Aden Reese
17 min readApr 12, 2024

Welcome to our Bilge Pump roundup! If you’re a boat owner or enthusiast, you understand the importance of having a reliable and efficient bilge pump onboard. In this article, we’ll be diving deep into some of the best products on the market. We’ll discuss their features, performance, and what makes them stand out from the competition. So, let’s sail into the world of bilge pumps together and discover the perfect fit for your sailing needs!

The Top 10 Best Bilge Pumps

  1. Powerful, Compact Bilge Pump with Foam Sleeve — Stay dry and on the move with Pelican’s manual bilge pump, the compact solution for efficiently removing water from kayaks and boats while offering comfort and durability.
  2. Compact, Automatic Submersible Bilge Pump with Built-in Float Switch — Seaflo Automatic Submersible Bilge Water Pump: Compact, fully submersible, built-in float switch, automatic operation, 750 GPH, and 12V DC for efficient and durable water removal.
  3. High-Capacity, Submersible Bilge Pump with Dura-Port Discharge Port — Experience the reliable and durable Johnson Cartridge Bilge Pump, featuring a fully submersible design, ignition protection, and Dura-port discharge ports for 3/4 inch discharge capacity.
  4. 12V High-Capacity Bilge Pump with 1500 GPH Flow Rate — The Seaflo 12V Bilge Pump effortlessly removes 1500 gallons of water per hour with an impressive 8 amp current draw, fitting seamlessly into industry standard mounting bases.
  5. Compact, High-Capacity 12V Automatic Bilge Pump (750 GPH) — Experience the ultimate convenience of boating with the Albin Pump Automatic Bilge Pump, a compact, easy-to-install, and fully automatic 750 GPH bilge pump designed to keep your boat dry and safe.
  6. Efficient Bilge Pump for Kayaks — The Palm Kayak Bilge Pump efficiently removes up to 30 litres of water per minute, is easily stored on your deck, and features a buoyant foam sleeve for added convenience in emergencies.
  7. High-Capacity Heavy-Duty Ball-Bearing Bilge Pump — Experience unmatched durability and efficiency with Attwood’s Heavy-Duty Bilge Pump, delivering over 2000 GPH at an impressive power consumption of under 7-amps.
  8. Marpac 1250GPH Auto Bilge Pump — The Marpac 32–47261–2M Bilge Pump offers an advanced, Mercury-free digital design, easy installation, and American-made quality — all backed by robust certifications.
  9. Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Pump with LED Switch Panel — Upgrade your boat’s bilge pump system with the Amarine-made automatic 12V submersible pump, featuring a built-in float switch, compact efficiency, and corrosion-resistant materials for reliable and silent performance.
  10. Rule 4000 Manual 24V Marine Bilge Pump — The Rule 4000 Non-Automatic Bilge Pump, with a 24V operation, offers a high-capacity 4000 GPH and is designed for tough applications, making it a reliable choice for boat owners.

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Reviews

Powerful, Compact Bilge Pump with Foam Sleeve

Powerful, Compact Bilge Pump with Foam Sleeve | Image

As someone who loves spending time on the water, I can’t express enough my gratitude for the Pelican manu. . bilge pump. This bad boy has been my savior on several occasions when my kayak started sinking, and with just a few quick pumps, I was back in business.

The foam sleeve not only looks cool, but it also provides a comfortable grip and some added flotation. I also love that it has a powerful motor packed into a compact size — it’s the perfect combination for easy yet efficient pumping of water out of my kayak. The only downside?

It doesn’t come with a hose. But overall, I’m seriously impressed and my adventures on the water have never been brighter (or less water-logged) thanks to this bilge pump.

Compact, Automatic Submersible Bilge Pump with Built-in Float Switch

Compact, Automatic Submersible Bilge Pump with Built-in Float Switch | Image

As someone who frequently spends time on boats, I can attest to the convenience and efficiency of the Seaflo Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump. This compact little powerhouse has proven to be a game-changer for me, saving so much time when it comes to cleaning my boat’s bilge.

One of the standout features for me is the fully automatic system. With its built-in float switch, it requires no additional switches or controls. Simply plug it into your boat’s 12V power source, and it will activate itself once the water level rises, pumping out the excess water without any need for manual input.

Additionally, the high-impact durable plastic housing makes it suitable for use in any weather condition, and the rustproof and corrosion-resistant design ensures long-lasting performance. The pump is available in 750gph and 1100gph options, offering versatility to fit different boats’ needs.

The product also boasts a strong and efficient motor, helping it pump out water at a rate of 12.5 gallons per minute. This makes it a reliable option for keeping your boat’s bilge clean and free from water.

However, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider. Some users have reported issues with the impeller shaft breaking off, which can be a costly repair. Additionally, the wiring diagram could be more user-friendly, especially for those with sight conditions.

Overall, the Seaflo Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump has been a trusty companion during my boat cleaning adventures. Its automatic functionality and durable design make it a worthwhile investment for anyone looking for an efficient and reliable bilge pump.

High-Capacity, Submersible Bilge Pump with Dura-Port Discharge Port

High-Capacity, Submersible Bilge Pump with Dura-Port Discharge Port | Image

This Johnson Cartridge Bilge Pump offers a reliable solution for your boating needs, bringing a corrosion-resistant, fully submersible design for smooth and efficient water pumping. With an ergonomic and user-friendly construction, the 500 GPH pump stands out for its durability and versatility in a variety of boating environments. Despite the occasional issues reported by users, the Johnson Cartridge Bilge Pump has made a mark as a trusted and practical choice for marine enthusiasts, with 4.6 stars out of 90 reviews and a host of satisfied customers.

12V High-Capacity Bilge Pump with 1500 GPH Flow Rate

12V High-Capacity Bilge Pump with 1500 GPH Flow Rate | Image

The Seaflo 12V Bilge Pump is a handy little device that has significantly improved my boating experience. Its capacity to pump up to 1500 gallons per hour is impressive, ensuring that my boat can handle any unexpected waterlogging. The current draw of 8 Amps, with a maximum of 10, is reasonable, and I wasn’t too surprised when I learned that I would need a 12 Amp fuse size.

One of the features that truly stands out is the 1–1/8 inch hose outlet, making it a breeze to connect and disconnect when it’s time to clean up the boat. In terms of the pump’s dimensions, it’s small enough to fit most industry standard mounting bases, which is a welcome feature for someone like me who appreciates space-saving solutions.

While the overall product has been serving me well, I experienced a slight issue with one of the 5-star reviews. Another user mentioned that the pump isn’t quite as durable as a Rule’s. I don’t have firsthand experience with that brand to compare, but keeping that in mind is something to consider.

All in all, the Seaflo 12V Bilge Pump is a reliable and practical addition to any boat. It’s not perfect, but it certainly gets the job done, and that counts for a lot.

Compact, High-Capacity 12V Automatic Bilge Pump (750 GPH)

Compact, High-Capacity 12V Automatic Bilge Pump (750 GPH) | Image

When I needed a reliable bilge pump for our small boat, the Albin Pump Automatic Bilge Pump 750 GPH 12V (01–04–016) caught my eye. Weighing just 1 lb, it’s compact and easy to install. The pump has an impressive capacity of 50 L/min (750 GPH) and 42 L/min (660 GPH) at 1m head. I appreciated the stainless steel shaft and the tough thermoplastic ABS housing.

This automatic submersible pump comes with a removable base plate and strainer integrated, making it easy to maintain. Plus, the low power consumption and three-wire design made it a smart choice for our needs. The included 19 mm (3/4′′) straight and elbow detachable discharge ports were convenient accessories.

One downside I encountered was that it’s not suitable for boats larger than 8m (25 Ft) in length. However, overall, this bilge pump proved to be a great value for our small pleasure boat.

Efficient Bilge Pump for Kayaks

Efficient Bilge Pump for Kayaks | Image

I’ve had the pleasure of using the Palm Kayak Bilge Pump on my recent kayaking adventure, and let me tell you, it’s an essential piece of equipment. The pump is compact at 54cm in length, which makes it easy to store on your kayak’s deck for quick access on the water.

One of the standout features is the impressive power it delivers, with an incredible capacity to remove 30 liters of water per minute. The force of this bilge pump is so strong, that a hose is not even required — saving you the hassle of fussing around with extra equipment.

During my time on the water, the float came in handy to prevent the pump from getting lost during rescue practice or, heaven forbid, a capsize. The buoyancy foam sleeve on the pump barrel ensured that it stayed afloat, giving me peace of mind.

Assembling the pump is a breeze — all you need is a bit of cord to secure it to your kayak. Plus, since Palm Equipment constructed it from a durable plastic, it’s built to withstand the elements during your time on the water.

However, it doesn’t all come without some minor drawbacks. One disadvantage is that the pump mechanism needs to be submerged to be effective, which may not be ideal for anyone who doesn’t like to get water in their hands while kayaking.

Overall, the Palm Kayak Bilge Pump is a reliable, powerful, and nifty piece of equipment that is a true lifesaver when you’re in the middle of the water and need to drain your kayak. Its compact design and practical features make it a must-have for every kayaker’s arsenal.

High-Capacity Heavy-Duty Ball-Bearing Bilge Pump

High-Capacity Heavy-Duty Ball-Bearing Bilge Pump | Image

The Attwood Heavy-Duty Bilge Pump 2000 effortlessly handles water disposal with its impressive flow rate of 2000 GHP. Powered by a 24V motor, this pump ensures efficient performance by drawing less than 7-amps, making it a standout choice for those seeking a reliable and durable solution. The exclusive shaft and motor compartment design significantly prolongs the pump’s lifespan, while the high-quality bearings, brushes, alloys, and magnets are built to endure even the most demanding conditions.

The advanced resin compositions used in the exterior help protect the pump from harsh chemicals like engine oil and aggressive detergents, ensuring long-lasting durability in a compact design.

Marpac 1250GPH Auto Bilge Pump

Marpac 1250GPH Auto Bilge Pump | Image

Welcome to the world of effortless bilge pumping with the Marpac 32–47261–2M. This nifty device boasts an advanced digital design that is entirely Mercury-free, so you don’t have to worry about pesky float switches getting jammed.

Its simple 3-wire setup ensures ease of installation, and you can choose between auto and manual override modes. The included straight and omnidirectional 90 hose barbs, coupled with a backflow check valve, offer reliability and convenience. Proudly made in the USA, this pump bears numerous certifications, such as NMMA, ABYC, USCG, and CE, making it a top choice for any boating enthusiast.

Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Pump with LED Switch Panel

Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Pump with LED Switch Panel | Image

Last summer, I had an unfortunate accident on the lake that caused my boat’s bilge to fill up with water. The Amarine Made Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump was my lifesaver and truly lived up to its name. This compact, automatic, fully submersible electric pump was a breeze to use, just a perfect fit for my cramped quarters.

The built-in float switch made things so much easier, no need for a separate float switch, and no power was used until the pump was activated. The reed sensor system made for simple, fully automatic operation that I absolutely adore. It was a compact, efficient, long-life motor, rustproof, and corrosion resistant, which made it withstand the harsh water conditions of the lake without any issues.

The pump’s silent and vibrationless operation was a plus, and it showed its true colors when it protected itself against high current. It also had anti-airlock protection, ensuring that it won’t burn out when run dry. The integrated float switch TEST button was a nice touch.

In terms of downsides, there were none that I could spot except maybe during the installation process, which could have been a bit more streamlined. Overall, I’m more than happy with the Amarine-made automatic bilge pump. It proved to be an essential, life-saving tool that was both efficient and easily maintainable, making my lake experience a more pleasant one.

Rule 4000 Manual 24V Marine Bilge Pump

Rule 4000 Manual 24V Marine Bilge Pump | Image

Introducing the Rule 4000 Non-Automatic Bilge Pump, designed to handle the most demanding situations. This high-performance pump boasts an impressive capacity of 4000 gallons per hour, making it a reliable choice for boats and vessels of all sizes. The non-automatic operation ensures that it works only when you need it, providing excellent control and efficiency.

Featuring a 2-inch discharge outlet, this electric bilge pump offers a powerful and efficient solution to keeping your boat dry and safe. Although it comes in at a hefty 6 pounds, the compact dimensions of 7 inches by 8 inches by 11 inches make it a convenient addition to your vessel.

The Rule 4000 Bilge Pump offers unmatched performance and reliability, with its optimized design features tailored to provide the highest capacity possible. Whether you’re navigating through choppy waters or facing a sudden downpour, this pump is the perfect choice to keep your boat in top shape.

However, it’s essential to be aware of the size and weight of this pump before making a purchase, as it may require extra storage space and handling. Overall, the Rule 4000 Non-Automatic Bilge Pump is a robust and effective solution for all your bilge pump needs.

Buyer’s Guide

A bilge pump is an essential tool for boat owners, offering both manual and automatic operations to keep the vessel’s compartments dry and safe from water damage. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll cover important features, considerations, and advice for selecting the best bilge pump for your needs.

Important Features to Consider

When shopping for a bilge pump, consider the following features to ensure you select the right one for your boat and its specific requirements:

  1. Size: Choose a bilge pump with an appropriate size according to your boat’s length and size of the compartments that need draining. 2. Type: There are two main types of bilge pumps — centrifugal and diaphragm — with varying capabilities and advantages depending on the size and weight of water to be pumped. 3. Construction: Bilge pumps are typically made of plastic, bronze, or stainless steel, each of which offers different weight considerations and resistance to corrosion. 4. Power source: Bilge pumps can be manually operated, electrically powered, or fuel-driven, affecting their ease of use and potential operating costs. 5. Installation: Consider the ease of installation and compatibility with your boat’s wiring and electrical setup.

Factors Affecting Pump Performance

Several factors can influence the performance of a bilge pump, making it crucial to understand these factors when selecting the right one:

  1. Water temperature: Cold water can cause condensation and ice buildup, affecting a pumps’ performance. Choose a bilge pump with appropriate materials to withstand cold conditions. 2. Flow rate: A higher flow rate allows the pump to remove water more quickly and efficiently, which may be necessary for larger boats or in cases of sudden water buildup. 3. Suction lift: This refers to the length of the hose and the distance from the water source to the pump, which can affect the pump’s suction power.

General Advice and Tips for Selecting and Using a Bilge Pump

Choosing and using a bilge pump can be a crucial part of boat maintenance. Consider the following piece of advice to ensure your selection and use of a bilge pump is effective:

  1. Regularly inspect and maintain the bilge pump — this includes checking for leaks and ensuring parts like impellers are not damaged. 2. Protect the pump from harsh environmental conditions to prevent corrosion and extend the life of the pump. 3. Always follow manufacturer guidelines for installation, operation, and maintenance.

Considerations for Boat Size and Type

Different boats have unique requirements for bilge pumps, and understanding these requirements can help you select the best one for your vessel:

  1. Size and type of boat: The size and compartment arrangement of the boat play a significant role in determining the appropriate bilge pump size and type. 2. Intended use: If you plan to use the boat for offshore cruising or sailing in rough waters, consider a more powerful and reliable bilge pump. 3. Space and weight constraints: Larger and heavier boats may have limited space or weight-carrying capacity, which can influence the choice of a bilge pump.

FAQ

What is a bilge pump?

A bilge pump is a mechanical device used to remove water from the bottom of a boat, ship, or other watercraft. It helps to maintain the vessel’s stability and prevent flooding by pumping out water that accumulates in the bilge or lowest part of the hull. Bilge pumps are usually automatic and are activated by float switches that detect when the water level has reached a certain point.

They come in different types, such as electric, manual, and air-operated, and can be either submersible or non-submersible. The choice of bilge pump depends on various factors, including the size and type of the watercraft, the frequency of use, and the desired level of automation and reliability. Proper maintenance and regular testing of the bilge pump are essential to ensure its proper functioning in case of emergency.

How does a bilge pump work?

A bilge pump operates using two main components: the pump and the float switch. The pump is responsible for removing water from the bilge area, while the float switch triggers the pump when the water level reaches a certain point. When the water level is low, the float switch moves up, and the pump stops operating. As the water level rises, the float switch moves down, activating the pump and causing it to start removing the water.

There are different types of bilge pumps, but most work on the same principle. Manual bilge pumps require the user to operate a handle to pump out the water, while electric and air-operated bilge pumps are activated automatically. Submersible bilge pumps are designed to operate underwater and can be placed directly in the bilge area, while non-submersible pumps are meant to be installed above the waterline. Regular maintenance and testing are crucial to ensure that the bilge pump works effectively in case of an emergency.

What are the different types of bilge pumps?

There are three main types of bilge pumps: electric, manual, and air-operated. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on the specific needs of the watercraft and the preferences of the user. Here’s a brief overview of each type of bilge pump:

  1. Electric bilge pumps: These pumps are powered by 12-volt DC electricity and are usually mounted above the waterline. They are easy to use, but require a power source, such as a battery. 2. Manual bilge pumps: Also known as hand pumps, these types of bilge pumps require the user to operate a handle to remove water from the bilge area. They are simple and reliable but require more effort on the part of the user. 3. Air-operated bilge pumps: These pumps are powered by compressed air and are commonly used on larger vessels. They are more powerful than electric or manual pumps but require a source of compressed air, such as a compressor or an air tank.

There are also submersible and non-submersible pump options. Submersible bilge pumps can be placed directly in the bilge area and are designed to operate underwater, while non-submersible pumps are meant to be installed above the waterline. Choosing the right type of bilge pump depends on the size and type of the watercraft, the desired level of automation, and the user’s preferences.

What are the advantages of electric bilge pumps?

Electric bilge pumps offer several advantages compared to manual or air-operated pumps. Here are some of the main advantages:

  1. Convenience: Electric bilge pumps are easy to use and require minimal effort on the part of the user. They are often activated by a float switch that triggers the pump automatically when the water level rises. 2. Reliability: Electric bilge pumps are generally reliable and durable, making them a popular choice for many boat owners. 3. Noise reduction: Electric bilge pumps tend to be quieter than manual or air-operated pumps, making them a good choice for those who want to minimize noise on the watercraft.

However, electric bilge pumps do have some drawbacks. They require a power source, such as a battery, which can run out during long trips or in case of an emergency. Additionally, electric bilge pumps may not be as powerful as air-operated pumps, limiting their ability to handle large volumes of water.

How do I choose the right bilge pump for my watercraft?

Choosing the right bilge pump for your watercraft depends on several factors, including the size and type of the vessel, the frequency of use, and the desired level of automation and reliability. Here are some tips to help you select the right bilge pump:

  1. Determine the capacity: Consider the size of your watercraft and the volume of water it can hold. Choose a bilge pump with a capacity that can handle the amount of water you expect to need to remove.
  2. Consider the type of watercraft: Different types of watercraft, such as sailboats, powerboats, or fishing boats, may require different types of bilge pumps. Think about the specific needs of your watercraft and the type of environment it will be used in when selecting a bilge pump. 3. Evaluate the desired level of automation: Consider whether you want a manual, electric, or air-operated bilge pump, based on your preferences and the desired level of automation for your watercraft. 4. Take maintenance and testing into account: Regular maintenance and testing are essential to ensure that your bilge pump works effectively in case of an emergency. Choose a bilge pump that is easy to maintain and requires minimal upkeep.

What is the best way to maintain and test my bilge pump?

Proper maintenance and regular testing are essential to ensure that your bilge pump is in good working condition and will function effectively in case of an emergency. Here are some tips for maintaining and testing your bilge pump:

  1. Keep the bilge pump clean: Regularly clean the bilge area and remove any debris, such as leaves or plastic, that could obstruct the pump’s operation. 2. Inspect the float switch: Make sure the float switch is functioning properly and not damaged or corroded. 3. Check for leaks: Regularly inspect the bilge pump for any leaks or damage and repair any issues promptly.
  2. Test the bilge pump regularly: Test your bilge pump before each trip to ensure that it is working correctly. Manually activate the pump by pressing the test button or simulating a flooding situation, and observe if the pump responds appropriately. 5. Keep spare parts on hand: It’s a good idea to keep spare parts, such as a new float switch or impeller, on hand in case of unexpected damage or failure. 6. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific maintenance and testing requirements, as well as any recommended cleaning or lubrication procedures.

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