Pump Mount

I have seen several pictures of kayak bilge pumps mounted to the outside of the cockpit top.

I have been thinking that this might in fact be a good addition for me. It would certainly keep the pump in a handy location. It would also make one handed use much eaiser.

I am sure that there are drawbacks as there typically are with most things that we see and know are not in wide usage. I have thought that the pump should be easily removable so that it would not interfere with tie down straps. I have figured that it would have to be carefully placed so it did not interfere with other items that you wanted to place on the deck in front of the cockpit such as a chart, or gear bag.

What are some other drawbacks? Does anyone know what type of mount was used?



considered a foot pump?
If you have a fiberglass bulkhead footpumps are really sweet. If you don’t have a fiberglass bulkhead then it will be much tougher. Chimp and Henderson make good foot pumps.

Bosworth pumps are a better way to go
They’re much easier to find, parts are readily available and they’re MUCH less expensive than Henderson or Chimp pumps. You can order a Bosworth foot pump with a special light action spring designed for kayak use at no extra charge.

The aft deck mounted Chimp pump is one of the most worthless things I’ve ever seen on a kayak. I “de-Chimped” my Pintail and replaced it with a day hatch, which is far more useful.

My old Nordkapp had a foredeck mounted Henderson pump. While it worked, it was not nearly as convenient as one might think and it was a lot of work to pump it. It seems like a better idea to use the large muscles of the leg to do the work.

I keep mine under the bungees
on the front deck far enough forward that it does not interfer with my GPS, but so that I can reach it if and when I do a self rescue.

I don’t like a bunch of stuff on the rear deck that would hinder a self rescue.



Yes, keeping the pump under the bungies on the front deck would be smarter for me than on the stern deck. I am wondering what the benefit of a secure mount on the front deck. Some sort of take apart mount that would allow one handed operation when required. I may play with this idea and see what I can come up with.


Bilge Pump Location
I keep my pump on the rear deck with the paddle float, throw bag and spare paddles. This location was decided upon because I observed the few times I’ve “gone in” is that I always grab my 'yak at the cockpit. I think this is from an instinctive factor of wanting to grab hold of something “solid” that will support me and that action puts me next to my rescue gear.

Anyway, the location of your rescue gear is a matter of personal preference/experience and what is comfortable to you.


You don’t need a mount for one handed
operation. If conditions are rough enough to require one handed operation, all you need to do is wedge the pump against the side of the cockpit with your leg, while you use one hand to pump.

To keep your pump from washing away with breaking surf, put it under as many of the deck bungies as it will go under and take the bungie closest to you and wrap a turn of it around the pump shaft. This will keep your pump there in the roughest of breaking waves.

An alternative location (the one I use), that will keep you from losing your pump, but make it less accessable in very rough conditions for others to use, is to keep it inside your cockpit between the seat post and the side of the hull. Works well in some boats but not others.

Remember though, if you need to use it to help someone else, you may not want to pop your skirt if the conditions are really rough.

What conditions and what uses?
What conditons are the most extreme you will use this in. What size of cockpit do you have low or high volume? How fast and often will you have to empty water, in what circumstances, surf, ocean, lakes, loaded with gear, etc.

Foot pumps have advantages of no hands, and if no rudder OK, but slowish and in big seas and surf may not be fast enough, leg cramps, etc. Plus is no batteries, etc.

Frequent and fast empties many people now use an electric pump, yes batteries can discharge, fail, etc. look at threads where people make reliable and very effective systems that work well for these conditions.

I personally imho and my own circumstances use a rechargeable battery operated removable pump that I can, as a leader throw into the cockpit of a capsized and righte kayaker, place the outlet hose over the side, put the spray skirt on to keep water out, and while stabilizing him, it pumps out the water. Just another option. It is however, not very fast and is not appropriate for some conditions and situations.

I have not considered a battery operated pump, but, yes, I can see some advantages to one.

It seems to me that with all of the rechargeable cordless hand tools that are on the market that a cordless pump would be a nice follow on product.

thanks for your post,