A boat’s bilge pump is one of the most important systems onboard any vessel. From rainwater finding its way into the boat, to having a hose come off your cooling system unexpectedly, to a thru-hull becoming loose, to a wave coming over the bow of your boat or in a more dramatical way, like a hull breach or impact that enables water to intrude into the vessel. BoatUS reports that nearly 10 percent of boats that sink are a result of underwater fittings failing. Ensuring your auto bilge is wired & working correctly is a very important part of your summerizing routine as well as onboard safety in general.

Over the years we have seen many boats come to Dry Dock Marine with the bilge pump wired incorrectly – even brand new boats from the factory! If you plan to leave your boat in the water unattended, It is in your best interest to know that your bilge pump system is working correctly. Some boats have a switch on the helm that you can switch it to either AUTO or MANUAL. If you turn on the switch to the manual position, it will turn on your bilge pump and start pumping out your bilge right away. You will have to turn the switch back to the off position once your bilge has been pumped out. If the switch is flipped to the AUTO position, it will automatically pump out your bilge if water is present at the sensor in the fully automatic bilge pump OR if the float style switch floats up to the on position. Auto bilge pumps are to be wired directly to the battery. The auto switch should turn on even if the ignition key and the battery switch are turned to the off position. If you plan to leave your boat in the water for weeks at a time, it is recommended to have an onboard automatic battery charger to keep your batteries topped. If there is no shore power present at your dock, a solar trickle charger is another way to ensure your batteries are always charged up.

Did you find this post useful or interesting? Follow us on Social Media for information, videos & more!






Article by:

Joshua Tisch