bilge pump relocation

I’m thinking of relocating the bilge pump and switch on Jolie Brise
(from behind and below the engine) to a more accessible location.
Can someone offer suggestions where I might move them?

We’re in Palm Beach, heading for the Keys, and the switch isn’t
working; it’s real hard to get to to work on in its present location.

Happy New Year everyone.

Jonathan Lang

I recently put Itchen’s main pump in the tight but big enough space in front
of the aft water tank. It is mounted on an “L-shaped piece of non-ferrous
flat stock which is secured with two wing nuts to the timber which runs
athwartships between nav station and galley. Just unscrew the nuts and the
whole array of pump, electronic SensoSwitch and hose can be lifted out of
the bilge and easily worked-on. Don’t know whether or not all BCC’s have
the same configuration and amount of space there, between tank, hull and
floor timber, but Itchen (Hull #73) has plenty of room for this Rule 2000GPH
pump or even something larger. The bilge aft of the engine is too narrow to
get this particular pump all of the way down to the bottom, anyway. I am
considering putting a much smaller pump back there with a check valve or at
least a smaller diameter hose so that I can get the last gallon or two out
of the bilge. That area is presently served by a Whale Gusher manual pump
which works well enough but has a 1 1/2” hose and a lot of water drains back
into the bilge. I’d be interested in how other BCC’s have handled the bilge
pump question.

We’re still in the Chesapeake but thinking of taking Itchen south down the
ICW as soon as we get a halfway reasonable weather window without too many
snow flurries.



Jolie Brise is Hull 69, and has the same space forward of the aft
water tank. That looks like the best place to me too, and I like the
idea of putting the pump and switch on a removable platform, to make
access to them easier. I also like your idea of putting a secondary
pump in the space behind the engine…maybe a second 2000 up higher
as a backup system…again with a removable platform for access?

Thanks for your thoughts,



My boat has a plywood platform just forward of the engine, just
inside the engine compartment, which does not move…so I’ve never
seen what’s under it, but I’m wondering if that space might also
serve the purpose, and give the pump a shorter run to discharge…any
idea what’s under there?


What’s under there? Beat’s me, I have wondered the same thing but have not
gotten around to poking a dental mirror or fiber optic scope or . . . . ?
under there to have peek. I suspect that the aft end of the water tank
intrudes, and around and below that lies an assortment of errant twist lock
ties, beer can flip top tabs, lost washers, a lost companionway hatch key, and
other detritus waiting for a chance to go the last couple of feet to the
bilge pump intake. Anyone know the answer?

Scott, I missed the earlier post. I have had the tanks out on your boat to
clean them out. All the flooring over the tanks including the aft tank come
up. The aft floor section which I believe protrudes into the engine
compartment, merely covers the top of the aft tank.

The aft tank is held in position by wood screws on the forward and aft
flanges of the tank. It can be taken out without too much difficulty. I
did recover most of the “treasurers” out of the bilge on one off my many
forays to find the last molecule of debris which may have fallen into the

If you happen to find anything of value should you venture to look I would
have to claim it if it was not indicated on the inventory list at time of
purchase (just kidding)
Best to you
Mark Giegel
formerly of Itchen

Hi Guys, Happy Holidays.
What a scary thought. I admit, I’ve been waiting to pull that board up too. I do like the idea of putting the bilge pump on a stick so you can at least pull it up and check it…especially before you sail to Bermuda and Nova Scotia next?Summer.?
Take Care?
Kate Christensen
RogueWave Yacht Sales & Services, LLC.
1806 Dreams Landing Way
Annapolis, MD 21401 USA
410 571-2955 Office
410 703-5008 Cell
801 681-9741 Fax

We too have the bilge pump on a platform attached to a
long board which drops down behind the engine and
bolts to the rear of the engine drip pan, kind of a
pain in the neck to get to, but this seems to be the
deepest part of the bilge. Not tickled with the Rule
float switch and bilge pump panels, we replaced 3
float switches and one panel in the last two years.

We too have a place forward of the aft water tank, but
this area is much higher than the current sump aft of
the engine. We still have the stainless steel water
tanks and prefer using the engine sump to avoid
accumulation of water to a level of the bottom of the
water tanks, best to keep the bottom of the water
tanks free of salt water to prevent corrosion.

You’ll like this brain dead idea, someone installed a
nylon mushroom thru-hull fitting in the port bow and a
hose with a ball valve hanging under the head in the
bilge; considering there is a Rule bilge pump switch
panel on the port forward bulkhead to match, I suspect
an one time there was a bilge pump installed to pump
out the bilge under the head/shower sump/chain locker.
Underway to weather the bow tends to bury drawing
water in through the thru-hull fitting thus filling
the forward bilge, guess they didn’t think this one
through, its capped off at present. It’s all part of
the fun of boating…:slight_smile:

Marty Chin, BCC Shamrock

Grouping Mark and Marty’s responses Scott replies,
The only thing I’ve found in the bilge thus so far that wasn’t in the
inventory was a couple quarts of Hudson River water beyond the reach of the
aft bilge pump! Interesting that you had the tanks out and good to know
it’s easily done. I wasn’t tempted to try because they were in such good
shape and now I know why. Regarding Marty’s comment, the reason I put the
Rule pump in front of the aft tank is that it is so accessible there and I
figured that it would be easy to get to if we ever had a bad leak and needed
to clean the strainer or fiddle with the wiring. That aft sump below the
stuffing box is hard to get to, especially underway or with a hot engine to
avoid. I agree that one also wants to have a way to get the last bit of
water out of the bilge and it takes a couple dozen strokes of the Gusher to
clear the remainder after the Rule has done it’s work. Sumio pointed out to
me that it is avery narrow space at the bottom of the sump and one has to
be sure the chosen pump will make it all the way down. The Whale Gusher’s
strum box does that but I still intend to (when I get around to it) put
another electric pump back there as a backup. I will put it on a board or
length of flat stock so that it can be easily lifted out for inspection.
Anyone have suggestion for a way to keep the hose from back-draining a
bucketful after the pump shuts down? A small pump with small diameter hose?
Bigger pump & hose with a check valve? Trade offs, tradeoffs . . . .


Anyone have suggestion for a way to keep the hose from back-draining a
bucketful after the pump shuts down? A small pump with small diameter
Bigger pump & hose with a check valve? Trade offs, tradeoffs . . . .

In our Pan Oceanic 46, we have an inline?check valve installed in the bilge pump hose, it doesn’t stop all the water from returning to the bilge, but it does stop a majority of the water. Some will argue that a check valve may become clogged, and rightly so, but in two years of operation in conjunction with the Rule pump screen have been able to sucessfuly pass small particles without any clogging.
Prior to installing the Rule pump, we had a Jabsco diaphragm bilge pump Rule part number 36680-2000 5.5 gpm/330gph installed with a small Jabsco strainer and check valve. The up-side to the diaphragm pump is having the ability to mount the pump?where it was easy to access, being able to draw water from a deep sump (head heigth), and locating only a hose and strainer in the?bilge. Down-side are many, cost of the pump is $279.00, pump service kits are $84.99,in addition to the inline strainer, hose end strainer; the cost of comparable 360gph pump and float switch kit is $36.49 part number Rule 25/35. In addition to cost, we found the diaphragm pump valves do not like minor debris and fuel/oil/chemicals normaly found in engine sumps, in a perfect world there would only be water down there, foreign material which stops the diaphragm pump cold, doesn’t seem to bother the less expensive plastic Rule pumps.
Everyone has there little bilge pump horror stories, here is mine; on a delivery from Alameda to Hawaii last year, the owner elected to replace his 1000 gph plastic Rule bilge pump with the diaphragm pump, two days out it failed. Needless to say, due to space limitations, he threw the working Rule pump in the trash before leaving. With a badly leaking propeller shaft packing gland and no material onboard to repack it underway and no spare parts?kit for the new diaphragm pump, why you ask, “it’s new, we don’t need spare parts said the owner.” With Whale pump in hand, we pump our way 2,500 miles to Hawaii. Up-side, we had $20,000 worth of new rigging and electronics onboard, to bad it couldn’t operate the manual bilge pump.
Believe it or not, some boat manufacturers subscribe to the theory, big boats have plenty of reserve volume, take longer to sink?and therefor require smaller bilge pumps; smaller boats having less volume are subject to sinking quicker and therefore require larger bilge per volume. Is this nuts or what, I’ll bet they haven’t pump 24x7 all the way to Hawaii, if they did, I’ll bet they will change there tune.
Best advise I can offer: two bilge pumps are better than one, larger the better and always carry a spare pump, float switch and the tools and materials to change out the pump underway. Check the condition of your manual bilge pump, hose and strainer, if not in top form replace it now, don’t wait until its convient to do the job because the electric ones are working fine, you never know when the batteries will go south for the winter. Show everone onboard where the manual bulge pump handle is stored, don’t laugh, we used a screw driver for two day before we found the pump handle
Best wishes and Happy Holidays,
Marty Chin, BCC Shamrock

Another solution to getting the last drops out of the bilge is through
wicking. Putting a small tube diameter pump in the bilge to pump out the
last half inch of water that the whale gusher just won’t suck up… this is
a solution that will leave the heaviest debris remaining to clog the
smallest tube.

Instead, install a passive device. Put a wicking material that resists rot
and mildew, such as an antibacterial sponge, into the bilge (secured).
Then, once the bilge is pumped down, the remaining water will wick into the
sponge, thus increasing evaporation. When I am away from my boat for
prolonged periods, I leave my mop head in the bottom of the dry bilge.
This way, when those small amounts of water from who-knows-where find their
way to the bilge, they are immediately wicked into the mop head and the
wetted surface area increases a hundred fold, making evaporation work for


Greg’s evaporative sponge is an idea I wish I’d thought of. West Marine
sells sheets of felted non-woven polywhatever designed to absorb oil in the
bilge, but since they also do wick up water I think that a couple or three
of them cable-tied to a stick might also do the trick if there is only a
small amount of water remaining after the pump does its work. Isn’t the
relative humidity down there so high that evaporation would be too slow to
deal with more than a pint or two? I’m inclined to favor small pump/small
hose – plus sponge – since the Gusher’s 1 1/2" hose and bulky bronze
strainer drains a lot of water back, and so does the several feet of 1 1/8
hose on the Rule 2000. For the small “shower sump” up forward, a sponge
sounds worth trying. Itchen has a small pump/small (and short) hose in that
location and the amount of drain-back is not too bad.

Has anyone fitted their BCC with a manual pump accessible inside
the cabin, and if so, where was it mounted and where did it discharge? I’m
thinking of installing one and don’t want to reinvent the wheel.

Scott (Itchen, BCC #73)

Is it real important to pump the last inch or two of water out of the
bilge? To protect the fresh water tanks? If you put a small pump
down at the bottom, then that pump has to be activated manually,
right? Because we don’t want it to be the first one that always comes
on, and does the work that the primary is supposed to do?

----- Original Message -----
From: “joliebrise2003” <jonathanlang@b…>

Is it real important to pump the last inch or two of water out of the
bilge? To protect the fresh water tanks?

In truth, it’s not at the top of my list, and certainly the aft water tank
is above the remaining bilge water after the Whale does its work. But there
is more than an “inch or two” after its big long hose drains back. Itchen
normally has a very dry bilge when sitting at the dock and I just thought it
would be nice to get that last bit of water out. Ought to knock the relative
humidity down a few percent and reduce mildew, corrosion, whatever . . …
It has also been said that a dry bilge helps slow down blistering, but how
much of a factor this is I do not know.

If you put a small pump

down at the bottom, then that pump has to be activated manually,
right? Because we don’t want it to be the first one that always comes
on, and does the work that the primary is supposed to do?

I think I would leave both pumps on automatic at the dock and have only the
bigger Rule on automatic under way.
The way the pumps are currently set up in Itchen is that the big Rule sits
in front of the aft water tank, with an automatic switch (electronic, not a
float). In that position when it shuts off there is enough water remaining
in the aft bilge and under the tank to require a couple dozen or more
strokes of the Gusher to get the remaining water out. I had in mind to keep
this Rule as the main automatic pump and also put a new small capacity/small
hose pump down in the aft bilge sump to get most of the remaining water out.
Could be automatically switched or manual – I can see advantages and
disadvantages either way.

you put a small pump
down at the bottom, then that pump has to be activated manually,
right? Because we don’t want it to be the first one that always comes
on, and does the work that the primary is supposed to do?

Here’s my take on that. I see the Rule in the higher position in front of
the water tank to actually be a backup pump, not the “primary”. Normally
very little water comes in and the small pump in the bottom of the aft sump
should be adequate to scavange that. If more water arrives from whatever
source than the small pump can handle, then the bigger pump in front of the
aft tank will cut in and hopefully keep the boat afloat. If that is not
enough or the batteries are dead, then there is the manual Gusher, two
buckets, VHF, and finally, the EPIRB.

I like the forward position under the cabin sole for a big pump – the space
is more generous and it is much more accessible when underway, for
maintenance and inspection. Since the little pump should normally handle
all the water, an alarm on the bigger pump or located a few inches above it
might make sense.


bcc members:

I have been following this web page for four + years. Last year I had the
opportunity to purchase a bcc" tradition" that I had admired for years or a
35’ Alden design Fuji cutter in Wisc. I chose the Fuji it was build similar
to bcc structurally and the inside look just a great (teak and all).
The larger cockpit is an improvement and the space is great. One year
sailing her and very much satisfied.

Thank you all for you help on repair problems. It has been fun.

How big a bilge pump should be fitted to a boat? A question I attempted to answer by calculating how many gallons of water would flow through a 1" hole?located 2’ below the waterline. The answer is 30 gallons per minute or 1,800 gallons per hour (15,012 lb./hr).
My general conclusion: a bilge pump was good for dewatering the bilge and perhaps would “buy” a sailor a little time but unless the inflow of water is stopped, Davey Jones would be your neighbor.
Regardless, IDUNA is fitted with a Henderson Mark V hand operated bilge pump and will be fitted with a small electric pump for dewatering the boat. The other option available, is to fit a Sabb engine driven pump to the boat’s Sabb G engine.
Happy New Year,

This may be an option:


Thanks to everyone who weighed in on my post about relocating the
bilge pump on Jolie Brise. I’m going to install two pumps on one
platform, with the backup pump situated two to three (?) inches
higher than the primary, wired to independent circuits, fused
separately, with separate thru-hulls for each pump. Primary is
2000gph, secondary is 3700gph. Platform to be glassed in just
forward of the aft water tank, and the switches facing aft. Using 12g
Ancor wire and smooth walled Shields hoses.

I’ve single handed the boat from Beaufort, SC to Palm Beach, FL, no
big deal, but I’ve only been sailing for two years, so for me it’s an
accomplishment. Hoping to get to the Tortugas this winter, and then
get to Annapolis this summer.

I’m looking to buy another Volvo-Penta 2002, like the one I’ve got.
The engine in the boat is fine, but I’d like to put another one in my
shop, and learn to work on it during the weeks between sailing days.
Does anyone know where I might find said engine?