Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Housekeeping on a wooden dinghy

Takes a lot of time. Arwen had a good scrub out this afternoon. What's more I even scrubbed the small kedge anchor rode which had lain somewhat muddy in its storage crate since our trip up the Lynher. Shame on me!  I also marked off with waterproof tape 1 metre intervals and 5 metre intervals on the main anchor warp as well to help me better calculate depth and scope when anchoring.

I pumped out some summer rain water as well and that got me to reflect on how to get rid of winter rain accumulation this year. Well my friend last night started the reflection when demonstrating his set up for pumping water between water butts in his green house.

He has bought a little whaler orca 500 pump which he is attaching to a Yuasa 12v 12 amp dry cell battery which he is storing in a cheap food storage Tupperware tub. It's water tight when clipped down. He will drill a hole for the wires to exit through a waterproof seal/gland. He will wire up a fuse and a switch and then use a solar panel trickle charger to keep the battery recharged up. It's a clever set up. Details about this little pump can be found here. At the moment various chandlers have them on line for around £14. Good value and they are submersible as well!

I have thought about bilge pumps before. I have often looked at a whaler urchin hand pump but where to mount it? It needs to be somewhere in the aft cockpit and then tubes would need to be drilled through the centre thwart lockers and......well the pump would get I the way even if it was mounted flush in the thwart and too much drilling through bulkheads. The advantage of the orca is its simplicity and minimum drilling required. The battery could be stored in a watertight locker and only a small hole and waterproof seal would be required for wires to exit. The pump could be attached to. Piece of 3mm ply and basically be moveable. As long as the exit tube rises upwards and can form a u bend on the inside of the hull before exiting via a waterproof seal in he sheer plank...which it can....then all is hunky dory so to speak.

I need to investigate it more but for the price of a whaler urchin I could get a simpler more versatile system and if I installed a float switch them over winter it would automatically pump out water. However, for simplicity sake I'm just thinking some wiring and I just connect it up periodically to pump out once a week the rainwater collection.

I'll give it some more thought but my initial thinking is its useful. During sailing it could be also used when its raining to pump out water that collects in floor well as as well!


Anonymous said...

Why not pump into the centrecase? I've gone thru the same thought processes as you Steve but have not done anything yet. I have a battery for nav. lights already - did not make it's case waterproof as I could not see the need.



Simeon said...

Steve -

A possible option is exhausting the pump into the centerboard trunk. I've done this with my SCAMP Noddy and it works well. I thought about the loop in the exit hose issue but decided against it since the Whale gusher manual pump seems to have a good return flow check valve built in. Anyway, my exit though the aft centerboard trunk log is up high, well above the waterline so I think it accomplishes the same result.

I just didn't want thru-hull to worry about:-)

Here is a bit of a description on SCA's message board.

Do keep us informed of your final setup. I'm thinking of a small battery solution for at anchor situations.


Simeon said...

Steve -

A further comment on the bilge pump issue. Capt'n Pauley commented on this in SCA's bi-monthy magazine I think. I also remember something similar on a "stick" that could be inserted into a bilge on an as-needed basis.

Here is a link to his good website...


steve said...

Thanks guys
Some useful tips. After I get over the trauma of another new school year start, and assuming I survive to the weekend, I'll look then some more and come back to you both
Thanks for tips and thoughts


Oliver L. Shaw said...

Electric bilge pumps are great, but it is dangerous to rely on having ONLY an electric one. In your boat you normally don't need a pump while sailing, but in unexpected extreme conditions you may find yourself needing to remove water, the survival of the boat may depend on your ability to do so, and an electric one which has flattened the battery is useless.

You NEED a manual backup system, even if it is only a bucket.

I learned this the hard way in 1974 in my first yacht, off Lundy in a near gale. We ended up with my crew down below, using a saucepan to bail the water into the loo, from where it could then be pumped out!


steve said...

Don't worry Oliver..your well made point is already sorted. Arwen has never gone to sea without a very large bucket and a manual hand pump