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Old 28-01-2013, 23:51   #16
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Re: Bilge emergency pump idea.

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Originally Posted by Benz View Post
The trouble with relying on engine-driven or electric pumps to stay afloat is that engines and electrics can and do fail. The Bounty, which now resides in Davy Jones' locker, did not sink due to catastrophic dismasting--the intruding water shut down their engines and gensets. Of course it was impractical for them to have enough crew to man sufficient pumps (though in former days a ship like that might have had), but most small sailboats can--and certainly ought to--have a very good manual bilge pump. Two is better.
While I agree, you need more than one solution starting with scared crew manning a large manual pump if all else fails, in reality, even the largest will not push out that much for that long before fatigue sets in. (Creating another danger)
Whale Marine - Products

I don’t like to compound one problem with another, so I leave my M Eng. Sea water cooling system alone and have a separate belt driven 2.5” “crash emergency pump” from Johnson Pump
FB-5000/FB-56000 Datasheet -- Johnson Pump, An SPX Brand -- Extra Heavy Duty Clutch Pump -- GlobalSpec.com

Installed with large heavy strainer sitting in lowest spot, it removes an impressive amount of water when we do our annual tests by flooding ER Sump with fresh water.

Easy to test solenoid when MEng is not running, and I check and lube impellor every 4 months

If you have the space, I think it is much safer to add extra PTO’s rather than play with your main cooling

Also Activation of the clutch is simple with the flip of a switch in the pilothouse.

This is my "Crash Pump".
When all the bilge alarms are going off, people hurt, it may be too dangerous to go into the ER….to turn valves

.this switch brings on your strongest resource, while you try to save the crew and boat. Hopefully it will never be used!
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Old 29-01-2013, 00:04   #17
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Re: Bilge emergency pump idea.

If you've every put a hose into your bilge and let it run at high volume, you know how prone bilge pumps are to getting clogged up, once the water gets above the usual level. That's no matter how clean you (think you) keep your bilge.

I've got a big Rule 3600 24v pump discharging through a 2" dedicated hose as a kind of emergency pump on top of two Whale maintenance pumps, but I have no illusions that it would keep my boat from sinking for more than a minute or two, in case of a serious leak. My bilge is deep, and to clear a clog would require diving.

I think a true crash pump capable of moving a lot of water without clogging could only be a trash pump, capable of swallowing and passing the trash which appears in case the water level in the bilge gets over the normal range. I've decided to buy a big Honda electric one which runs on 230v. I have three sources of 230v power on board and would hope that at least one would survive a flooding incident.

Another good way to remove a lot of water without clogging is a gasoline powered dewatering pump. Problem is where to store it. And how to make sure it is already in working condition, ready to go. The carburetors of gasoline engines tend to gum up if they're stored for a long time without use. These two problems seemed insuperable for my boat; I decided to go with the electric one.

Like others, I would never use my engine. Too little pumping capacity to be worth anything, and high likelihood of knocking out the engine, for nothing.
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Old 29-01-2013, 00:33   #18
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Re: Bilge emergency pump idea.

For those who are seriously concerned about the possibility of sinking, perhaps it's time to think about getting a trimaran. A modern trimaran without bilge pumps would be harder to sink than a monohull with Poseidon himself manning the bilge pumps.

If stuck with a monohull, I think multiple electric bilge pumps each with its own LiFePO4 battery would be a good place to start.
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Old 29-01-2013, 12:36   #19
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Re: Bilge emergency pump idea.

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Originally Posted by mcarling View Post
For those who are seriously concerned about the possibility of sinking, perhaps it's time to think about getting a trimaran. A modern trimaran without bilge pumps would be harder to sink than a monohull with Poseidon himself manning the bilge pumps.

If stuck with a monohull, I think multiple electric bilge pumps each with its own LiFePO4 battery would be a good place to start.
"Stuck with a monohull"?
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Old 29-01-2013, 15:46   #20
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I carry a good old fashioned basement sump pump. Flotec 3/4 Hp with 15 ft of collapsible rubber hose.

I have two possible power sources. Inverter or in a last ditch effort the Honda eu2000. I know I know but how many of us really do carry them.

Both are on ground fault circuits so if the cord gets submerged the breaker or the Gfi should trip. Is it a risk? Sure? But by the time I need I haul that out its all about risk trade offs.

The nice thing is that it draws 9.5 amps at 120 volts (1150 watts) but will pump 4600 GPh at 15 ft head and is basically immune to clogging. And it's compact, only cost a couple hundred bucks and ways 25 lbs. basically a little over 1 ft3 in size.

I have dual sump pumps but as a last resort option to get some additional capacity this is a good trade off for me. Not the safest I know but if we reach the point of needing it....well safe is already out the window.

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Old 29-01-2013, 16:05   #21
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Re: Bilge Emergency Pump Idea

Ive got 2 3800gph rule pumps on auto all the time with 2 smaller ones- you can only go so far
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Old 29-01-2013, 16:14   #22
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Re: Bilge Emergency Pump Idea

After an experience many years ago in the Bahamas I am of the school that basically believes you're going down if you get a hole in the hull somehow. A large trawler was backing away from the fuel dock in Marsh Harbor and hit something on the back of its keel. The water quickly rose above the floorboards and by the time I arrived the boat was seriously listing. My wife took the children onboard back to our boat so they would be safe and I worked with other cruisers and the owners to try and keep her afloat. The Hopetown fire and rescue eventually showed up with several large gasoline pumps. With five gasoline pumps going, one a five incher and the others three inchers, we were just barely able to stay ahead of the water until a diver showed up and located the hole in the back of the keel. He stuffed something in the hole, about the size of his fist, and that slowed the water enough so that we were able to make Man O'War and get an immediate haulout. It was creepy working down below in the cabin with water sloshing about above my knees, the boat listing heavily, while trying to keep the pumps from clogging up, which they did with regularity. Then it would be a mad scramble disassembling the pump or clearing a strainer. First one than another would jam with something that used to be useful but was now detritus: underwear and socks, a sewing kit with spools of thread, charts, toilet paper, you name it. The boat's own pumps were next to useless. The engines were knocked out of commission early on. Until you experience it, it is very hard to believe the quantity of water that comes in through a very small hole when it is under pressure. There is no way the average cruising boat's pumps would stay ahead of any significant hole.
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Old 29-01-2013, 16:23   #23
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Re: Bilge Emergency Pump Idea

As a point of interest, I recently worked on a older boat of nordic design that had a engine driven dual raw water pump configuration. Both pumps where in the same housing, with one pump providing engine cooling, while the other continuously pump the bilge. I don't know how the bilge part of the pump could be run dry for so long -- but it worked and was the only bilge pump on board.

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Old 29-01-2013, 16:58   #24
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Re: Bilge Emergency Pump Idea

To me, the words "emergency" and "electric" go together in much the same way as the words "Handguns" and "Tequila"

The pump of last resort should be manual, in my book, and the pump of second last resort, and maximum capacity, should be engine driven.

It follows that neither should be a small pump, easily clogged: and I think it makes sense for the latter to be a dedicated pump capable of (ideally) pumping largish rats without turning a hair.

Macerating them rats is optional ;-)

ON EDIT: such a pump can also be rigged for fire fighting -- probably on an adjacent boat or dock, rather than your own.

If you want an engine pump to be a real force for good, you need to install some alternative starting method which does not rely on electricity (such as a spring starter) or fit the emergency pump to a smaller diesel (eg genset) which can be hand cranked.
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Old 29-01-2013, 17:38   #25
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Re: Bilge Emergency Pump Idea

My boat has a saftey type seacock but its not the Groco brand
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Old 29-01-2013, 17:42   #26
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Re: Bilge emergency pump idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benz View Post
The trouble with relying on engine-driven or electric pumps to stay afloat is that engines and electrics can and do fail. The Bounty, which now resides in Davy Jones' locker, did not sink due to catastrophic dismasting--the intruding water shut down their engines and gensets. Of course it was impractical for them to have enough crew to man sufficient pumps (though in former days a ship like that might have had), but most small sailboats can--and certainly ought to--have a very good manual bilge pump. Two is better.
Engines can fail. Electrics can fail. Manual pumps can fail. And people can fail too.

Every boat should have at least one manual bilge pump. However, if you have a serious leak, you probably won't be able to pump for hours. Also, while you're pumping, you will not be able to attend to damage control.
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Old 29-01-2013, 17:47   #27
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Re: Bilge emergency pump idea.

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There seem to be two camps on this. Those who seem to think it is more important to protect the engine and those who think it is more important to keep the boat afloat.

I'm in the keep the boat afloat first then worry about the engine camp. If I'm in danger of sinking, I want every available pump working to buy me time to do damage control. I don't see how anything in my bilge could get past my sea strainer to damage the engine anyway. Do all of the other things suggested, good ideas, but for the cost of a couple of valves you can add another pump to your list of options.
The reason I'd want to protect the engine is that as long as it's running I have a source of power to run high capacity bilge pumps and save my boat. The raw water pumps on most engines are pretty feeble compared with purpose made bilge pumps. If you're worried about bilge pumps failing, get a spare bilge pump.
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Old 29-01-2013, 17:49   #28
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Re: Bilge Emergency Pump Idea

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
It follows that neither should be a small pump, easily clogged: and I think it makes sense for the latter to be a dedicated pump capable of (ideally) pumping largish rats without turning a hair.
The question, of course, is how many rats per minute a given pump can handle.
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Old 29-01-2013, 18:25   #29
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Old idea but it does work. Also very nice way to winterize or flush the intake. Cheap way to make it easy to flush antifreeze through engine and doubles as a oh **** pump. No harm in setting it up. Best to keep your bilges clean of abrasive crap. Go for it. Used within reason it's another tool.
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Old 29-01-2013, 21:37   #30
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Re: Bilge emergency pump idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
There seem to be two camps on this. Those who seem to think it is more important to protect the engine and those who think it is more important to keep the boat afloat.

I'm in the keep the boat afloat first then worry about the engine camp. If I'm in danger of sinking, I want every available pump working to buy me time to do damage control. I don't see how anything in my bilge could get past my sea strainer to damage the engine anyway. Do all of the other things suggested, good ideas, but for the cost of a couple of valves you can add another pump to your list of options.
I'm with you Hop. As you might remember from a previous thread on this subject, we have ours set up so the engine can act as our fourth line of defense. Somehow the pics I had posted of our setup aren't displaying anymore, but the plumbing/rig is still intact and there should I need it.

Once again it's very nice to see someone who thinks the same way I do. When J and I get Pau Hana down south this fall, we've got to get together for a few on me.


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