Bildge Pumps

Discussion in 'Boat Yard Basics' started by mikeregas, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. mikeregas

    mikeregas I Love!

    A couple of questions for my bildge pumps. I am looking at Attwood Sahara and the Rule Automatic. The other is how big 500, 750 or 1100? It is going on my new Ankona Cayenne.
  2. Dillusion

    Dillusion devilray snob

    Get the largest one you can afford. There is no such thing as 'too big' for a bilge pump. When you are trying to expel 10 gallons from your hull after being caught in a storm, you will wish you had three of them.

    With that said. I always use the attwood T800 model for two reasons. A- it uses 3/4 fittings and that's what my thru hull's use that I buy, and B- they are readily available at any wal-mart around the country in the marine parts section. God forbid I go on a trip and reach my destination, and do a gear check, only to find out my bilge fried, I can go to wal-mart and buy a new one and have it fit in the same base mount and fitting size- straight swap!

    I have used the attwood 'all in one' automatic pumps, but I had one fry on me and stop working when I needed it at the sand bar with dogs jumping in and out of the boat bringing in water.

    I dont use the automatic ones with the float switch because my skiff will never be wet docked in a slip or anywhere overnight without me in it. The manual ones wired to an ON-OFF-MOMENTARY switch work perfect for me.

  3. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

    I've been using the Attwood tsunami 500gph model for the same reasons. I don't worry much about swamping because I foam filled, but I still want any standing water out. The pump cartridges are easy to swap out, I have mine rigged to a separate float switch and have been happy for the last 3 years or so with it.

    That being said, they aren't the greatest pumps ever, they are a bit noisy, but for the price they work well. I also use 2 of the t500's for my livewell. I recently ran one for 4 days straight before it burned out, and that pump was a few years old already.
  4. topnative2

    topnative2 Well-Known Member

    U.S.S. Walmart [smiley=1-doh.gif]
  5. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Well-Known Member

    This is one of those topics that a guy could learn a lot more about than he (or she) ever wanted to.... and that's been the case with me.

    Since I run something a bit larger than a micro (an old 17 foot Maverick) and my work skiff isn't self bailing.... I've had good reason. First things first, any pump's rating in gph (gallons per hour) is only valid providing you have a large enough hose, large enough fittings, and a proper electrical supply. If you use smaller hoses and/or fittings (you need an adaptor for this to downsize from your pump's outflow....) then your rating is lowered. Now for the fun part... there's a lot of junk being sold for boats and that goes both for pumps, hoses, fittings, etc. Avoid cheap, thin, plastic bilge pump hose like the plague - it will fail in a year or so. The hose you want will be heavy, reinforced, and probably found only in a proper marine hardware store. Make sure your clamps are proper marine quality 316 stainless as well (no automotive stuff for your bilge...). Make sure all your wiring splices are up out of the bilge area if possible, and that they're properly heat shrunk and reasonably water proof. Make sure you're using the proper fuse (your pump's manufacturer will tell you the exact size needed) and that you keep spares aboard....

    I think a minimum pump for 17 foot skiff is an 1100 gph (but that's just my opinion....). If you find yourself standing in six inches of water in your skiff you'll want as much pump as you can... since it might make the difference in whether you have to swim home or not... On a skiff like mine that's not self bailing you'll want two pumps aboard - and you'll want them separately wired, switched, powered, fused... and with entirely separate hose setups... Once again on my skiff I have two 1100's and can turn both on in an emergency (like the late night when a nearly fifty foot boat hit us with such a bow wave that I was thrown off of my skiff and found it nearly filled with water when I crawled back on board). Being able to quickly pump out the water was a blessing (my angler on board was badly frightened but we went on to have a pretty fair night...).

    As far as the pumps themselves, stick with name brands like Rule, Johnson, and Attwood. If you'll never leave your boat unattended when it's on the water then a manual switching setup will do - but most prefer an automatic or one with a float switch so that your pump will take care of business when you're not around (or not paying attention)...

    By the way once you've owned a few boats you'll learn to pay lots of attention to any new boat's features. Sharp guys will also pay attention to how easy your bilge area and it's pumps, wiring, hoses, etc. can be accessed and worked on. Too many nice looking boats are anything but friendly when you need to change out a pump or a connection. That sort of stuff would be a deal breaker for me (my own bilge area isn't particularly ideal and I hate changing pumps or working in a confined space...).

    Hope this helps. Consider it a bit of basic info -you'll learn more about pumps as you learn to live with and replace them from time to time...
  6. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    Good points bob.
    If your going to have two pumos I always run them off of their own dedicated battery, wire, fuse, and swich.

    I find it hard to go back to a boat that isnt self bailing.

    There was a thread on here of a 13'gheenoe I believe that had 2 1500 rule pumps with float switches.
    Lol it would probably still stay afloat with a 6inch hole in it
  7. mikeregas

    mikeregas I Love!


    Thanks for the point on the bilge pumps and all the info that is useful when figuring this out. I will go with the 1100 gph with the float switch along with a manual switch just in case. Probably go with the Attwood just because Walmart is everywhere and the reviews are slightly better on amazon.

    No I will just need to find the SS through hull fittings. Any suggestions on where I can find those.
  8. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Well-Known Member

    What you're looking for in stainless are the clamps, not the through hulls... For small skiffs I use and recommend Forespar through hulls -they're reinforced heavy nylon and will last for years (no they're not the cheap plastic that many find on poorly set up skiffs). If you want to go heavier then bronze is the way to go but they're just not needed on micros. For clamps, hoses, and through hulls head for your nearest marine hardware store. If all else fails you'll find them at West Marine - but won't get a break on price...
  9. mikeregas

    mikeregas I Love!

    Attwood makes SS for a few bucks($5) what is the advantage to the plastic ones vs ss?
  10. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    Be careful with that..
    Some are actually chromed plastic that they call stainless. Because it actually is "stainless".
    I stay away from anything attoood honestly.

    Btw there are no walmarts in the keys. (That I know of)

    Rule pumps are the best imo
  11. mikeregas

    mikeregas I Love!

    I have actually never needed a Walmart in the Keys. I know there is a KMart or at least the last time I was in Key Largo they had one.

    I saw the plastic with chrome thru-hulls, I was looking at these:
    straight -
    90 -

    I learned fishing tournaments that you have a kit of backup pumps fittings etc. So hopefully I will have replacement parts for all pumps and stuff. At least after a month or two :)

    I guess another option is to have the bilge and live well pump motors interchangeable. That way if your bildge goes out you can easily pull the live well pump and use it just in case.
  12. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Well-Known Member

    Most folks who keep boats in the water prefer bronze over stainless steel through hulls since they actually resist saltwater better than the stainless (and comparatively speaking stainless is a bit brittle compared to bronze...)...

    Because the Forespars aren't metal you avoid that whole problem, they're also lightweight and strong.... but everyone will have to decide for themselves what to use in the way of fittings. I actually have three Forespar through hulls on my skiff (two are just hatch drains and not in the water at all) as well as a Forespar high speed pickup for my bait pump. Since my old hull is 25 years old I can vouch for their longevity...
  13. mikeregas

    mikeregas I Love!

    Thanks for that bit of insight. I have the attwood white ones  on my boat now and they are brittle, the black seem fine, but if I want to go with longivity bronze is the way to go. But with all these being above the water does it really matter if I choose bronze or SS?

    And just like you said, I am learning way more than I ever thought I wanted to know about pumps and fittings and I am just scratching the surface.
  14. Creek Runner

    Creek Runner Well-Known Member

    SS through hull are fine any where above the water line the thing here is to get quality fittings. It's kind of like your toggle switch thread, you can buy a marine grade toggle switch for $3/each but a miltary grade toggle switch is going to cost you $30/each (I wouldn't use any listed on that thread, just my opinion from a guy who rewires boats weekly) same goes for the through hulls if you buy the cheap ones your going to have problems in a year, buy quality it will last 10-15+ years.

    There is a reason why Chittum, hells bay, yellow fin, etc, etc, cost more it's the products they use not just the name. Some find no reason to pay $30/switch or $15/through hull when they can pay $4.99 but the old saying you get what you pay for is true!

    These are the products I use on my boat and customers!

    Through Hulls= Gemlux
    Switches= Eaton or teague marine
    Pumps= Rule and Jabsco

    Again just my opinion, I only like to do things once!
  15. 'Nano-Skiff'

    'Nano-Skiff' It's not the size of the boat....

    I normally get breakfast on the way out in the morning. I keep the cup and scoop the water out with it.