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Old 04-02-2013
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Re: Adding automatic bilge pump to manual bilge pump

Separate thru hulls. We have one manual and two electric pumps. 3 thru hulls
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Old 04-02-2013
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Re: Adding automatic bilge pump to manual bilge pump

Plumb the second, automatic bilge pump to dump into your cockpit. Then let the scuppers handle the flow.

A sudden foot bath is better/simpler than a bilge alarm. Also, no need for another hole in your hull.

Previous discussion on this topic: Plumbing a 2d Bilge Pump
Joe - s/v Assignment, Catalina 320
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Old 04-03-2013
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Re: Adding automatic bilge pump to manual bilge pump

Yeah, no one likes cutting holes in his boat, but this time you should. Each pump needs a completely separate line and its own through-hull. Here's why:

First, let's deal with the question of check valves. All the trash and junk that falls inside the boat that you don't catch ends up in the bilge -- wood splinters, bits of paper, paperclips, whatever it might be. No matter how clean you keep your boat, stuff will end up there. This stuff tends to clog check valves so they no longer close (if you are lucky. It's worse when it clogs in a backflow so it can't open). So no check valves, please.

Now the Y valve. Y-valves ensure only one pump at a time can operate rather than both. That doesn't help you as much.

What about a Y fitting instead? Imagine your Y-connection with no check valves -- you pump from the bilge right back to the bilge.

And finally, don't forget to put a tall loop with vacuum break in your new hose as you install it, The top of the loop should be above the waterline even when well heeled -- otherwise, you will end up with reverse flow carrying water into the bilge when you heel to the through hull side.


T. P. Donnelly
S/V Tranquility Base
1984 Islander 30 Bahama
Pasadena, MD
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Old 04-03-2013
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Re: Adding automatic bilge pump to manual bilge pump

First of all, thanks to all, despite my newfound headache (haha)
I mentioned the check valve, because I didn't want the pump constantly pumping that little bit left in the discharge hose, but Tom's excellent suggestion fixes that problem.
Secondly, for the life of me, there seems to be no evidence of this boat ever having an automatic bilge, despite it being offshore numerous times. Some people like living on the edge, I guess.
Lastly, I should have prefaced the entire conversation by saying that as a complete noob at all things fiberglass, I am TERRIFIED of drilling on my Preciousss. I was a nervous wreck when I drilled four little holes for the new shore power plug! Paying the yard to do any repairs at this time is out of the question.
I guess I will check things out again this weekend, and just keep stressing until I ultimately make a decision. One thing is for sure, SeaMist is NOT going back in the water without an automatic bilge pump.
1977 C&C 27 MKIII
Sea Mist
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