What's a bilge pump? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-09-2008
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What's a bilge pump?

Hi, My first boat, a Cal20 had a simple 1 inch deep slot on the floor that had the keelbolts and collected water, this was it's bilge.

My new boat, a catalina 22, has electropnics, and one of the switches says bilge pump. Although when I switched it on nothing happened. It also has drain in the cockpit that lead to somewhere, I don't know where, hopefully outside the boat. I can see them heading down in a compartment under the companionway, and there is a nozzle there, that turns, like you would use to turn on and off your hose outside. Don't know what this does either.

I just don't want water coleecting anywhere that I am supposed to be dumping somewhere or pumping. Maybe from a hidden section below all my cupboards.

If anyone has one and wants to share, let me know, thanks.
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Old 09-09-2008
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It sounds like the C22 has a deeper bilge, but apparently has an electronic pump to empty it. The pump should have a float switch, either internal or external (someone else can debate the merits of these), so even if you switch it on, nothing will happen unless there is enough water in the bilge to turn on the float switch. The bilge pump should be left on all the time to deal with any water that may make its way to the bilge even when you are not there. For that reason, it should be wired directly (with inline fuse) to the battery or to the hot side of the main on/off switch. The panel switch, in my opinion is useless, as that means you can't turn off the main switch, which you should do when you leave the boat.fficeffice" />>>
>>
The cockpit drains, scuppers, lead to a thruhull below the waterline to allow the cockpit to drain. The sole of the cockpit is above the waterline, so it shouldn't allow water to come in. I had a Cape Dory Typhoon (19') that when heeled well over would let some water in thru the leeward (lower) scupper, but that's a small boat phenomenon. The valve you saw it connected to should be a true seacock, but sounds like a gate valve. It should be left open unless you have a problem with the hose.>>
>>
Or did I just respond to a troll?>>
>>

Last edited by jbondy; 09-09-2008 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 09-09-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
Hi, My first boat, a Cal20 had a simple 1 inch deep slot on the floor that had the keelbolts and collected water, this was it's bilge.

My new boat, a catalina 22, has electropnics, and one of the switches says bilge pump. Although when I switched it on nothing happened. It also has drain in the cockpit that lead to somewhere, I don't know where, hopefully outside the boat. I can see them heading down in a compartment under the companionway, and there is a nozzle there, that turns, like you would use to turn on and off your hose outside. Don't know what this does either.

I just don't want water coleecting anywhere that I am supposed to be dumping somewhere or pumping. Maybe from a hidden section below all my cupboards.

If anyone has one and wants to share, let me know, thanks.
A bildge pump is a small rope in the top of the mast that rotates a a thing with 3 legs, with a spoon like shape thing at the end of each thing.

If you look up, the faster the wind blows, the faster the bildge pump motor will make that t spike contraption spin.

What that thing does is it acts like the blades of an helicopter. The faster they turn, the more lift they supply and that is what keeps the boat from tilting too much when you sail.

I recommend that once the wind hits 10 knots or more you turn the bildge pump on...just in case...

you don't want a knockroach for sure.
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Old 09-09-2008
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The big dull silver thingy should go on top, your decision as to weather to stand it up or leave it laying down. Instead of worrying about the bilge pump, just drill a 2" hole in the lowest part of the hull. That way it won't fill up with rain water.
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Old 09-09-2008
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Old 09-09-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giulietta View Post
A bildge pump is a small rope in the top of the mast that rotates a a thing with 3 legs, with a spoon like shape thing at the end of each thing.

If you look up, the faster the wind blows, the faster the bildge pump motor will make that t spike contraption spin.

What that thing does is it acts like the blades of an helicopter. The faster they turn, the more lift they supply and that is what keeps the boat from tilting too much when you sail.

I recommend that once the wind hits 10 knots or more you turn the bildge pump on...just in case...

you don't want a knockroach for sure.
It is very nice that you are back!
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Old 09-09-2008
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Is it an auto/manual switch? Perhaps the switch is in auto and there is not enough water to "flip" the float switch....

Give us some more information

Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
Hi, My first boat, a Cal20 had a simple 1 inch deep slot on the floor that had the keelbolts and collected water, this was it's bilge.

My new boat, a catalina 22, has electropnics, and one of the switches says bilge pump. Although when I switched it on nothing happened. It also has drain in the cockpit that lead to somewhere, I don't know where, hopefully outside the boat. I can see them heading down in a compartment under the companionway, and there is a nozzle there, that turns, like you would use to turn on and off your hose outside. Don't know what this does either.

I just don't want water coleecting anywhere that I am supposed to be dumping somewhere or pumping. Maybe from a hidden section below all my cupboards.

If anyone has one and wants to share, let me know, thanks.
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Old 09-09-2008
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Ok I'll be nice and actually bail the OP out (snicker snicker) since, according his avatar, he just started sailing in January this year.

Northoceanbeach, judging from your initial post you know what the bilge is. It's basically the bottom most area of your hull. From time to time water will settle in the bilge whether it be from rain, water splashing over the side, or (god forbid) you have a leak in your hull. The Bilge pump is used to pump the water out using a simple electrical pump that is controlled by the switch you mentioned. Many bilge pumps come equipped with a float switch that will turn the pump on automatically (assuming your batteries are connected and charged) when the water level in the bilge reaches a certain level (about 3 or 4 inches).

Since you are not familiar with the pump I recommend you verify where the pump is and check that it is functional. I also recommand checking the operation of the float switch or installing one if not already installed. It's fairly simple to do.


I hope this helps.
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Giu, I thought of you when I read this thread first thing in the morning
Same here.

Welcome back, Giu

Jim
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Greenman is doing the right thing though.
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