How Do I Keep My Bilge Dry?

Posted by on Sep 10, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The truth is, you you can’t. The bilge is going to get wet, so you’re going to have to dry it out.  But what is the easiest way for you to get it dry?



First, let’s explore where the water comes from.

Normally, the water that gets in the bilge is not coming from the ocean. The new style boats don’t inherently leak. Most new boats nowadays don’t take on much water. The shaft logs and the rudders don’t drip like they used to twenty years ago. With the new style seals, a boat can usually stay pretty dry.

The water in the bilge comes from typical maintenance while servicing the boat. Perhaps you opened up a water filter, or had some type of small leak by an air conditioner or water maker.  That resulted in water getting into the bilge.

Another way water gets in the bilge is by washing and/or rinsing the engine room and bilge with fresh water.

Throughout the course of servicing a boat, you’re going to get water in the bilge. There’s no way to avoid it. But getting the water out and keeping the water out is pretty important.

So how to remove the water?

Once the bilge pumps have picked up most of the water, there is still going to be some water left in the bilge. After you’ve rinsed down the engine room down, there will be water in different pockets which will drain down to the bilge pumps. Though the bilge pumps will remove much of the water, they cannot remove all of the water. The easiest way to remove the remaining water is to vacuum it out. You can use a standard shop vac to vacuum it out (and then haul your shop vac out of the bilge to empty it). Or you can use a Willy Vac® to remove the water.

What is a Willy Vac®?

Essentially, a Willy Vac® is a permanently mounted, central wet vac system. On smaller boats, the Willy Vac® can be mounted on the dock. On larger boats, it’s best to have the it mounted inside the boat, typically in the engine room. The Willy Vac® will vacuum up the water and pump it overboard, either manually or automatic. It is an excellent way to keep your bilge dry.

Want to learn more about the Willy Vac®? Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.