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Perithead 03-28-2011 10:01 PM

Auto or Manual Bligle Pump for my little 17'er?
I am trying to decide wether or not I should go with an auto bilge pump or a manual bilge pump in my Montgomery 17. The boat will not be slipped but will be kept on it's trailer unless it's out sailing.

I like the thought of a manual pump since it requires no electricity and on my 17'er electricity is a luxury I don't have much of. I don't expect to need to pump out much water from leaks since there are no through-hulls in the boat. All I would be worried about is water splashing in or if I ever get swamped or something.

The boat doesn't have a covered bilge, it is completely exposed so I could easily check to see how much water might be sitting in the bilge.

Shouldn't manual bilge pumps be less likely to fail?

What do you guys think? I would not mind at all doing it manually to tell you the truth.......

SlowButSteady 03-28-2011 10:07 PM

Both. Or, an electric pump and a bucket.

An electric bilge pump is awfully handy if you're trying to sail to safety, or fix the leak, while the boat is trying to become one with the bottom. On the other hand, a 5-gallon plastic bucket in the hands of a scared sailor is one hell of a pump.

capttb 03-28-2011 10:24 PM

If you have a battery both would be good, especially if rain could be a problem when boat is unattended. That being said, back in the day a couple bailers (scoops, some made from water jugs) and sponges were all we carried on similar sized open boats.

celenoglu 03-29-2011 12:39 AM

A small bilge pump is needed for water rarely collecting in the boat. One should always think about the worst. In case of holing the boat you will need a high capacity pump. Install a small auto pump and a manual high capacity pump. Automatic bilge pumps do not use electricity when not running. If ytou want them to run less frequent you can install the auto switch a little bit higher in the bilge. In this case the pump will run later and discard most of the water and will not run for pumping air.

Minnewaska 03-29-2011 04:58 AM

An auto would be nice, but you would have to consider how you would keep the battery charged. Some autos do draw a low parasitic current, even when in standby.

elvishessler 03-29-2011 06:51 AM

How about using alligator clips on the electric pump so it will not drain the battery while it is not in use?

tommays 03-29-2011 06:54 AM

Seriously and auto bilge pump on a 17' trailed daysailor ?

When there not even legal in may one design classes and we send kids out to learn in trainers with a bailing cup

JimsCAL 03-29-2011 07:10 AM

Since its being kept on a trailer, i would just go with a decent manual pump.

DrB 03-29-2011 07:31 AM

A bucket and a sponge. If you do want to have a manual bilge pump, get one designed for a sea kayak; maybe that is what you mean by a manual.


HPLou 03-29-2011 07:40 AM

A 17' trailered day sailor! You only need a good manual pump. If the boat was kept in the water, then I would recommend going with both. When I had my 24' Islander Bahama I only had a good manual bige pump and she was kept on a mooring. Of course I would check on the boat after some weather to make sure it didn't need any pumping, which she rarely needed.

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