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October 26, 2001

Bilge Bombs

An easy-to-make solution for cleaning the oil and fuel in your bilge.

Preventing oil and fuel from seeping into a boat's bilge is darn near impossible; keeping the pumps from spewing these pollutants into the water should be a major concern for sport fishermen.

Sheets of special absorbent material from 3M do a great job of soaking up oil and fuel, but the pads often tear apart when removing them from the bilge. Besides making for a messy job, smaller pieces of these pads threaten to clog the pumps. My solution: Roll pads into compact cylinders and stuff them into lengths of panty hose, tie off the ends and cut. The nylons allow oil to be absorbed, yet hold the pads together for easy cleanup. The quick and simple deployment also saves time - instead of having to spread pads in the bilge, just drop several "bilge bombs" through the hatches.

Andy Mitchell, Tomcat Charters
Hatteras, North Carolina