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  22' Outrage-stern bilge pump needed?

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Author Topic:   22' Outrage-stern bilge pump needed?
bwo posted 07-02-2003 08:01 AM ET (US)   Profile for bwo   Send Email to bwo  
Just had my first experience with a swamped transom in my 1990 22' Outrage. While at rest with 4 kids on board, a large powerboat came directly at my stern at high speed. When the other boat finally swerved away from my stern his large saltwater wake quickly swamped my transom drain well (water did not enter cockpit, but it was very close to doing so and a second wave might have). I was surprised at how long it seemed to take for the water to drain out over the transom or through the 2 transom drain holes. Do I need add a bilge pump in the cockpit under stern seat or can I rely just on natural transom drain and aerator if necesary (located in live well under stern seat)?
kingfish posted 07-02-2003 10:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
There are a number of different motor well configurations on Outrage 22's of differing years, and I am not familiar enough with them to know which one you have. Mine is a 1992, and the motor well bulkhead goes all the way across in a straight line, gunwale to gunwale. I know earlier years had a smaller motor well. Either way, water in your motor well is no big thing, even if it takes a while for it to drain out. Water in the cockpit, at least in my boat, runs into the wells on either side right up against the motorwell bulkhead, where the stern drain plugs are located. If the plugs are in, and water fills those wells up (2 or 3 gallons each), the water then runs through channels just below the deck into the below-deck baitwell which is also right up against the motorwell bulkhead, and is pumped out via the aft bilge pump. If the plugs are out, the boat maintains a natural bouyancy with the wells almost but not quite full, and the deck dry.

Again, not knowing your configuration, I can't reply specifically, but you should have an aft bilge pump somewhere to drain the cockpit, or the only thing you can do is pull the rear plugs and let the natural bouyancy of your boat cause the water to drain out of the drain holes as I described above.


andyg posted 07-02-2003 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for andyg  Send Email to andyg     
I put a automatic 1000gpm pump in my 1988 Outrage with excellent results. Mine had the smaller motor well and twin 90's so weight was certainly an issue. Never had to worry about it again.


andygere posted 07-02-2003 11:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I have yet to install the drainplugs in my '89 Outrage 22 Cuddy. Mine has the motorwell bulkhead that Kingfish describes, so only a small amount of water is ever present in the two stern corner sumps. I have never had water get high enough in the sumps to leak onto the deck, and I keep the boat in the water year round and do most of my boating in the open ocean.

BWO, if you do get swamped as you describe, the best thing to do is power up and let the motorwell area drain over the transom. The relatively low transom on these boats was designed to spill water over the top while keeping the powerhead dry. If you keep your sump plugs out, any water that spills over the bulkhead into the cockpit will simply drain out the floor. I am continually amazed at how much reserve bouyancy these boats have, and while a bunch of water in the motorwell may be unnerving, it's really not a problem in your Outrage.

Kingfish, do you typically run yours with the plugs in and rely on a bilge pump to keep the deck dry, or run plugs out as I do? My boat was wired at the factory for an aft bilge pump in the starboard sump, but the tiny Mayfair that was in there when I bought the boat does not work and I've never felt the need to replace it. I do have a functional 500 gpm pump in the baitwell.

lhg posted 07-02-2003 02:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
On my 18 Outrage, which has an 1100GPH bilge pump in the sump, which is similar to the 22 splashwell design, under normal boating conditions I run with the floor sump plug in. The reason for this being that excess water in the floor sump and wiring tunnels will float over into the gas tank compartment and can't escape. I also run the 25 with floor sump plugs in, and have bilge pumps in both sumps.

Regarding the spashwell, with twin engines on the 18 the splashwell was always awash. So I put the 1 1/4" drin plugs in the transom drains (3) and installed an 800 GPH bilge pump. Now my splashwell runs completely dry and I can use it for coolers and tackle boxes etc. Also the battery boxes are not sitting in water. This solution works for 99% of my boating conditions and is highly recommended. The bilge pump is direct connected, fused and operates from a separate Rule float switch. A Computerized pump would not be appropriate here.

If the going really gets rough in big seas, and the boat is taking overboard splash/spray, I would run the boat with the sump plug out and I would pull the transom drain plugs also.

Andy, I would recommend that you re-install a Rule 1500 in your starboard sump. One of the best bilge pumps ever made.

kingfish posted 07-02-2003 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I have a 500 GPH bilge pump with an integral float switch mounted in the sump of my baitwell, on a three-way switch on the dash that I can hold against spring tension (momentary on) to override the float switch should I so desire. The momentary on will pump the water down further than the float switch.

When I first got my 22, there was a ventilated false floor over the baitwell sump, and there was a Mayfair 350 or 450 combination bilge pump/baitwell aerator under it; I could turn a petcock to determine whether I wanted the pump to recirculate water in the baitwell bt spraying it back on the surface of the water through holes in a manifold, or to act like a bilge pump and get rid of the water overboard. The plastic tubing eventually broke, and though I have seen those Mayfair systems for sale somewhere recently, I couldn't find one then and so I removed the entire system including the false floor then I epoxied and gelcoated the screw holes.

I chose a new bilge pump based on its having a size and shape that would remain entirely in the sump, below the plane surface of the baitwell floor. My boat spends most of its time on the trailer, and I have found that the baitwell is a really handy place to store stuff when travelling, both on the trailer and in the water. Sometimes I'll carry a spare battery back there and that is when I especially don't want the pump protruding above the floor, as the battery would make short work of breaking a pump loose if it got sliding around somehow. I appreciate lhg's comments about a bigger pump to get rid of bigger water quicker, and I may someday go that route, but for now the 500 serves me OK.

If I left my boat in the water, I'd probably leave my plugs out, too, but what typically happens is I'll tow with the plugs out so water (rain, etc.) will drain out, and when I'm ready to launch I'll put them back in. When I retrieve, I'll pull the plugs again on the ramp to drain. I'll usually keep the sumps dry if I can, because I usually have something stored in them too. If the boat winds up being in the water overnight or longer, I kind of play it by ear.

bwo posted 07-02-2003 09:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for bwo  Send Email to bwo     
I leave all 4 rear plugs out all the time (2 in stern well, 1 each in small wells on either side of stern in cockpit). While those 4 holes self-drain, the rate of drain is very slow (good for draining rain). In my recent case of getting swamped from a wake, my engine was off at the time so I couldn't power up immediately to drain over the transom. What I want to avoid is floundering from the first big wake/wave, leaving me vulnerable to a 2nd or 3rd wake/wave. The aerator doesn't push much water out very quickly, so I am thinking of replacing the aerator with a good size bilge pump with float switch.
homey posted 07-03-2003 01:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for homey  Send Email to homey     

It sounds like you took a large wave and the splashwell drained.(The boat did what it was designed to do.)Did you power up the boat to allow the transom drains rise above the waterline? If not it will take abit longer to drain out...

Why change anything? Even if the secondary wave were to have entered the cockpit, the inconvience would have been wet feet...Did you contact the Coast Guard to report the reckless operation of a vessel?

andygere posted 07-03-2003 01:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I've been meaning to buy and install the big bilge pump for quite a while now, but it keeps moving down on the list because I just haven't needed it so far. By mooring with the sump plugs out, am I shortening the life of my fuel tank? It would be easy enough to install the pump and keep them in, especially considering that I have a full cover for the boat to keep most of the rain out. Based on the location of the float switch (which I think is factory installed)there would still be some water in the sumps even with a bilge pump. I would assume that that water could make it's way to the tank cavity, so it's basically the same thing. Is there another advantage that I'm missing? I've never had the decks awash from too much weight on the transom, probably because I'm running a relatively light single 2-stroke on a boat that was built to handle twins. By the way, the more I run that big Merc, the more I like it.

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