Planning ahead

Speaking from experience, pumps are something that you’ll want spare parts for before setting off on any voyage of note. Toilet pumps, freshwater pumps, sump pumps, hydraulic pumps (autopilot and backstay/vang), bilge pumps, raw water, coolant circulation, and … yes … diesel lift pumps. All of these items have required servicing several times in our tenure on Gryphon.

Prior to departure, we made sure we had rebuild kits for most of these. Others, we picked up along the way. For some — specifically the engine raw water cooling pump and, now, the diesel lift pump — we carry ready spares that can be quickly exchanged to bring the auxiliary engine back online.

Like us, if you find that a direct replacement pump is unavailable, then source an electric fuel pump at the neighborhood auto parts store. Make sure you have adequate flexible fuel hose and the proper fittings to attach it to your primary filter on the inlet side and the engine’s secondary filter on the outlet side. Remember that anything not directly attached to the engine has to be connected with flexible hosing! Finally, identify and test the electrical connections that you’ll use to run the pump from the engine’s 12-volt source.

By Ocean Navigator