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Old 30-10-2012, 09:17   #16
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Re: Crash Pumps?

I like the idea of an engine powered crash pump. The problem, as has been pointed out, is that they can be hard to start after sitting for a while. I wonder if anyone makes a propane powered pump? I'm sure a gasoline pump could be converted with some loss of power. At least it would start when you needed it to.
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Old 30-10-2012, 09:32   #17
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Re: Crash Pumps?

I was looking at these little gas powered pumps a while back. Impressive little beasts. 20 lbs! Honda Pumps: WX15 1.5" Lightweight Water Pump
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Old 30-10-2012, 09:37   #18
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Re: Crash Pumps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Well, the WX15 is still small potatoes in capacity terms 72 gph versus 150 gph for the WSP100 electric trash pump. But worse than that, the WX15 is not a trash pump -- it will not deal with solids. For that in a gasoline powered pump you need the WT20, which costs $1500 and weighs 104 pounds dry and will definitely not fit in my anchor locker.

Anyway, how long will a gasoline pump survive living in the anchor locker, even if it would fit? Not long, I'm sure. Will it start when you really need it? Doubtful.

The electric pump with the same capacity as the WT20 -- and the same trash-handling ability -- costs $800 and can live in the bilge. I would be much more confident that my diesel genset would start than any rarely used gasoline engine because I am using it every day. I think it would run even if it is partially submerged, and I can't think of any holing scenario which would affect the fuel system. The genset start battery lives well above the waterline. The potentially vulnerable thing is the AC electrical system -- and for that I guess it would be useful to have a disconnect switch and a separate outlet. The genset electrical control box is located on top of my genset -- far above the waterline.

Now a DIESEL powered trash pump might be a different proposition -- that you could keep inside somewhere, and is much more likely to start since there's no carb to gum up. But I don't know of one which is realistic in size.
Your setup may be bullet proof. I personally see a lot of cruisers in remote locations with broken gensets. In real emergencies it is often a cascade of failures that results in the final unsurmountable failure.
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Old 30-10-2012, 09:53   #19
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Re: Crash Pumps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
Your setup may be bullet proof. I personally see a lot of cruisers in remote locations with broken gensets. In real emergencies it is often a cascade of failures that results in the final unsurmountable failure.
Ah, I'm sure my setup is not bulletproof -- nothing is bulletproof on a boat.

But in choosing multiple non-bulletproof sources of power, I think I would rather rely on the heavy-duty diesel powered unit which is used every day, rather than the light-duty gasoline powered unit which lives in the anchor locker, rusting away there in the salt water splash and forgotten until the moment when it is a matter of life and death.

The other advantage of AC power is that even the genset is not mission critical -- the inverter will run it if the main AC power system is not down.

I agree with you of course about the cascade of failures.

I do like HopCar's idea about propane power -- now a propane powered pump could live indoors somewhere, and its carb can't get gummed up -- two huge plusses compared to gasoline. But you still have the risk that you're out of propane (or butane -- I assume you would power it with cooking gas). Seems not dramatically less than the risk that your main diesel genset happens to be on the fritz the day you are holed.

Yet another variant would be to have a portable generator on board which is capable of running the electric pump as the third potential AC power source. I have a Honda EU10i which is not capable of running the big electric trash pump. Perhaps the EU20i would. Then surely this is something getting as close to bulletproof as you can have on a boat.

On many larger boats, the genset is mission-critical and so is carefully maintained and is instantly repaired if it breaks. I have been on boats where the windlass and bowthruster will not work unless the genset is running. I have had some trouble with my genset (a heavy duty, continuous-duty rated three-cylinder, low speed Kohler) but I think I could keep in in reliable condition. Some cruisers leave their gensets broken because they don't want to spend the money to fix them. And 90% of broken gensets are high-speed, light duty units anyway.
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Old 30-10-2012, 10:27   #20
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Re: Crash Pumps?

Dockhead-
From what I've read of the sinking, "So now my thinking is to buy an electrically powered trash pump, like this one:" that would not have mattered. They reported loss of both engines, and their pumps apparently were either engine powered, or electrically powered. Again, that wouldn't matter, a damage control pump will probably suck your batteries dry in a few minutes and you may need many hours of power.

That's why the USCG drops dewatering pumps in self-contained 55 gallon drums, complete with fuel. You can also buy a self-contained trash pump of the same kind, from the brand names and the off names. Gasoline feeding a "lawnmower" engine, a totally separate system from anything on the boat. Do try to find one with a larger fuel tank if you can, because stopping to refuel a hot gasoline engine can wind up causing a fire on top of all the other problems.
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Old 30-10-2012, 10:35   #21
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Re: Crash Pumps?

The idea of a separately powered pump is the key.

Depending on your inverter means, essentially, depending on your boat batteries, which in a case like you're describing, could well be underwater. And a portable genset would most likely, unless permanently installed, NOT be something you'd be in a position to drag out, set up, hook (plug) in, and start, during that water emergency. It also depends on your boat wiring, probably NOT a good thing at that time.

Sounds like you're getting closer!
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Old 30-10-2012, 10:35   #22
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Re: Crash Pumps?

Reliability and capacity sort of go together do they not:-

Propulsion engine with large capacity Johnson pump with large strainer on the inlet would have best capacity and reliability in most boats.

Genset powering a large capacity AC electric pump would be next.

Honda portable high volume fire-pump style or portable generator driving the AC electric pump/s). I think there are some smaller diesels available too)

Inverter as back-up power for the AC electric pump.

Batteries driving the usual DC bilge pumps.

Large capacity manual bilge pumps + crew.

Sounds like you can do four or five of the above.

The Ericson Safety pump on the prop shaft is a bonus - really just so you don't get caught by surprise when motoring. They do work well on a Honda though.

As someone else noted, commercial vessels are required to have two power sources so I guess motor and genset and DC electrics plus manual is way ahead of the game already. Relax.
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Old 30-10-2012, 10:40   #23
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Re: Crash Pumps?

Our yacht club may be the only one on the planet to have high capacity water pumps and other disaster preparedness equipment, including an emergency procedures manual. Our first line of defense is a 1200 gallon per hour electric submersible, titanium body, that uses dock power. Once that is operating, we prep the Coast Guard type P-6 gasoline (Honda) pump, rolling out the discharge hose, priming the pump and firing up the motor. It takes about five minutes, then we have 3500 gallons per hour more capacity. Then we start setting the oil containment booms and oil pads in the water and boat. The water pump also functions as a fire hose, should an earthquake wipe out the water mains. We have used these pumps in the past when boats have been found with a heavy list at the dock, and in one case, when a boat sank completely, we were able to get a pump aboard when the tide fell just below the gunnels, allowing it to be refloated.

The P-6 is expensive, about $6000, outside the usual budget of most of us, but the yacht club considered it a good investment. Our club insurances dropped enough to pay for it. We also have first aid kits and portable oxygen units, emergency boarding ladders, Automatic defibrillators (AEDs) and other equipment on hand, in big aluminum big-wheel dock carts for fast deployment. Our liveaboards, called dockmasters, get training from the fire department and local Coast Guard station, and we are all CPR certified (with defib).
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Old 30-10-2012, 10:41   #24
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Re: Crash Pumps?

I guess I picked the wrong example online, but the little ones I looked at in the flesh were trash pumps... and pretty small. I dont think you'll have any problem starting a honda in two pulls even if it's sat a couple of years. (just did that with my pressure washer with the 2 year old gas in it!) But yeah, it would be nice to have it hidden in the bilge.... big if about the gen set though....
Boy that electric is a monster... 41 pounds! Helluva bilge pump for sure. Although the max head is about a third of the gas versions....
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Old 30-10-2012, 10:46   #25
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Re: Crash Pumps?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I know that larger commercial vessels have lots of systems which run only on AC power, and so they are dependent on having a generator running at all times. But I think there must be multiple redundant sources of power for critical systems. So I don't know how Bounty lost her pumps. I guess that story will come out.

I am guessing that there might be a design mistake in there somewhere. A wooden ship is much more dependant on pumps than steel or plastic -- we all know what they do in heavy weather. In the olden days they had big hand operated pumps with a bunch of burly sailors operating them. Nowadays I guess you would really, really want to have some redundancy, probably a lot of redundancy, considering the fact that you really can't afford to lose pumps in heavy weather as Bounty seems to have done.
Larger vessels have watertight transverse bulkheads that reach up to the weatherdeck that create watertight compartments, so the problems associated with one watertight compartment flooding is much less. I don't know how the Bounty was constructed, but a vessel of her size should have had a few watertight compartments....or perhaps they did not construct any in order to make the vessel more authentic? The relatively small research vessel that I operate has four W/T compartments below the main deck. I can understand why most yachts are one compartment boats because of the difficulty of having to move between W/T compartments below deck. That is the potential cost you pay though for having that convenience. If a yacht gets holed large enough, there is no pump that will be able to adequately dewater the boat. It's probably a good idea to have a raft on one compartment yachts if you are going to be in places away from shore or a quick rescue.
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Old 30-10-2012, 10:51   #26
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Re: Crash Pumps?

Pictures and specs: 6.5HP Portable Pumps

The gas tank can be dismounted and stored in another location. Reinstalling takes about a minute, clipping on the bungee, installing the quick connect fuel line, opening the tank valve.

The picture shows the primer pump being used, takes less than a minute and pulls quite a head from the intake hose. The discharge hose is 25 feet of flat hose.
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Old 30-10-2012, 10:53   #27
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Re: Crash Pumps?

You do know that the WSP100 is not rated for salt water use? It could be a handy item on board though for an emergency. Kept sealed in plastic ready for use you could just set it in the bilge if it is ever needed. I don't know how it could handle 2" solid objects with only a 2" output however is certainly looks better built than the measly little pumps we normally have in our bilges.
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Old 30-10-2012, 10:54   #28
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Re: Crash Pumps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
And a portable genset would most likely, unless permanently installed, NOT be something you'd be in a position to drag out, set up, hook (plug) in, and start, during that water emergency.)
I don't understand - why would a portable generator be any harder to drag out and set up than a portable gasoline pwered pump?

Advanatges of the portable generator are: 1. I keep one on board anyway; 2. It gets used for other things, so is more likely to be used and (logically) less likely to sit unused and prone to not start; and 3. The portable genset is third source of power among triple redundant power sources, rather than the sole power source for the pump.
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Old 30-10-2012, 11:06   #29
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Re: Crash Pumps?

I remember reading an article about a singlehander sailing non stop around the world and he needed his trash pump. I wouldn't start and he commented that it is in the bottom of the southern ocean somewhere. He luckily found the leak (the hatch over the lazarette).
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Old 30-10-2012, 11:12   #30
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Re: Crash Pumps?

The one thing about a portable pump or generator... it's hard to imagine dealing with it on deck in heavy seas..... disaster!
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