Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Anacortes PNW
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Re: Rule Bilge Pumps
As a recovering wooden boat owner, I have FAR TOO MUCH experience keeping boats afloat with bilge pumps.
The summary of my experience (for which I now have PTSD) is that RULE bilge pumps are the only bilge pump I will ever buy. They saved my boat more times than I am willing to admit and I heaped nothing but abuse on them.
Some food for though on bilge pump sizing. Most think that the larger the boat the larger the pump right? Actually, it should be the reverse. In absolute terms a 14ft boat will take less gallons of water to sink than a 50ft barge. Again, in absolute terms, if your water ingress is the same speed for both, a bilge pump will buy you a little time on the small boat, or a lot of time on the big boat. Small boats need big pumps, big boats need smaller pumps.
Having said that, NO electric bilge pump will keep you afloat if you bust a through hull or breech the hull by hitting something. These pumps are primarily to remove nuisance water and to keep you afloat at the slip while you're away if you don't notice a small source of water ingress.
Follow this logic, the most important thing is reliability. To that end I recommend 2 pumps minimum for any size boat, and they both should be RULE. Size doesn't really matter (here at least) but the bigger the better if you have the space and money.
On my wooden boat I went though 5 pumps in 6 years and all of them were brands other than rule. The 2 rule pumps that came with the boat were still going strong when I sold her. Once I came back from a week long trip to find a stuck bilge pump switch and my rule 2000 running continuously in a dry bilge. It had probably been running for days.
I have a sauna on my boat, therefore I win.
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Last edited by MedSailor; 11-27-2012 at 10:54 PM.