People often think that a small boat only needs a small bilge pump. However, the exact same sized hole will sink a 23' boat a whole lot faster than it will a 32' boat (everything else being equal, of course). So, as celenoglu alluded to, the smart thing to do is to get a small bilge pump for the "everyday" drips and drops (maybe 500 gal/hr; with a float switch if you're gonna keep the boat in the water), and as big a pump as the boat will possibly accommodate for emergencies (maybe 2000-2500 gal/hr; manually activated). If you do keep the boat in the water, I would connect a cycle counter (clicky-clicky
) to the small bilge pump's circuit to keep track of how much it's working while you're not around.
A manual diaphragm-type bilge pump is also a good idea as a back-up. But, a frightened sailor with a three gallon bucket can move a lot more water (for a while anyway) than just about any reasonably-sized/priced bilge pump on the market.
Never forget them. Do something to prevent it from happening again.
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