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Old 12-10-2017, 09:11 PM   #1
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Any thoughts on my bilge pump setup?

On my Beneteau Swift Trawler 44 I have the factory bilge setup. Although I am a novice, it seems pretty subpar to me.

I have one 300 gph pump located on a plumbing board with a tube that runs to the very bottom of the keel to pump out water sitting on the very bottom of the bilge.

I have one 650 gph Whale Supersub Smart 650 pump mounted about 8 inches or so above where the pickup tube from the other pump is.

Both of the above pumps are located in the Engine Room toward the middle of the boat and along the centerline.

That's all there is. Seems completely inadequate for a 44 foot boat.

There is no pump in the lazarette. There is no pump in the bow section where the bow thruster is.

Seems like one potential upgrade is to simply locate a very high-capacity pump just about where the Whale is now.

I did ask the yard about adding one in each section and they said "no one really does that as most people don't want 3 new holes in their boat".

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Mike
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:21 PM   #2
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It does seem the builder fell short. I have 3 1500gph dc pumps plus a 3000gph ac. Rather be safe than sorry.
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:52 PM   #3
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I did ask the yard about adding one in each section and they said "no one really does that as most people don't want 3 new holes in their boat".
Hi Mike, you could have reminded the "professional" shipyard staff that it is generally recommended to put the new holes above the waterline

When spec'ing out additional pumps make sure to confirm how many watertight compartments you have. Check for limber holes (that may be clogged). Sometimes there is only 1 WT chamber, with everything draining to the engineroom bilge.
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:56 PM   #4
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"The best bilge pump is a scared man with a bucket"
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:06 PM   #5
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Hi Mike, you could have reminded the "professional" shipyard staff that it is generally recommended to put the new holes above the waterline

When spec'ing out additional pumps make sure to confirm how many watertight compartments you have. Check for limber holes (that may be clogged). Sometimes there is only 1 WT chamber, with everything draining to the engineroom bilge.
I'm hopeful that they knew the holes were above waterline.

There are no separate watertight chambers on the boat. One big one that hopefully stays that way.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:17 PM   #6
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"The best bilge pump is a scared man with a bucket"
Very true! But you better have hyper hearing and ESP to go along with that!
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:19 PM   #7
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On our 30 ft vessel we have 4 bilge pumps and 1 manual pump. The electric pumps are wired direct to separate batteries. I want to keep the water out, and bilge pumps aren't very expensive.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:21 PM   #8
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On our 30 ft vessel we have 4 bilge pumps and 1 manual pump. The electric pumps are wired direct to separate batteries. I want to keep the water out, and bilge pumps aren't very expensive.
On my 30 foot vessel I only have 2 bilge pumps.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:21 PM   #9
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100% agreed. But if you don't have hyper hearing and ESP that won't do shit
I have a manual bilge pump in the cockpit that would be far more effective than a bucket. While I am assuming the comment was mostly a joke, speaking from a practical standpoint it would be awfully difficult to use a bucket until the boat was half sunk. Otherwise I'd be going down to the ER, scooping up water in the bucket, climbing out of the ER, dumping overboard...repeat. Not all that practical!

That said, can we change the subject back to what a reasonable setup might look like if the factory setup is truly subpar - which I am assuming is the case.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:39 PM   #10
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You replied quick Obie Wan Kenobi. The power is strong is with you. Boat will live long life she will....
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:54 PM   #11
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An old boat builder mate would say when choosing bilge pump just make sure it can handle more water than the hole
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:27 PM   #12
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Sounds underdone. I gather all 3 sections, bow, lazarette, and centre communicate. Is the central area where the pumps are deepest? If so,upgrading the 650 pump to 2000 would be a good idea. If separated,3 systems would be needed but sounds like it is intended all water drains towards the center. If the one with the tube to the deepest point does it`s job the other(s) should never be needed but I`d regard the existing 650 as the main pump, and give it a backup pump, mounted higher, similar capacity. Give some consideration to the switches, the Johnson no external moving parts version beats flipper switches hands down imo. Alarm indicators at the helm would be good.
The ST44 certainly seems to have its share of design/fitout issues.
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:00 AM   #13
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"I'm hopeful that they knew the holes were above waterline. "



Lifting water is not efficient , most ships pump the water out below the waterline.

Look at the huge difference in GPM on any pump that needs to lift the water 4 ft vs free flow.
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:13 AM   #14
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My 34 AT came with one bilge pump in the tank room (shaft seal area). The ER drains into the tank room.
Not being a pessimist, I added 1 in the stateroom bilge (anchor locker drains there), one in the ER (all the below water line holes are there) and one in the aft lazarette, incase the rudder seal leaks. That gives me a total of 4, including the existing pump in the tank room.
Also added a bilge pump counter, high water alarm connected to a fire bell, to get my attention.

So far, the AT has always had dry bilges. They are dusty and dirty because "things", and tools alway seek the lowest possible level and prone to hide under things.

Now if I were a real pessimist, I'd never buy a boat.
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:31 AM   #15
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Hi,


my Nordig tug 37 original 3 x 2000 gal / hour. One Lazarette, in the middle of the boat in one front and one stern of the engine room. Manual hand pump in the engine room.


I have considered acquire a powerful pump still be transferred to 220V AC (run generator), to get peace of mind.


NBs
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:06 AM   #16
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Hi,


my Nordig tug 37 original 3 x 2000 gal / hour. One Lazarette, in the middle of the boat in one front and one stern of the engine room. Manual hand pump in the engine room.


I have considered acquire a powerful pump still be transferred to 220V AC (run generator), to get peace of mind.


NBs
That is provided the generator is still working. If not, put on the PFD, radio for help and make your way to the life boats.

We all plan for events and pray we never experience the events to test our planning.
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:30 AM   #17
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That is provided the generator is still working. If not, put on the PFD, radio for help and make your way to the life boats.

We all plan for events and pray we never experience the events to test our planning.

Hi,

Just so, but well designed is half made. If leakage is time-consuming, I also have flexible emergency plugs, a kit for leakage and other supplies... Last I go flybridge and sit on my dingy and popped champagne. And start dreaming of the next better boat...(Poor humor)

Also possible to use the main machine as an emergency pump, in this discussion for and against see the link. The real thing is that for example my Cummins qsb can pump up to 4200 gallons per hour ...

engines raw water pump emergency pumping

NBs
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