View Full Version : Bilge filler (yes, I AM in the right forum...)

Flying Orca
07-02-2010, 02:39 PM
Hey folks - crazy as my life has been lately, and unusual as it is for me to poke my nose above the Bilge, I have this inexplicable (and probably dangerous) urge to get back to work on the boat, and I have a question.

Without going into hideous amounts of detail, the painted interior of my glassed cedar strip hull is bifurcated by a DF hog (also painted, and partially glassed). This is a bit of a problem for the indicated intake for the small manual bilge pump, as it's located inside a locker on one side of the CP case.

I don't want water pooling on the other side of the hog from the bilge pump intake, whether I keep the pump in the locker (?, as a chess player would say) or not. I'm thinking of using some kind of filler to level the "low point" so the pump will get all (or almost all) of the water out of the bilge. Total volume to be filled is on the order of a hundred cubic inches or so.

Suggestions have included:
- epoxy thickened with microballoons (kind of expensive, but might be best)
- fine cement
- plain old plaster
... with any or all of the above covered with epoxy and possibly glass, followed by paint.

My immediate and admittedly ignorant inclination is toward cement followed by glass with plenty of epoxy, followed by paint. Does this sound... sound?

Peerie Maa
07-02-2010, 02:50 PM
I think that cement or plaster would be too rigid, and would crack up as the boat flexes. I would use epoxy with micro balloons, but reduce the volume by using it to stick down some rigid foam or wood, shaped to fit as close as you can. Then glass over it.
Do it on both sides of the hog, and leave a pump well for the suction to form a sump. You will be able to get all but an egg cup full out before the pump snores.

Flying Orca
07-02-2010, 02:56 PM
Thanks Nick, that's exactly what I'm looking for. Cheers!

07-02-2010, 08:55 PM
Flying O, The traditional pouring of hot pitch works very well here, although to get tooled up will cost more than would be reasonable for such a small area, plain old cement also works well, in either scenario, I would paint first, then paint the top surface after it has cooled/ set. Epoxy will likely have too much heat build up to be a good choice, as well as being tough to get out, and being unnessesarily expensive...Cheers, BT

07-02-2010, 11:33 PM
I think I have heard of beeswax being used for such a task.

Tom Freeman
07-03-2010, 12:17 AM
+1 for hot pitch

Peerie Maa
07-03-2010, 06:48 AM
How hot are the summers where you will be using the boat? Just asking.

You did say that she is already glassed inside didn't you? Pitch sticks to everything, including the crew, but I doubt that concrete will stick to glass epoxy.

07-03-2010, 04:06 PM
put down a couple of layers of wax paper then use concrete (lightweight volcanic or heavy as you want by adding lead shot). Once the concrete hardens, remove and seal in with 4200 or something else removable. considers sealing just the edges and running a piece of cloth through a hole and out the top to wick any moisture that gets trapped. Hole could be plugged when boat is in use and opened for storage.

07-03-2010, 04:56 PM
Concrete will hold moisture.......
use concrete with 25% graded fines or punice, then use nothing in the mix except filtered or bottled water, then add a teaspoon per gallon of chromium trioxide to the water mixture. Make sure the are is well painted or epoxy coated, then lay down the waxed paper or whatever, then the cement. It will not be porous and absorb water. The unfiltered tap water will let beasties grow in the mix. I don't really like anything rigid in that area...but if'n youse is gonna do it........

Flying Orca
07-04-2010, 09:26 PM
Hmmm... lots of good food for thought here. Thanks guys, I'll also discuss with dad and see if he has pitch or beeswax (I like both ideas... not ruling out anything else though...)