Make A Portable Pump

The cockpit lockers on my 20-foot trailersailer leak because the lid destroys any seal that is attached to it. I’ve resigned myself to needing a waterproof container for anything I store there, but I still have to deal with the water that has leaked in. My solution was to attach a small electric bilgepump (with a hose) to a handle. I used 1/8" by 1" aluminum bar stock, which is easy to
Author:
Publish date:
0106KHpump

The cockpit lockers on my 20-foot trailersailer leak because the lid destroys any seal that is attached to it. I’ve resigned myself to needing a waterproof container for anything I store there, but I still have to deal with the water that has leaked in. My solution was to attach a small electric bilgepump (with a hose) to a handle.

I used 1/8" by 1" aluminum bar stock, which is easy to bend, for the handle. Three bends were required—one at the bottom for the pump mounting; another for the handle; and a third for the on-off switch (see illustration). If I could work heavier stock, I would use 1/4" by 2" aluminum bar stock.

After bending the handle to the proper shape, I drilled a hole in the upper end of the bar stock for a simple SPST on-off toggle switch to disconnect the positive side of the power to the pump. The handle is a short length of 1" dowel stock that I split lengthwise. I drilled two holes through the aluminum and in one side of the dowel. Two stainless-steel screws hold the handle parts together.

I chose a small 360-gph pump, which I fastened in place with a stainless-steel hose clamp. I wrapped the pump with several layers of electrical tape to cushion the motor and give the clamp a better grip. The strainer can be removed for cleaning.

I used clear hose (photo below), but I recommend the lighter corrugated bilge-pump hose. The power cord is 16-gauge duplex wire. Ten feet is long enough to reach all the important areas on my boat; if your boat is larger, make it longer. I connected the cord to the pump with adhesive-lined butt crimp connectors that shrink around the wires when they are heated. I also applied several coats of liquid electrical tape to make sure the wires were sealed.

After cutting the positive wire and hooking the ends to the on-off switch with adhesive-lined crimp ring terminals, I made a loop in the power cord to make sure the switch connection is not strained. Electrical tape secures the loop to the lower side of the handle and also covers the switch’s exposed triennials. I taped the power cord and hose to the handle in several places.

I put a cigarette-lighter connector at the power end of the cord so I can use onboard DC power by plugging into the auxiliary power socket in the switch panel. A cigarette-lighter socket with alligator clips lets me use the pump anywhere I can carry a 12-volt battery. In addition to pumping out boats and dinghies, I’ve used the pump to empty water tanks with access ports and to empty a bath tub with a clogged drain. In short, it’s a handy thing to have.

Related

emSelf-tacking-jib

Ask Sail: Are Self-trackers Worth It?

Q: I’m seeing more and more self-tacking jibs out on the water (and in the pages of SAIL) these days. I can’t help thinking these boats are all hopelessly underpowered, especially off the wind, when compared to boats with even slightly overlapping headsails. But I could be ...read more

01-LEAD-hose-leak-CREDIT-BoatUS

Know how: Is Your Bilge Pump up to the Job?

Without much reflection, I recently replaced my broken bilge pump with a slightly larger model. After all, I thought, surely an 800 gallon-per-hour (gph) pump will outperform the previous 500gph unit? Well, yes, but that’s no reason to feel much safer, as I soon discovered. The ...read more

190314-viddy

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta: A Source of Hope

The tagline for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is "serious sailing, serious fun." However, for the inhabitants of St. Maarten, the event is more than just a festival of great music and some of the best sailing around. Local blogger Angie Soeffker explains the impact the race ...read more

SPOTX-1500x1500_front

Gear: SPOT-X Satellite

Hits the SPOT The SPOT-X two-way satellite messenger is an economical way of staying connected to the outside world via text or e-mail when you’re at sea. As well as the messaging service, it has a distress function that not only alerts authorities if you’re in trouble, but lets ...read more

_8105684

A Kid’s Take on the Northwest Passage

Going North—and West Crack! Crunch! I woke with a start to the sound of ice scraping the hull of our 60ft sailboat, Dogbark. In a drowsy daze, I hobbled out of the small cabin I was sharing with my little sister. As I emerged into the cockpit, I swiveled my head, searching for ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! We set sail from Chicago on a crossing to Saugatuck, ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Let her breathe When the wind’s so light your cigar smoke goes straight up (or it used to, before having fun was banned) any well-designed yacht with a clean bottom will somehow keep on sailing if you ...read more