Manual Pump Problem

A working manual bilge pump is an essential safety item on a 2.4mR but it is surprising how a little piece of debris can make it non operational. I put in a new manual pump in my older 2.4 last week and thought everything would be fine even though my electric pump was having issues. Dial forward to Sunday. A perfect sunny day for sailing with winds 10 to 12 knots and gusts up to maybe 15 knots.

The pump worked well for the first hour or so. I would pump the boat dry on the runs and then take a little water from the waves going up wind. Then the pump stopped working. I took a few waves and the water was over the floor board. I thought it was prudent to get back to the dock before I really filled up the boat.

Back at the dock we lifted the boat onto its cradle and then I removed the pump to take it to my work bench for disassembly and inspection. The culprit as can be seen in the photo was a very small piece of line which got trapped in the check valve of the pump and wouldn’t let the pump diaphragm do its job. The DIY solution was to go to the dollar store and buy a $1.50 small kitchen strainer and sabotage it to make a strainer for the end of the hose. Pump with strainer is now reinstalled on the boat. The electric bilge pump is repaired too.

I will be insetting strainers on the other 2.4’s in our fleet. Moral of the story. Keep a clean bilge.

Peter Wood
CAN 14

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