If you’ve ever taken a close look at your bilge, you’d likely admit that it’s probably the nastiest place on your boat, even if you do your best to keep the place clean. Dirt, sawdust, hair, fish scales, and all sort of other grunge somehow migrate to the bilge. Now imagine trying to make a piece of electrically powered marine gear work down there reliably, season after season. That, my friends, is the life of a bilge pump.
A bilge pump is designed to handle nuisance water primarily, but sometimes it’s also the only thing standing between your boat and the bottom of the sea in an emergency. That’s why it’s important that it works right, all the time. Keeping that in mind, we’re going to discuss what you’ll need to know to install a submersible bilge pump yourself, just like a seasoned marine professional would.
Mount the Bilge Pump and Float Switch
The first thing you’ll want to do is to remove your new bilge pump from the packaging and give it a big hug. OK, just kidding. On the bottom of most submersible pumps is a removable strainer assembly that not only prevents debris from clogging the pump, but also acts as the mounting bracket for the pump itself. Pop off that strainer from the pump, and then use it as a template to scout for a suitable installation location in your bilge. Also, if you’re going to be mounting a float switch, make sure the location has room nearby for the switch, too. The pump will need to go in an area at the lowest point of your bilge and preferably as far back in the boat as possible. That’s because bilge water generally runs aft. Once you’ve figured out your spot, scrub the area clean, and then dry it as best as you can.
Place the strainer assembly where you want the pump to go, and use a felt pen or marker to pinpoint where to pre-drill your pilot holes for the screws. Remove the strainer and then drill your shallow pilot holes, using the correct diameter drill bit for the screws you’re using. Know exactly where you’re drilling! Obviously you don’t want to go through the bottom of the boat, but also be aware of sandwich construction that could be compromised. When in doubt, use a bracket — available at many marine supply shops — and fasten your bilge pump to a stringer or other safe location. Sometimes the pump will come with screws, but you may need to supply your own. If your pump didn’t come with fasteners, use self-tapping pan head screws that will fit the holes in the strainer basket and are about three-quarters of an inch long. Before you screw in the base, put a generous dollop of polyurethane marine sealant (such as 3M 5200) in the pilot holes to prevent the fiberglass from soaking up water. Next, screw down the strainer base, and then click in the pump assembly. If you’re using a float switch, mount it as close to the bilge pump as possible, using the same “template” method you used for installing the strainer plate. Try to leave the sealant to set up for a day, if you can, but don’t worry too much if it gets wet—5200 cures in the presence of water quite nicely.
Running the Overboard Discharge
Next, you need to decide where to mount the overboard discharge thru-hull for your bilge pump system, and that requires some careful forethought and planning. You want the discharge to be well above the waterline, but not so high as to reduce the efficiency of the pump. Also, think about where the water will end up when it comes out of that fitting. Is it so high that the water will shoot out onto the dock or make a lot of noise when it splashes into the water? When figuring out a place to install the thru-hull, take into account whether the location you’re thinking of will ever be underwater—such as when the boat is fully loaded, heeled over, or when it “squats” under power. The discharge for your bilge pump should never go underwater in any situation, ever. Otherwise, you create a condition where water can back-siphon through that fitting into the boat. A place that is a low as possible, but not too low, is what you’re looking for. The thru-hull fitting you select should have a hose barb the same size as the discharge fitting on the bilge pump. A typical Rule bilge pump, for example, has a discharge fitting that is 1-1/8” outside diameter, which means that the thru-hull would need to have a 1-1/8” barb. Consequently, the inside diameter of your house would need to be 1-1/8”, too. Nylon or fiber-reinforced plastic thru-hull fittings are suitable for this application, but consider a bronze thru-hull, if the budget allows. They’re much more sturdy in the long run. Once you’ve got the location sorted, you’ll need to drill a hole in the hull the same diameter of the threads for the thru-hull, using a drill-mounted hole saw. You’ll want to start on the outside and work in. Taping off the area where you’ll be drilling helps prevent splintering the fiberglass and chipping the gelcoat, but the key is not to use the hole saw at too low a speed; that’s when its teeth can snag on the gelcoat and chip it. Once you have your hole cut, apply a good-quality marine sealant around the fitting, insert it, and then tighten up the nut behind it. Use a paper towel or rag to clean up any excess.
Before you buy your hose, measure the distance from your bilge pump up along the path to where you mounted the thru-hull discharge, and then add a foot or two. We’ll explain why in just a moment. And don’t skimp when you buy hose for this project. That doesn’t mean you have to buy the most expensive, multi-layered, wire-reinforced raw water hose on the rack, but it does mean you’ll want to stay away from cheap, extruded, thin-wall “bilge flex” hose. Also know that corrugated (ridged) hoses are great for situations where you have to make a sharp bend, but they also reduce the efficiency of your bilge pump’s output. That’s because of the turbulence those ridges inside the hose create. When possible, buy a smooth-walled hose with a decent wall thickness that won’t kink when bent and will stand up to the harsh environment in your bilge. To install the hose onto the thru-hull, first put a properly sized marine-grade, stainless-steel hose clamp on the hose, push the hose onto the thru-hull’s hose barb, and then tighten down the hose clamp firmly. Next, create a loop that runs above the thru-hull and then down toward the bilge. This loop will prevent water from siphoning back into the boat in the unlikely event that the fitting ever goes below water (you’ll want to hope it never does). Last, run the hose neatly down to the bilge pump, making sure you use lined clamps at regular intervals to secure the hose. Attach the hose to the bilge pump repeating the same method we used on the thru-hull fitting.
The way you wire your bilge pump setup will have a profound effect on its longevity, reliability, and efficiency. Since the supply wires and their connections will spend a significant amount of time around—and in—some very wet and sloppy conditions, it is crucial that you connect them using only the best materials and ensure that all of your connections are completely waterproof.For wire, that means using only marine-grade, tinned copper wire of the proper gauge. The size of that wire depends on how far the pump is wired from the power source and how many amps the pump draws, so consult a wire sizing table (you can do an Internet search for one), or ask your marine supply shop pro to help you spec the correct size wire. When it comes to the connectors that you’ll use to hook up your bilge pump and float switch to the power leads, that means using adhesive-lined, heat-shrink terminals. In fact, we even recommend applying an additional piece of heat shrink over those connectors themselves, just to be safe.
The best way to wire up a bilge pump is by using dedicated three-way bilge pump switch. This switch will have a light to indicate when it’s operating, but also allows the pump to be set in “Auto,” “Off,” or “Manual” modes. Additionally, a bilge pump should be wired so that it still has power when the battery switch is shut off. That usually means running it right to the battery, or terminal strip supplied by the battery. By all means, ensure that you’ve installed a proper-sized fuse. Again, if you’re unsure, ask one of the pros at your local marine supply shop to help spec out the right one. Each pump, pump switch, and float switch come with specific wiring diagrams that you should follow to the letter. Some bilge pumps come with brown and black lead wires, while some come with other weird combinations, so make sure you follow the instructions in the box religiously. We’ve included a simple illustration of a basic wiring setup here, but use it only as a guide, making sure you pay attention to the instructions for the gear you’re working with. Once you have everything installed, it’s time to test your setup. Make sure that the bilge area is sealed (put in the drain plug, if you have one), and then fill it up with water using a hose until the pump switches on automatically. Next, wait for it to empty and turn off on its own. If you wired the pump to a three-way (auto/off/manual) switch at the helm or to a stand-alone bilge pump panel, fill up the bilge again and then toggle the switch to “Manual,” to make sure the pump turns on and pumps the bilge dry. Switch the toggle back to “Auto” when you’re done. Well, if everything worked out, a cold beverage of your choice is in order. Once you’ve kicked back with a cold one, remember that bilge pumps shouldn’t be ignored once you install them. It’s a good idea to check their operation every trip and also to look down in the bilge to make sure there’s no debris clogging the pump or affecting the float switch. Also, it’s not a horrible idea to install a cycle counter so you can spot any sudden increases in the number of times the pump is switching on. That can alert you to a leak. Happy pumping, campers—see you on the water.
Source: riviera boat
Everybody is looking for ways to make things last longer, whether it’s our cars, appliances, baseball games, or yes, our boats. What if I told you there were a few simple things you could do that would prolong the life of your boat’s engine — — inboard or outboard, and cost you next to nothing?
Too good to be true, right? Nope, not this time. And I had to say “next to nothing” only because one of these tips does cost a few bucks, but hardly anything in comparison to other maintenance expenses.
Run it regularly
We’ve all had those seasons where we don’t get out on the water enough. That’s hard on the psyche. It’s also not very good for your engine. Oil drains away from internal components and back into the pan, but running the engine every so often, even when you don’t have a chance to really use it, helps keep things in working order.
Running the engine “on the hose” gets the gas moving so it won’t just sit inside your fuel system and create varnish. Keep the hose and “earmuffs” handy and fire up the boat once a week to keep things loose. I also like to run fuel stabilizer all summer long — not just during winter storage — to keep the fuel from getting gummy.
Warm it up
As much as we hate long idles from the boat ramp to open water where we can get on plane and open it up, those long idles are actually good for our engines. Cold oil doesn’t flow well compared with warm oil. That resistance to flow isn’t as good at protecting engine components, and believe it or not, that resistance actually puts a strain on things like the oil pump and the mechanisms that drive it. Avoid premature wear by letting the engine warm up to operating temperature before you hammer the throttle — even if there’s open water available right away.
Flush it religiously
I can’t count the number of times I’ve been so tired after a day of boating that I didn’t feel like flushing the motors. It’s a chore. It’s a bore. And yes, it’s necessary.
Salt deposits in an engine wreak a lot of havoc inside , but flushing an engine at operating temperature every time you use it in saltwater will help keep interior corrosion to a minimum. This helps maintain gasket integrity, among other things. Let the motor run until you can’t taste salt in the exhaust stream. That sometimes takes a few minutes, which will give you the opportunity to flush the trailer brakes, too.
Prolong engine treatment
It’s not often I recommend a product, but Prolong engine treatment has gone into all my engines for the last 10 years. I was sold on it when I poured it into the crankcase while the car was running and the idle speed increased by about 200 rpm. That was on an old carbureted car, and I physically had to back the idle screw out a turn or so to get it back to normal.
Prolong somehow bonds to the metal surfaces inside the engine and makes things a lot slicker. That means things stay slick even when the oil drains back into the pan. It’s more of a metal treatment than an oil treatment. One of my automotive heroes, NASCAR hall of fame crew chief Smokey Yunick, swore by the stuff, and if there were ever a curmudgeon who would tell you when a product wasn’t worth a darn, it was Smokey.
Cruising speed is your friend
We all love to pin the throttles and boogie back to the docks flat-out, right? We get home quicker, and everybody wins. Well, if you could avoid that late-day sprint — leaving sooner would do the trick — and drive back to the docks at cruising speed, your engine will last longer.
Typically, cruising speed is where your boat is at its best and least stressed. The engine is making good power and the boat’s trimmed out, nice and free from the sticky water. Adding throttle adds rpm, which doesn’t log any more time on the hour meters, but it does make those hours more stressful. Keeping it at cruising speeds as often as you can is a great way to prolong the life of your engine and related components.
Source: riviera boat
Summer in GCC can be clashing for boaters. The leaves are turning hues and a few of us are getting in those last couple of travels before we need to put the boat away for the hot. For others, it may be an ideal opportunity to offer.
It occurs during this season — a period of change. Possibly you were busy to the point that you just got out on the boat two or three times, and there’s no indication of things easing up. Possibly your life conditions have changed and you have to recover money from your venture. So you put the vessel available for sale.
On the sweet side, perhaps you’re selling since you’re up for superior vessel for you and your family — and this hot climate drives straight to Boat Show season! (The next one will be in October at the beginning of the good season in Abu Dhabi, and Riviera Boat we will attend it with different boats)
Regardless of whether you’re offering, purchasing, or completing a touch of both, it’s anything but difficult to give feeling a chance to cloud your judgment. So in the event that you have that tingle to roll out an improvement or two, analyze every one of the points.
Consider your present yacht. Does it do what you and your family require it to do? Is it dependable? Is it accurate to say that you are as yet playing around with it? We as a whole know how simple it can be to get drawn into the possibility of another vessel, and for the vast majority of us it doesn’t take much. Practically, if your boat does his job, keep it. Do the appropriate maintenance legitimately. Put it away and check the days till next season.
In the event that your present watercraft isn’t cutting it any more, you’ll have to make sense of a couple of things. In the event that you’ve outgrown the boat or you presently have interests or leisure activities you can’t seek after on your flow vessel, it may be a great opportunity to offload it and get something new. For instance, suppose your children grew up tubing and doing some essential wakeboarding, yet are presently mature enough and intrigued enough to consider further developed watersports. Contingent upon the level of their advantage and your own financial plan, you may have the capacity to redesign with a greater detachable — or go to the subsequent stage and supplant your runabout with an all out tow watercraft. On the off chance that you do choose to offer your present vessel, make certain your cost is tantamount to other comparative models available, and when you begin looking for the better and brighter one, recollect that persistence will remunerate you.
On the off chance that the vessel still does what you require it to do, however there’s abundance play in the controlling, or a fumes spill, or that the bilge dependably appears have water in it, a little torque time over the summer can regularly reestablish the pride and joy you felt when you initially got the boat. Possibly it won’t be very close to new one when you’re set, yet it will be nearer, and if the boat is paid for it will even now be paid for. There’s a great deal of significant worth in that, as well!
Source: riviera boat
Generators are so basic we nearly disregard them, with the exception of firing them off and toss a switch. They appear as omnipresent as the power in our homes.
At some point or another it happens to every one of us, even the most cautious of guides – the prop gets dinged. Some of the time it’s somewhat more than a ding, yet the greater part of the sharp edges are still there, pretty much.
In this time of the year, anyone loving the sea generally desires to upgrade his own boat before setting sail again. A new find finder, especially if equipped with a high-tech system, will certainly help to “get a better view” and, if you’re an angler, to improve your fishing experience. (more…)