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Emergency Bilge pumps

Posted: Sat May 05, 2012 11:55 pm
by Clyde_Wanderer
Reading some of the threads on basically boaty and some comments reg Sahona's narrow escape in LochRanza.
How many folk realise that if they have the older style Lavac heads that this means they also have an excellent emergency 1 1/2" bilge pump of reasonable shift volume just add a few feet of hose, one end of which is fitted with a soft'ish rubber sleeve that makes it a neat fit in the hole of the pan that you aim for while weeing and stick the other end down the bilge and start pumping.
The lavac wont pump in sea water while the lid is open but the discharge pump will still pump out.

On the topic of Do you keep the vhf on all the time etc, some of you stated you could not reach the handset from the helm, so why not buy a plastic hanger clip (£1-2 in the chandlery) and fit it outside next to the companionway etc where it is always at hand?
Food for thought.

Re: Emergency Bilge pumps

Posted: Wed May 09, 2012 10:36 am
by sahona
We have a Lavac, and were aware of the alternative emergency function - PBO yonks ago did an article that either involved a sink-plunger or half a football as a 'bowl seal interface'. Our problem was lack of of arms - I was pumping the proper bilgepump, and the soup-dragon was bailing the saloon, so we would have needed an apprentice for a while. Also, the angle of a lot of heads pumps is often a compromise so as not to get stabbed in the back by the handle as you use the heads. This means that prolonged awkward sessions under duress would be painful and could be damaging to body parts.
My solution is two fold: Carry a cannister of builders foam, and hope that you can reach the breach
At great expense, fit an aux power takeoff to the gearbox to a large fire-fighter type pump.
Such an investment would almost certainly guarantee you would never get the opportunity to try it out - well, hopefully.