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S&S Swan General - Swan 40 - Hull Compartments under floor boards, no drains
14 February 2023 - 13:00
#1
Join Date: 09 November 2021
Posts: 43

Swan 40 - Hull Compartments under floor boards, no drains

Dear all,

 

I have a question and I am sorry if it feels to stupid.

I planning a big and deep clean on my boat. I am taking all the floor boards to be able to clean the hull compartments shown on the photos. But I realized that the compartments do not have any drain to the bildge or to any other compartment. So if I use water I need to find a way to remove it.

My (maybe stupid) questions are:

- Is it normal not to have drains to the bildge? It should be design for the falling waters on the flor. Sometimes we come wet inside. 

- Can I make a drain hole on each compartment? If yes is just a normal drill?

 

Thank you for your help,

 

Duarte

Star Swan (40/047)

14 February 2023 - 13:56
#2
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1024

Dear Duarte,

not at all!

I can see the greay colour is not original, I am not sure why but someone in the past must have been working on the bilge and thought the connection small holes should have been there for a mistake, and closed them. They are located in the deepes spot of each compartment.

Don't forget Rod Stephens rule:

Poor Bilge Drainage and  Poor limbers: I have always felt that a tea cup full of water, put in right at the fore-peak, and one just inside the transom should find its way immediately to the lowest part of the bilge, where the pump intakes are located; and the capacity of the limbers must be such that they can get water to the pump intakes just a little more rapidly than the properly operating bilge pumps can take it out.

 

I would definetly re-open all of them

Fair winds!

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

14 February 2023 - 16:59
#3
Join Date: 09 November 2021
Posts: 43

Ciao Matteo,

Thank you for your reply!

I went to the boat today as I was scratching my brains out with that. I found the holes and they were blocked. All good now. I am at that age that I need glasses but still do not remember to take them with me. :)

Engine is almost fixed and pluged. After I want to do a hard clean.

My bildge had only two manual Pumps. I installed this summer a small electric pump and know I am a pround owner of a boat with a dry bildge all the time.

 

By the way, this summer when I sand blast all the hull I tryed to find the drain screw of the bildge. I could not find it!

Best,

 

Duarte

 

14 February 2023 - 18:16
#4
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1024

Dear Duarte,

that's correct, some of the earliest boats do not have the drain plug

A pity, but it was introduced at a later time

matteo

19 February 2023 - 22:47
#5
Join Date: 09 November 2021
Posts: 43

Dear Matteo. 

All under floor compartments have drains.  Some wore very blocked some wore ok.  But I found a place where ther is no drain or even a sign of an old drain. It's the engine bay.  Is it on purpose?  

best

 

Duarte

19 February 2023 - 22:55
#6
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1024

Dear Duarte,

correct, the engine bilge must not be connected to the main one. If some oil or gasoline gets out of the engine you can easily spot it on the flesh, and it does not go around all boat.

A bilge alarm in engine bilge is suggested.

Fair winds!

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

20 February 2023 - 21:36
#7
Join Date: 30 January 2007
Posts: 462

Dear Duarte,

not at all!

I can see the greay colour is not original, I am not sure why but someone in the past must have been working on the bilge and thought the connection small holes should have been there for a mistake, and closed them. They are located in the deepes spot of each compartment.

Don't forget Rod Stephens rule:

Poor Bilge Drainage and  Poor limbers: I have always felt that a tea cup full of water, put in right at the fore-peak, and one just inside the transom should find its way immediately to the lowest part of the bilge, where the pump intakes are located; and the capacity of the limbers must be such that they can get water to the pump intakes just a little more rapidly than the properly operating bilge pumps can take it out.

 

I would definetly re-open all of them

Fair winds!

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

Even if I do not remember if it was a suggestion by Olin Stephens or Lars Strom, I like to remind this.  It is suggested to have a long line made of a small chain (non rust) passing through the bilge drains from fo'c'sle all the way to the bilge pump intake; if anything clogs the passage, a gentle tug on the chain will let the water flow freely again.

When I bought my boat it was there although, at the beginning, I did not understand its use; now I find that it is almost essential for solving the problem of the ubiquitous hair of one of my crew, a nice German shepherd.

Daniel, 411/004 Luna Menguante

21 February 2023 - 08:25
#8
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1024

Dear Daniel,

that's correct, it was one of many S&S Suggestions, and all S&S Swan were originally delivered with that chain in the bilge, some have an elstic attached at one side, in order to make the job more easy if you are alone onboard and nobody could help you pulling it from the other side.

Fair winds!

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

12 March 2023 - 21:04
#9
Join Date: 31 July 2007
Posts: 88

Rod Stephens is so right and I wish more boat builders would follow his advice. Unfortunately many people do not understand that water runs downhill or maybe whoever is concerned with bilge is to lazy or indifferent to provide drainage. There is also the "not my boat" syndrome. My Swan is now 52 years old and was built right and I got it 32 years ago before someone had the opportunity to mess it up. I consider myself very fortunate.

Did you know that on a Valiant 40 when you get 1 liter of water into the bilge and when you are heeled, like sailing, this water will collect on the top of the cabin floor, where the floor meets the hull and when you change tacks it runs across the floor? You can't get it out, except maybe with a sponge and the bilge pump can't get it because it is not in the bilge because the boat is heeled.   

040/012 Cygnus Peter Lange 

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