Norman Eastwood assembles a bucket pump to remove the final few bits of water from his boat’s bilges

This useful device was made because small quantities of water can remain in various parts of my boat’s bilges without flowing to the sump: waste tanks in the bilges prevent access with a sponge to mop up. Another use is clearing water from the fridge after ice blocks have melted.

The pump itself is one of many cheap 12V diaphragm pumps sold on eBay and currently costs just under £10. Many such pumps just have push-on hose barbs, but I chose one with screw fittings to retain the hoses, which are 10mm bore. A 2m length was cut to provide both suction and outlet hoses. The pictures show how the pump is mounted on a piece of plywood, with the outlet hose pushed through a hole and a switch fitted in the cable, which has a cigarette lighter-type plug fitted. On the underside of the board, four plastic blocks grip the outside rim of my rubber boat bucket.

When not in use, the pump lives in a plastic bag in one of the bilges. It has proved very effective at sucking up small quantities of water from difficult-to-reach places.

Norman Eastwood

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