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Automatic Bilge Pump Suggestion

John HaggertyJohn Haggerty Senior MemberSarasota, FL or RVingPosts: 231 Deckhand
I'm going to start storing my boat in the water tied to a dock.  It's a 17ft deep-v aluminum.  Should I get a pump with switch built-in or go with a separate float and pump?



  • gandrfabgandrfab Senior Member Edgewater/N.S.B.Posts: 21,646 AG
    How about one of each. 

    Really leaving a boat on the water should have 2 pumps direct to the battery's. 
    Both can work perfectly well and if someone steals your batteries it still sinks. :banghead

    I had a 17' checkmate that I was keeping in a friends back yard on Dupont Lake, Deltona, FL
    Batteries were stolen, lucky me the water was shallow and I left the motor down the power-head stayed dry. 

  • finbullyfinbully Senior Member Hixson, TNPosts: 895 Officer
  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Senior Member Posts: 1,711 Captain
    I've had one of the pumps that sample the bilge about every couple of minutes and if there's water it keeps pumping if not it shuts off in a second or so.  It's been on my boat for 10 years and I keep it in the fresh water.
  • FletchFletch Moderator Merritt Island, FLPosts: 2,576 Moderator
    I have 4 pumps on both of my water slipped boats. Can never be too careful.  They're both inboard diesels so I want to keep them as dry as possible. I have a mixture of the auto sampling pumps mentioned above and separate pumps/float switches. I have had very good success with Sure-Bail float switches over the years (the ones with mercury switches). Occasionally have to re-do a connector and clean grease/scum off the paddle pivot arm but they just seem to keep on working and working.
    "Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent, I'll probably waste..."
    -- Tug McGraw on getting a raise

    Get Down Fishing Charters - Port Canaveral, Florida
  • InstaGatorInstaGator Member Posts: 246 Deckhand
    I have both types, separate float and one built into the pump.  I have had much better luck with the bilge pump with a built in float switch.  I use Rule pumps for the past 20 yrs and they have always worked well for me.
  • cortrcortr Junior Member Posts: 531 Officer
    Definitely 2 pumps, one auto and one manual
  • larrywittlarrywitt Moderator Cape Coral FlPosts: 2,909 Moderator
    I have two, one manual and auto about 5 inches higher as long as i have electrical power to the on board chargers . all is good.  Boat is in the water all the time.
  • End of the LineEnd of the Line Junior Member Posts: 26 Deckhand
    Definitely go separate pump and switches.  The switch is the weak link in any auto pump.  2 pumps offer peace of mind as long as your batteries stay charged.  I’m a fan of rule pumps with the ultra pump systems switch.  The switch is expensive, but it’s as close to a bomb proof switch as you’ll ever see.
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