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Bilge Pump Placement
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10/8/2019 at 12:09:52 PM GMT
Posts: 30
Bilge Pump Placement

Hello Everyone,


I am thinking of putting a small bilge pump in my Sanderling.  I want the hose to run under the stringers, down into the lowest part of the bilge.  I have been thinking about positioning the pump itself in the void next to the centerboard, and running its wires up to a battery box that will live under one of the seats.  I am a little concerned with the exhaust hose-- I was thinking of running it along the port side seat to a through hole in the transom, which is next to the outboard, but wonder if that will be a long way for the water to go.

Anyway, I was wonder what others have done.


10/12/2019 at 3:28:41 PM GMT
Posts: 66
I have a used 1969 Sanderling with outboard, and except for some rain water around mast, and maybe a small leak near cabin bulkhead, don't get excessive water. On boat several days a week. If the is a concerning amount of water, find source and correct it. Other than the skeg cavity, lowest part of bildge is at main bulkhead, and need to pump sides separately . Did find could drain skek after haul-out by removing a screw in bottom plate, maybe a couple ounces .

10/15/2019 at 12:32:52 PM GMT
Posts: 30
P. Knowlton,

Thank you. You speak a lot of sense. I suppose that I am over-engineering as usual. I have lived with a wet bilge for so long that I've become accustomed to pumping. With my new sole, I don't suppose that I will get very much water in the bilge. There are two access holes in the cabin bulkhead, so I will be able to pump that out, but you are right, the rest of the bilge will be pretty watertight if I do the job right. I My Sanderling does not have a garboard drain plug. I am not sure that I should drill a hole in the bottom of a perfectly good boat.


1/2/2020 at 1:46:03 AM GMT
Posts: 10
The question is do you need an electric bilge pump at all? Your cockpit is self bailing. If you don't have through hull fittings and an inboard engine, you probably are not going to take on enough water to sink your boat.

The next question is do you have a place where water collects to a depth of 4 inches or more? If not, an electric bilge pump may not work. A hand bilge pump and a sponge may be more suited to your needs.

If you do decide to install an electric bilge pump, consider this. The pick up strainer for the bilge pump is placed in the deepest place where bilge water can collect. It needs to be about 4 inches under water in order for it to begin to work and will always leave about two inches of water in the bilge when it finishes pumping.

If the boat has a centerboard trunk, two pick up strainers are needed, one on each side of the trunk. Two float switches are also needed.

The discharge port on a sailboat is usually at the stern several feet above the water line. Powerboats have their discharge ports above the waterline on the side of the hull. But powerboats do not lean over the way sailboats do.

The danger of the bilge pump hose is that if it does not have an anti-siphon loop and a vent valve at the top of the loop, it can fill with water and create a siphon that floods the boat with water. This becomes particularly important if the boat settles lower in the water.

The length of the hose depends on the distance of the transom to the pickup strainer. The longer the hose, the more power will be needed to pump the water out. Pumps also have a maximum height they can pump water up to. Buy a pump that can pump water higher than you think you need so you have reserve pumping power.


1/3/2020 at 4:02:54 PM GMT
Posts: 30
Thank you very much, sir. That settles it. I will stick to a hand pump, bailer, and sponge.

4/1/2020 at 9:57:21 PM GMT
Posts: 6
I have a new to me Sanderling and noticed fresh water in the bilge. I investigated - here is what I found.
1. Outboard model, no through hulls
2. The water is fresh
3. On the trailer out of the water the bilge stays dry.
4. Taking a nap in the bunk while in Rockport (cold water) I noticed condensation below the waterline. It was very obvious along the centerboard truck where you can see condensation below and dry above.

Conclusion use a sponge, keep it from building up and away from your plywood. Don't worry go sailing.

4/14/2020 at 3:26:55 PM GMT
Posts: 30
D. Holbrook,

Thank you. I will stick with buckets and bailers. I am in the midst of rebuilding the cockpit. I am on the beach right now, by order of the Governor, but I have installed all the stringers and bulkheads, and am ready to screw in the sole when I return. I have noticed that there is a low point, just aft of the centerboard trunk, that may or may not be the lowest spot in the cockpit when the boat is in the water. If it turns out to be a low spot, I think that I might have to rearrange my ballast or, as you suggest, learn to use a sponge.

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