Manual Bilge Pump Supports

After deciding where we wanted to stand while pumping out Wisdom in the event of an emergency, it was time to actually install the pump. Maddie wanted to be near the companionway so that she could hear me if I were at the helm while still being safely protected inside the cabin. 

The bottom of the wet hanging locker seems to be the best location for the pump, it can be easily operated by lifting a lid and inserting the pump handle into the top of the pump. Now we just need to make this location a reality!

First, we need to locate the pump in a position where we can comfortably swing the lever arm without the risk of striking nearby objects. Next, we need to make sure that all the plumbing can run to and from the pump with ease. To meet these two conditions, we decided to mount the pump as close to the top of the compartment as possible and angle the pump towards the midship a bit. This will set the pump lever further from the cabinet next to it and allow you to pump without leaning over the unit the whole time. 

Wooden supports were set in place to keep the pump just shy of the inside of the lid, and then marked and secured. I am securing the supports with brass L brackets during the mock up procedure. 

Once the position on the support boards is finalized, I will drill the large holes through the bulkheads to pass the 2 inch hose to feed the bilge pump. The output end of the bilge pump will run up the back of the closet and out the side of the hull, just under the rubrail. 

After all the holes are drilled, I will remove the wooden support boards and prepare the area for fiber glassing. The ends of the boards will be tabbed and filleted onto the bulkhead to produce a very strong connection which will augment the strength of the screws and brackets. After everything is glassed up and cured, the pump can be installed on its very strong and secure base. The hinge might end up being removed from the lid, converting it to a regular lid which can be placed out of the way should we need to gain access to the pump.

One last point about where to position the pump in the locker, if we had placed it at the bottom of the locker, junk would end up piled on top of the pump. By locating the pump at the very top, nothing will fit over the pump and we won't be tempted to pile junk on it. Should clutter accumulate under the pump, it will not impede our quick use of the pump in an emergency.