Installing a bilge pump 4

Made the finishing touches on the bilge pump installation. Just in time for the end of summer but I hoping to extent the kayaking season as long as possible.

I did a dry run to find the best position to install the hose from the pick -up. Basically it involved sitting in the kayak and moving the hose about. The end result can be seen in the following images.


In the above image you can see the hose running forward on the starboard side just above the peg rail. I found some nylon pipe hangers in the hardware store and utilized the bungee/lines hold down as the forward clamping positions.


Then the hose goes between the seat and hull.


Then turns and is clamped to the bulk head behind the seat in two places. I used stainless steel hardware everywhere and on the bulkhead I also used rubber washers on both sides to keep water out of the day hatch.


The pick-up strainer is simply sitting against the hull and held in place by the clamps. If all goes well I hope to take it for a wet run tomorrow. Not sure if I’ll intentionally swamp it, but I will test it out one way or another.

Installing a bilge pump 3

Four hours later the frame was ready and it took twice as long to get everything installed. The only way to get the assemble in place was to attach the frame to the pegs and use wire ties to keep the springs in compression, holding the overall unit together. However, I could not get the peg rail into the kayak while on the assembly, so I slipped the rails off, inserted everything into the kayak, then put the rail back on and gently pushed and pulled until it all went into place. Remember that 10lbs of you know what in a 5lbs bag statement…..well, I was living it for sure.

Here’s the frame in place and you can see the thru-the-hull fitting, hose and one way valve behind it. The space was filling up fast.

This image shows the pump with all hoses connected ready for installation. By the way the pump is held in place with four stainless steel threaded rods, with nuts on the front and back side of the pump and frame to hold everything in place and allow forward and back adjustment.

Finally the entire frame, pump and hoses in place. It was a bit of a challenge hooking everything up, but it all went in and it will take a bit of work to get it out. Like I said this is an optional extra that will be sold with the boat if I ever decide to sell that is.

I still have a little more work on securing the hoses and installing the strainer on the pick up end of the hose. The strainer will be behind the seat. Here’s a quick video demonstrating of the pump in action in dry land. I simply placed the garden hose in the boat, turned on the water and started pumping. As other videos I found on the pump in this sort of application, the water does not fly out like a faucet, but it does work very well.

Installing a bilge pump 2

From my welding days I have always to work with aluminum. I welded a lot of different material from low grade carbons to stainless and some exotics like titanium. I figured if I was going to keep the weight of this project down aluminum would be the way to go. Another trip to Home Depot produce the material I needed. I has an idea in my head of how I wanted the frame to work, so it was a matter of utilizing the stock on hand at the store. I picked up some 1″ by 1″ and 3/4″ by 3/4″ hollow square tube, 1 1/2″ x 1/8″ flat, 3/4 by 1/8″ flat and 3/4″ x 1/8″ angle. I knew I wanted adjustment back and forth and side to side and the rest could be worked out on paper, and later transferred to Revit (3D Parametric drawing application).

Here’s the raw stock and my chop saw.

This is the best set up for working on inside of your kayak. Simple invert on a few saw houses, I raised the back end and it gave me more movement. I hooked up a shop lamp inside the kayak for light and I finally got some use of my wheelie shop seat.

My welding machine that kept tripping the breaker. Unfortunately the breaker was sized for my MIG welder and this TIG machines came after the supply was installed and it consumes a few more amps.

As with any new architectural project this one started with the existing conditions.



From here I doodled a bit then entered everything into Revit. I wanted to get a idea of what the overall size of the space considering the amount of stuff I was about to cram into it. This reminded me of my last welding job. The company makes chemical separation equipment and generally we needed to get 10 LBS of you know what into a 5LBS bag! This project was going to be the same.

Here’s the space, overall its 11 1/4″ tall and 17 1/2″ wide.

Here’s the pump in the space. Remember all the picture were taken upside down and inverted for this blog, so the pump looks like its floating!

After a few iterations in Revit I settled on the following. The 1″ x squared tube would form the main frame and adjustable legs would stick out from either side. Early on I decided that connecting to the rear of the foot pegs would mean that if I grow 6 or so inches the pump will simply adjust with me! Coming back to reality if a shorter person wanted to try out my boat they can and if they need to pump out they can do that also. Long range thinking was helping to drive this decision and if I even sell the kayak I’ll simply list the pump and an optional extra.

Here’s the final drawing of the pump and frame. I came up with the notion of inserting compression springs in the inner tube that would center the pump between the foot pegs. As the inner tube fit inside the outer tubes and moved freely to allow the pegs to be move forward and aft, the springs would force the pump assembly to center all the time. Yet another trip to the hardware store located the springs and few other odd and ends I needed.

This image shows the pump assembly and foot pegs/rails. As I’m sure you know overkill is my middle name and I don’t recommend you model every nut and bolt when using Revit to design a building, but you can get away with doing so on the project this small.

The next three images show the bow, stern and a 3D view of the pump assemble, peg, rails and yes a portion of the kayak (in proper colors).

Installing a bilge pump 1

A few weeks ago I posted on installing a compass in my kayak. This month I installed a bilge pump. I actually started when I put in the compass, but saved the post until now. As we say in the old sod “may as a well get hung for a sheep as a lamb”. In other words if I was going to cut one hole in my kayak I may as well cut two and get all my projects over with. The pump really only needed one hole, an outlet, for what is commonly known as a thru-hull-fitting. This is where the water goes out and in theory none comes back in! I did a search and found the following links with information on similar projects. As always I like to see how other people did it before I proceed.

My Adventures In Foot Pumps

This is a great blog and I found it very useful. The photo were very helpful and gave a good sense of what I could expect when installing mine.

Installing a foot operated bilge pump

Nice PDF on the entire install process. Many different kayaks are shown, but all are related. I also read that turning the kayak upside down and working from under it is the only way you can actually do this sort of project.

Hybrid kayaks australia

This company only talks about installing a pump in a new kayak, but what a sweet looking boat. If I ever get to Australia I will buy one!

The choice of pump came down to two (very quickly). One was out of the UK and way too much money, the other was from down the road in Rhode Island. The choice was easy and I pick up the phone and called The Bosworth Company in East Providence, RI. This was clearly a small manufacturing firm how wanted to take care of every customers needs. I was greeted like a long lost friend and once I explained what I wanted to do the sales person filled me in on all details and make several recommendations. I ended up ordering the Guzzler “450” Foot Button Pump, some hose, a one way valve and a strainer. A few days later it all showed up (very well wrapped) from the UPS man.

Drilling another hole in my kayak. Tools of the trade and the ends result.

The through the hull fitting was the correct size for the hose I was using, but the shoulder was little thick so I need to make a spacer so the lock nut would tighten down on that kayak hull. Yet another trip to the hardware store produced a PVC fitting that was a nice fit on the thread and big enough so the nut would have plenty to bite on.

This image shown the thru-hull-fitting (right), its nut (bottom) and the PVC spacer fitting. Note the shoulder on the fitting where the thread ends toward the top.


Here’s the fit up and finished product.

iPhone dry bag update

As may have read while camping we spend a great deal of time on the water. I really put the OB iPhone bag through the ringer and it came out dry every time. It got splashed a lot, dropped in the water twice as I was getting out of my kayak and it sat on the bottom of my boat for extended periods.

What sealed the deal for me was when we were practicing wet exists and self rescues. I placed the OB (with phone) under the bungee so it would not be flopping around. I must have flipped my boat ten times and showered it with water in my failed attempts to get my sorry you know what back in my boat, and not a single drop of water got in!

Go here for details.

JMan on the water

JMan and I went for a little paddle this morning. We put into the Nashoba at 119 and headed north. Along the way we saw all manner of birds but not one fish. The river was quite as it was looking like rain.

JMan checking out nature.


The boys in dry land. I decided to go cross country rather than back tracking!


Camping – Day 3

Today started by convincing GMan that taking a shower is not only be a good idea, but as necessity as folks have started to stare at him!

He finally gave in and yet again I got great value out of some quarters. This time I treated myself and went for a 75 cent shower. In any event the GMan actually said he felt better after. Hmmm, why am I not surprised, three days of hanging in the woods and sitting in front of camp fires my guess is he lost weight while showering because of all the dirt he washed off!

We broke tradition and headed to civilization for breakfast. I figured since we were clean why not have breakfast out. Now Pountney VT is small but wouldn’t you know it they got a swanky shiny new Dunkin Donuts/gas station/convenient store. I can’t remember the last time I had coffee from one, but desperate times call for desperate measures. How bad can it be I though to myself as I ordered a tall….I mean small….cream and sugar she asked….hmmm, cream I said….well as usual it’s did not disappoint me….it’s was bad. A friend once said that Dunkin Donut coffee is sustainable….why you might ask? Well, it’s because they only ues one coffee bean per pot. The rest is dish water and food coloring! For the purpose of washing down my egg cheese bagel it worked.

The rest of the morning was spend hanging out at the beach. B and AMan left around one as AMan has homework due in Wednesday.

Morning Day 3. My mountain man look is coming in just fine.


Coffee…..I mean dirt anyone!


GMan and the swamp thing.


Fish anyone. No we didn’t catch it, more like found it on the beach.


GMan sizes up the fish.


Pardon me, do you know where a lad can get a decent cup of Joe around here?


Lost shoes.


The only gig in town serving anything on Memorial Day. The Stationon Depot Street (I think). The building was the original train station in the town. At this point it not clear where the track were. I wonder when it stopped running?

In any event it’s now a bakery and sandwich place. The bread was wonderfully and so was everything else.


After lunch we went exploring up a stream that lets out into Lake St. Catherine. We followed it for forty five minutes or so then turned back. I played with the AutoStitch app and below are some of the results. It was fun wading through the water and out LL Bean kayak boots really paid off. The water was very cold but our feet were nice and warn.



GMan wanted to go kayaking when we returned to camp. After yesterdays impromptu swim I was happy he wanted to go back out. He led the way and set the pace. It was very quite on the lake so no big waves other annoying wave runner noise. We paddles around for a bit and then I suggested try to stand up in our kayaks near the beach. It didn’t take long before we both fell out! We practiced self rescue while I failed at miserably. GMan on the other hand had no issue climbing back in his boat and padding away. After a few more shots we packed up and headed back to camp.

GMan on the lake.


Low light GMan.


The boys.


Low light Subu.


Low light us.


Camping Day – 2

Say happy birthday to me! I’m not going to say exactly how old but let’s just say I’m fast approaching a 1/2 century!

Birthday cards from L and L. Thank you for the gift inside! It wasn’t the pop tart and apple, but that would be a neat trick.


Early morning view out our lean-to.


AMan gets the morning fire going.


Morning day 2.


B watching over the cooking activities.


AMan whipping up the batter.


GMan on coffee water patrol.


How to cure a fix in the woods. Simply empty content and add boiling water.


Where would we be without our iPhones. Its a sad state of affairs. However, I have not and will not check my email on this trip.


Yum, birthday pan cakes. Thanks to AMan for cooking.


The boys manning the grill. GMan did a fine job on the bacon.


Today activities were kayaking, kayaking and more kayaking. We packed up and headed to the beach. The intention was to make it all the way to the end of the Little Lake. Going was easy as the lake was smooth as glass. After a bit GMan and myself moved ahead of B and AMan. By the time we got to the public boar landing B was towing AMan. We took a short break and headed out again looking for a sandy beach to put in and have lunch. Unfortunately all the sandy beaches were private property or Di it would seem. I paddled ahead of GMan and could not find anything. At this point I even wanted to get out and stretch my legs! We spotted a possible landing and paddled over. As we got closer we could see a man cutting grass. I paddle along side and ask if he owned the land and if we could put in. He replied with, absolutely it’s public land, help yourself! Great we said and out we got. We were so happy we even helped the guy move the picnic tables back into the shade.

After lunch we messed around with th AutoStitch app on my phone. See the results below.

GMan under way.


Me and the GMan in the background.


GMan and me!


GMan picking the perfect worm.


AMan watching on.


B hanging out.


Our boat.


B catches a rear yellowboyfish.


Pano of Little Lake – 1


Pano of Little Lake – 2


We played around with AutoStitch were we each step in and back out then moved the camera and took another photo with another person and so. Nice effect and I’m impressed how the application dealt with the scene.


Another AutoStitch where we steps in and out of the scene and stood in the same spot.


In this shot we step in, took a shot, step out and another person stepped in but moved to the left.


B under way.


Subu on main street Pountney VT


Blogging in front of the camp fire. I’m sure there is a law against this somewhere but I don’t care! The trick with blogging here in way out there VT is to upload the photos with down town while sucking up the free wifi that the town provides. Pretty cool for a small town in VT but I’m can’t help but think if someone is watching everything that everyone is uploading, downloading and browsing?

Then when you get outside the wifi zone you add the text.

So the big news of the day is GMan’s wet exit. For those of you not familiar with kayaking that when you get out of your boat while in the middle of a body of water. In other words he fell out. The boat traffic builds as the day goes on and by the end of the afternoon the wave can be quite big. Not fast, but big rollers. At one second he was looking back at me giggling as he was having fun playing with the waves, but the next second he was upside down. Thanks to his PFD he popped right to the surface and started swimming to me. Now as a father I was concerned on many levels, but I knew if he got hold of my boat we’d both be swimming, and I didn’t wand his boat floating away. I asked him to swim to his boat and I’ll come to him. Mind you he only needed to go a few feet so I knew he’d be okay. I remember reading in a kayak book how to do a wet rescue so now I was putting it into practice.

I had him swim to the end of his boat and I grabbed the front and pulled it up and out of the water and flipped it right side up. I then pull the bow of his boat up on my combing and had him shimmy up on the of his boat.

At that point some nice locals showed up and offered to help and since he was 1/2 way up I figured I’d let him continue. He was so close but lost his balance and between the wash from the locals boat and another big wave I could now stop his boat from rotating and he fell in again.

Next attempt I encouraged him to stay closer to the boat as he shimmied up. This time it work and we all gave him a big cheer. He was a little upset but none the worse and we paddled on.

I told him he was the bravest boy on the lake and I’m very proud of him. I didn’t tell him we signed him up for a week of kayak camp where I’m sure he get in some not so dry time. BTW GMan said he wanted to go kayaking again tomorrow, but not so far! Cool stuff, get right back up on that horse.

The boys made me hobo cake for my b-day. More on that later.

Hobo pie.


Evening fire.


Paddlefest wrap up

We came we saw we left. This is a great place if you’re in the market for a new boat. The area is broken up in to two sections. 1. For $20 you can paddle anything on display and you get the twenty off any boat, SUP or canoe you buy, plus the discount that varies. 2. For $5 you get into an area wher you can view and sit in boats and they have a gear area.

This is where we went and there was lots to look at. I found a several boats that will allow me or my better 1/2 and the JMan to go paddling. The gear section was like the gift shop at the exit door of a museum. Only way out was through it! They had hundreds of shoes and a other items, including paddles, PFD’s water proof gear and clothing. We didn’t buy anything these as we were told the main store was in the road out if town.

Signage gone wrong!


Beautiful wooded canoe



The boys


Cool paddles


This one needs a little work


JMan searching for treasure


Paddlefest 2012 – Update

My day got off to an early start. 4am or so I rolled over at that was that. I resisted the urge to grad my phone and start blogging but I finally gave in.

It didn’t help that the folks in the room below us were running the AC all night, or perhaps it was the heat. In any event I felt like I was trying to sleep in the motor compartment of an express locomotive at full throttle. Thanks for nothing! My guess is they come for even more upstate or perhaps southern Canada and never experienced electricity before. So the AC unit was a real novelty or they couldn’t figure out how to turn it off. Yo, pull its tail out of the wall that will kill the beast. Kinda like my favorite saying ” the issue is somewhere between the keyboard and chair, remove that and all will be right in the world”. BTW they turned it off at about the same time I decided to give up trying to fall back to sleep. It’s an occasions where you want to run into there room with a fog horn or better yet one of those cow bell people rattle at bicycle races, yelling and rattling. Ya, the cow bell would be odd enough so they think I was also a deranged local and this was common practice. All the while I would have a expression that said “this is our normal wake up call”……followed up with “my bad, wrong room”, go back to sleep now!

I hope the breakfast is better than the soundproofing. More later.

It’s later. This is the view from our in the early morning. It sure is nice.


Breakfast of champions. No really, I had some fruit and a bagel prior to the belly bomb. You gota love an in that has the 2012 can-am catalog on display. We are not in Kansas any more…well actually we could be! Here’s the proof.


Here’s the stack!