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TOPIC: Strategy for a Flooding Vessel

Strategy for a Flooding Vessel 1 year 6 months ago #2446

  • bbalme
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Toodle-oo! is equipped with a large DC bilge pump and two manual pumps. It's a good start perhaps.

We also have aboard a pretty large capacity watermaker that runs on 110V (possibly 220V). The pumps are large! I'm thinking it might be possible to utilize the low pressure pump in the event of a flooding - with a couple of Y valves, I could redirect water to suck from the bilge and expel through one of the existing bilge pump hoses...

I'd rather have a second use for a pump that's already aboard than add a dedicated pump that I hope I never have to use.

What do you think?

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Bill Balme
s/v Toodle-oo!
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Strategy for a Flooding Vessel 1 year 6 months ago #2447

  • Dick
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Dear Erik,
We just finished an overnight from Ijmuiden to Harwich and sailed past Lemmer a couple of weeks ago. This was our second visit to your country by sail and I must say, it very much grows on you. We had a terrific time.
Yes, shallow bilges do make for difficult installations for bilge pumps. An alternative is a hose to a strum box placed in the deepest section of the bilge and then the pump can be positioned in a locker or some other convenient spot, as you suggest. This would not work for most AC sump/trash pumps as their design is for the water to come in from the bottom, but it would work for a number of pump designs.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
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Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Strategy for a Flooding Vessel 1 year 6 months ago #2448

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Dear Bill,
Please see the article for the details on my thoughts on manual bilge pumps, but basically, time is better spent finding the leak than crew using a manual pump. Finding the leak fast is primary. So I would not touch a manual pump in a flooding situation unless you have a lot of crew.
Possible ancillary emergency bilge pumps, such as your watermaker pump and the more commonly considered raw water propulsion engine pump, can move some, often not a lot, of water, but I prefer dedicated bilge pumps that can be started with a flick of a switch. Both pumps mentioned above are likely to get ruined if used with bilge water in a flooding situation unless strainers/filters are such that flow would get compromised and installation would be a headache. And I consider the propulsion engine a mission critical system to my cruising, so I am loath to ask it to do tasks more than move the boat and charge batteries while doing so.
Much better and easier, I think, to find room for an extra DC bilge pump permanently set up and hope that, in the long run, it is a waste of money and effort (except for the peace of mind it brings) as you will only use it a few times a year in test situations.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

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Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
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