The garden hose and the bilge pump


Sometimes a simple story sums things up best. That happened recently when Will Keene, president of Edson International in New Bedford, Mass., presented a seminar on bilge pumps and steering systems — two premier product lines for Edson (see high capacity manual diaphragm pump below, wow!) — at Great Island Boatyard in Harpswell, Maine.

Keene related a story of the owner of a 42-foot sailboat. This owner wanted to clean the bilge area in his aft lazarette, so he grabbed the dock hose and sprayed water into the boat's aft bilge area as he scrubbed. The water ran through lubber holes into the boat's main bilge as he continued to clean. Not wanting to sink his boat at the dock, he had turned on the vessel's electric bilge pump and so felt confident to use plenty of water. He was shocked to find, however, that his boat's electric bilge pump was not able to keep up with the water coming from a standard, garden-style dock hose. The water was gaining on the pump. Shutting off the hose, he realized he needed to install a higher capacity pump ASAP! 

We'll have more on bilge pumps in the upcoming 2014 issue of Ocean Voyager, our annual voyaging issue. And more on steering in the May issue of ON.  

By Ocean Navigator