About electric pumps for kayaks

There’s a few posts in the archives but am interested in even more opinions on a portable battery operated cockpit pump.

Let me first say that I assume a foot operated pump has many more advantages - not fiddling with a loose item, removing one’s sprayskirt, dealing with weak or discharged batteries, not being able to instantly pump after rolling, wet re-entry, etc.

However, for those not wanting to add weight to their boat, install a pump on their bulkhead, drill holes, etc. . . . is a “good” battery operated pump a good second choice option to have?

I have looked a bit
and had no luck finding one. I thought it would be nice to find a small electric pump with a rechargable batter similar to a modern cordless drill. Seems like a nice application that someone could manufacture, but the demand may not be high enough.


One Source here…

West Marine
I got mine at West Marine. It is the model that Steve Maynard uses and fits nicely in the day compartment. When we were ordering our boats from MIKCo, we asked about installed foot pumps. Tom Bergh recommended against having one installed and suggested this pump one.

I’m afraid I don’t remember the make or model, but it is the only one West Marine carries that is compact and battery powered.

One option

– Last Updated: Jul-29-05 10:36 AM EST –


Sea Kayaker magazine has done articles on adding an electric pump. They're more popular in Australia than they are here.




Combine systems
It is also possible to make the portable electric pump into a built in pump. Simply make your outlet hole with fitting and route it to the electric bilge. Place the bilge between your legs or inset in mincell foam for foot rests, on bottom of hull with dua-lock strips. You are done.

Attwood Water Buster

i installed the rapidrunner system into a Lincoln Eggemoggin with no regrets. I had to go through the keel line for the eggress nozzle but that was done with a nordkapp jubilee’s foot pump ejector nozzled, the installation was simple and the results are great. I still carry a hand pump but the rapidrunner has never failed after 20ish paddle trips and maybe 10 recharges. The battery self discharges at a very slow rate but i do recharge before any long outing.

You put a hole through the bottom
centerline of you boat for the pump to put water out? Do I have that right? Of did you go through the shearline, (Basicly the seam), or through the top center line? Thanks in advance for clearing up my brain about this.

Just how many times
are you planning on pumping out your boat? For the few times I have actually pumped out my boat, I don’t see any problem with the little hand model.

give me a hand?
Hand pump needs hand(s) to operate. Hands that would be more useful for paddling.

One can drop the pump in the cockpit, put the sprayskirt back over the coaming (with the hose running out under a small section), and be on your way.

I’ve most often used it when in the midst of lesson or intensive skills work. However, the real advantage is keeping out more sea when in the rough stuff. Rather than sitting with your spray skirt off and both hands on a pump, you can quickly have your skirt back on and both hands on the paddle.