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Author Topic:   Bilge & Battery Question
OutrageII posted 08-10-2002 10:02 AM ET (US)   Profile for OutrageII   Send Email to OutrageII  
I'm new to this board and I'm also a fairly new Whaler owner. After 25 years of research and indecision as to what size and make of boat to purchase, I finally purchased a 1994 Outrage 19 with a 150 Yamaha SS. According to the previous owner and his mechanic the engine probably had 50-75 hours max. Since I knew I might be traveling 15 to 20 miles offshore to fish for grouper on calm days, I added a second battery (deep cycle) and a Perko Switch. I also added a Y connector to the baitwell pump so that I could have a washdown system running off the same pump. The faucet is located just above the foot rest area so that itís out of the way.

When I purchased the boat I noticed the previous owner had a drain plug inserted into starboard side scupper that leads into oil tank area beneath the starboard stern quarter seat. The plug was inserted from the outside. At first I didnít think this made sense and removed it, however, now Iím not quite sure. First, whenever, a stop the boat and bottom fish the bilge pump will typically cycle every 10-15 minutes. Since the bow locker plugs are in place and Iíve checked the hoses from the baitwell pump, my only guess is the water is coming from starboard scupper since the engine wiring leads from starboard stern quarter compartment to the forward console where the bilge pump is located beneath the console seat. After reading the various posts on ďwet whalersĒ and the possible problems of exposing your fuel tank to saltwater intrusion, Iím wondering if I should stick the plug back in. Further, in a few weeks Iím going on vacation and will be leaving the boat in the water during our stay. If I leave my battery switch in the off position over night, the float switch/bilge pump will not cycle on. Thus, should I leave the switch in the number 2 position which is my deep cycle battery or just not worry about it and leave the switch in the off position?

jimh posted 08-10-2002 11:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Let me begin by saying that I am not precisely familiar with the layout of the 19-Outrage 1994 model, but from your description is sounds like it has interior bilge spaces in the stern of the boat.

This situation is one of the major differences between the older style Whaler hulls and the new. Let me digress for a moment:

In the older hulls there are typically one or more interior sump wells which have drains, usually draining through the hull bottom. These sumps can be operated with either the drains plugged or open. If left open, the sumps will usually fill to a level that does not overflow the sump.

Now that said, it is not a hard and fast rule, as in some cases the loading of the boat can be such that a sump will overflow and begin to flood the cockpit. It depends of the weights involved.

However, in general, the sumps are kept plugged from the inside and can be opened underway to drain any accumulated water.

Now let's look at the newer hulls, like yours. These boats have interior bilge spaces which are drained overboard by transom drains. Access to the drain is somewhat difficult from inside so the plug is generally put in place from the outside.

If the boat is operated without the plug in place then water will accumulate in the bilge area by flowing into the transom drain. Periodic operation of the sump pump will remove the water, as you have observed.

On the other hand, if the boat is operated with the plug in place, then water coming aboard via other routes will drain into the bilge sump and accumulate. It must be removed by the sump pump. If there is not much water coming aboard--for example if the boat is left on a mooring and there is no rain--then this is an excellent solution.

On the other hand, if the boat sits on a mooring and it rains for a week, you will be dependent on the sump pump to clear all that water from the bilge sump.

What is the best choice? I'd keep the drain closed and hope it did not rain too much while I was gone.

Capt_Tidy posted 08-13-2002 10:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Capt_Tidy  Send Email to Capt_Tidy     

Add a little solar panel with a good quality controller/regulator and a battery isolator or shunt system and leave your system on Battery 2 forever... you'll have a dry boat and charged batteries. A good controller will isolate and protect your batteries.

And if you're worried about power... add

1) a 50 watt panel ( to help you out while fishing (it's more than enough to help the load for a sounder, radio, and pump),

and maybe 2) a Link 2000 system ( or similar other... at a glance you will know your battery status and you can add an alarm if your really worried. It's cheaper than looking for a boost in the middle of nowhere.

Party on 2, start on 1!

OutrageII posted 08-14-2002 04:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageII  Send Email to OutrageII     
Thank you for your comments and suggestions.
Capt_Tidy posted 08-21-2002 06:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Capt_Tidy  Send Email to Capt_Tidy     
I forgot to mention a critical thing... add a continuous solenoid to the system so when you hit the key BOTH batteries provide power!! Whne the boat is running all batteries are in line and charging as well.

I've been playing in the surf here in So Cal with my 25... taking water samples at the surf line as part of ocean study. My big old 235 Johnson loves to stall when I really hit it from idle... no time to be thinking what battery I'm switched on or how long the inverter has been running! Go dog go!

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