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Bilge Pump Issue - Warning


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I had a close call this morning.  My bride and I ran 24 miles offshore hunting gags.  The weather was beautiful.  I found the wreck I was looking for, even though the numbers weren't exactly right and I had some lively  pinfish.

We caught some pretty gags along with some mangroves and vermillions.  We also caught some large triggerfish and red snapper that were released.  I started to head home and the boat ran stern heavy.  I had a full live well along with a load of fish in the stern release well.  I opened the starboard hatch and saw my worst nightmare, the bilge was full of water.  I replace the bilge pump last week and even checked it while heading out this morning, everything worked fine.  The first thing I did is shut off all ball valves.

I'm not sure what the bilge pump problem is,  that's tomorrow's project.  I've always been concerned with flooding caused by all the plumbing in the bilge. I do carry a Rule 1100 pump with a 8' hose to empty my shad tank when I'm striper fishing.  I had just enough wire to reach the bilge and was able to pump the bilge dry.  

Once I made it back to the bay, I turned on the ball valve to my live well pump and found the pump wasn't sealing good against the housing. A little wiggling and the pump locked into place with no leaking.

I have been meaning to install a larger bilge pump as a backup, I have all the parts,  but the thought of spending a lot of  time bent over a small inspection hatch in the splash well is not something I have been  looking forward to, but it's going to happen shortly.

I suggest strongly that you pay attention to all the plumbing in the bilge and have a plan to deal with excess water in the bilge.  


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I almost sunk a boat at the dock several years ago, because of a live-well issue. My bilge pump did not work, but it's been so many years, I don't remember what part to the bilge system failed. Every since that day, I have installed a second bilge pump in every boat I owned. My 23 HPS came with one factory bilge pump, so I immediately started to install a second. I always use a separate thru-hull to discharge the water. I use a separate battery, switch and wiring. Basically, I have two independent bilge pump systems.

Good thing you had a back-up system. I think there is some type to high water alarm system available. That might be a good idea for anyone fishing off-shore.

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