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In regards to the Florida skiff challenge, does anyone know if they used bilge pumps or all had scuppers. I feel like as cheap as the pumps are made, it would be good info if a certain brand,model, survived the trip.
 

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I'm pretty positive all the boats involved are self bailing. The bilge pumps are just used as a back up in case something leaks or catastrophic failure.

None of the pumps we use in our boats would be reliable in this situation. To much spray and water over the bow. They would be running near constant for the 48 hours and still might not keep up.
 

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Best bilge pump is a life vest and good insurance. A boat is a big bucket and most pumps can’t keep up with washing the boat if drain plug happened to be in. Never mind tipping the bucket into the water.
 

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Not the first time I've heard this kind of speculation... Every skiff I rig will come with two bilge pumps - each separately powered, wired, fused, switched - even with separate through hulls... My current skiff (an old 17' Maverick) has two 1100gph pumps on board - pump #2 requires a switch turned on, the primary has the standard float switch.... It also has a third pump - but that's just the baitwell pump....

Just as a point of comparison - I use my skiff so much that I generally have to replace a bait well pump every six months... but I can't remember the last time I needed to replace one of my Rule 1100's.... They've been reliable for many years (since I run a 30 year old skiff and rigged it myself I have a real good idea of what systems always work - and which ones will fail sooner than I'd like..).

Anyone that thinks a "self bailing" skiff design means that you can't sink it... is just kidding themselves. If you ever find yourself taking on water and in bad trouble --- it won't be on a fair weather day. Those familiar with my rig know that it's not self bailing at all - so I was forced to learn everything I could about keeping a boat floating.

Most brand new skiffs come with tiny bilge pumps and the salesman will usually point out that they're self-bailing and just don't need anything more. You can guess what I think of that BS....

A few years back I was blown off of my skiff under a bridge where I was setting up for a night tarpon trip. A big forty footer had stood on it's stern powering up as it came under the bridge - throwing a bow wave that looked to be almost 20 feet high... All I saw in the moments before it hit me was the underside of that sportfisher - and it looked enormous... We later could see water at least 20 feet up the pilings (we were one set of pilings east of the fenders - out of the channel - not between the fenders...).

At any rate when I climbed back into my skiff I found one very scared angler - standing in five to six inches of water - my skiff was almost halfway flooded... I turned on both pumps - and five minutes later (at 2200 gph...) we were dry... My angler, a Britain fly guy, could only ask "Is it always like this?"

Be as prepared as possible for the bad things that can happen to a small skiff on the water... anything else is just foolish in my opinion....
 

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Sage advice from Capt. Bob, as always. He must have gotten a different batch of Rule pumps than the ones I had on my former Bayshore flats boat. Had at least a couple with the same capacity crap out. Finally replaced both with Sahara (Attwood) with no other issues.

That said, believe the one in the Mosquito is a Rule and it's been working fine for 1.5 years. Probably just jinxed myself now though.
 

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I’m running a pair of Johnson 1250’s, set up exactly like Capt. Lemay stated. In my experience, most bilge pumps don’t fail during your day on the water, unless you run them dry and burn them up. They fail while the boat it sitting in storage, and then they aren’t checked until it’s too late. Occasionally someone will check them and think “I should get around to fixing that soon”, but it’s generally a pain the way most boats are designed. It gets put off until it is too late.

Those Johnson pumps have a twist lock motor that sits in the permanently mounted basket, and I’m using weatherpack connectors for the wiring, so a pump can be swapped out in under a minute without tools. Also avoid the cheap plastic corrugated hoses.
 

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I use a johnson cartridge type pump for my livewell (700gph) specifically because it's an easy replace. My baitwell pump is installed horizontally in close quarters so it's a real hassle to replace one when you have to screw in the base (replacing everything but the base of the pump...) so the Johnson cartridge was very attractive.... I don't get the lifespan I did with Rule livewell pumps but the ease of replacement more than offsets that downside....
 

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Good information here. One thing I'd add is avoid the pumps with the built in float switch (rule automatic, attwood automatic, etc.) as your primary pump. I've had a few of the rule automatics and have been lucky with them but I've talked to a few people whose boats sank at the dock when they failed. Actually had another customer at west marine stop me at the counter and try to convince me not to by a rule automatic because he sank a boat with one and someone he knew did as well. I've thought that the automatics may be good as a back up though since you could avoid having to install a second float switch but with the reliability issues people are having it may not be worth it.
 
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