Pumps

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This may seem like an odd topic for a web page, but it is one of the systems we have had to work on a lot. First off, there are two fresh water systems. One of them is a pressurized system that goes all over the boat from a pump at each of our two tanks. The other one is a foot-operated pump which only comes off of the port tank and only goes to the galley sink. However, the foot pump is our only easy source of fresh water if something goes wrong with our electrical system. We would like to add more foot pumps, but we haven't gotten to it yet. 

The pressure system itself is a bit odd. There are two separate pumps, one per tank, so we run one tank until it is empty, then run the other one. The funny thing is that the two pumps run at two different strengths... one twice as powerful as the other. We would like to change this, or be able to always run of the stronger pump. The other problem is that the watermaker only feeds into weaker side. We have therefore set up a system that allows us to send water from the watermaker side to the side with the better pump.

The boat's other main pump system is the bilge pumps. We have a lot of bilge pumps, both electric and manual backup. Many, if not all, of these pumps are probably original! Some of them, particularly the electricity-driven ones, have gotten somewhat rusty and need maintenance. We have an amazing number of bilge pumps, and it can be a real pain to get to some of them! 

The other problem is that while electric bilge pumps are very useful, they need to turn on in order to work. We have manual switches for them, but by the time you know to use them, there can be quite a lot of unwanted water on board. The solution is automatic float switches. Ocelot has many of these, but several of them had wires so badly corroded they didn't work. Those switches have now been fixed.

The other pumps on the boat are probably the most simple, but can be the most trouble. They are the salt water, hand-operated head (toilet) flush pumps. No fancy hit-a-button or push-a-lever flush systems on Ocelot. These pumps are a REAL problem if they clog. We have had one pump clog already, and I had to go down underneath the boat and shove a wire up the through-hull (while holding my breath) to clear it. I have also had to rebuild the pump in the head that got clogged and rebuild my own head pump, which was leaking badly.

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