Tips To Help Select A Marine Bilge Pump
Marine vessels have complex designs which allow them to stay afloat. Various equipment and parts are used to ensure proper sail.
One problem which is often faced by different marine vessels is water leaking into the bilge. The source of this water can be a propeller shaft packing gland, leaky seams in a wood boat, a leaky portlight and melting ice from the icebox, among various others.
This is where the marine bilge pump comes in. Its primary function is to get the water out of there. However, these are only effective for smaller, routine water removal and not against a serious leak in the vessel.
Criteria for selecting a bilge pump
There is no set criterion for choosing a bilge pump. However, there are a few aspects to consider while making a choice:
1. Type of vessel
A vessel made for racing will require a more powerful bilge pump, in contrast to one operating in calm waters. Hence, the type of vessel determines, to a large extent, the size and power of the bilge pump suitable for it.
For instance, daysailers and other outboard powered vessels use portable piston pumps, while the racing sailboats must have manual pumps installed. Coastal and offshore vessels, on the other hand, require automatic electric bilge pumps.
2. Size of vessel
The electric pumps are rated by their capacity, measured as gallons per minute. An easiest way to determine the best possible size of a bilge pumps, is to get the largest one practical for the size of your vessel.
Apart from the size of bilge pump, power is a determinant too. However, it ultimately depends on the size of the vessel.
Typically, larger and more efficient pumps are used for smaller vessels. The smaller the bilge, the easier it is for water to flood the engine and its vessel’s electrical system.
3. Manual or electric?
Both manual and electric pumps are available. While electric pumps are inexpensive, efficient and easy to install, they may be rendered ineffective if the electrical system of the vessel fails. There is a huge risk of that happening.
Hence, in addition to these electrical pumps, you must get at least one manual high capacity pump installed too. Higher end manual pumps are comparatively easier to use than the ones lower on the ladder.
While choosing a manual pumps, consider gallons per stroke offered and the ergonomics.
4. Automatic operation
Either an automatic pump or even a water-sensing switch can be used for automatic operation. However, automatic pumps can turn on and off without your knowledge, which can make it difficult to detect leaks before they become catastrophic.
You can choose to use cycle counter or a light/ buzzer which can indicate when the pump is in operation.
We have a great selection of marine pumps and other marine spare parts. As a marine spare parts service provider, we offer custom made equipment and specialized equipment for dry docking too.