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Old 23-08-2012, 17:32   #16
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

I think manual bilge pumps are important. Here is why. Say that you have a hole. You manage to plug it but not before the water gets above your batteries. Now whatta yu gonna do?
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Old 23-08-2012, 17:40   #17
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

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I think manual bilge pumps are important. Here is why. Say that you have a hole. You manage to plug it but not before the water gets above your batteries. Now whatta yu gonna do?
That was going to be my initial approach to this thread. Then I had to admit that at that point a bucket works.
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Old 23-08-2012, 18:59   #18
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

The OPs question is a legitemate one, and the only legit answer is Hell Yes you need a manual bilge pump. A manual pump would not be needed in a perfect world where electrical systems always work, but as any old sailor will tell you, electrical failures are the most common failure on cruising boats. Salt water is very corrosive and everything on a boat is subject to it , no matter how well the boat is maintained. The mention of making sure your seacocks and hoses are in good shape is good and a normal part of maintainance. All bilge pumps are subject to clogging but the electrical ones are subject to whatever failure there is in any number of places. Starter quits and you have a few hours of power left, alternator quits, same thing, bad fuel, same thing, shorted wires, same thing etc. etc. etc. This is not to imply that electric pumps dont have a real purpose on cruising boats, but to say that to bet your life on anything electrical on a boat, is a bad bet. What I think IMHO is that a medium size electric pump deep in the bilge to get the water that comes in from a drip in the prop shaft or from the mast in a 3 day rain, and is hard wired to the batteries is needed. A second electric pump that is higher in the bilge and very big, and wired to a loud alarm bell( and hard wired to the batteries) will get your attention (or the other boats in a marina.) but these dont substitute for as big a manual pump as you can mount near the helm. You need to know how to clear the pump and the strum box in the dark and not have the handle lost in some corner of the cockpit lockers. The idea of buckets is OK but as has been noted before in this thread, most boat bilges wont fit a bucket and by the time that the water is high enough over the floorboards to make a bucket effective you are in deep doo doo. Even though I am not a racer, I see that almost all offshore racing rules require a manual bilge pump that can be handled from the helm. There is years of experiance in that rule. My 2+ cents worth. ____Grant.
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Old 23-08-2012, 19:34   #19
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

I never go to sea without a bucket, but not for getting large amounts of water out of my boat!! Ive tryed that it works but not with my back !!! ive always had the Largest Manual pump I could get !! and also the largest electric pumps that fit well in my bilges ! and just to be redundant I carry a 2 inch portable pump with a gas engine!! now I don't like carrying gas anymore then any of ya ! but this pump will dewater a boat FAST !!! and fits in our aft lazzeret! Ive never had to use it on my own boat but have pumped a couple of other folks boats when there electric pumps were not working, and neither of them had working manual pumps !! for years all I ever had to use was my manual pump once a month or so ! cus we had no leaks except the shaft packing !!! just my 2 cents ! ya need ALL the pumps ya can get aboard and still have room to live !!
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Old 23-08-2012, 21:02   #20
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

Uhhhhh...

I don't see it as a choice between better through hulls and seacocks vs. a bilge pump.

Some things come way before anything else - like plotters, televisions, autopilots etc.

Unless I am crazy keeping the water out is job number 1.

Through hulls and seacocks are inspected carefully every haulout. Mine were all new and replaced when I bought the boat. As was the new manual bilge pump and electric bilge pump. The through hulls and seacocks will likely get replaced at 10 years as a preventative maintenance item.

However - unlike others (and my perspective may change when cruising) I am not looking for crash pumps to save the boat if I get holed. The pumps are for handling engine, water tank, toilet and locker seal leaks and getting water out if I can plug/patch the hole if I do get holed.

I haven't been in a holed boat but I watched a holed boat sink after a lightning strike. In this 25 foot boat there was about 20-30 minutes available after about 3 X 1 1/2 holes were blown into it near the keel.

I would spend 10 minutes seeing if I could slow the leak to something the pumps could manage and the next 10-15 minutes organizing the abandonment.

4500 pounds of fiberglass ain't worth saving over me no matter how heroic the story will sound at the bar later.
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Old 24-08-2012, 08:35   #21
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
Then I had to admit that at that point a bucket works.
Yeah, a bucket works... just barely. A manual bilge pump works a lot better, and a lot easier.

Imagine trying to get all the water out of the bottom of the bilges (after you have plugged the leak) with a bucket--going up and down the companionway--versus with a manual bilge pump. For the relatively minimal cost of a manual bilge pump, relying on a bucket is, in my not-the-least-bit-humble opinion, the very definition of "false economy."
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Old 24-08-2012, 09:41   #22
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

Have to agree with denverd0n
I'm realtively fit but carrying buckets of water up the companionway in my deep-draft boat would not be very efficient> I have aq big manual pump mounted near my helm and has been said, nothing can throw watter faster than a scared boater operating a big manual pump.
Two cautions:
make sure the pump handle is stored in an easil;y accessible place that can be reached from the cockpit.
test the manual pump regularly, diaphragms can dry out. hoses can get obstructed or moved. If you ever need it you want it to work firsdt time off.
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Old 24-08-2012, 10:09   #23
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

I have a few portable bilge pumps on juniper plus a few spare electric ones, the portable manual ones are also used to pump out the dingy, I can pump the dingy without climbing into it, so if need be I could have the portable next to me while patching something. I removed the old manual pump from the side of the 'pit. had to stand on your head and remove the steering wheel to use it anyway if it did work.
The Edison manual pump is something to behold.
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Old 24-08-2012, 10:41   #24
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

IMHO,
Manual pumps will never be obsolete on small boats for all the reasons already listed. To address the original comment about the pump in the cockpit while the problem is down below, I have a fixed manual pump in the cockpit and another in the galley area on the sole near the engine. Both draw from the deep well bilge below the engine (I have a full keel). I also purchased the Edson previously pictured along with enough hoses to move to any part of the boat I might need to be postioned in, cockpit, deck or cabin. The Edson in that configuration can also be used for fire suppresion.

Regarding buckets, all you have to do is read Storm Passage by Webb Chiles ( books) to see the value of the manual pump over a bucket.

If none of those keep up with the flow and you cannot stem the flow from the inside you can fall back on your fothering gear. You are packing fothering gear, right? That is what Midshipman Jonathan Monkhouse used to save Captain Cook's ship, the Endeavour, from sinking after they ran up on the great barrier reef when they discovered it. Of course Monkhouse used sheep dung as part of his fothering adhesive and I would recommend something else more contemporary, but the rest of the solution is still valid today. We carry two triangular patches with dedicated lines as the basis for our fothering gear.

Safe sailing,

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Old 24-08-2012, 11:41   #25
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

No way no how on MY boat is a manual bilge pump considered obsolete...

But then I also have and have used the capability of starting my little 1GM via a hand crank...

I like not being TOO dependent on electricity, especially when it comes to being able to self rescue oneself..

Each to his own said the man as he kissed the cow..
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Old 24-08-2012, 12:43   #26
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
....

I would spend 10 minutes seeing if I could slow the leak to something the pumps could manage and the next 10-15 minutes organizing the abandonment.

4500 pounds of fiberglass ain't worth saving over me no matter how heroic the story will sound at the bar later.
Will you be calling AAA Road Service or BoatUS
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Old 24-08-2012, 12:50   #27
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

I have a 750 backed by a 3500 electric pumps, but I will still keep my manual thank you.
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Old 24-08-2012, 14:22   #28
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

The problem with most installed manual bilge pumps is they are just too damned small and inefficient. The old whale Gusher 10 is just about useless for staying ahead of even a small leak. If it's a dripping stuffing box, might do the job but that's about it. It just doesn't have the capacity to move much water and takes a lot of effort to do that. Just couldn't see slaving away on the handle of this type of pump for more than a very short period of time.

The problem with a bucket is, for most boats, it's useless until the water is over the floor boards. You need a puka in your sole big enough to get the bucket through and enough depth below for the bucket to fill up for it to be effective. Does your boat have such a hatch in the sole?? Not that big a thing to dump it into the cockpit for most boats. If you have more than 5 steps up to the deck, it can be an issue to empthy the bucket, especially in a seaway.

If you are serious about a manual pump the Whale Gusher 30 is about as small as will do any good. WHALE PUMPS Pump at West Marine The problem with that pump, besides it's cost, is it's a bulky lump to store with it's necessary mounting board. Takes up a lot of space in a cockpit locker. Suppose if you made provision to mount it to the sole with predrilled lag bolts, it wouldn't be so bad.

Personally, I've got an Edson bronze pump. http://www.edsonintl.com/pumpstore/i...index&cPath=85 It's fairly flat and even with it's mounting board doesn't take up much space in the bottom of a locker. Needs a strum box to filter out junk in the water but has worked perfectly when I've used it. So far it's only been to pump out rainwater that got in when I was doing a major rehab job on the deck. Only a matter of a few minutes to pump out the bilge filled to the floor boards. Rated at something like a 1/2 gallon a stroke. With its 4' handle, you aren't humped over the pump so pumping with it is not painful or tiring. These pumps are also expensive but are apparently required for commercial vessels so come up on the used market. I got my bronze one at Blue Pelican Marine consignment shop for a pretty decent price. When I was in the market, they seemed to get them in fairly regularly. Had a full kit with bag, pump on board, hoses, and spares for less than half retail the last time I checked but that was more than a year ago. They also make the pump in a bulkhead mounted version if you had the location to mount it permanently. Blue Pelican Marine Nautical Consignments - New Items
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Old 24-08-2012, 14:53   #29
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

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Originally Posted by shakey doug View Post
Fellows, I think he is taking the ring, life is richer than the cost of a 2bob pump!!!
I have no idea what this means, but I sure do enjoy that Aussie lingo!

I'm all for maintaining the manual pump. I've cut rubber diaphragms from old swim fins to replace the old dried ones in my little used manual pump. I've kept mine going for thirty years with no expense that I recall. It seem to be a simple reliable tool that doesn't require sacrificing other needs in order to keep it working.
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Old 24-08-2012, 15:31   #30
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

a nice large capacity manual pump in cockpit would be perfect for sudden problems without any electricity for the autopilot--hhhmmmmmmmmm
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