Anyone replace the aft bilge hatch o-ring (gasket) yet?

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Feb 18, 2006
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Danversport, MA
If so, what material did you use?

My 2000 25MVSC has one of those OEM 6X12 inch rectangular hinged aft bilge-access hatches (single-lever pull-type).

For over a year I was convinced that an annoying standing "puddle" in my forward bilge area was a result of some blow-back through my forward bilge pump. At rest in the slip, there was a noticeable puddle up in forward bilge area – nothing in the stern bilge area, just up near the forward bilge pump.

I was confident that somehow seawater was intruding back through the through-hull when I was headed into a challenging sea. I even installed a one-way checkvalve between the forward through-hull and the bilge pump. After a few trips, I would have a couple of inches of standing water up forward. Maybe a gallon or two. Not enough to trip the pump, just enough to annoy me into bailing it out by hand with a sponge and bucket.

It wasn’t until I tasted the mysteriously recurring bilge puddle (not recommended here folks, but I –had- to do the “fresh” or salt thingy) :roll: that I realized my mysterious bilge puddle was actually -fresh- water, from washing down dive gear etc, after each trip (and the occasional heavy thunderstorm). I discovered that my o-ring (more like a d-ring) which sealed the aft bilge cover was badly worn, and passing water like a sieve. :shock:

I tried replacing it with a spongy neoprene weatherstrip from Home-Depot, but that only lasted a few trips. The weatherstrip got distorted after opening and closing the hatch a few times.

At the NE Boat Show today I checked out the o-ring in a new Parker and it seemed like it was a hollow tubing, rather than a solid-core o-ring or weather strip. Maybe like the spline material used to hold screen in screen door frames….

I quizzed the Parker Dealers at the show and got a big “I Dunno” from them. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

This actually brings up another issue. Has anyone else ever seen standing water in their aft bilge? Are Parkers naturally "nose-heavy" or is it just me and my improper load-balancing? This water should have been standing aft,, not forward....,No?

I believe you will be replacing that hatch eventually. My last boat had that style and the top began to warp so that no matter what I did, it would still not seal. Be sure to maintenance all your hatches by cleaning the mating surfaces and (if possible) remove and condition the rubber o-rings. I use a silicone gel plumber's lube that I get for my job at Lowe's. This is done yearly at least.

You may also be getting rainwater or hose spray into the bilge via the anchor locker.
I'm not thrilled with the hatch in my '02 2520 and I know water gets down through it into the bilge. Not alot of water, but enough to get my oil tank wet and mildewy.

I was going to call the hatch manufacturer (forgot who it is right now) and ask for a replacement.
Ranger Tim -

Unfortunately I think you are right, there is a bit of "cupping" starting to develop on the cover. Perhaps that is why the new models have two latches instead of a single one - to keep the covers from warping over time.

When I uncover in the spring I will hunt down the manufacturer like John suggests and see if they can send a replacement gasket. I'll replace the hatch only if a new gasket still can't seal it properly.

After I posted this last night I went back to THT , did a search on "Parker bilge", and found that the mysterious forward bilge standing puddle has been kicked around quite a bit there already. Although every few weeks I try to remember to do a "*Parker*" search for new posts on THT, somehow I missed those original bilge pump posts.

I guess that's the beauty of a Parker-centric forum. If you have specfic Parker issues, go to the ClassicParker forum.

Thanks guys.
Gents: My forward bilge also holds a few gallons of water at all times. It doesn't bother me and I assumed it was that way because my Parker only has a single V6 Outboard and therefore sits with less Stern squat than one with Twin OB's. Perhaps a twin OB Parker doesn't have this issue?
I believe the hatch you refer to is made by Tempress. You can find them as "Tempress Slam Hatch" at Boater's World.

It is not uncommon to find moisture in the bilge, especially when the temperature differential at night is so great. This is usually due to condensation, and will show up on metal surfaces such as filters and fittings along with the fiberglass.
I believe that Tim is correct, and that the hatch you have might be a Tempress (mine is).

I had a similar problem with wash water getting into the bilge, so I did several levels of maintenance to solve the issue.

The first thing that I did was to order a complete set of o-rings direct from Tempress to replace the o-rings in all of my deck pie plates.
Before installing the new o-rings, I cleaned all of the deck rings and pie plates until they were squeeky clean. I used the orange "Zep" citrus cleaner found at the Home Depot.

After cleaning, I replaced the o-rings on the pie plates, and then lubricated them with Starbright "Snap and Zipper Lube" before popping the plates back in.


After the o-rings were replaced, cleaning and lubricating the pie plates is a task I generally do at the beginning of the season. After my clean and lube, my pie=plate hatches will remain water tight all season.

As for the bilge hatch... I bought a replacement seal from Tempress, and it helped, but it still leaks. My plan is to replace the Tempress hatch with a similar watertight hatch from Armstrong this coming year. When I do, look for a project post (with photos) on the procedure. :wink:

That said, I really don't have an issue with wash water in the rear bilge... After washing my boat, I generally toss my left over washwater into the bilge anyway. It sits there being gently agitated by passing boat traffic until I go out the next time. Once I clear the 6kt zone and jump on plane, the bilge pump empties the wash water, and my bilge is fresh and clean once again.
If a little water remains, I don't worry about it.


As for water in the forward bilge... I have that issue as well.
This winter I've taken steps to reduce or eliminate the problem, but I won't know until the upcoming season if I was successful or not.

I replaced the factory 360 gph pump and mercury switch with an 800 gpm pump and a solid state switch, with the switch set very low in the hull. I also replaced the factory plastic through-hull with a replacement chrome-over-bronze part, just in case the plastic through-hull was cracked and leaking.



I can report that last season, if I ran for a bit while 'bow high', I could pass all of the water located forward, to the aft bilge causing the entire bilge area to empty and become dry.

More on all of this as I check this spring to see if my modifications worked. :wink:
So many projects,,,so little time... :wink: Someday I'll retire and the Parker will become my job!

Thanks Kevin. As usual your documentation is superb.
You may be right about the Tempress Hatch Tim, as my deckplate covers are all made by Tempress


I'll order a new set of rings for the deckplates and lube with a silicone-based gel. (as opposed to petroleum-based).

I am targeting my forward bilge plastic thru-hull for replacement this spring.
As you can see in this shot post-wax - prior to launch 2005, I still have the OEM thru-hull in place.


I will also tackle replacing the fore and aft bilge pumps. I know Dale is a fan of doubling up each pump, and hot-wiring them to run straight from battery. All good points.

What did you use to seal the bronze/chrome thru-hull unit to the hull, and was it a direct replacement (diameter) for the OEM?
I saw a post somewhere recently (maybe THT?) about the need to "bond" metal thru-hulls against electrolysis.
What's the party line? Is this a real concern on a FRP hull?
What would we need to do,,,run a 10-gauge stranded wire from a hose clamp on the thru-hull back to a bonding bar somewhere?
You know something guys.....we may never had 1000 members on this site, but I'm convinced that we will all help each other with some very informative posts. :wink: :wink: :wink:

BTW, does anyone know how the Parker thru-hull fittings are secured? Shouldn't they through bolt them? On every Parker I've seen they all aren't secured that way.
Hatches: Extra or replacement O-Rings for the Tempress hatches can be had for $1-$3 direct from Tempress. I replaced their round inspection ports ones with the new waterproof and "low profile" ones by T-H Marine and it matched the Parker gecloat perfectly. These are 1/2 or less the height of the excellent and truly waterproof round ports and hatches by Armstrong Marine, but they (Armstrong ) project up so far off of the deck as to be downright DANGEROUS in my opinion.

cbigma":2waesjjc said:
Has anyone else ever seen standing water in their aft bilge? Are Parkers naturally "nose-heavy" or is it just me and my improper load-balancing? This water should have been standing aft,, not forward....,No?
Yes on the water, as Parkers are bow heavy at rest ... reference that post I put up on THT.

Also (from your 2nd post), you shouldn't need to worry about thru-hulls "above" the waterline and electroloysis. I believe they are referring to thru-hulls like those used for raw water inets and livewells/washdowns when there's talk about bonding them together. The theory here is to bond them so that they all have the same electric potential ... otherwise, if one as a 60 mOhm, another 80, and the last 90, then the lowest value one would be subject to attack. Bonding them together would raise the potential of the lowest one ... which is done to ensure that the ZINCS are what is erroded on the boat and running gear.

John_Madison CT":2waesjjc said:
Gents: My forward bilge also holds a few gallons of water at all times. It doesn't bother me ...
It should ... :shock: !

A dry bilge is a happy bilge :D ! That moisture could affect the life of the boat "if" some structural feature was compromised and moisture could envade the wood substrate. It could also shorten the expected life of your fuel tank. Like the other John, I always, always, always get rid of any water in the bilge by a sponge and bucket method. I too am adding a check-valve into the existing forward bilge pump exit hose, as I know that is the source of the water I collect under the helm floor, I'm adding a 2nd larger back-up storm/emergency pump up forward, but that'll be another post.

FWIW solid cast stainless steel thru-hulls in straight and 90-degree versions can be bought for ~$14 from Gem Marine @ www.gemluxcom .
DaleH":1h7egcob said:
you shouldn't need to worry about thru-hulls "above" the waterline and electroloysis. .


Did I actually post something about being worried about electrolysis on a fitting that was -above- the waterline? :oops:

Hoooo Boy, must be time for my medication. :?

So Dale,,, its been a whole weekend,, and we've been using her like a regular BBS-type forum. We've posted photos, informative replies, useful engineering tricks.,,,,,, and even a post by a boob who was worried about electrolysis -above- the waterline..... I think she's a "Keeper". Did she pass? Can we keep her, hunh? can we? can we? can we please?
cbigma":2wvzlq2f said:
What did you use to seal the bronze/chrome thru-hull unit to the hull, and was it a direct replacement (diameter) for the OEM?

Since my plan was to do this job once, I selected the highest quality chrome over bronze fittings I could find, and then I sealed them with 3M 5200. The fittings I used were the same size as the OEM plastic fittings, so swapping them out was not a big deal.

For details on my forward through-hull replacement project, check my project posting on the ClassicMako 'projects' forum at... ... IC_ID=3039

If you ever think that you might want to remove a fitting at some point, don't use 5200. Its more-or-less there forever once it sets up. If its an item above the waterline and something you might want to remove, use 4200 or better still, 101. If its something that you know you'll remove at some point (like your rooftop mounted horns), use marine silicone. :wink: