Thursday, 22 May 2014

Staying alive (ah, ha, ha, ha) - bilge pumps

Bilge pumps are essential safety equipment on any seagoing yacht. Frankly, Auriga would have hardly made it as far as Ipswich wihtout. The leaks have since been dealt with; however, the old pump arrangement was not ideal. Firstly, the cockpit pump, accessible from the helming position, was defective, leaving only the pump down below - combined with a malfunctioning self-steering system, this made for an interesting few hours in the following seas off St Katherine's point.
Improved pipework
Solid, accessible, out of the way
Convenient pumping position

Secondly, both pumps were connected to the same discharge via long pipes leading to a Y connector - contrary to the KISS and redundancy prionciples we try to apply wherever possible.
With that in mind, we have taken the discharge from the saloon pump to a new through-hull fitting by the shortest root possible, eliminated the Y piece, and freed up a lot of locker space in the process. The old cockpit pump was removed, and a new, higher capacity pump (Whale Gusher Titan) was installed - again, gaining valuable storage space, reducing pipe lengths and improving maintenance access in the process.
Further, the bilge pump handle now protrudes upwards through the deck - anyone who has ever tried pumping with one positioned conveniently at foot hight while steering will appreciate the ergonomics.

P.S. Sorry for the title reference, I must have been reading too much SA.

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