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On my tunnel hull I have a bilge pump on each side. The way my tunnel is water gets trapped on one side and would never make it to the other side to get pumped out. I can't imagine not having the two bilge pumps unless of course I had about six of those long slurpee straws tapped together to reach the back of the tunnel.
 

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Most boats without flotation (foam) built into the system and running in deeper water should consider a couple strong bilge pumps. One wired to the main and another wired to a second battery possibly a trolling motor battery. First pump is on the bottom with a float switch. Second pump above that one on a secondary float switch. The discharge should be as close to the top of the deck as possible in skiffs.

Most production boats have a bilge pump designed for nuisance water but not for a thru hull or hose failure. Bilge pumps need to be quite large because a single thru hull or hose failure takes on water an absurd rate. A single 1100gph pump has no chance of keeping up.

Lastly a bilge alarm is a good idea. They are cheap and easy to install. The entire setup doesn't cost much and can save a boat particularly if wet slipped, moored overnight or running in nasty weather.
 

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I have one and also have a shop vac. I hate standing water anywhere. Pumps always leave a half inch plus. And removing plug always leaves a little too.
 

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I have one in my boat, and I'd never be without one even though I have plenty of foam.

I was using attwood pumps for a few years just cause they were available everywhere, but they suck....boom boom ching.

Seriously though, I'm going to a Johnson this time.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok.
  • Small boat. Check.
  • Can't bail the bilge in this boat. Only the floor if we take a wave over the side.
  • Independent bilges - need at least one for each side. So that's four if I follow Cam's advice.
  • Hose or thru-hull failure. That's scary to think about. I DOUBT I will spend much time far from shore and in rough conditions, but they can arise.
  • Johnson > Attwood. Check.
 

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I have one on each side of the tunnel, on float switches. They're not really necessary on this hull in my opinion, since the cockpit doesn't drain to the bilge anyway. Gotta love that patented Pathfinder self flooding cockpit.
Edit: My wife invariably spills a 40oz fountain coke in the cockpit, so the now empty cup is great for bailing out the sticky mix of coke and seawater.
 

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Ok.
  • Small boat. Check.
  • Can't bail the bilge in this boat. Only the floor if we take a wave over the side.
  • Independent bilges - need at least one for each side. So that's four if I follow Cam's advice.
  • Hose or thru-hull failure. That's scary to think about. I DOUBT I will spend much time far from shore and in rough conditions, but they can arise.
  • Johnson > Attwood. Check.
I think the 4 pumps is way overkill for your application. One pump per side is enough. Even if one burns out the water will equalize in front of the tunnel and the other one should get enough water out to keep you ok until you get to shore.

Also the thru-hulls should be high above the water line, near the gunnels. No problem with failures there. If a hose breaks then the water is just recirculating, but the other pump will still be working.

For what it's worth, I didn't use high quality thru-hulls or hose on my last build. And after 7+ years it still works and looks as it should.
 

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On July 4th we took my skiff out to watch fireworks. A yacht came by at wake speed and we took a healthy dose of water over the stern.

My bilge pump kicked in right away, and because my boat has the drain plug installed from the inside, I was able to pull it out and hop on plane to suck the water out with the bilge pump helping.

Good to have safety stuff.
 

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On my 17T, I've got a 750gph RuleMate (float switch and pump combined in a single housing) on each side. To install, cut 6" pie plate-type inspection ports into the false floor of that aft box, as far back as you can reasonably reach. My wiring runs through a hole with some other stuff near the port aft corner of the bait well. The hoses exit through fittings fairly high up on the inside walls of the "key slot" between the sponsons. Mine already had the hoses in place, so I'm not sure how you'd go about routing them. You can bet it won't be easy though.
 

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In case anyone is wondering, you can get one of those pumps like Yobata mentioned any place they sell kayaks. I keep one on my Maverick, but fortunately haven't needed it. I also have these drain plugs which I could open quickly if I can get back on plane to help drain.
View attachment 40938
 

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I think the 4 pumps is way overkill for your application. One pump per side is enough. Even if one burns out the water will equalize in front of the tunnel and the other one should get enough water out to keep you ok until you get to shore.
Four is not overkill if the boat is moored overnight unattended, wetslipped unattended, etc. Any time a boat without flotation is left unattended, having a primary and backup bilge pump is a good idea particularly on separate batteries (when possible). Once sponsons get into the mix, a smaller bilge pump in each sponson is probably a good idea. It is not like rigging this is prohibitively expensive.

What I am saying is, nobody wants to come back to this because they didn't want to pony up an extra hundred bucks:



That is a Yellowfin that sunk overnight partially due to pump failure.
 
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