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Old 14-06-2013, 11:15   #16
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Re: Gasoline powered pump for bilge pump

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Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
What do you do when the water has risen to the level of the batteries? Never, ever, depend exclusively and primarily on an electrical solution. Install a manual backup system, sized to move a lot of water, specifically the Whale, or better, the Edson pumps. All the other suggestions are creative, but depend on stuff working when conditions may be less than optimal. And if they fail? What is the fallback position, a bucket?
Not that I disagree with having a manual backup system (we do) but:

The battery on my Gemini sits in a cabinet next to the door and the top is roughly flush with the entry way. By the time, the water reaches the top of the battery, it's all over. The boat would be down by around 3' and water is likely coming in thru the doorway. Way beyond any reasonable pumping system (even the really nice gas powered heavy duty one show in a previous post).

If you are really concerned, look into foaming the floatation tanks. you may wind up partially awash but the boat won't go to the bottom.
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Old 14-06-2013, 11:34   #17
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Re: Gasoline Powered Pump for Bilge Pump

It seems like an unnecessary hassle to break out and prime a gas powered pump everytime you need to pump a little water out of the bilge. I can see it for that very rare emergency when you need a high volume pump right now. But the vast majority of the times you need a bilge pump it is not for emergencies.

Don't worry so much about how much electric bilge pumps draw and get one or two, just to save yourself the hassle.

Also realize that there is no perfect solution for bilge pumps, they can all be overwhelmed if you are flooding enough, which is why we have life boats and rafts.
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Old 14-06-2013, 11:53   #18
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Re: Gasoline Powered Pump for Bilge Pump

I used to work for a salvage company in Bermuda. Our gasoline pump broke down one day and there were none for sale on the island, so we bought a large-capacity electric bilge pump (8000GPH) and used that, powered by 2 federal starting batteries. It pumped out a J24 completely (and i mean completely!) without running the battery flat. We kept the engines running though, just to be on the 'safe' side!
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Old 14-06-2013, 11:55   #19
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Re: Gasoline Powered Pump for Bilge Pump

Oh, and that gas pump, when it worked, took at least 5 minutes to set up, prime, get started etc.

I'd go electric. You'd be surprised how much water they can pump, how quickly, and how little impact it will have on even a small battery.
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Old 18-06-2014, 09:44   #20
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Re: Gasoline Powered Pump for Bilge Pump

While I'm a big believer in the Honda powered pumps (mine can move 80 gallons a minute with 10' head) it seems like overkill for a Cat that should always have dry bilges. A small electric pump (I'd prefer something like a FloJet that would pick up the lowest spot rather than a Rule centrifugal pump that always leaves water in...

That said for those with larger vessels that may need dewatering, the Honda pumps are great... I do suggest fuel stabilizer (or better yet, that and Ethanol free gas!), annual oil changes, and run the pump to test it monthly. While we've never needed ours on our boat it helped save a boat in the marina next to ours that was headed south! It moved more than the 110v pumps the marina was putting on and we needed all of them...
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