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Bilge Pump Question

Swifty31

New Member
I am purchasing a 384 (Independence/Beverly MA) hopefully this month and preparing to move it to the Chesapeake in early June (Oxford, Md.). There is one Rule bilge pump currently installed that doesn't appear to be sufficient. There is a bracket for a diaphragm pump that was at some point removed. Any advice on a bilge pump setup for a 384 that will do some coastal cruising. Many Thanks- Charles Wrightson
 
What leads you to believe it is not sufficient?

I think that having a working *manual* pump is mandatory. If the boat floods, you might lose your electrical system. I have 2 manual pumps, one in the stock location in the cockpit, and one below deck, mounted in the Settee forward of the galley sink. Not many people add the second pump, but offshore racing rules require it. The manual diaphragm pump on my boat was a Whale Gusher 10. They are very expensive and easily rebuildable. I am not sure if the 384 had them, but it is a shame you don't have it.

A single decent sized rule (2000 GPH or more) is otherwise probably enough. Some people add a "maintenance" pump in addition to this, a small 200-550 GPH pump that is able to get the last little bit of water the big pump can't. The big pump would then hopefully never activate. Be sure to de-rate the pump substantially for the lift to the discharge. Some people have a second big pump at a higher level in the bilge.

The rule float switches are *not* ok. They will fail, and fail again, and never work when you need them to. I have used both a Groco Bilge Pump switch, and a jabsco switch that I like. Both work on hydrostatic pressure, and have no moving parts or electronics in the bilge. I like them both. I am sure others will chime in with what they like. Any quality switch is fine as long as it is not one of those cheap lever type switches that are so common.

Jabsco Hydro Air Bilge Switch | Defender Marine
Groco Bilge Pump Control Kit | Defender Marine

Have reasonable expectations of the pump. If a hose breaks on a 1 1/2" through hull, no bilge pump will keep up. The point of the pump is just to buy you some time to find the source and deal with it, and drain the boat afterwards. Spend more effort maintaining through hulls and changing hoses than replacing and adding pumps. Unless it has been done by the previous owners, the hoses are old enough that they should be replaced.
 

Swifty31

New Member
What leads you to believe it is not sufficient?

I think that having a working *manual* pump is mandatory. If the boat floods, you might lose your electrical system. I have 2 manual pumps, one in the stock location in the cockpit, and one below deck, mounted in the Settee forward of the galley sink. Not many people add the second pump, but offshore racing rules require it. The manual diaphragm pump on my boat was a Whale Gusher 10. They are very expensive and easily rebuildable. I am not sure if the 384 had them, but it is a shame you don't have it.

A single decent sized rule (2000 GPH or more) is otherwise probably enough. Some people add a "maintenance" pump in addition to this, a small 200-550 GPH pump that is able to get the last little bit of water the big pump can't. The big pump would then hopefully never activate. Be sure to de-rate the pump substantially for the lift to the discharge. Some people have a second big pump at a higher level in the bilge.

The rule float switches are *not* ok. They will fail, and fail again, and never work when you need them to. I have used both a Groco Bilge Pump switch, and a jabsco switch that I like. Both work on hydrostatic pressure, and have no moving parts or electronics in the bilge. I like them both. I am sure others will chime in with what they like. Any quality switch is fine as long as it is not one of those cheap lever type switches that are so common.

Jabsco Hydro Air Bilge Switch | Defender Marine
Groco Bilge Pump Control Kit | Defender Marine

Have reasonable expectations of the pump. If a hose breaks on a 1 1/2" through hull, no bilge pump will keep up. The point of the pump is just to buy you some time to find the source and deal with it, and drain the boat afterwards. Spend more effort maintaining through hulls and changing hoses than replacing and adding pumps. Unless it has been done by the previous owners, the hoses are old enough that they should be replaced.
Many thanks- I do have a whale gusher manuel pump in cockpit still working. the surveyor was not content with the power needed for the lift with the current pump so an upgrade is probable Great info thank you
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
I replaced my Gusher with a higher capacity Titan. Warren how did you mount the below deck pump? Does it remove a seating area? Where does it discharge? My manual in the cockpit goes in to the torpedo tube, the electric has a thru-hull high on the aft hull.
 
I agree with Warren on all points. 2 auto electric pumps, at least one on a hydrostatic switch/activator. My small one has an internal switch. I also feel two manual pumps mandatory. Offshore race rules mandate this for a reason. When I get back to Sonata next week I will get some photos of the Big Edson pump mounted in the Engine bay to the quarter berth bulkhead. It moves about as much water as possible for a hand pump in a bout this size I think.
Just my $.02
Mitchell
 
The discharge hose first goes into the cabinet under the sink, behind the water heater to near the hull deck joint, then after to a thru hull. Rules required that bilge pumps not tie into cockpit drains, so each pump has its own discharge aft of the cockpit where it will not be submerged while healed.

I'm not sure if this cubby under the cushion was stock or added at some later point. It has my Racor filter (present when I bought Eliana) and I added the macerator and bilge pump.

pump1.jpg

pump2.jpg
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
ah, yes. In this space I have drawers for shackles, blocks, extra impellers and inboard of that is a locker where I keep all my tools. I hate to give up that stowage area.
 
That space housed the Galley stove's alcohol tank on Sonata. She is a 1982 383. I still need to remove the tank and gain storage :)
Mitchell
 
Here is the Edson Manual pump on Sonata and it's installation/placement. I didn't do this, the previous owner installed prior to doing the Pacific Cup race some years ago. As far as I know these pumps are still available. It moves a lot of water!

Mitchell
20210515_102657.jpg20210515_102716.jpg

20210515_102630.jpg
 
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