A manual bilge pump and bailer is required for all boats except sailboards and Paddle boats. Sailboards and Paddle boats are self-bailing sealed hull fitted with a recess-type cockpit that cannot contain a sufficient quantity of water to make the vessel capsize.

What are the different requirements for a manual water pump?

  • If you have a manual water pump, the pump and hose must be long enough to reach the bilge and discharge water over the side of the boat.
  • A bilge pump is not required for a boat that cannot hold enough water to make it capsize. 
Manual water pump requirements for boats

What are the different requirements for a bailer?

  • Bailers must hold at least 750 ml (0.2 gallon).
  • Have an opening of at least 65cm2 (10 in2).
  • Be made of plastic or metal.  You can make a bailer out of a four-litre rigid plastic bottle (useful for small open boats) by following these steps: rinse thoroughly, secure the lid, cut off the bottom, and cut along the side with the handle.

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”!

Bailer requirements for boats

What size boat is a bilge pump required?

  • On larger pleasure craft (14 metres in length and longer) you will rely on the vessel’s bilge pumps to remove water from the the craft. If the bilge pumps fail, manual bailing may not be sufficient to keep the craft afloat. You should ensure that all bilge spaces are accessible by manual pumps.