Skip to main content

Back Up Your Galley Faucet

In the event of a power failure, a manual foot pump is essential

In the event of a power failure, a manual foot pump is essential

Pressurized water systems are brilliantly convenient, but they raise the question of how to get water out of the tanks in the event of a power failure or unexpected demise of the pump. For this reason, builders of expensive yachts intended for long-distance cruising often offer the option of a manual galley foot pump for cold water in addition to the standard pressurized system. However, all too many boats lack this kind of sensible backup.

When I bought my boat in Greece, I added a manual pump. The total cost was under $30. It took less than a couple of hours to fit and doesn’t need an additional faucet.

It’s a simple arrangement, as the additional pump connects to the existing water system in parallel with the electric pump using T-joints. First, I connected a pipe to run between the tank and the electric pump and led this to the foot-operated manual pump. Next, I ran a second pipe from the output of the manual pump to the existing pipe run between the electric pump and the faucet.

The best way to cut a neat slot in the front of the cabinetry for the actuating arm of the pump is using a small router with a pre-made jig. If there’s not space to wield a router, drill holes at the top and bottom and use a jigsaw for the rest. The saw should be fitted with a fine-tooth laminate blade that cuts on the down stroke to avoid damage to the outer surface.

If you’re not accustomed to using laminate blades, it’s worth getting in some practice on a bit of scrap before starting on your boat’s actual joinery. Regular jigsaw blades pull down onto the surface of whatever you’re cutting. But with laminate blades, you have to apply pressure to prevent the blade from pushing the saw upward.

July 2021



A Force for Change: Captain Liz Gillooly

I first heard about Capt. Liz Gillooly in 2016 from my cousin while working three jobs in our shared hometown on the North Fork of Long Island and living with my parents to save money for a boat. But despite being the same age and growing up only 13 miles apart, Liz and I never more


Sailing in the Growth Zone

The Goal This year, I’ve had a specific goal to be a better sailor. Some people have laughed and said, “Why do you need to be a better sailor? This was my 22nd year racing on the same boat, with the same crew. I like to win and want to make sure we stay at the top of the fleet. more


The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Thomas Thor Tangvald

The first boat Thomas Tangvald ever owned was just 22 feet long. She was an odd craft, a narrow plywood scow with a flat bottom, leeboards on either side, and square ends—little more than a daysailer with a rotting deck and tiny cabinhouse tacked on. Thomas paid just $200 for more


USVI Charter Yacht Show Showcases a Flourishing Industry

As the U.S. Virgin Islands continues to attract sailors seeking to charter and explore the pristine territory on their own, the immense growth and expanded options for a crewed yacht or term charters have exploded here over the past five years. Last week, the USVI Charter more


Personal Locator Beacon Wins Top Design Award

The Ocean Signal RescueME PLB3 AIS Personal Locator took top honors at the 2022 DAME Design Awards, while Aceleron Essential, a cobalt-free lithium-iron phosphate battery with replaceable and upgradeable parts, won the first DAME Environmental Design Award. Announced each year more


EPIRB in the Golden Globe Race

Tapio Lehtinen’s boat sank early this morning southeast of South Africa while racing the Golden Globe Race, a faithfully low-tech reproduction of the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe. The boat went down quickly and stern-first according to the skipper’s emergency transmissions. more


Victory, Tragedy in the Route du Rhum

The 2022 Route du Rhum was a highly anticipated event in the ocean racing calendar, but few could have predicted exactly how challenging, dramatic, and tragic it would ultimately prove. French yachtsman Charles Caudrelier took home gold aboard the Ultim maxi trimaran Maxi Edmond more


Boat Review: Lyman-Morse LM46

Lyman-Morse has been building fine yachts in Thomaston, Maine, ever since Cabot Lyman first joined forces with Roger Morse back in 1978. With experience creating and modifying boats built of various materials, backed by its own in-house fabrication facility, the firm has more