Bilge pumps are the devices that stand between you and any leaks. A 2,000 gallon-per-hour pump costs only $50 more than a 500 gallon-per-hour pump, so it makes sense to check your bilge pump and if it's not a jumbo, replace it with a larger pump. It's very inexpensive insurance.
Pumps should be hooked to an automatic float switch that turns the pump on any time several inches of water gathers in the bilge. This way, you don't have to worry about a leak getting a big head start on you before you realize it, and just as important, you won't forget to turn off the pump, run it dry for hours, and burn it up.
Most leaks aboard fiberglass and aluminum boats result from malfunctioning through-hull fittings or hoses for bait wells and wash-down systems, and are not large enough to overcome the pumping ability of the bilge pump. However, for safety's sake, it's a good idea to carry some rubber stoppers that will plug your ittings in case something goes wrong with the valve or hose.
If you get a big leak, resulting from striking a submerged object, you may have to make some emergency hull repairs. Stuffing anything that will fit into the hull is the obvious and most practiced solution—PFDs and cushions do the job best, particularly when backed up with T-shirts and towels in the smaller cracks. You'll still have water coming in, but it may not flow so fast that the pump can't keep up with it. If the pumps can keep up with it, you can head for the boat ramp or marina. If they can't, head for the nearest beach or sandbar. And if the flow is too fast for that, break out the VHF and call for assistance, pronto.
-,.■■-. -i Boat Bytes y Bilge pumps have to operate in the dirtiest part of any boat, the bilge, where all the sand, shells, busted screws, and other debris accumulate. As a consequence they can jam, and often do so at the worst possible time. Keep your bilge clean, and clean out the pump strainer regularly.
"^tf^i Bilge pumps can burn out over time. If you're going on an extended cruise, particularly to a remote area, carry a spare or Kvo for security.
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Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.