Fitting a bilge pump will save you bucket loads of effort
  |  First Published: April 2017

We all know that boats float, unless they are full of water, that is. Water can enter your boat in many different ways. Obviously if you forget to put your bungs in or they’re not tight enough water will pour or trickle in. During rough conditions, spray and even waves can splash over the side, especially in small tinnies that don’t have much freeboard.

Torrential or heavy rain can put enough water into your small boat to possibly stop it getting onto the plane, which can be annoying and even dangerous, especially if you are on an extended trip. A small leak from a crack in your tinny or the silicone perishing around your bungs could not only ruin your trip, it could cost you your boat or your life in the wrong situation. Having a bilge pump in your craft makes the exercise of getting water out as simple as flicking a switch.

I was cast netting for prawns earlier in the year when I realised I definitely needed a bilge pump in my 3.95m vee-nose tinny. The amount of water coming in with the net was surprising and one day, in combination with a heavy and sudden storm, water was lapping the false floor.

It was a slow trip back to the ramp to put it back on the trailer and drain the litres out. Had I not been able to get back to the ramp, the only other option would be to lift up the floor and bail the water out, which would have taken some time. I decided I needed to fit a bilge pump before my next trip. Let’s see how easy it is to install a bilge pump in the average tinny.

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