Pump Capacity

The manufacturer claims the cockpit has a 19 gallon capacity.

The foot pump has a 4 gpm capacity. Mounted in position where I could pump and paddle at the same time, this would be 5 minutes

is this reasonable size? Electrics have a much higher rate, 200+ gpm,but increased complications.

the common pump sold at the kayak shops claim about 10 gpm, so that would be two minutes of not having hands free for paddling.

any thoughts?



Cockpit about 1/3 full.
I can’t comment on the pumps.

In my experience, the cockpit is only about 1/3 full of water on a self rescue.

If there’s sealed compartments fore and aft, then when you turn the boat on it’s side, there’s enough buoyancy that the cockpit is only about 1/3 submerged.

Side info, and you may already be completely familiar with this, but when righting the boat, I believe a good method is to get under the boat, thrust upward, and flip the boat upright. Others may have a different take. I’ve seen vids of people who can stand on the stern while the boat is sideways and bring the cockpit all the way out of the water, then flip the boat upright, giving an empty cockpit. That ain’t me!



– Last Updated: Jul-22-07 10:50 AM EST –

standing up and bending over the pump with shoulder above the pump. Sitting with the hand pump in your lap isn't as efficient.
The problem with comparing pumps is that it it's without context. If you're out of the boat you're screwed and the type of pump is kind of immaterial compared to whether you've got assistance or the cockpit is small compared to the compartment flotation.
If you try a well thought out electric pump you'll love it. Until you forget it or it's not charged up.
I'd use what experienced paddlers who paddle solo use.

Apples and such
For any manual pump (hand or foot) the gpm number assumes some number of strokes per minute.

That number may or may not be listed on the package with the gpm number, and may or may not be the same for any two pumps you are comparing.

The strokes per minute number may or may not be realistic.

here is another…
discussion on pumps & pumping:


What do they use?
“I’d use what experienced paddlers who paddle solo use.”

Lee, it sounded like the answer’s obvious to you. What do they use?


The more afraid you are the more capacity of the pump.Vaughn Fulton

I think they stay in the boat
and are screwed if they’re out but probably have a hand pump or foot pump, or electric pump.

hand pumps move 2 cups per pump…
I have the orange pump, with the large diameter openning–two inches, i believe, instead of one. This year they say “harmony” on the side. last year “wilderness systems.”

This, they say, is the best pump around. “high capacity.”

I tested it last night–8 pumps to move a gallon. Eight pumps take 5 to ten seconds for me. Figure moving 6 gallons a minute. And it is tiring.

So, how many gallons in a swamped tempest 170 cockpit after a wet exit? Its about half full or more with me back in. It’s a lot of gallons and it would take a while.

No, my orange harmony pump does not inspire confidence. The only other option for a plastic boat, I think, is to mount a 2 by 4 inside cross-wise and mount a foot bump or something.

more perspectives on pumps
perhaps not exactly on topic with the original poster though, sorry.

agreed, not many pumps are that confidence inspiring. get a good one, and hope it works when needed, practice with it. i use the Beckson bilge mate and it is easy to pump and pumps a pretty good volume. so far, it hasn’t frozen up like metal piston models i previously used.

still, they ain’t going to save my bacon. in the last few years with greater levels of training and playing in the sea, i have come to think that the pump is almost a nice to, not a need to. why? for one, i can paddle with the boat filled with water. no it’s not as easy to move or control, but very doable. in those situations, where i’ve had to practice capsize and recoveries, after coming out of the boat in substantially rough water, i realize i can’t pump anyways. once back in and upright, i have to get skirt on and paddle hard, and either raft up with the group to pump out, or find a calm place, the lee of an island.

i know paddlers who swear it’s a travesty that all sea kayaks don’t have foot pumps, or electric pumps from the factory and that to be without either is a death sentence. surely an electric is the best option for rapid water removal, but as i say, my experience has been that you can make do without, including paddling with a lot of water in your boat if needed.

what’s your take?

head in an dump out the boat…
so far, that’s my solution with my plastic tempest 170. I’ve found that you can paddle back in, and so far, I’ve been close enough to a landing that I can make it. Now, two miles off shore? Haven’t been in that situation (yet)…