM     Points: 6239    
That's a plus . . .I swear the folks that built my boat,planned to make it as hard as they could to replace the pump.
Get back to us after you float test the boat.
I shouldn't have to tell you,but mount it as low as you can and as close to the transom and drain hole as can be.
While you got the pump off,give that exit hose a good cleaning(blow it out wit a air hose?) flush it with a garden hose? when your all done,pour a few gallons in the boat and test the bilge pump.

 Reply by: strangebow      Posted: Jul. 26, 10:06:19 PM     Points: 3355    
Yep that's the plan, new pump looks like I can mount it directly to the transom by the drain hole. Already gave that bilge line a nice enema. I'll keep you updated here with the next steps.Thanks again for being so forthcoming with all the helpful info! Just got the rest of my parts in to rebuild the water pump and lower unit so that will keep me busy for a bit
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: Jul. 27, 12:26:22 PM     Points: 6239    
Your rebuilding a lower unit? Or just the water pump? Lower units are a bit tougher than I'm comfortable doing,but impellers are a snap. Watch Ytube on how,I got it right first try.I'm helping Elk in the bag do one in the next few days.
 Reply by: strangebow      Posted: Jul. 29, 5:20:59 PM     Points: 3355    
I bought a rebuilt lower unit, but no water pump so I'm rebuilding that. Tried rebuilding the lower unit I have but wasn't possible to find a kit for my older motor.
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: Jul. 29, 5:28:33 PM     Points: 6239    
Impellers are a snap to do. Y-tube search it,watch about as many as you can stand to watch.Plan your work,work your plan.Most brands of motors offer a "complete" impeller kit.That includes the right gaskets,impeller,keyway.All you need is Marine greese,a 3M pad or two.and I took my computer out to the garage so I could watch or back up the video as I worked.
I also use brake cleaner to clean the shaft when its time to pull the old impeller off.

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