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Old 04-05-2009, 19:31   #1
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Custom Automatic Bilge Pump for Dinghy

I'm tired of pumping out the rainwater from my inflatable dinghy everytime I want to use it to get to my sailboat mooring. I thought I'd build an automatic bilge pump and leave it in the dinghy permanently. If the pump takes care of most of the rainwater, the sun will take care of the rest, drying out the dingy by the time I'm ready to use it.

I've already purchased a small Sahara automatic bilge pump (500 gph, 1.2 amps). I've also found a site that sells small sealed AGM batteries for jet skis. PWC (Personal Watercraft) Battery - sealed AGM batteries. They have several manufacturers and batteries of every size starting with 4ah and going up. I thought I'd put both pump and battery into a plastic box, drill a hole in the bottom side of the box so water can get into the bilge pump, and run a hose from the pump outlet to up and over the transom.

Does anyone see any problems with this setup, either as far as effectiveness or safety? What size battery do I need? Should I also get a very small solar panel to put on the top of the box to charge the battery or is there a way I can charge the battery from my sailboat?

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Old 04-05-2009, 19:56   #2
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Can't you leave the dinghy on land? It's not an impossible problem but it isn't easy to assure you can have an automatic pump on a dinghy in the water without a cover. Then do make covers for inflatables.

Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 04-05-2009, 21:33   #3
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KISS and flip the dinghy over
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:11   #4
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Use an in-line pump instead of a bilge pump. That way you can run a suction hose to the plug opening / bilge pocket instead of having the entire pump sit on the floor. Use an electronic bilge switch as they are smaller and won't get damaged.

That way you can mount the pump higher on the transom where it won't get kicked. All that would be potentially underfoot is the suction hose and the electronic bilge float switch.

An unconventional idea ..... but not so far fetched.
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bilge, bilge pump

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