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Thread: New 8m owner, bilge pump question.

  1. #1

    Default New 8m owner, bilge pump question.

    Hi all, I bought an 8m 4 weeks ago sold as a project but far from the 2 boat projects I have bought and restored in the past. Basically a good clean, engines serviced new sails, nav gear and headlining and that's it. It had been inside a marina for most of this year and almost dry in both engine bays, I bought the boat home on engines and a bit of the bad sail for a bit of help for the engines, the journey took 4.5 hours and at the time no more water ingress into the engine bays. However in the 2 weeks since being back home and on a swinging mooring both the bays have let in water and quite a lot in the starboard side. Quite by accident whilst servicing the engines I found the float switch and bilge pump and when the switch was operated in the up position it did the job it should. The switch has 3 positions so am I right in thinking one position should be off, another for manual and the third for auto pump? I can't find any info whatsoever and of course you can't see or access the pumps very well with the engines in. The starboard side is not working at all you see and I had to place a portable pump in but wanting an auto solution ultimately. The pumps feel like they may be under the front of the engines and in a sump of sorts, does anyone know how they can be removed to test or replaced? Thanks in advance for even taking the time to read this epic, I'm sure during my refurb the articles on these pages will be useful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Re: New 8m owner, bilge pump question.

    Hello Gary,

    No clue as my 8M only has an outboard and no electric bilge pumps...
    I am not sure if these pumps are oem or owner installed.

    Congrats with your new cat!

    1979 Catalac 8M - 8-84 - Samimiy

  3. #3

    Default Re: New 8m owner, bilge pump question.

    Hi Garypowell, congrats on your new purchase and getting it moving so quickly !
    Pictures, name or hull number of your new pride & joy are always welcome !
    I hope you have found how the water is getting into the engine bays.

    The bilge pumps are best located in front of the engines, in a shallow sump below the alternator belt and water pump.
    It's an awfully tight and awkward place to work...
    My float/water sensors are held by cable ties to the bilge pump body. The whole assembly is held in place (kind of) by the flexible pipe on the pump outlet.
    That makes it easy to pull up the whole thing for cleaning and inspection. One alternative would be to mount everything on a vertical support/batten with easy to remove nuts/bolts higher up on the forward engine bulkhead.

    I have a small control panel in the cockpit, port side, between the Morse engine controls. One switch for each side (automatic/forced on) + indicator light.
    No way to fully disable the bilge pumps except by removing the corresponding fuse and I think it is better like that...

    Sorry no pics as I am not on the boat for now.
    Hope this helps,

    Mucky bilgy Puck

  4. #4

    Default Re: New 8m owner, bilge pump question.

    Thank you both for the answers and apologies for the delay, I have been without laptop for a short while and busy so very little internet time. From both replies I can see why I thought there may be a proper sump and pump under the front of the engine. I have to manually pump out from the port side and have an automatic all in one fitted to the starboard side. I suspect the water is rain water ingress rather than salt water as I've braved a taste test and it doesn't show any more when cruising on engines. I have since managed to replace both sails for just Ģ1050 buying traded in sails from sailmakers, the main is in excellent condition and still stiff and the genoa is not far behind it. I serviced both engines and got some good days of sailing before laying up for winter just 5 weeks ago. I have reached 8 knots a couple of times which I thought would have been difficult looking at stats online, it may have been helped by the larger than standard main and maybe a couple of knots of tide. I'm struggling with maneuverability under 4 knots and on one engine is fun to say the least with a bit of wind on the beam. Overall the boat is great and with another 1k should be up to a good condition and spec, I can rewire myself and refit the interior so can save lots of labour costs. I'm going to attempt to attach a couple of photos.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Stratford upon Avon

    Default Re: New 8m owner, bilge pump question.

    Well done. She looks good.

    Nothing works on an old boat, except the skipper.

  6. #6

    Default Re: New 8m owner, bilge pump question.

    Hi Gary welcom to the forum. Your 8M looks very tidy and new sails is good. You need to be aware that on the port side that where the steering cables pass from the hull where the engines are and into the rear locker the hole is only about 3 inches above the water line. If the drain hole becomes blocked then rain water can flow into the port hull similarly if you dry out sitting back then the water level in the locker can exceed 3 inches depth before you float off. This is more of a problem with the early model swing up rudders. The solution to this (possible) cause of flooding is to glue in a piece of plastic sheet across the corner right up to where the quadrant is about 20 inches up, I also have a slopng "roof" angled above the cables turning block at the top that works very well.
    I think you will like the 8M which has very few weaknesses, apart from going well to wind and there is an abundance of knowledge on here to help with any problems!
    Looking at your piccies I feel I have come across Sea Flame 2 - where are you based?

  7. #7

    Default Re: New 8m owner, bilge pump question.

    Hi and thanks for an explanation of a possible water ingress source, I will print off your info and take it with me on Friday when I go to check out the boat and do a bit of work. I am based in Cumbria in Barrow in Furness but I bought the boat from Fleetwood and sailed it across around August. I have yet to sail any distance as I would not take such a leap without having worked the winter on the boat to get to know it well. I do plan a trip up to Whitehaven then over to Kirkcubright and the Isle of Whithorne this year with some short hops over to Glasson Dock and Fleetwood.

  8. #8

    Default Re: New 8m owner, bilge pump question.

    Hi Gary,

    last autom I removed both engines for service, on the picture you can see whatīs under. I think the bilge pumps and the switch are mounted individually, the base is flat the deepest point close to the bulkhead. I found out that waves hitting the bridgedeck from underneth can drain water to the engine compartments through the bilge pumpe hose. I mounted check valves to this hoses, but they donīt solved that problem 100%. This year I will close this throughholes and lead the hoses to the wetlockers on the stern. Peter

  9. #9

    Default Re: New 8m owner, bilge pump question.

    Peter, thanks for that extra info, it seems to me that my problem is not unique and a few folk have now given me some good pointers to help me remedy or improve the problem. I suppose the ingress through the bilge pump outlets wouldn't be a problem in the med but here in the Irish Sea it can be rolling on what we would call a calm day.

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