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Old 22-06-2016, 19:05   #1
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40 ft. sailboat bilge setup

My current bilge pump setup is:
-Jabsco 36960 bilge pump
-Rule superswitch

I am recently being let down by my Jabsco pump and rule superswitch. I am looking for an alternative. My bilge sump is fairly small, and I like the idea of having my external pump mounted high in the bilge. I have been looking a lot at the Whale Gulper and Gulper Grouper pumps, which seem like a more reliable, simple solution. Any input on these models? Both of my head shower drains go into the bilge and I like the idea of having a pump that is heavy duty and will not clog.

Also with the float switch, thoughts on a better solution to the rule flapper? Jabsco Air switch?

Thanks so much for any input.

David
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Old 22-06-2016, 19:32   #2
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Re: 40 ft. sailboat bilge setup

I think the heaviest duty Johnson pumps are fine.

Bilge switches ... I think most are crap but sure posters will let us know which are the best around. I am interested too.

BTW Rule heavy duty bilge switch is a plastic piece of (self censored) lemon.

b.
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Old 22-06-2016, 19:54   #3
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Re: 40 ft. sailboat bilge setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
My current bilge pump setup is:
-Jabsco 36960 bilge pump
-Rule superswitch

I am recently being let down by my Jabsco pump and rule superswitch. I am looking for an alternative. My bilge sump is fairly small, and I like the idea of having my external pump mounted high in the bilge. I have been looking a lot at the Whale Gulper and Gulper Grouper pumps, which seem like a more reliable, simple solution. Any input on these models? Both of my head shower drains go into the bilge and I like the idea of having a pump that is heavy duty and will not clog.

Also with the float switch, thoughts on a better solution to the rule flapper? Jabsco Air switch?

Thanks so much for any input.

David
First off, I would install a sump pump for the shower drains and not dump into the bilge.

Second, all the float switches are failure prone. By all means install an "ON-AUTO-OFF" switch or something similar. Check them regularly.

Third, all de-watering pumps should be individually circuited.

Finally, after installing a redundant pump, add another! Plan on at least one pump failing in the event of flooding.

Keep a clean bilge. See first suggestion above!
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Old 22-06-2016, 20:12   #4
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Re: 40 ft. sailboat bilge setup

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Originally Posted by redsky49 View Post
First off, I would install a sump pump for the shower drains and not dump into the bilge.

Second, all the float switches are failure prone. By all means install an "ON-AUTO-OFF" switch or something similar. Check them regularly.

Third, all de-watering pumps should be individually circuited.

Finally, after installing a redundant pump, add another! Plan on at least one pump failing in the event of flooding.

Keep a clean bilge. See first suggestion above!
there is not room underneath the floor in the heads, all roads lead to rome (the bilge). I have done everything else you suggested already and always carry spares. I was more wondering about the Whale gulper brand in particular.
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Old 22-06-2016, 20:37   #5
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Re: 40 ft. sailboat bilge setup

I just had a rant about this not long !
The diaphragm pumps are great for removing that last bit of water from a shower drain and don't drain back but they don't have much volume unless you get a really big expensive pump
I would not have a bilge pump switch with an off position, it may get turned off inadvertently I want it to run until a fire starts then the rising water will put out the fire!
The float switches that use a steel ball and micro switch are a guaranteed failure ! the old float switches had a mercury switch which only failed in the on position when the float sunk
I am thinking of making my next switch with a mercury switch and float that can not sink before mercury switches are no longer available. That drop of mercury will cause less pollution than all the other contaminating products on my boat when it sinks !!!
Chinese built products WHAT can you say?
DDabs I feel your pain Just faced the same dilemma and not happy with my current solution for several reasons but am content knowing I have a very loud high water alarm, if the float switch will work that one time!!!
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Old 22-06-2016, 20:39   #6
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Re: 40 ft. sailboat bilge setup

For the switch, Google the Ultra Safety System switch. Best by far. Won't clog and nearly unbreakable. There are dozens of threads on the site recommending it. I have two.

Best practice is two pumps on different levels, as you suggested. Big centrifuge on top. Either a smaller centrifuge or diaphragm pump to keep the bilge as dry as possible. The Rule pumps are generally much better than the switches. Not too sure about only a diaphragm pump only; might not have the GPH capacity you'd want.

Remove any check valves. Straight, smooth hose sized appropriately for each pump.

Enjoy not sinking!


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Old 22-06-2016, 20:44   #7
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Re: 40 ft. sailboat bilge setup

Let me also add the suggestion to add a bilge pump counter (I have Auqaalarm). Handy to know what is up. Also has a buzzer of the pump runs for over 2 minutes. The USS Sr switch has a high water alarm wired to another buzzer.

And keep your bilges clean!


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Old 22-06-2016, 20:55   #8
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Re: 40 ft. sailboat bilge setup

thanks eggs!
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Old 22-06-2016, 20:57   #9
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Re: 40 ft. sailboat bilge setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
BTW Rule heavy duty bilge switch is a plastic piece of (self censored) lemon.

b.
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Old 22-06-2016, 21:57   #10
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Re: 40 ft. sailboat bilge setup

There is a good article about bilge pumps here:

ALL ABOUT BILGE PUMPS - Boats, Yachts Maintenance and Troubleshooting

May your bunk and bilge be ever dry!
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Old 22-06-2016, 23:55   #11
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Re: 40 ft. sailboat bilge setup

Take a look at the Seaflo pumps. They come with a 4 year warranty instead of the 1 year of everything else. They cost more, and I haven't had a chance to try them out personally, but everyone I know who has used them is impressed.
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Old 23-06-2016, 00:10   #12
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Re: 40 ft. sailboat bilge setup

We just purchased a KPM-marine predator commercial macerating bilge pump. Now, all the marine store stuff looks like cheap plastic toys. It's about twice the cost, but sometimes in life you get what you pay for.
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Old 23-06-2016, 00:30   #13
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Re: 40 ft. sailboat bilge setup

D Dabs, For what it's worth, we have a 40 ' Beneteau which is set up as follows: 3 bilges - salon bilge with a Rule 800 GPH submersible bilge pump controlled by a Rule float switch / engine bilge (with a dam separating it from the salon bilge with oil absorbing matting in the bilge to catch any oil) which uses a high mount diaphragm pump controlled by a float switch / shower bilge plumbed to a high mount diaphragm pump located under the galley sink, plumbed into its drain (eliminates another sea cock) and controlled by a waterproof toggle switch on the vanity. All 3 bilge pumps are armed by a power switch on our Nav. station and all are individually fused. The power switch is normally left in the ON position, but is nice to have for repairs, replacement or fire. George
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Old 23-06-2016, 07:51   #14
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Re: 40 ft. sailboat bilge setup

Kenomac, that looks like quite a nice pump! I have sent them an inquiry, but do you have a rough estimate on what they cost? I have also contacted National Magnetic Sensors in regards to a float switch that they make for commercial shipping, similar to the Ultimate brand design.

My plan is:
-Whale gulper or similar non-clogging, heavy duty diaphragm pump as primary pump
-Rule 4000 or similar mounted a little higher in the small bilge as a backup pump
-keep existing whale manual pump in cockpit
-Ultra or similar design float switch

sound good?
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Old 23-06-2016, 10:29   #15
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Re: 40 ft. sailboat bilge setup

I paid just under $800 for a KPM marine predator pump including VAT shipped from the UK to Italy. In the US, the cost would be closer to $700. Ours also included an extension with a second macerator at the bottom. The total length of the pump is 42 inches to reach the bottom of the bilge.
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