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Foot-Operated Bilge Pump?


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>If anyone has any experience with, or tried to install a

>foot-operated bilge pump (See URL:

>http://www.seakayakermag.com/2003/03Feb/pump01.htm), I'd

>like to hear of your experiences. I searched the forums, but

>did not find any references to such an installation.


>thanks - John

John, I purchased my Shadow with a guzzler 500 installed. Between the location and not being able to pickup water until it was a 1.5" high it never worked out correctly.

I later replaced the foot pump with an electric pump. That was of limited use as it needed .5" of water as the water doesn't collect by my toes. I have to have enough water in my boat to sitting in a couple of inches of water before the pump was of any use.

I have since removed the electric pump and have plugged the holes. I now have to cover my temporary repairs with fiberglass and gel coat.

In short I would recomend against a foot pump.


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Also looked into it extensively. I think that in boats that are not low volume, it can be installed to work well if the boat doesn't have a lot of rocker OR the input for the pump isn't really far away from your seat. Also, it would be difficult to fit into a low volume boat.

I found these other helpful links:



I decided not to pursue a foot pump because of the weight and imbalance it would add to my empty boat.

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Thanks to those who've replied. I also sent an email to Danny Mongno of Impex kayaks, as my Assateague was specially built with the forward bulkhead located further forward than normal to accomodate my long legs. He suggested that various people had found that an Attwood WaterBuster pump was an excellent alternative to the foot-actuated Bosworth. He noted that it was fully submersible, was operated by three D-cell batteries, and the pump output could be directed up through the sprayskirt tunnel via the attached hose. He also noted that it could be transferred to the boat of an exhausted rescuee, and pump that boat out with no effort, while concentrating on the victim. I found it online for $36 delivered. Does anyone have experience with this item?

As a former sailboat owner, I've always felt that battery-operated items are always near the point of failure, especially when in or near salt water for extended periods.

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I have one of these, and it works pretty well, if a tad slowly -- takes upwards of 15 minutes to empty a full cockpit by itself. But you can paddle while it works. I've seen a number of coaches who carry waterbusters.

The main problem is how to secure it, which at least some of these coaches don't do. So, when they have wet-exited to provide reentry practice bait, their waterbusters came out of the cockpit and started sailing away on their own. That's one more thing for the rescuers to have to worry about -- not good.

So, how to secure it? I don't think you want a tether, aka another noose system. One idea I had was to place it behind the seat, with the bottom on the hull. That way you can just reach around behind, grab and deploy the hose, push the button, and it starts its work in place. If you've mounted it for quick release, then you can also remove it and give it to someone else.

Unfortunately it does not fit behind the seat of my current main boat (an Aquanaut), and is even less likely to fit an NDK boat with a sloped rear bulkhead. So I've been contemplating mounting it between my legs, somewhere between up close to down by the bulkhead. But this worries me for other reasons. For one, it might interfere with reentry, or at least be subject to getting kicked loose.

Three methods of attaching I've thought about are (a) a velcroed or fastexed strap attaching it to the rear bulkhead; (B) a foam "nest"; © sticking it to the hull bottom with velcro or dual-lock (androgynous velcro-like stuff that's stronger than velcro).

Any Thoughts?


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