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Old 24-08-2012, 14:40   #31
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
The OPs question is a legitemate one.......
I see that almost all offshore racing rules require a manual bilge pump that can be handled from the helm.
I kinda think so too. Makes me wonder some things.

What kind of sailing are we talking about?

If you have a big hole it won't help right? So if the big hole is plugged with SVTwilights patches and the bucket takes it down to the floorboards, then what is left in the bilge is of no real safety concern is it? Just a nuisance??

I wonder about the racing rule and what has actually happened out there. I bet it would be really hard to find out what the instances of manual pump use is compared to say, finding the corroded wire on the electric and doing a quick fix or snapping in the spare?? I bet all that is going to be pretty anecdotal.

What is the number of boats that had enough water to kill electric that actually survived because of the use of a manual pump? I don't have a clue. Seems it is always a fire dept. or CG dropping a pump or something like that when I read the story??

Even with a manual, I am having trouble envisioning being able to pump with one arm and stop a leak with the other, even if I could move the pump around.

If the pump can be moved around then when it is pumped, does it move around?

Pumping 500 gal in two minutes? This I gotta see!

It is amazing how much space a nice big pump takes up once you add all the hose, strum box and pump handle.

Sorta like the paper charts thread.

Makes me wonder.

Who knows what is next.
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Old 24-08-2012, 15:20   #32
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
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Old 24-08-2012, 16:22   #33
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Re: Manual Bilge Pumps Obsolete?

I had a classic case of why you need a manual bilge pump. In the 90s, I delivered a brand new Tayana 47 from San Francisco to Oregon. When going over this boat with the Yacht Broker, I asked where the manual bilge pump was , and he laughed and said that all we needed were tapes for the VCR to watch all the way to Oregon. He did show me the pump which was mounted under the galley sole. You needed to lift a floor board and sit on the floor next to the opening to use the pump. We left the bay and the first thing that happened was the autopilot ripped off of its mountings in the lazzeret. OK there were 3 of us , so that was not a problem. The first 6 or 8 hours we checked the bilge every hour. After that we checked at each watch change. Everything was a normal upwind motorsail and we were doing fine. The second day got much rougher but we were still making progress so we carried on. I went off watch and checked the bilge and OH SH@% the water was almost to the floor boards. I turned on the electric bilge pump and started scrambling around trying to find the source of the water. It took about 10 minutes and the electric pump packed up. There was so much sawdust in the bilge that it clogged. I cleaned it and was still trying to locate the leak when it packed up again. At this point I told the crew to turn around and go back to a little cove that we had passed about 10 miles back. This time I could not get the electric pump to work again, so I lifted the floor board and started to hand pump. It was an awful position to work in but I had no choice. The manual pump clogged and was cleaned 3 or 4 times before we got to the anchorage. One of the crew and I traded searching for the leak and pumping and could find nothing and we were gaining on the water level. We anchored an hour or so before dark and finished pumping the bilge dry with no idea where the water had come from. A big meal and a good nights sleep(with an anchor watch) and in the morning we discovered that the hatch to the anchor well on the fordeck had nice lips to catch any water that came through and drains that were supposed to drain that water overboard, but nobody had hooked them up. They drained straight into the bilge. Had we been 500 miles off shore with an electric pump that burned up before it made any dent in the water level, we would have been doing the bucket brigade when the water got high enough to do that(which would have drowned the engine). Thank heavens for a manual pump , even though it was in a horrible spot, it worked when the electric one failed. This was in a brand new 1/3 million dollar boat that should not have had these problems, but it proves that sh%$ happens and you need the basics.____another of my long winded 2 cents worth.____Grant.

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bilge, bilge pump

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