Best Current Sea Kayak Bilge Pump?

What’s the best current sea kayaking bilge pump? Appreciate your suggestions.

Two models I’ve heard good things about are the Beckson Kayak Pump, made in CT and the Seattle Sports Bilge Pump, but have never seen the Beckson.

For Beckson, specifically “Model No. 318P1/FPS-3R 318P1 is designed specifically with the Sea-Kayaker in mind, this upgraded version of our popular Canoe Pump includes an aluminum reinforcing shaft which prevents the pump shaft from flexing in a rolling sea and won’t effect a compass. 318P1/FPS3R Sea-Kayak Pump with Float-A-Pump Sleeve installed at the factory. Provides positive flotation for pumps dropped overboard. A hose can be added for extended discharge.”

I have the Seattle Sports pump. It’s six years old, floats, and still works well. When I carved my minicell footbrace I cut out a spot on top to stash the pump, so that’s where it rides, inside my cockpit.

On the Prana? How did you fit it against the deck pod? (Looking to do the same in a tight Sisu cockpit, sorry for thread hijack)

If you have a glass kayak and plan on keeping it. A foot pump never gets washed off the deck in heavy seas. You can take a wash over while putting on your skirt to paddle out. Pump as you paddle out and never have to open the skirt to do it.

Carved out the deck pod area. Brace rests against foot pegs as well as a center piece of minicell behind it. It’s not pretty, but it works.

I’d say that’s pretty! Well done.

Thanks, but I’m sure some of the guys here are wincing at its roughness.

I didn’t have the patience for a lot of sanding. Wanted to paddle instead.


So long as it is double action, floats (usaully through a foam collar) and fits in my boat, a pump is a pump to me. This is an area I am happy with “good enough”. Never tried to figure out which was best.


Many work fine and I have several. The one in my offshore sea kayak is the Seattle Sports Breakaway Bilge Pump. It seems to work best for me and repair parts are available should the plunger wear out.

I do not like light weight plastic handle pumps that screw into a metal shaft as a couple have broken while using in the past. I want a pump that works when it is needed.

Foot pumps have the advantage of being always accessible and can be used with the skirt fully in place. In addition you can still paddle and brace while operating them. However, they may require more work to install than many people are interested in. First they must be mounted to a bulkhead that can withstand the forces generated by pumping. Many OEM foam and even fiberglass bulkheads are not designed to do this. Losing both your pump and bulkhead with a flooded cockpit would be unfortunate. In addition the mounting position must be close enough to allow you to operated it with your foot. In my boat it is not. Although you could remove the bulkhead and reinstall a new one, this might involve remounting the foot peg rails as well. If you move the bulkhead back you are also reducing the resale potential for people with longer legs.

There might also be the consideration of the added weight of the pump and possibly the weight of a stronger bulkhead.

With battery operated pumps, they are even better, as long as they work. Water, and especially salt water is not friendly to electrical components. There is the possibility of the failure of the motor, switch, and/or battery. I would always carry a hand pump as a backup. Reminds me of a friend with his new car where he had to kick out a passenger window when an electrical fault left him unable to open the locked doors or windows.

I prefer the Beckson.
Pumping out a kayak with a hand pump is work. The types with the smaller opening for outflow / restricted outflow will shoot water a good distance. But this is achieved through higher pressure that you’re providing.
The Beckson doesn’t shoot water distances because the outflow isn’t restricted and it pumps the volume of water out easier.
That’s my experience anyway.

If you go with a hand pump, keep in mind that putting it inside the cockpit means that you have to pull your skirt to get it.

Not an issue if you are already out of the boat, unless you tuck it somewhere that’d be hard to reach into while hanging onto your paddle and your boat in messy stuff.

But if you want it available to help someone else, odds are the conditions that put them into the drink are messy enough that pulling your own skirt is a bad idea.

Mine lives on the rear deck regardless, in cockpits for smaller paddlers there is rarely room to get it in there without some architectural work. But for most of the paddling l do, especially with others, l would want it on the deck anyway.

Since it is you and your wife, the built in pump thing really means you need it installed in both boats. And they are wonderful things, just think about this kind of solution involving two people worth of shit that can go wrong.

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If you need to have the pump a bit closer, it isn’t necessary to move the bulkhead in order to do it. Just make a riser box and thru bolt.Foot_pumps-003-11All the sea kayaks , other than the little ones for my grand-kids, have foot pumps. Total of 7 with foot pumps. When the water is angry, It really doesn’t matter how many are on the water with you…everyone is paddling alone. The group can only stay close in calm water. Rough water can pick a kayak up and toss it over someone else, so everyone spreads out for safety. Anything on the deck can belong to the lake in an instant. I also paddle alone many days besides when other people are around.

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I’ll never understand the appeal of those kayak hand bilge pump things (like the Seattle Sports one). In order to use it, you’ve got to have the sprayskirt open, and you’ve got to use two hands. If your cockpit is flooded, it’s probably because you’ve exited the kayak in rough water, and the last thing you can afford is to have the sprayskirt open with neither hand on the paddle.

If you’re on flat water and need to get water out of the cockpit, just use a big absorbent sponge. It’s just as fast as those stupid tube-shaped hand pumps, but you can use a sponge with one hand, you can get every bit of water out (the hand pumps make it very difficult to get the last gallon or so out) and it’s a lot lighter and far easier to store - just jam it under/behind the seat.

In rough water, the tube 2-hand bilge pump is useless. Either get a foot pump or electric bilge pump, or be sure you can empty the kayak from the water then scramble in, then bring a big sponge as a backup.