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Old 01-12-2011
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Bilge pump help

Hello everyone. I have a 27' watkins 27 it has 3' shoal draft keel and a centerboard inside of the keel, so this means my boat has a very shallow bilge area so I am trying to find out what to do for a good bilge pump setup, I currently have a rulemate 750 setup in the boat which does of but I know it can be better and on top of the no emergency backup which to me is vary dangerous, I bought the boat this way and I have been trying to figure out what to do. I have come to understand the rule of thumb is to have 3 pumps on board that total roughly 5000gph for emergency such as small holes or somthing like that. But with a shallow bilge what is my best options, i have been looking into diaphragm pumps so that I can set the pumps on a stand then put in low level bilge strainer to get out the water and a large emergency pump that would be switched by another float switch higher up. to switch the larger pump. If you guys can help me out and help me put together a system that will work and be effective. I am not to terribly worried about how much it cost as I will be living on the boat soon and would rather spend the money than to drown. Dont get me wrong though I do not want to waste money so dont think that.
Thanks
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Old 01-12-2011
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Might want to read the post I wrote on Bilge Pump installations....
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Old 01-12-2011
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Thanks Sailingdog very good information
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Old 01-12-2011
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The next question is what are good brands for this, I know whale is good I am looking at a whale manual deck mounted pump with removeable handle and a manual below decks also probably flush mounted with removeable handle because my boat needs to keep as much space below as I can. And then a small whale 650 sub pump with built in float switch and I will keep a spare on board if the motor or switch fails and a nice large Rule 3500 mounted on a plate that I can make to mount it. What do you think? Will I need to add another through hull so that I can pump a ton of water out if needed.
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Old 01-14-2011
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Whale Pump

I've installed the whale supersub. It's great for shallow bilges.
I had one go bad. The impeller broke. I still think it's the best solution
for shallow bilges. Also a good idea to put a whale in line check valve
to prevent water washing back into bilge.
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Old 01-16-2011
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Thanks for the review chuck. I know whale has always made great products which is why when I saw they made it i figured it couldnt be bad and for my use I think it will be perfect and then I will have a heavy duty emergency pump and then the two manuals and I think that should cover me in any situation, I hope to never need a manual or my monster pump but it is better to be ready so that I have the right gear to keep her off the bottom.
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Old 01-16-2011
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Just a word of caution lest a feeling of false security should set in: You need to seriously downrate electric pumps for any normal installation. You'll find that due to the height between bilge and the top of the vented loop, and the resistance of pipe, bends and any fittings, the fact that your batteries are likely to be at less than the 13.6 volts at which capacity is rated, you will get about 40% of the rated, open flow, capacity. So, your 650 will do 260 gph and your 3500 will do about 1400 gph.
Your manual pumps may be rated at an unrealistic pumping rate - often 70 strokes per minute when 30 strokes per minute is hard work.
A 1.5" hole, 2' below the surface will let in around 60 gallons per minute, 3,600 gph.
Prevention is the best policy.
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Thanks for the advice, I never go by their ratings I have done some work and after working on my boat some which only has a 750 on it nothing else I know that would not keep me off the bottom and with a good setup be very difficult. Thanks for reminding me about that so I need to rate everything at 12v nominal and so I will be reconsidering my holy **** pump to a larger one, I am redoing the wiring on the boat and will be going to a larger wire for all major systems, eg, bilges. Thanks for the reminder and I always am keeping an eye out. People always ask how is my boat doing and I always say well she is still sinking but I have managed to keep her afloat for now.
Thanks and fair winds my friend.
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I have not seen a recreational boat that could keep ahead of much damage with bilge pumps, electric and manual combined. One issue is that a clean bilge is often less so when there is a foot of water in the boat and the pumps are prone to clogging from debris. The goal should be to stop the incoming flow with a plug or something while the pumps do their best.
Commercial vessels often have an engine driven crash pump of high capacity in addition to the normal pumps.
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Yeah that is true I do have an old sail that I have to wrap around the outside of the bottom to plug a hole as well as some dc plugs and other ways to stop a leak. That would be good to have for several things I wonder if I could use one like that on a small scale and would even be useful for a fire fighting situation on another boat or mine. I know I am going overboard but I feel that's the safest way as I plan on doing some good distance cruises this summer.
thanks
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