Over Hill Sailing Club
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Adirondacks NY
Thanked 104 Times in 101 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Re: Mutiny at Dawn - Transpac Race 2013
Manual pumps are by no means failsafe, however... Especially, foot pumps that can get inadvertently stepped on or kicked in boisterous conditions...
I know a guy who had to abandon their Pacific Cup race about 700 miles out, after someone accidentally cracked the plastic/nylon housing on a galley foot pump, and allowing most of their water into the bilge before anyone noticed... I was a tough call to quit, they still had plenty of emergency rations in bottles, but the right one...
Good on them, they came back and won their division in the next edition of the race...
It's a good practice to keep a pressure water pump off when not in use, of course - but I don't worry too much about the integrity of my system... I always keep one of the two FW tanks shut off at the tank anyway, so worst case scenario I'll only lose half of what I have aboard... That's one of the few advantages of a shallow bilge like mine as well, even the most modest loss of FW will show itself immediately on my boat...
I only have one large tank, built right into the hull. It's very low, right above the keel, which is good for stability but it'ss not easy to check for water level. I have a counter-level hand pump which is the main pump when out cruising. For drinking water, I carry three 5 gallon containers which get filled with known good water. Replaced the old Jabsco noise-maker with a new centrifugal pump which is so quiet that it could drain the tanks and I'd never hear it running. For emergency supply, kept in the ditch bag, I have a manual reverse osmosis unit. IMO, a necessary gadget to have on any boat going far from shore.
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.