The point that GordMay albeit corrected by Cal40john is absolutely right,, if there is hull damage causing an influx to such a great extent then no bilge pump
able to be carried aboard is going to cope.
In this instance you have 3 chances:-
1) Block the hole with a Pillow/Doona/Small dog anything that will stem the flow to enable your pumps to cope. This is more important initially than all other actions.
2) Compartmentalise your boat, difficult unless at design phase or unless your designer
was on the ball.
Under Australian USL Code guidelines for ship/boat construction watertight compartments with isolation procedures must be a part of all commercial
It saddened me when the 'Day Charter
Industry' wormed their way around regulations
to enable, at the time, the Whitsunday area 'RENTA A YACHT' businesses to thrive.
In essence 'exemption to preventing sinking' was given because it was just too hard to apply to small boats, probably same happened in other parts
of the world.
It would have been fruitful for designers to be enforced to reduce the risk by compartmenting the underbody, watertight bunk bases with hatches etc.
Today most production boats have both cable and piping runs go from one end of the boat to the other in the bilge
area with very few glands.
Second job we did on our 'new to us cat' was to seal all bulkhead penetrations so at least we have a fore and aft watertight.
Also remeber the old saying 'NO BILGE PUMP IS AS GOOD AS A SCARED MAN WITH A BUCKET'..... Cheers