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Thread: Bilge pumps

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    2,372

    Default Bilge pumps

    The difference between what's wanted and what's needed......

    Take a 27-footer with a deep bilge, displacing about 7000lbs/3450kg MAUW.
    I certainly want a modest manual bilge pump, so I can tell 'by strokes' whether things are still the same, and a decent electrical job I can switch on if there's ocean dribbling-in somewhere it shouldn't. But what else?

    I have a couple of Patay DD120Cs, one of which will probably find its way aboard. And I have some bungs and buckets.....

    But what else?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    A Member State of the European Union
    Posts
    4,941

    Default Re: Bilge pumps

    Your boat seems very well-equipped.

    I just have two of these Whale brass pumps:

    whale brass pump.jpg

    Originally the boat only had one but the extra one was fitted for an AZAB Race and is operated from inside the cabin.
    " Brexit is like watching a library being burned down by people who can't read"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    up on the moors.
    Posts
    33,213

    Default Re: Bilge pumps

    The ergonomics of another manual pump setup are probably as important as the choice of make. It should be able to moved from ''ready-use' locker to operational position, and secured so that you can operate it steadily L or R handed for a long time, in case of a persistent problem.

    That means having the pump handle either vertical or horizontal so you can put body weight behind it, rather than just relying only on arm muscles at an odd angle. I have seen a pump clamped temporarily with big wing nuts to the steps from the cabin to the cockpit which seems a good working height and handiness if you are below.

    Siting the delivery hose also needs a bit of thought to avoid having to leave the hatch open. Lead it under the deck to an outlet in the cockpit ? Quick connectors for the hoses ? Also being able to clean the suction strum box without dismantling the furniture...

    As for another electric one... Given your battery reserves and continuing charging being available, would one with pre-installed Anderson connectors on a wander lead be useful ? Ending up wit a longish suction hose you can poke into various main or subsidiary parts of the bilges (inc the for'd cabin) . Needs to be an automatic one so that you set it going, leave it, and then concentrate on making the bacon butties.

    It's almost as if your contingency pumping could be a sort of ring main of electric wiring and delivery hose with quick connectors, arranged so that you can use a manual or electric pump in any part of the boat, leading to a delivery pipe that doesn't need. moving the whole time.

    Quick connect fittings - background...

    https://www.actionsealtite.com/ultim...mlock-fittings

    https://www.camlockcoupling.org/

    Some nice plastic ones in the last link.
    Last edited by sarabande; 07-06-19 at 05:20.
    I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I sail.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    35,365

    Default Re: Bilge pumps

    Quote Originally Posted by sarabande View Post
    It's almost as if your contingency pumping could be a sort of ring main of electric wiring and delivery hose with quick connectors, arranged so that you can use a manual or electric pump in any part of the boat, leading to a delivery pipe that doesn't need. moving the whole time.
    Assuming a conventional small yacht without watertight compartments. If things are serious enough to need your emergency pumping capacity, it doesn’t matter a great deal where the suction intake is and you certainly don’t need to move it around. Anywhere below knee height will be fine.

    (That’s for the intake. Obviously the ergonomics of locating a manual pump itself are important, as SB says, and it might well need to be demountable to free up what’s probably critical space for other uses in time of peace.)

    Pete

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    SPAIN,Galicia
    Posts
    12,450

    Default Re: Bilge pumps

    The Spanish authorities required I carried in my 40 footer four galvanized buckets one with 27.5 meters of rope attached they obviously know a lot about leaking ships!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Colwell Bay
    Posts
    5,607

    Default Re: Bilge pumps

    Twice I have been on boats with a major ingress of water.

    Once a wooden boat when a long split opened up along the stem and under the forefoot, secondtime a sailing yacht when the rudder fell out.

    A chum of mine had a P Bracket break and the prop mashed its way up through the hull. He observed that after a few frantic minutes with a whale type pump the crew were knackered!

    Strikes me, after those experiences above, that a bilge pump might lift out a little rain or spray, or perhaps a weeping fitting, but if you spring a significant leak bilge pumps are not much use!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    324

    Default Re: Bilge pumps

    If thinking electric I'd avoid those automatic pumps that have a sensor rather than a float switch. Any oil in the bilges, be it engine, diesel or even olive, coats the sensor and then the thing won't work until it has been cleaned.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    UK East Coast
    Posts
    35,654

    Default Re: Bilge pumps

    Quote Originally Posted by burgundyben View Post

    Strikes me, after those experiences above, that a bilge pump might lift out a little rain or spray, or perhaps a weeping fitting, but if you spring a significant leak bilge pumps are not much use!
    Correct!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Second Coast, Ross-shire, overlooking Gruinard Bay.
    Posts
    7,205

    Default Re: Bilge pumps

    I have two wale Gushers. One operated in the cockpit, convenient for helm position, the other below the companionway steps, useful for "down below crew".

    In 2015 heading from Wicklow Head to Arklow in a horrible short steep sea which swept continually over the decks, "something went wrong". The cabin floor was about six inches deep with everything swilling about.
    I was single-handing so I started to use the cockpit pump.
    450 strokes had the sole boards dry, and the bilges empty.
    I was totally knackered.
    As I was motoring into the seas I could have used the electric pump to augment the Gusher, but it (electric pump) could not have coped by itself - even if it had been working.
    I suspect some oil in the bilges had made it fail, as posted above.
    Kay Sarah Sarah
    57°51.42' N 5°29.44' W

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Gloucestershire
    Posts
    5,237

    Default Re: Bilge pumps

    Quote Originally Posted by prv View Post
    Assuming a conventional small yacht without watertight compartments.

    Pete
    Wateright compartments are a great idea but lead to a bilge pump for each! I have eight!

    In my defence - the sail locker in the forepeak is the defence against submerged objects.
    The heads is next with the shower bilge drain.
    Next is the saloon for the big one.
    Then the galley sump for any gas leakage (the Nick 55s used to do that)
    Then the deep locker in the cockpit which acts as a grey water tank from the galley
    Next the engine space.
    Next the aft chain locker with the pump in the skeg.
    Those are all electric.
    There is also one manual pump which can connect to the heads or the saloon by valve operation.

    Stand by for criticism!

    I nearly forgot. There is also a macerator for the black water tank.
    I'd rather be naked
    www.mastaclimba.com

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