Most modern yachts have electric bilge pumps. Whilst they are a great convenience they do have limitations. They are usually fairly low volume and most are not able to remove enough water fast enough to keep a holed vessel afloat. They can burn out easily if left running when there is no water to pump. But the main limitation of them is that, on boats where they have been fitted they become the only means that is ever used to remove water form the bilge. As a result there is no certainty that the manual pumps will work when required. If you have several pumps on board, it is good practice to use all of them regularly and to rotate the pump that is used to remove any excess bilge water. Tradewinds recommends exercising the manual bilge pump(s) every time you check out a boat to help keep them lubed and working properly and to ensure they will be available to you if you need them! It’s a good idea to have one person excercise the pump while another listens in the bilge for air flow if there is not enough water to pump.
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