Friday, 4 January 2013

Hammer and Trickle

Today I managed to get a lot of jobs done on the boat.

First up was to fit a new mounting for the bilge pump and float switch under the stern gear. I mounted them in a large Tupperware box so that hopefully any drips can be caught and dealt with. I used Sikaflex to glue the float switch down, and screwed a wooden batten across to hold the bilge pump itself down.

Working out the electrical connections was a bit harder. I wanted to wire it so the bilge pump could be turned on manually or by the float switch. A bit of thought led me to put the two switches in the circuit in parallel so that either can complete the circuit and run the pump.

I also had some modifications made to our mooring pins. We use cut off lengths of scaffolding pole as well as normal pins, which although they are far more fixed in the ground, the rope is less secure and can be just lifted off. So I bought two U bolts and had them welded onto the sides of the tubes by the Mackays metalworking workshop. A very good result, two pins - one about 3' long, the other nearer 4' - with loops on the side to stop the rope being lifted off.

Sledgehammering them into the ground was hard work, but we're now securely moored.


  1. I trust that's not your only bilge pump, as the one you describe appears to be isolated from the cabin bilge. It might seem to be a good idea to contain and pump out the drips from the stern gland, but you also need to protect against rain collecting and/or a burst pipe!

  2. No, it's not the only one, this is specifically for the stern gland, there's another at the front.

  3. Hmmm, that's got me thinking. We have a little bucket under the stern gear which I lift out by catching its handle on a boat hook, but I usually spill some in the process. the trouble with a float switch though is that they tend to need a fair depth before they switch on. Also we get dobs of grease dropping in the bucket when I tighten the stern gland. That might get your switch and pump a bit messy. Let us know how it all works in practice.


  4. I fing that the float can stick with the dropped grease which is a pain. Also, I dont have a bilge pump for the cabin - bust under the stern gland. Not that there is ever any water down there.

  5. Great blog guys, followed for a while even before we had our blog. I've just joined you in the google connect thing as well. :) glad you are both well