Sport 15 Cockpit Sump Pump

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
Oldslowandugly
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Sport 15 Cockpit Sump Pump

Postby Oldslowandugly » Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:40 pm

I did not want to leave the [cockpit] drain open while docking [the Boston Whaler SPORT 15 boat] at a saltwater slip all season, so I decided to add a sump pump. To fit a decent pump into the tiny [cockpit] sump [of the Boston Whaler SPORT 15 boat] is tough. I found the Rule 800-GPH round pump to fit nicely.

Instead of a float type switch--which was too big--I tried the Johnson Ultima electronic switch; it works great. It has two sensors that detect [any kind of} water and a delay so it only goes on if water is there for sure, not just sloshing around.

[The round RULE 800-GPH pump] pumps the water very quickly and shuts right off until the sensors get covered again. This is very easy on the battery. I have never found the battery dead even after extended downpours.

I added a small shim under the switch so it would be slightly above the pump intake. The Ultima switch is so slim I can still get at the drain plug easily if need be.

What I read about the [Johnson Ultima electronic] switch was that it is not as waterproof as older models, so I coated the wire leads where they went into the housing grommet as well as the seam around the switch housing with plenty of neoprene liquid electric tape. That seems to have worked because I have not had any problems in two seasons.

What I do notice is that water left in the sump for an extended time will start to grow stuff on the sensors, hold water, and trigger them. The solution is to wipe them off once in a while. I am very happy with this set up.

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conch
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Re: Sport 15 Cockpit Sump Pump

Postby conch » Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:17 am

I also use a pump in the sump well of my Sport 15. I use the Attwood Sahara S750 model #4507 which has a built in float and manual switch to test the pump. The float is housed in the strainer and the pump body lifts off for cleaning. Several seasons and no problems.
Chuck

jimh
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Re: Sport 15 Cockpit Sump Pump

Postby jimh » Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:40 am

When installing a control device to actuate a sump pump, the location of the control device relative to the pump must be carefully chosen. If the control device is not properly located, the intended automatic operation of the pump will fail. For more details, please see my article on sump pump and float switch installation.

Oldslowandugly
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Re: Sport 15 Cockpit Sump Pump

Postby Oldslowandugly » Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:18 pm

Jim, your article is exactly the reference I used for my installation. I raised the switch so it was about 3/4-inch above the pump intake. That makes sure the pump will not run dry, the switch will shut off before the sump is completely empty, and the amount of gravity drain-back does not activate the switch.

What I did with the supply wiring was a little different. I leave my boat at a slip so I did not want the entire boat electrical system live all the time. I use only one starting-deep-cycle battery and what I did was to create three separate wiring systems using a Perko dual-battery switch in reverse. One is for the motor all by itself, it is live in the "1" and "both" positions. The second is for the entire rest of the boat and is live in the "2" and "both" position, protected by a 30-Ampere Blue Sea System waterproof marine circuit breaker. The third is just for the bilge pump and switch. It is live all the time when the battery is connected. It is also protected by a separate 30-Ampere breaker. Further, a 5-Ampere fuse in a waterproof holder is located right at the pump itself. I have a waterproof push button switch on the console so I can activate the pump manually if the Johnson switch fails and this also has a 5-Ampere fuse. What I like the most is when I take on water or wash the boat, the pump shoots the water out in short spurts. It is not on longer than five seconds or so, until the sump fills again.

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Dutchman
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Re: Sport 15 Cockpit Sump Pump

Postby Dutchman » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:48 am

osau
That is a nice setup. That is big boat electric setup on a little 15 footer. Thanks for detailing that.
EJO
"Clumsy Cleat"look up what it means
50th edition 2008 Montauk 150, w/60HP Mercury Bigfoot

porthole
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Re: Sport 15 Cockpit Sump Pump

Postby porthole » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:53 am

I have been using the Rule 25s auto pump for years. They are not without a problem or two though.
I like them because they are compact and do not have a float switch, so they can be installed in very limited space areas.

http://store.waterpumpsupply.com/ruau12vodcbi.html

The pump turns on approximately every 2.5 minutes, no resistance, it shuts off. Resistance due to water in the sump, it continues to run until resistance is gone.

They do a good job. For some the constant 2.5 minute start and run my be a battery concern. I have seen the pump just fail, e.g. stop working in one way or another. I like a minimal amount of water in the bilge so anyway I can accomplish that is a plus. On my 42 Post I made a well in the bilge for this pump to sit in. After the pump would run there would be no residual water in the bilge except for what was in the 6" diameter sump I made in the bilge.

I had these pumps in my 15' CC. Here I had battery problems after a month or two. Don't know if it was caused by the constant water test or heavy rains that could have killed the battery using any pump.
Thanks,
Duane
1999 Outrage 21
1999 Yamaha SW Series II 200

Oldslowandugly
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Location: Queens NY

Re: Sport 15 Cockpit Sump Pump

Postby Oldslowandugly » Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:31 pm

I didn't use an auto pump for several reasons. Reviews indicated that the testing feature would indeed run down the battery and thus not be able to work when actually needed. The other minus was the tall size, as it would not fit in the small sump. I cover the sump with a plastic grate just as Boston Whaler did with wood, and that limits the height of the pump. I originally used a deck-mounted solar charger to keep the battery topped off. But, by their nature, solar chargers cannot charge at night. So heavy all-night rains would leave the battery almost dead by the next morning. What I use now is a NOCO Genius 3.5-Ampere smart-charger that is hard wired to my battery with a waterproof quick connector and hooked up to shore power at all times. After returning to the slip, I plug-in the charger, and by the time the boat is cleaned the battery is re-charged. [The charger] then automatically switches to a trickle charger and keeps the battery at full-charge no matter what rain occurs or how long I am away. I chose the NOCO because it is supposed to be waterproof, yet the instructions say not to submerge it. I think what they mean: it is able to be used outdoors, but within reason. What I did: screw it to the inside of an aluminum bread baking pan that has small feet and I place it upside down. The pan keeps the charger dry, and the feet lift it off the dock so air can circulate and cool it. So far, this has worked out very well. In fact. this last season we had some really bad storms. The dockmaster said he had to pump out all the other Whalers because the owners did not unplug the drains. He marveled at how well my bilge pump arrangement worked.

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Oldslowandugly
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Re: Sport 15 Cockpit Sump Pump

Postby Oldslowandugly » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:50 pm

UPDATE: I was inspecting the Rule pump for a noise and I found a small pebble stuck behind the impeller. I can't imagine how it got there because I use the screen inside the intake grate. I got it out with a small needle nose pliers. While there I snapped a picture of the sump. As you can see I raised the sump floor so it positively drains. The 800-GPH pump fits well. The Johnson Ultima switch fits even better. I can still access the drain hole and plug it with a stainless snap plug. Now you can see what I was talking about. Image

flymo
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Re: Sport 15 Cockpit Sump Pump

Postby flymo » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:02 am

Neat setup! I am thinking of going that way for my 15 - I had to drain quite a bit of water from it a few times this past summer. The previous owner had one of the auto pumps in there, but this seems better.

Can you please clarify the model of the Ultima switch you used? I see the 36303 but it looks a little different from what you have in there. Thanks!

Flymo

Oldslowandugly
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Re: Sport 15 Cockpit Sump Pump

Postby Oldslowandugly » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:13 pm

Flymo- Thanks, a lot of thought went into this arrangement. Yes, that is the model I used, Amazon still sells it.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000N9RF1K/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I removed the "foot" mount that it clips into. It mounts either from the bottom or the side. Last season I used the bottom mount but that required screws going down into the fiberglass floor of the sump. I decided to epoxy a wood spacer to the floor so the screws would go in to that instead. It worked OK but water got under the wood and over the winter it lifted up. This time I removed the "foot" and drilled/screwed sideways into the fiberglass. That required a Dremel right angle attachment and a cut-down bit. I sealed the screw holes with 5200 but they are pretty much above the waterline of the sump anyway. It looks different from the picture because the bottom mount is removed. It is a good idea to waterproof where the wires enter the unit. Postings indicate that the factory seal is not up to the job. I used liquid neoprene called "Liquid Electric tape" sold at most serious marine stores.

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flymo
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Re: Sport 15 Cockpit Sump Pump

Postby flymo » Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:49 am

Thanks - the picture on Amazon looked quite different without the foot, and your detailed response explains it. I think I'll work out something with the same components, but possibly mount them to a mahogany sump cover so as to avoid drilling.

I appreciate the info!

Flymo

Oldslowandugly
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Re: Sport 15 Cockpit Sump Pump

Postby Oldslowandugly » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:16 am

I remember seeing a mahogany sump cover somewhere. However I have never seen one for sale or specs to make one. I fabricated a cover using a milk crate and stretched some plastic mesh over it to catch debris. It keeps out large junk like clam shell chunks, but--more importantly--it holds the pump in place. Looking at the pic I posted notice that the pump is just sitting in the sump--no screws go into the fiberglass. The cover holds it in place, as well as the hose. The switch had to be screwed in-place to get it situated at the correct level. I guess you could attach it to a wood cover, but if the cover gets out of position you disable the pump. And, since wood floats, how will you restrain it?

flymo
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Re: Sport 15 Cockpit Sump Pump

Postby flymo » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:25 pm

I think I have a chunk of mahogany somewhere I can use, so would plan to make my own. The design I have in mind would be a mahogany cover, with a piece of starboard dropping vertically to hold the pump and sensor. I know I can screw the sensor to the starboard, but may need to use some type of clamp for the pump.

Hopefully, if the pump keeps ahead of the water, it will never have a chance to float, but I may find I need to add some weight, or possibly stick it down with velcro. The mahogany cover would need to be raised to allow water to flow into the sump.

Still working on a plan in my mind.

Flymo

Oldslowandugly
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Re: Sport 15 Cockpit Sump Pump

Postby Oldslowandugly » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:27 am

Don't forget that I raised the sump about an inch so that it would positively drain. I didn't want winter water freezing in the sump and breaking the fiberglass. That limited my choice of pumps a bit and you could probably fit something larger. I had 400gph, 500gph, and 800gph Rule models and they all were about the same size. I had read an article that pump flows are rated "at the pump". That does not take into consideration the height over the transom, and friction of the hose length. So actual flow is usually much less than the rating and you should go as large as you can fit. I found the 800gph pump in a live-well pump kit at a marine dealer's closeout so I grabbed it. I can say that it works very well even when green water comes over the bow.