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Fly Fishing Shaman
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going down the road of completely re-doing everything in my bilge, including bilge pump(s) with an automatic switch of some kind and baitwell pumps and wanted to see what's new, if any in both these areas with the techy type of guys out there that have done some good research and trial and errors on what's new out there. The switch and/or 2nd backup pump (if I do either) is for leaving it in the water on big trips (i.e. Glades, Keys, staying on several islands where I'll fish for several days straight without pulling the boat each night, to make things easier on me.

I have a brass thru hull valve with a high speed water pickup that I may be changing out to Stainless steel. I have those PITA very hard hoses (hate those %$&#@) and would love to change them out for something good yet easy to work with that will last. I've always used Rule pumps (seem to last well enough) but wanting to know if there is something better. I hate their wires tho and wish they had something better suited for bilges (like bilge insulated wiring in longer lengths). But I don't really know what is new and high tech out there in regards to pumps and accessories. Also easier screens.

Also kicking around the idea of installing a saltwater wash down hose with it's little compartment, tho it take the simple out of simplicity. Anyone here has one installed on their skiff and find it that useful over a simple washdown bucket?
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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I only have one recommendation. Do NOT get the auto bilge pump that works by turning on every couple minutes to check for water and then turns off. Man, what a pain in shallow water to be stalking fish only to have your bilge pump come on for a second. I changed it out for an auto bilge pump with built in float.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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I only have one recommendation. Do NOT get the auto bilge pump that works by turning on every couple minutes to check for water and then turns off. Man, what a pain in shallow water to be stalking fish only to have your bilge pump come on for a second. I changed it out for an auto bilge pump with built in float.
I have those (Rule 27SA) on all three boats. Love them. I turn it off when poling the skiff. Standard float switches are too prone to failure in several different ways.
 
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Here's my setup for something a bit bigger than a micro... My old Maverick has two 1100gph Rule pumps (one of them has a standard float switch)... Each one is separately wired, fused, switched, and powered... Each also has a separate through hull and associated hose... None of that cheap plastic bilge pump hose either - the heavy white reinforced hose... My hull, just under 17' and 7' wide... is not self-bailing so you need to be very certain of your ability to pump out water. With both running (the second one is purely a manual switched unit) I'm doing 2200 gph - enough in an emergency...

My baitwell pump is a 750 Johnson cartridge type (more about that in a moment) mounted horizontally to a bronze through hull with scoop by means of a horizontal Forespar shut-off valve. I'm using the Johnson cartridge style pump because the ease of change- out (my bilge area with three pumps in it is a very constricted space and any work on pumps has me upside down and backwards (at least that's how it feels...). With the cartridge -it's an easy change out when one fails (as they do every six months the way mine get used...).

The only tip I have for anyone installing bilge or baitwell pumps is to always leave an extra foot of electric cable where it splices into each pump's wiring (and do whatever you can to make sure any connections are well above any water...)... Much, much, handier to have that extra foot of slack when doing a replacement - then once you'll all wired up and verified that the pump is working properly to install it back into place - then coil up that extra cable with a bundling tie or two... than trying to do the wiring connections in places where you can hardly move your hands...

My Rule pumps give long service but trying to re-attach a standard Rule pump being used as a baitwell pump in a horizontal position with my installation was a nightmare -that 's why I went to the Johnson pumps a few years back and put up with their short lifespan...

By the way - no bilge pump will work as a washdown pump so for a washdown setup you're going to need something like a Jabsco - and a bit of room.... along with all the other bits and pieces...

If anyone has a better 750 gph live well pump - I'd love to hear about it...

Forgot to mention, most pumps come with very good wires (tinned copper- the best you can get, with enough wire (30")to be able to do your splices well above any water - and that's all you really need, if done right (heat shrunk butt connectors with adhesive sealing -the stuff the Pacer group sells is as good as it gets... ).
 

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Fly Fishing Shaman
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah my access door to my bilge area is small as shizit and I have to do yoga to get in and out to work on anything in there. I'm so tired of boat builders not listening to their clients and giving them an access hatch large enough to gain easy access to everything in the bilge area. So I'm cutting it all out and having a custom large access hatch, with associated hatch receiver and drain. Boat is already at the glass shop and we are laying that out (will do a thread on it later after it's all finished).

Capt Bob, I also have 2 of those "L" shaped 90 degree angle thru-hull with brass shut off valves on them. I'm thinking about changing it all to marine grade 316 Stainless Steel, including the valve. I've got removable screens on both. In my boat, I have a smaller oval shaped baitwell in the center. I mostly don't use it, except as a cooler, since it's well insulated. But I like having live bait for kids, friends and family that comes with me (mostly shrimp, crabs or a few greenbacks), that don't do the other things like fly or artificials.

The other thru-hull, valve, pump and etc is for a large release well, which I rarely use, except for culling reds or snook, or protecting snook from dolphins at night, until I can run them to the shorelines or docks, to release them to safety (Shhh.....don't tell anyone I do that! o_O:rolleyes:) But sometimes I'll use it as a fish box where I keep ice in and like to add a bit of saltwater in for a quick chill down of the fish. Then it's easy to flush it out when not in use. Also, since it's also insulated, it makes a great extra cooler for long camp trips. So I like having that as an option on the boat.

Capt Bob, are you stating you have the White hoses or the heavy black hoses?

I am fortunate that my boat's cockpit area is self-bailing and does it quickly. I'd hate to have to worry about it all going into the bilge, if any.

So then, any recommendation for any other bilge and/or baitwell pumps, aside from Rule that is considered better, and any hose recommendations, from any of you techy types?
How about bubblers for the live well? Any experience with them?

Also, I'm thinking about putting a switch to an electrical servo valve that can switch from fresh seawater to recirculate, so I can run bait up into brackish water without killing the bait before I get up in there. It's either that or some kind of "Y" or "3-Way" ball valve (which may be the better option). I'm not so sure how to rig the return line back tho. Anyone with any experience with that? I may end up scrapping that idea anyways, since I mostly just fly or cast artificials up in those waters. But wanted the option for my guests.

Yes, having extra wire as Bob mentioned is good to have. Thinking about running 14 gauge Bilge wire for everything running from Center console switch to the pumps.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/14-3-AWG-Gauge-Bilge-Pump-Cable-Tinned-Marine-Wire/290531316368

Also, replacing screens cartridge kits. Mine get so stuff, I can't hardy get them off to clean out the screens. Any thoughts or suggestions?

All this is yet another reason I don't live bait it anymore, aside from having it on-board for my guest(s).
 

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How do you turn them off?
I have the switch to the hot wire. Turn it on and the pump cycles every 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. If water is present it will pump until it's gone. Turn the switch off and the pump doesn't cycle. Water in the bilge has to be much higher to trigger a float switch.
 
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