Best bilge pump?

I’ve searched the archive and can’t find a recent post on this topic …

I’ve never used my bilge pump except during rescue practices but it’s the same pump I bought when I first started kayaking (blue and yellow Seattle Sports). It does the job reasonably well but it’s not the easiest to pump, it doesn’t pump a large volume of water with each stroke, and it wears me out pretty quickly (sitting in a boat is not the most effective position for pumping anyway).

I’m wishing for the best bilge pump - easy to pump with large volumes of water per stroke - but realize I will probably have to compromise.

Any suggestions or recommendations?

Beckson Thirsty mate
Scroll down to Kayak pump

this was the standard of the sport but now kayak shops sell Chinese low volume ones with small openings. You can buy direct from Beckson or do a search etc.

for me;
Aquabound Bilge Master, something with a stainless shaft. I haven’t had much luck with composite/plastic style shafts. Sand causes them to seize, then the t-handle gives.

new seattle sports model

– Last Updated: May-22-09 11:36 AM EST –

The 2009 model Seattle Sports Super Deluxe model improves on the one Jay had.
It has an 8 gallon per minute vs 6 gpm. Strong wide aluminum shaft and strong handle.

I find that in Ocean situations for me, these hand held units are not great, as require about 10 minutes if using a wet reentry solo recovery and in view of repeated capsizes during emergency situations I have gone to a Whale one hand operated pump on one boat and a Rapidrunner Electric Bilge on the other.

I am in the minority here on this, most east and west coasters don't feel the advantages of these systems are worth it, although in New Zealand there a majority of folks with these systems. So, no accounting for individual taste I expect.

The one operated by my foot. A bit of trouble to install and worth every second!

I wouldn’t trade mine for anything.
it is a Harmony by Perception (not sure if they still even make them), but it has the large discharge, (looks to be about a inch and a half dia.), and discharges on the push pull

It is rated at 6.5 strokes per gallon discharge.

I once posted on here that I could empty my QCC during self rescue practice in just a few minutes and was taken to task for it by a few doubting thomases, but that is all it takes, and hardly no work at all.

I can only assume that you have one of the pumps with just a samll (about 3/4") discharge.



I’m with endomorphic spawn.

– Last Updated: May-22-09 6:16 PM EST –

for me;
Posted by: fatkid on May-22-09 10:41 AM (EST)
Aquabound Bilge Master, something with a stainless shaft.

my big feet
great. I wish I didn’t have such big feet. I could not get that one to work without massive calf cramps.

Jack you are right on
Jack, yes, right on. A friend has one, the 2009 Harmony model has 30% more volume.

I don’t recommend a hand held bilge
pump. If you really need one chances are that you will need to keep your hands on the paddle.

Further reading at

if you get a handheld the best hands down is the beckson. I have owned several and none compare.


nice instructions, gnarlyd.

unless they’ve gone to a metal shaft
they are still second rate. Aqua-Bounds or Feathercrafts stainless shaft puts 'em to shame, saw a few Becksons returned in the years I sold 'em with broken/dismembered fiber shafts. Thought that was kinda cheap manufacturing if you ask me.

maybe in the world of fiber shafted
pumps… but I’ll take a stainless shafted Aqua-bound or Feathercraft any day over a fiber shafted Beckson. My Feathercraft pump out pumps the Beckson on top of having a superior metal shaft. Beckson looks cheaply made in comparison to the Aquabound or Feathercraft.