Bilge Pump Installations on Yachts, New and Used

Yes, let’s take a look in the bilges by opening up the floorboard!
There are a few things I do to ensure my safety down there. It does give you peace of mind to know that you have power over what happens below the surface. I’ve read a lot of articles and books about being offshore or just sailing coastal in a boat, only to find out later that the captain stepped below into the cabin to find water above the floorboards, which is a bad situation. I never want to be in that position when running in the bays or offshore.Do you want to learn more? Visit

I attempted to rectify such a problem a few years back. The volume of water was 1 inch to 1 foot above the floorboards in the books and articles I read. The bilge pump had been stuck, had burnt out, or had blown a fuse. The amount of time that passed before anyone went below or woke up in the cabin determined the height of the water in the cabin. It is often simple to locate a leak. After hitting an object under water, you can inspect the propeller shafts and shaft logs, which are located where the propeller shafts exit the hull of the boat. Examine your rudder post as well. If that server was the source of the impact, look forward for a crack or hole in the hull. However, in this case, the sound of the bump/hit alerted you to the threat. Something could have gone wrong, and you’re looking for the source of the water in the boat.
But let’s go in a different direction. You’re sailing or motoring offshore, enjoying the spectacular sunrise or sunset and calm seas. Oh, how lovely. A through-hull fitting begins to leak, a hose lock on the engine loosens, your stuffing box begins to leak, or your bow thruster assembly begins to leak. All of these items can seem insignificant at first, but they can quickly escalate into dangerous situations. The through-hull fitting either begins to leak or the hose pops off the engine at this stage. The changing nut on the stuffing box loosens, and water pours in. These are the things you must take care of before a tragedy occurs.
I’ve discovered an easy (for me) method that works and warns me. Yes, you have those high water bilge alarms, but I believe that if there is too much water in the bilge, you will be unable to locate the source of the leak because the water level will cover it. Finding a water leak underwater is incredibly difficult. This is my installation, which provides me with a sense of calm. Although most of my trips are on the ocean, others are on the coast. Even in a large harbour, abandoning ship due to a leak that was not discovered in time due to the water level rising is not only stupid, but risky. I typically mount a 2,000 gph bilge pump with an automatic switch, as well as a 3,000 gph bilge pump with the same. On the bilge floor, I mount the 2,000 gph with automatic switch and inline warning. I use the oil pressure buzzer, which you normally hear when you start your boat by turning on the ignition. The buzzer will sound whenever the bilge pump activates, alerting me that the pump is active. The buzzer can be heard at any moment because this is a sailboat. When you get used to it, you can hear it faintly even with the auxiliary engine running. You can have a counter on a powerboat that you reset to zero. You can check it periodically to see if anything has changed, or you can even add a light and a buzzer to it.
You can see the light flash on and off if you don’t hear the buzzer. If the buzzer goes off several times or remains on for an extended period of time with this setup, I investigate immediately. It may be anything as simple as a clogged bilge compartment (weep hole unclogging) allowing extra water to leak into another compartment, or a stuck bilge pump auto turn. The buzzer will notify you that the pump is constantly running and exhausting your battery. If you didn’t have this setup, you wouldn’t be able to see or hear anything because there is no water discharge on the outside of the boat (the water has already been drained out). It will deplete the batteries as well as the pump. When working offshore or along the coast, I try not to take any chances. So the buzzer is useful for keeping you informed about what’s going on beneath the floorboards.