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Old 07-04-2013, 11:27   #46
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Re: What do you all think of engine-driven bilge pumps?

The problem with anything not permanently installed is that you are most likely going to need it in rough weather, and you dont want it, or a Honda Generator careening around!
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:39   #47
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Re: What do you all think of engine-driven bilge pumps?

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
What are the dimensions of the jabsco + clutch . . . . Mostly how far does it stick out in front of the engine?

When we built hawk we did the "double bottom" and "watertight bulkheads" thing, but I have always been a little sorry I did not mount a pump on the engine. We thought about it, but there was a trade-off with galley space, and at the time we decided to go with the better galley. But I would still love to find a way to do it.

We do have a big rule, and an AC pump that will run off our Honda, but neither of those are as good as a engine direct drive pump.
What type of AC pump do you have, or would recommend? (other than making sure the Honda can start & run it, that is). Are there any AC pumps you would not recommend?
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:58   #48
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Re: What do you all think of engine-driven bilge pumps?

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I concur completely, Evans. I've read all the gCaptain reportage (the best I've seen) and there and elsewhere, I've seen nothing that indicated that this wasn't the ship's "fault" so much as it was lax maintainance, lax training and a skipper who rolled with loaded dice against a hurricane.

I feel that the Bounty tragedy was among the more clearly avoidable of any of which I've heard. Having five vast pumps in non-working order is functionally identical to having no pumps at all. The prudent seaman must test and verify the state of his/her gear, especially his/her "save our souls" gear.
I was asked to provide an "independent expert opinion" specifically on the chosen sailing route. To do a proper job of that assignment I felt I needed to understand the full status of the vessel and equipment and crew, which is why I now know more about her pumps and refit and crew resumes that I want to. It took me 6 pages of text and 22 exhibits to provide what I though was a complete and accurate assessment of the sailing route.

I agree with you that the captain made simple, avoidable mistakes, and he will be found responsible for them. But I also believe he did not make those mistakes in a complete vacuum. He was added and abetted and supported and even encouraged by multiple other people, professionals, institution's, regulations, and culture. If the final USCG report simply says the captain made mistakes, then it (probably not identical mistakes but similarly avoidable tragic mistakes) will happen again and again, because the same support structure for those mistakes will be left in place.

But back to the thread and pumps . . . . one thing you can certainly learn is that pumps both need to be used and maintained. Its easy for them to corrode with no use, and its easy for them to degrade in performance with use. The Bounty was certainly grossly deficient in their pump use/maintenance procedures, but they were not unique in this. I know several mega $ superyachts with highly regarded captains that for instance have emergency crash pumps that have not been tested in years. The people reading this thread can ask themselves when was the last time they dissembled their pump to but sure there was not hair or other debris wrapped around the shaft (above the impellor) which can cause friction and dramatically reduce capacity. When was the last time you checked each and every electrical connection in the circuit for voltage drop. These things demand a disciplined and systematic approach, but that is missing and is in fact 'counter cultural' (or just "too expensive") in some parts of the 'yachting' world.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:36   #49
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Re: What do you all think of engine-driven bilge pumps?

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What type of AC pump do you have, or would recommend? (other than making sure the Honda can start & run it, that is). Are there any AC pumps you would not recommend?
I don't know much about this, so I am in no position to make a recommendation.

We have a Dayton 1/3hp utility pump Model 3YU56. It does 40gpm at a 6' head. It's pretty small and pretty cheap (I have two of them).

I just went into a commercial plumbing distributor and asked them what they would recommend given my constraint on amps and hose size (which turned out to be no problem). There may well be much better pumps out there. The start up amps is a serious problem. I could run a much more powerful pump than this, but it would stall on start-up.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:52   #50
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Re: What do you all think of engine-driven bilge pumps?

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I don't know much about this, so I am in no position to make a recommendation.

We have a Dayton 1/3hp utility pump Model 3YU56. It does 40gpm at a 6' head. It's pretty small and pretty cheap (I have two of them).

I just went into a commercial plumbing distributor and asked them what they would recommend given my constraint on amps and hose size (which turned out to be no problem). There may well be much better pumps out there. The start up amps is a serious problem. I could run a much more powerful pump than this, but it would stall on start-up.
Would 40gpm be close to what a DC-run 3700 Rule may realistically do, assuming the same 6' head, etc.? I don't know about your set-up, but I can only stow my Honda 2000 in a fwd hold, w/o gas of course. I'm just thinking out loud that, in a true emergency, there are the potential extra steps of going fwd, getting the Honda out of the hold (awkward even at the dock), putting gas into it, starting it, etc. Depending on no. of crew/capability, etc., this could take critical time away from sourcing the leak. In heavy seas, it may be impossible or quite dangerous. Oh well, if there were easy answers there weren't be threads like this. Thanks for chiming in.
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Old 07-04-2013, 15:52   #51
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Re: What do you all think of engine-driven bilge pumps?

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Would 40gpm be close to what a DC-run 3700 Rule may realistically do, assuming the same 6' head, etc.? I don't know about your set-up, but I can only stow my Honda 2000 in a fwd hold, w/o gas of course. I'm just thinking out loud that, in a true emergency, there are the potential extra steps of going fwd, getting the Honda out of the hold (awkward even at the dock), putting gas into it, starting it, etc. Depending on no. of crew/capability, etc., this could take critical time away from sourcing the leak. In heavy seas, it may be impossible or quite dangerous. Oh well, if there were easy answers there weren't be threads like this. Thanks for chiming in.
Actually, my primary 'plan' is two run these pumps off my big inverter, rather than directly from the Honda. I have found I can start up and run one, and then startup and run the other without overloading the inverter. Then if they are going to be running for any length of time I will need either the main engine or Honda charging the batteries to keep the voltage up. It's not an ideal solution, but these pumps are so cheap (and relatively small) I figure there is no downside to having them available.
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Old 07-04-2013, 17:36   #52
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Re: What do you all think of engine-driven bilge pumps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
What are the dimensions of the jabsco + clutch . . . . Mostly how far does it stick out in front of the engine?

When we built hawk we did the "double bottom" and "watertight bulkheads" thing, but I have always been a little sorry I did not mount a pump on the engine. We thought about it, but there was a trade-off with galley space, and at the time we decided to go with the better galley. But I would still love to find a way to do it.

We do have a big rule, and an AC pump that will run off our Honda, but neither of those are as good as a engine direct drive pump.
The pump is belt-drive, using an electric clutch, which puts the pump next to the engine, not forward of it. The bracket is custom of-course.
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Old 07-04-2013, 18:05   #53
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Re: What do you all think of engine-driven bilge pumps?

I have a March pump (AC) for the Mermaid Marine Air 12000 BTU heatpump/AC that came with the boat.

I could run (T'd off, of course) as another bilge pump, but face the same issue of "high kick-off amperage needs (17 amps) and then 6 amps continuous. I have been told that a single Honda 2000 can actually do this, but I'm opting for an inverter solution (2000 watts continuous, 3000 watts surge, with a pair of Honda 2000s as charge sources if it's a windless night during which we find ourselves sinking.

Realistically, however, I may have other concerns!
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Old 08-04-2013, 01:41   #54
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Re: What do you all think of engine-driven bilge pumps?

I personally shudder when I hear the word "electric" used in the same sentence as the idea of a "pump of last resort".

Especially when the essential source of power for that pump is a diesel engine, whose unique and shining virtues in a marine setting are (ideally) the ability to run without electrics, and submerged.

I'm not just thinking of situations where the pump is driven by an electric motor whose supply (because it's up in the kW range) relies on an alternator strapped to that diesel engine.

Other alarming contexts where the "E" word appears include: "electric clutch", "electric start", "electric fuel pump", etc etc:

My question is this:

¿How many of these will still run when there is plentiful seawater sloshing over them, and/or over various other links in the electrical chain?

Think of the implications of quantities of seawater infiltrating the battery box, J-boxes, isolating switches etc...

I'm not trying to pick a fight here, and I'm not saying every boat has to solve this, or can solve this.

What I am saying is that it's certainly something to think pretty hard about when deciding what to do, for anyone who aspires to fit a 'pump of last resort'.

If there's room, and a pump cannot be fitted in the vicinity of the front of the engine, the simplest solution would be to fit a FastFlow (formerly Ericson) pump to the propellor shaft.

The objection about the need to run the engine in gear in order to pump (which seems to me a valid concern in some situations) has been raised further up the thread.

One possible solution would be to fit a variable pitch prop. This can be set to zero pitch, in situations where the pump needs to run without providing propulsion.
Installing a VP prop is no small deal, but has other advantages, which for some situations can be considerable.

Assuming no integrated, gear-driven PTO option is available or retrofittable --which it hardly ever is on marine engines under about 120hp -- another option might be to run a layshaft from the vicinity of the front of the engine.

It might be possible in a few cases (Yanmar GM series engines is one I'm aware of) to drive this from the camshaft.

This could be a chain drive - because the drive speed from a camshaft is doubled, the torque/tension requirement is halved and smaller chain can be used. The advantage of a chain rather than a belt is compactness, and less sideload on the camshaft.
Belt drives have to be highly tensioned in order not to slip, unlike chains, which creates extra sideload on top of what is required simply to turn the driven shaft.

If the camshaft pokes out the end of the engine, it's probably because at some earlier time it was envisaged it might be used for hand-crank starting, so sideload, especially for short periods, is unlikely to be a problem.

If sideload was a problem, an outboard bearing would have to be contrived, which is not trivial.

If no outrigger bearing is needed, and the layshaft uses self-aligning bearings (as it should) it might be feasible to rig an overcentre lever to move one end of the layshaft towards the engine temporarily, far enough to reduce the centre distance so the chain can be removed and replaced.

Carefully engineered, fitting the chain could happen in under a minute: eliminating the need for (and potential failure point of) a dog clutch or (shudder!) an electric clutch.

This way, the chain -- if suitably stored -- will last indefinitely, and not corrode.
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Old 08-04-2013, 03:47   #55
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Re: What do you all think of engine-driven bilge pumps?

I am a little puzzled by some of the comments on this thread. Far too much emphasis on getting the biggest pump you can find in order to manage the water input, even when the assembly of the device takes vital minutes, during which presumably the ocean is trying to turn the inside of your boat into a portable fish bowl.

Yes you have to have a pump or two that work really well and you have to confirm that they work with regular maintenance. However, the emphasis in damage control is not on the ability to keep up with the ocean spurting into the hull, but on how you stop the ocean spurting in in the first place. Once you have that under control, although you probably will not stop it completely, it is time to pump out the water. At this stage, if you have a major failure in your pumping system, you are no longer in such a dangerous position, and one panicked man with a bucket can probably keep up.

At this stage the difference between a Rule 2000 and a Rule 77000000 is merely how long before they suck almost dry.
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:06   #56
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Re: What do you all think of engine-driven bilge pumps?

Talbot

You're presupposing that you can both find and staunch the inflow.

The first is not always possible if the damage is behind joinerwork and below the level of accumulated (possibly violently sloshing) water, even if you take to all the cabinetry with a large axe in short order.

The second is not necessarily something you can do immediately. If something has poked a hole in the hull, for instance, you might have to arrange a sail over the damage, once you know where it is, (and presuming it's not in a concavity, say beside the keel root or the skeg)

then cut props to hold temporary formwork over the damaged area inside the hull.*

If one person has to spend a minute rigging a pump which will more or less stem the inflow, it buys everybody more time to do these two, sometimes very difficult, things

A lot of people never find out where the inflow was before it's time to abandon. If they had 20hp of pumping capacity running from almost the beginning, things might have gone quite differently.


*It might OTOH be a simple fix (like a hose off a thru-hull), but until you find it, you can't fix it.
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:31   #57
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Re: What do you all think of engine-driven bilge pumps?

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Talbot

You're presupposing that you can both find and staunch the inflow.

The first is not always possible if the damage is behind joinerwork ..........

The second is not necessarily something you can do immediately. .............
Granted there are circustances where staunching the flow is difficult. But attempting to staunch should always be the first immediate action drill.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:37   #58
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I have had to use buckets 3 times in anger due to the pumps failing or pipework blocking. When the chips are down the best pumps and filters can't easily handle the amount of muck in the water. Diaphrams break, filters block and impellers burn out. I like the idea of engine driven pumps and big electric ones. I love those big stand up double acting diaphrams. But I put my faith in a frightened person with a bucket. When it all goes belly up the bucket will still spit out pulped books, spilt rice and all your now dirty wet laundry and come back for more. Just remeber the cockpit drains won't...
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:20   #59
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Re: What do you all think of engine-driven bilge pumps?

AT, I completely agree with your comment on "electric" and "emergency". But . . . Some of this industrial pump gear is well designed for wet environments, and given it is relatively small and cheap (because I already have the AC power sources) I can't see any harm in have the capability available. The engine driven clutched centrif pump is THE solution, if you can mount it (in addition to my galley space issues, I already have two alternators belted on the front of the engine).

T, plugging the ingress is obviously a priority. Sometimes it's both quick to identify and quick to plug; but often it's neither and a big pump(s) can keep you a float when it's slower/harder. I remember one case where a whale hit a sailboat hull, and extensively spiderweb fractured the inner and outer skin over about a 6 sq ft area. It was difficult to access, behind a settee, and difficult but possible to repair (if you had the right repair materials on board, which is another issue). The big pump gives you the time to do that.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:04   #60
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Re: What do you all think of engine-driven bilge pumps?

By the way, while diesels are pretty robust and reliable, even they are not "for sure" in an emergency.

Looking over my records of boats that have been rolled near 180, the main diesel worked with (relatively quickly minimal effort) in about 40% of the cases, and with some harder effort was started in another 10% of the case.

You can improve these odds with excellent design and prep. Battery tie downs often prove inadequate in true roll over cases. Salt water can come into the diesel tank breathers, and then into the diesel tanks. Salt water can come into the cylinders from the water muffler (and perhaps the air intake). Engine mounts can come adrift. Metal stuff can fall and short the batteries, or jam in the engine (in the belts in front or the shaft at the rear). Salt water can short the starter solenoid, or the starter itself. Those appear to be the most common failure points and they can be addressed, but are often not done so in a fashion that actually deals with a violent knock down.
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