After Market Foot Pumps / Deck Pumps????

This is somewhat of a follow-up to another post I made.

I have seen some boats that come with the option of a foot operated, or deck mounted pump, thus eliminating the need to carry a hand pump.

Does anyone know if these can be purchased / installed as an after-market accessory?

If so, do they work well / are they worth it? I could see the possibility of it perhaps being more trouble than it is worth.



Yes, I Did A Search
a couple of weeks ago. I found a guzzler 450S. I did not keep a link but you can find the same thing with a google search of guzzler foot pumps.

450gph, all non-corrosive parts, plumbed for 1" lines, about 65 dollars.

I plan on installing one after the first of the year.

Happy Paddling,


Guzzler versions
Get the version with “duck billed valve” and the softer spring. It’s a more self flushing design that prevents fouling/wear and the weaker spring is easer to work and is OK as your only lifting the water a foot.

Don’t have one - or any installed pump - but did extensive reseach a year or two ago. I may still have some links on people’s installations around if you’re interested.

Here Is A Link


Sea Kayaker Magazine had an article a few years ago:

A foot pump
is nice to have especially if you do any solo paddling. Hand pumps work well in mild conditions and when someone elsed can help out. I have installed footpumps in all of my hardshell kayaks. The Guzzler 400 is a nice pump. Here is a link to a picture of what mine looks like.

Henderson foot pump
I’ve installed several of the Henderson pumps–it was pretty easy to do. Here’s how.

This assumes you have read the Seakayaker article.


  1. Make a list and then secure and lay out all necessary materials. Check the list against available materials and then go to the hardware store, preferably once.

  2. Place the kayak hull side up on saw horses—it is much easier to work inside the hull this way.

  3. First noting the location of the footrests relative to the foot peg, remove footpeg/rest rail.


  4. Draw scale model of installation, bulkhead, foot pegs as a reference point (removed), noting any deck fitting protrusions.

  5. Add estimated pump, intake and discharge lines, strum box, and the through-hull position to drawing.

  6. Determine bulkhead height (at centerline), width (at gunwales), and distance from footpegs (forward face to bulkhead).

  7. Place pump button at same height as the footpegs.

  8. Place through-hull level or above gunwale and forward of footpeg and track. Keep enough distance between the end of the TH and the pumps discharge connection to work the hose onto the TH.


  9. Using nothing thicker than ¼ inch plywood—thinner is better–make a jig for the pump by tracing bolt holes; drill ¼ inch hole in jig.

  10. Set pump on jig and bolt in place to check accuracy of jig holes.

  11. Using the direction of flow indicator on the pump, mark the jig “in” and “out” to make the orientation clear relative to the hull, since you’ll be working upside down.


  12. If you don’t have a commercial strum box, make one from a PVC “coupling” pipe fitting. Notch ¼ by ¼ evenly spaced notches. For one installation, I used a Dremel tool to angle the fitting to match the “V” in the hull and to make the notches. For another with the strum box placed behind the seat, I used a commercial fitting from GRO.


  13. Stick double-sided tape on back of jig and position in place determined in step 2.

  14. Using a ¼” brad-point bit, drill the four mounting holes through the bulkhead using the jig as a guide.

  15. Remove and check to be sure that the pump slides into place.


  16. Select a spot for the through-hull. Before drilling. A small flexible light (like those used for reading at night) shining through the hull can help relate in to out.

  17. Check the location for the through-hull to make sure that the very stiff non-crimping bilge hose will bend enough to connect to the outlet of the pump. A PVC right angle coupling on the pump end can help with making the turn.

  18. Using a brad-point bit, drill a ¼ inch pilot hole.

  19. Using a hole saw, drill the hole for the fitting. I used a smaller (3/4”) hole saw and then enlarged to fit with the Dremel tool.

  20. Apply marine caulk to the hull side of the through-hull’s flange, then insert the through-hull into the hole.

  21. Thread on the nut by hand, and then tighten using a wrench. Do not over tighten.

  22. Wipe off excess caulk.


  23. Slide the pump (now disconnected from the jig) into place, but don’t bolt.

  24. Estimate the needed hose lengths and cut the hoses to length, leaving an inch or two excess. Check hose length and trim if necessary, again, and again, before clamping everything in place.

  25. Remove the pump from the bulkhead and clamp on hoses.

  26. Depending on the setup, it may be easier to attach the outlet hose to the through-hull and then to the pump.

  27. Slide the pump into place on the bulkhead and bolt in place. Neoprene washer, then stainless steel washer, then lock nut (if there’s room), then acorn nut.


  28. Trace and cut foam for bulkhead mounted foot rest. Leave lots of room to find the pump. An easy way to outline the contour is to wrap solder wire around the outside of the hull, and trace slightly smaller.

  29. Using washers and an acorn nut, cover the fitting for the foot rest rail.


SK article
jsmarch-thnaks for the nicely written instructions for installing a Henderson foot pump. Here’s a URL to the sea kayaker article you mentioned.

BTW, I used the SK article to install the Guzzler. Next time I will install a Henderson pump.


I plan to install a pump soon and was planning to use the Guzzler 450S. I noted that you said next time you would opt for the Henderson. The Henderson is more than twice the price. What makes the Henderson a better value?



Try !!!
Pumps, hand, foot, etc. The topic is sometimes not understood by novice and expert alike.

  1. Given even for experts in rough seas, the prospect of being knocked over repeatedly is significant and that once the roll fails a wet re-entry is needed. Often multiple times in very bad conditions, with a hypothermic paddler, etc. Assisted recoveries sometimes also require a wet rentry, that is slip them in and up and then pump out rather than empty the boat first.

  2. A pump must be able to be reached easily during these circumstances, and it must be stowed securely as well or it is of little or no use.

  3. There are situations in which a hand of foot pump simply fail. Most foot and hand pumps are also quite slow, slow in that they require allot of pumping. Hand pumps require taking hands off the paddle, not easy in rough seas. Foot pumps allow for paddling but can lead to calf cramping and leg exhaustion especially in today’s smaller volume kayaks.

  4. Thus for extreme uses, ocean crossings, solo trips, extra safety margin I use now:

    Rapidrunnerbilge systems LIPolymer electric bilge. The battery weighs 10 oz. it is in its own totally waterproof package and that is inside a waterproof box located in front complartment or day compartment. The pump and outlet weigh about the same. It has a totally wateproof foot swith. It will empty a full cockpit of water in less than 20 seconds and one charge of the battery will make it run continuously for about 8 hours, quite all few cockpits full. It takes 6 months to self discharge, comes with a car charge adaptor and can be trickle charged by solar panel too. The usual knock with a system like this is unneeded complexity, possibility of shorting, experts don’t need a bilge.

    I find that aside from emergencies is is just so wonderful to always have a dry cockpit on day trips, instructing, practicing rolls, sculls, recoveries, etc.

    I love it. I had a foot operated pump and they do work and in roomy cockpits with leg room to spare I think they are functional. For me they cause cramps and I could only empty my boat once this way before I had trouble. That is why I went to this system. Definitely not for everyone but I unequivically recommend this system.


well, this just put me out of the business of installing foot pumps–much appreciated, John

thanks Evan
this was kinda my next question in this thread. it just seems to me that when the shite hits the fan, i want the (percieved) security of an pump that drains the cockpit while i am paddling/bracing/recovering. i will look into this option further.


I’ve got bulkhead mounted foot pumps or deck mounted hand pumps in my boats, but I still usually carry a spare Scotty pump on deck. Most bulkhead mounted foot pumps, deck mounted hand pumps and electric pumps can’t help someone else pump out their cockpit (unless the owner has done a one-off customization) and that someone else may be me someday… Might carry a couple of spares in the group.

Happy paddling.

very true
Yes, I carry a short Wild Wasser Hand Pump next to my seat or clipped under the deck in front of the cockpit coaming for just this purpose. As a leader or guide this is a good thing to increase this ability.

Some guide friends carry the mobile electric pump for themselves and others. I used to do this also while instructing rescues and recoveries. It is an alternative too, especially with NI Hydride batteries in it.

What I find about my current set up is the RR system is totally marine seaworthy and I also have the shorter hand pump as both back up and for others.



ok,ok,we got the message!
such enthusiasm.

The only thing I’d reinforce is that IT"S A DEVICE.

As such it doesn’t confer safety or security. It’s a part of a SYSTEM, comprised of judgement and skills with equipment comprising a relatively small part.

It’s mighty easy to overblow the factor of equipment in the big picture just because a lot of time is spent on equipment. Especially when one problem solves the equipment challenges.

For the money I’d put in an electric pump over a foot pump but I’d pick a low volume cockpit or move the bulkhead back first. I’d put an electric pump in a double LONG before one went into my own boat but once again I’d want the people doing the rescue to not lose their paddles or loosely worn pfds rise up over their ears in the process.

I’d hate to see someone configure an electric pump but not have the skills to keep track of their paddle or rescue gear in an actual rescue.

Evan,of the people you’ve seen practic rescues how many had their pfd up around their ears?

I Have Thought Of Electric
and have done a bit of reading on several. I previously posted that it was my intent to install a manual foot pump. I am still going the manual route. I am not against electric pumps, I have used them in every power boat and every sail boat that I have owned. For the kayaks I like the idea, (yep, silly), of keeping things as basic as I can.

Actually, I have seen both battery operated and manual foot operated pump installations and watched both operate. They are both good systems as far as I can see.

Happy Paddling,


all essential points you raise
Yes, 25 years, the more I experience the less dogmatic the ideas.

ONLY reason for enthusiam here is that a bud of mine and I have used foot pumps successfully. However, in a moment of almost tragic events this past season, we realized the limits of the foot pump in rough stuff. This is when one is absorbed with staying alive, maybe cold, tired, NOT a time you want to give yourself foot and calf cramps and the foot system is allot of work for one cockpit let alone repeat adventures.

That is the ONLY reason to go to electric. There area many fine folks using the foot system to good use. So just wanted to present this as a boon for some applications that is all.

Yes absolutely this fits into a meshwork of judgment, skills, water management, choice of companions, practice with recoveries, skills that are unconsciously able to be produced in adverse situations, all all all true.

Still this is one very sweet application and in the vein of seamanship that flatpick describes nicely we decided we were being a bit of retro grouches with respect to being somehow anti-tech in our outlook.

Cheers all,


Did you scope the price on that thing?
While it looks very well done I think you still have a market segment left. :wink:

installing foot pumps
jsmarch-I don’t think you need to worry about your installation business. It’s a PIA installing foot pumps and if you can make a few bucks on the install I’m sure you will have plenty of customers. I know I was barely able to contort my body into the cockpit enough to drill the holes, etc.


My particular Guzzler installation didn’t work very well. The pump worked great in the kitchen sink but once installed worked poorly. So, I suspect that my install left something to be desired. My output house may have been the problem. Instead of the hose outputting to the side I had it come up and shoot water out upwards from the deck. The output seemed about 1/2 of what I was getting in the sink. But, once I had drilled through the deck I couldn’t really change it. So, that’s the only reason I would try something else… And, next time I output to the side.