Bailer / Manual Bilge Pump

There’s a boating saying that goes, “keep the boat in the water and the water out of the boat”! To help you do that, you are required to have a bailer or manual bilge pump aboard.

Bailers must hold at least 750 ml, have an opening of at least 65 cm2 (10 in2) and be made of plastic or metal. A simple image to give you an idea of the general size would be that of a 1litre plastic ice cream container which slightly exceeds the requirements. You can make your own bailer out of a four-litre rigid plastic bottle (useful for small open boats) by following these steps: rinse thoroughly; secure the lid so it cannot be removed; cut off the bottom; and cut along the side with the handle. Click here for a video demonstration. Click here for a photo demonstration.

If you have a manual bilge pump, the pump and hose must be long enough to reach the bilge and discharge water over the side of the boat.

Another item to have on board any boat is a bucket. It is used to wash the deck or even for the dishes sometimes! Plus, there is another old saying that goes, “in an emergency there is nothing faster than a man with a bucket”!

Note – A bilge pump is not required for a boat that cannot hold enough water to make it capsize or a boat that has watertight compartments that are sealed and not readily accessible.

Homemade Bailer

Manual Bilge Pump