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Old 15-07-2023, 11:12   #1
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Michigan_Eric's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Michigan or Arizona, depending on the season
Boat: Tartan 31
Posts: 58
Plastic parts of Whaler (Henderson) Mk V diaphragm pump

I'm still refitting my Tartan 31 (I guess we're always refitting our boats...) and I discovered that the manual bilge pump mounted next to the helm does not work. The handle goes up and down but it does not draw water up from the bilge, and I can hear air sucking in around it, so a leak somewhere is breaking the vacuum.

I removed the pump from under the cockpit combing and disassembled it to find the lower diaphragm plate broken into several pieces.

For reference, see the exploded diagram. There are two plates that seal the diaphragm where the rocker arm connects to it. The upper diaphragm plate, inside the pumping chamber, is intact and appears to be OK.

I stopped in at the nearest West Marine for a rebuild kit but they were out of stock (surprise, surprise...) so I was kind of disappointed about that because I wanted to get something done this weekend, but that's life on the hard for you.

This pump has a good design, but I don't like that critical parts of the pump mechanism are made of plastic. It might be damn strong plastic, but it's still plastic, and having found the lower diaphragm plate in pieces tells me that I cannot rely on such if I ever need to pump like hell to keep my boat afloat. It's exactly the kind of emergency situation where that same part would fail again, and make an already bad day at sea much, much worse.

Is there a third-party supplier that makes a Whaler rebuild kit with the critical parts (rocker arm, diapragm plates, etc.) from marine-grade stainless steel, or even bronze? (A man can always dream.) This is actually a Henderson Mk V, but I'm pretty sure it's the same thing.

I made a about it on Ahoy Skylark, my Youtube Channel.
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