I originally built Tooth to fit upside-down on the deck of Wisdom, but I eye-balled the space available instead of measuring. Don't do this! I spent months building Tooth, only to find out that it is too long to fit on the deck. Tooth is a great row boat, but is forced to live in the water.
When it rains, Tooth fills up with water and slowly sinks down as the water inside rises. After each rain, I would pump out Tooth with a hand pump. When we are on a trip, I would try to position Tooth next to Wisdom and hang over the side to pump the water out of Tooth. It takes me around 20 to 30 min to pump all the water out of Tooth after a good rain. When we were in choppy conditions, it would take me almost an hour and the whole experience was miserable!
These past 2 weeks have been constant rain and I finally got tired of running my hand pump. I went to West Marine to get a lever action manual bilge pump to mount on a board with some long hoses that I could drop into Tooth and take the water right out! While I was there, the store manager talked to me about a battery powered electronic bilge pump.
As you may have noticed, I have my biases:
- I don't like electronics
- I don't like combustion engines
I just feel that they they are waiting for the perfect time to fail you when you need them most! For these reasons, I prefer the manual approach to everything. You can spot a problem that is developing and fix it before it actually becomes a problem.
When he told me it was electric, my first concern was having enough battery power to run this pump and running the wires to power the pump. Then he told me it is self contained battery powered! Once again, my thought was trying to keep the re-chargable batteries would be a nightmare on the boat.
Then he told me that they run on 3 D batteries! I carry batteries in Tupperware for flashlights and other electronic devices, so powering a the pump with disposable batteries when it's needed is right up my alley!
The pump is simply lowered into Tooth and it pumps all the water overboard! I can easily do this from the side of Wisdom via a lanyard and retrieve the pump once the boat is dry. I tried it out at the pier, and it worked wonderfully. It took around the same amount of time as my old hand pump but it also took no effort! When Tooth was dry, I was not tired with a sore shoulder.
While I don't typically rave over electronics, this pump is awesome. Best of all, if it does fail, West Marine has a wonderful warranty policy through their Plus Plan. The pump is not "installed" in the boat, so I can easily take it in and pick up a replacement! If it does fail, I still carry a manual hand pump to pump out Tooth.