Water in bilge?

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Well-known member
Feb 27, 2006
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Brooklyn, NY USA
I read on THT that Parkers tend to collect water in the bilge when stored in a slip, mostly rainwater leaking in from the cockpit deck plates. Parkers must be a little bow heavy at rest because most of the water goes into the forward bilge area. I’ve had my boat in the slip for a few weeks now and noticed some water in my forward bilge this weekend. It hasn’t even rained a lot recently. I can see the reflection off the water through the drain hole in the pilot house.

I took it for a ride with the motor trimmed pretty high (keep the bow up) figuring the water would rush to the aft bilge and be pumped out, but when I got back to the slip I could still see the reflection of water in the drain hole.

Anyway, did you guys replace the deck plates all together or does lubricating the O-rings solve the problem? I have some DOW silicone grease that would be perfect for this, but if it’s only a short term fix, I’d rather replace the plates now and save myself the headache. What deck plates do you recommend? I know the Armstrong plates are the best (like on the swim platform) but they stick up a little too much. I do a lot of night fishing and could see myself tripping all the time. Especially when drifting the Breezy Point Jetty rips. Are there any true watertight plates that sit more flush with the deck? Thanks!

Get the new T-H Marine deck plates. Just a tad over the height of the Tempress plate and a super, probably waterproof, O-Ring and lid design. I'm at night school right now, but I'll post some pictures comparing all 3, plus details of the T-H one, later.
Oh yeah ... if you have a forward bilge pump and thru-hull ... that's where your water in the fwd bilge is coming from.
My boat gets alot of water in the bildge, but it all comes in from the anchor locker when it rains, I have removed my deck plates and sealed, so I know no water comes thru there, I take a wet dry vac and suck out the water as there would have to be a lot of water for either bildge pump to turn on as they are up on a block ! :lol:
Ah,, the elusive forward bilge Parker Puddle...it’s like post-nasal drip. Not enough to scare you. Not enough to trip the pump. Just enough to make you want to sponge it up. I have been chasing this one for two years. :)

In year one I thought it might be anchor rode dewatering to the bilge, so I sealed the deck pipe and stowed anchor rode in the cockpit.

Still got the puddle. :cry:

In year two I thought it might be backwash into my forward bilge pump through-hull, so I installed a one-way check-valve.

Still got the puddle. :cry:

In year two I found a worn bilge hatch access gasket and did "before and after" deck wash-down inspections coupled with a taste test….My puddle is fresh water, and I could see a wet “trail” from under the hatch gasket to the bilge.

I ordered replacement gaskets and Orings for all deckplates and hatches directly from Tempress. They have a great on-line store, really easy to find the right replacement Orings and gaskets.

Here is the link to the deck plate Orings

Here is the link to the Access Hatch Gaskets

I plan to refresh all gaskets this year and only replace the fittings themselves if gasket replacement doesn’t work.

There are probably multiple sources of “the puddle” .. depending upon what shape your anchor-locker/bilge hatch/ deck plates are in..
Maybe there are some soiurces I missed?

There is more fresh water in my cockpit than salt.. We use gallons of fresh water in the cockpit after every trip to wash down dive equipment.

I'm replacing bilge pumps this year (boat is 2000) and will use Megabyte's
Excellent Bilge Pump Adventure posting (http://classicparker.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=64)as a guide.
However, since all the action is foward, maybe I should put the Mega-pump up there and save the mini-pump for the drier aft bilge! :mrgreen:

96TL":1qlg455r said:
Anyway, did you guys replace the deck plates all together or does lubricating the O-rings solve the problem?

See this post here.

You can clean them and even buy replacement/new O-Rings from Tempress.
Keep in mind my boat is an '06. All these O-rings are brand new. So technically they shouldn't be leaking, at least not yet.

I replaced my worn o-rings with new ones (bought direct from Tempress), and I found that they seal better if given a thin coating of Starbright Snap and Zipper Lube before popping the pie-plates back in.


This has become my spring commissioning ritual...

Pop out the plates and wash the seal areas in warm soapy water.
Rinse and dry thouroughly.
Lube the o-rings with the Starbright product and pop em back in place.
Done! :wink:
From my experience and from others some common reasons for water in the front bilge is water from the anchor hawspipe, some guys get water in windshield, and anyone that bangs their rubrail can loosen the screws.

Just so you guys know I'm not nuts, here are some pics of water sitting on top of my gas tank (actually on the foam) leaking in from both 6" Tempress hatches. These pics were taken today after about a week of steady rain. This is only 1 puddle. There are puddles all along the top of the foam surrounding the gas tank. I'm in the process of installing Armstrong hatches as we speak (waiting for epoxy to dry). :evil:



From my years on a mooring or slip with a 2530 the front bilge water came from the hawspipe for the anchor line. On a good rain, I'll hand pump up to 10 gal.

I get no wetness from rubrails in the vee. Had them at times from there in the cabin and fixed them. Any other issues if I had them would go to the stern bilge.

I always have line through it to the anchor at the pulpit so I get rain in, and I live with it. I put bilge cleaner in every once in awhile.

I don't think I've seen many boats with totally dry bilges. Just washing the boat down or taking alot of water over the top on a rough day is going to get some water down there through those snap down inspection plates and anchor locker. The inspection plate I'm going to fix is the one directly over my gas tank. Don't want salt water eroding the tank in a few years. I don't worry about the little bit of water the pump can't suck out. Besides that, if I had a dry bilge, I couldn't use Megabytes method of keeping the bilge clean which I have been using lately. Thanks, Megabyte 8)
danielb":1xjqkeq0 said:
Even if you could seal the boat completely condensation will still occur and you will have some water in the bilge, that is what a bilge is for.
As I have decribed before with the forward bilge pump under the helm floor (the lowest part of the keel where water will collect) I am able to minimize the amount of water to a quart of water. Install a forward bilge pump if you don't have one to minimize the amount of water. Then, stop fretting over the water and do some fishing or something else enjoyable witht eh boat.

My concern now is the water leaking through my round inspection hatches and sitting on the gas tank and on the foam. The top of the foam is soaked. I already replaced the crappy Tempress hatches with Armstrongs, so that should be the end of my problem. Thanks everyone.

96TL":3ei9lz5m said:
Can anyone tell me Megabyte's way of keeping the bilge clean?

It's pretty simple Dom.

When I scrub down the boat, I use a combination of Orpine boat soap, and Zep orange citrus cleaner in a bucket of water.

When I'm done scrubbing her down, any remaining water in the bucket gets tossed in the bilge where it gently agitates with the wind, waves, and tides until I take her out the next time.

Once I pop her up on plane, the bilge pump discharges the water and the bilge is fresh and orange citrus clean. :D
Thanks for the info Daniel. I already replaced the hatches with leak-proof Armstrong hatches. I just bought the bought back in March, and it's been in the slip since then. Do you think all the foam is completely soaked? I was hoping it was just along the top.

while there will be condensation , i submit your puddle, like mine,
is backwash into the forward bilge pump...it WILL go right thru
the pump and into your bilge.......this is because there is only
the slightest elevation of the thru- hull in order to keep the bunk
flat ( a fair enough trade off)......you have two potential solutions

[1] put a "joker valve" in....they love to clog, by the way.....and just
when you can least afford to lose the forward pump.

[2] put an inline , 90deg shutoff valve, ie in the starboard locker area
......and then put a big red sign right next to the switch for that pump

i dont think rainwater gets to the bilge unless it comes in the anchor
well.......i found out what was going on when i was anchored with the
starboard side to a chop, and it would fill and refill in an hour.....if you
want confirmation, put a cork into that forward thruhull and see if the
water doesnt disappear.....dan
dcunniff":2ke5oo1f said:
...I get no wetness from rubrails in the vee. Had them at times from there in the cabin and fixed them...

If I'm in rough water, I get some drips running down into the v-berth from the joint between the hull and the deck at the rubrail.

How did you seal it? Have heard on THT that it is nearly impossible to stop, because of the flexing of the hull and deck...something has to give, and there always seems to be some movement between those two major pieces. Sealant doesn't stay in place very well.