Electric Bilge Pump - Canoe

Unfortunately the best recent thread on this subject, or at least most of it, was somehow lost in the ether of pnet and I’ve been forced to repeat a question. Apologies in advance to any Enforcers that take offense…

What are folks recommending as the best setup for emptying a big ol’ 12’ Mohawk?

I recall reading something about the lightest batteries are (naturally) the most $$ and do not last in cold weather, and the lead acid are cheap and heavy. What were the mid-range type again?

I’m thinking of a single (1250 GPH Attwood??) and dual outlets (?) over the gunnel just behind the rear thwart. Pump mounted on the floor behind the pedestal.

I know Eric_Nyre has a great website of info. Any updates you could lay out?

Thanks for any help!


I would look at using a AGM motorcycle battery. AGM batteries are impervious to water intrusion, will work fine even upside down and have plenty of power and an excellent shelf life.

Most will be about 14amp/hr. On bilge pumps, I would definitely get one that can handle running dry such as this one. http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|51|299222|84462|315207&id=84604

It’s a 1500gph pump that draws 7amps. You can easily run it for a solid hour without damaging the battery. The trick to batteries like the one above is not draining it down much past 50%. At 1500ghp, I doubt you will ever run it more than a minute or two at a time to drain the boat.

Just as I suspected…
…good solid info, as requested.


I’ll certainly mention if I find any suitable Y-connectors for the Attwood.

I’ll be reworking my designs as I review comments here and elsewhere.

How about this

I was looking over the West Marine catalog and found this. 3D’s for 5 hours pumping@200 gph.

Clearly not for expedition use, and still would carry the manual pump anyway. But for a day or two paddle this seems like an easy solution, so being inexperienced, what am I not seeing?

Bilge Pump Web Site
This web site answers a lot of questions on Electric Bilge Pumps for Whitewater Canoes.


He uses SLA batteries, they are heavy but less costly than any other option. They will last for several river trips too.

Pump position - put the pump where the water ponds. In my boat I have the Attwood v1250 attached to the front of the pedestal and run the hose to the bow.


Website for Canoe Electric Bilge Pumps

– Last Updated: Mar-04-13 11:10 PM EST –

The website listed above Electric Bilge Pumps for Whitewater Canoes

original website: http://geocities.com/jtkcanoes

new website: http://jtkcanoes.weebly.com/products.html

It has a lot information about building, operating, and maintaining Electric Bilge Pumps in whitewater canoes.