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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-03-2013 08:59 AM
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.
04-03-2013 06:50 AM
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.


04-02-2013 11:38 PM
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:
04-02-2013 11:29 PM
Re: Adding automatic bilge pump to manual bilge pump

Separate thru hulls. We have one manual and two electric pumps. 3 thru hulls
04-02-2013 10:33 PM
Adding automatic bilge pump to manual bilge pump

I actually have do have a secondary manual only pump below aswell as the primary manual pump (and would assume all boaters would so i didnt make mention of it) making for three pumps with the electric one and dont sail alone but if it ever got to the point that even two out of three pumps are actually necessary i think it would likely be a lost cause at that point and time to "pull the D ring, ride the rails and hit the silk"
04-02-2013 09:31 PM
Re: Adding automatic bilge pump to manual bilge pump

I hate holes in the boat, but having them above the water line is less scarey. Having two or more completely redundant systems is not a bad thing.
04-02-2013 09:18 PM
Re: Adding automatic bilge pump to manual bilge pump

good points on being able to run both systems at once.

I myself like to keep holes in the hull to a minimum.. but sometimes you need to make an exception.. and I think this is one of those times
04-02-2013 08:32 PM
Re: Adding automatic bilge pump to manual bilge pump

I agree I would use a separate thru hull for the new pump. Adding Ys and check valves restrict flow and on a de-watering system the fewer restrictions the better. And has been said you may need both at once.

Capt. Wayne Canning, AMS
Project Boat Zen - Boat and Yacht Repair and Restoration
04-02-2013 08:20 PM
Re: Adding automatic bilge pump to manual bilge pump

What happens if you need to use both pumps at once? That may sound scary but a possibility. Do you have a manual pump below? Why not? I realize that it's a 27 footer. So this may be a little bit to redundant. But, You could be 10 miles off-shore get caught in a storm and get swamped; then lose power. Is your electric bilge going to work? Probably. Do you feel comfortable being in the cockpit when you may have issues down below?

I'm a believer in a manual pump up top and one below where they are easily accessible and Piped separately if possible. Sure that one below might not be pretty; but it's no different then the fire extinguisher. I run two electric pumps as well. One fully auto and one bigger pump for emergencies. (My boats a little bigger) I plan as if i have lost all power.

Sorry to be the pessimist. Just my thoughts.
04-02-2013 07:25 PM
Adding automatic bilge pump to manual bilge pump

I set up my Oday 272LE this way when i bought it. I keep the Y valve to auto bilge the whole time and use the manual bilge only for emergency ops if the need should arise or just to test it monthly. They key is remember to move the valve to correspond to manual pump or electric bilge mode obviously. a reminder by the switch is a good idea.. I didnt install any check valve as i wanted utilize the KISS principle for any bilge system.
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