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Old 05-06-2024, 08:12 PM   #1
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Default Compartments won't drain - need help

Recently acquired this boat from a family member, and found that several of the compartments won't drain into the bilge while I was cleaning the boat. I have been struggling to find any information about how the drains are laid out, and haven't had any success attempting to clear the blockage on my own.

Breakdown:

- Center deck compartment won't drain water nearly at all. The lower hole appears to be a drain to the hull below or a drain passage of some kind, but doesn't appear to have any immediate blockages behind it.
- Port side under seat (up against engine compartment) doesn't drain water at all in any capacity. Only hole visible appears to be obstructed by wood on the engine side. This seems incorrect, and different than the compartment on the starboard side. Unsure how to correct this?
- Starboard side compartment under the seat does have a drain hole, but will still fill with water and seems to be connected to the drain in the compartment behind it (in engine area). Again, no immediate obstruction.
- Engine area starboard side will not drain. Located drain into lower channel (next to bilge) but drains very very slowly.

I've attempted to clear these with fish tape, snakes, compressed air and pressurized water to no avail. Hoping to get some advice on how the heck to clear this blockage, or at least some insight into the hull construction and drain layout.

I saw a few suggestions elsewhere on the internet to use some gentle drain cleaners, but I am hesitant that it might eat the fiberglass and make a larger problem.

I am happy to provide any more photos or videos, even up for a facetime with someone.
Attached Thumbnails
Center compartment.jpg   Port side compartment.jpg   Starboard Side Compartment.jpg   Engine Compartment.jpg  
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Old 05-07-2024, 01:12 AM   #2
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I would try running an electrical fish tape through the drains to see if you can open them up.
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Old 05-07-2024, 07:55 PM   #3
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Hi,
it might help to say what boat you have so someone with the same can help.
Also are you sure they drain to the bilge and not out via a through hull fitting above the waterline? Maybe if you have some through hull fittings try to unblock the lines from the outside instead?
Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2024, 02:03 PM   #4
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These all look like 'Limber Holes'. They are used to drain water back to the lowest point to be be handled by the bilge pump. They can get clogged as dirt mixes with water and becomes mud that hardens to clay.

Some of those don't actually look like limber holes. Limber holes often have a tube glassed in. They are at least glassed and coated like the rest of the stringers and bulkheads. One through a bulkhead looks like it was drilled to pass a hose through.

Clean out the limber holes and seal anything that has exposed wood. For goodness sakes don't let water drain into that foam cavity, you'll never get it out.
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Old 05-10-2024, 08:41 PM   #5
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Limber holes is a new term, TIL! Wanted to provide an update. I managed to clean out several of the limber holes. There was all kinds of garbage under the ski locker - I ended up cutting several hatches to allow access for a snake/hose, and my hands. I filled a two gallon bucket with debris from one cavity alone. Everything drains now back to the bulkhead before the gas tank, where its also plugged, but much more difficult to get to. Also, it seems that the holes in the under-seat storage also drain here as well.

Letting everything dry out for a good few days before I seal and paint the exposed wood. It is worth noting that there is plenty of exposed wood under these panels, as it turns out - and I also suspect that at some point in the last 30 years some of these holes were filled in with fiberglass.
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Old 05-10-2024, 08:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shrew View Post
These all look like 'Limber Holes'. They are used to drain water back to the lowest point to be be handled by the bilge pump. They can get clogged as dirt mixes with water and becomes mud that hardens to clay.

Some of those don't actually look like limber holes. Limber holes often have a tube glassed in. They are at least glassed and coated like the rest of the stringers and bulkheads. One through a bulkhead looks like it was drilled to pass a hose through.

Clean out the limber holes and seal anything that has exposed wood. For goodness sakes don't let water drain into that foam cavity, you'll never get it out.
Don't worry, the foam hole was only exposed to water for a brief time. I pumped it out with a wet vac as soon as I realized it was foam. There was only maybe a quart of water, and it didn't appear to be draining into there in any way.
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