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Old 05-18-2009   #1
Palisade, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 292
solar powered bailer/bilge?

Isn't there an outfit in Idaho or Montana that makes solar powered bailing systems for bucket boats? Does anybody have any info? the all powerful google didn't turn up anything...other than this thread:
10.5 Hyside bucket boat, oar rig down the Grand...?

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Old 05-18-2009   #2
The Box, ~
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 199
Raftin' Styles

Raftin' Styles of Salt Lake makes one:

I've had a few friends make them over the years and seems not too complicated.

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Old 05-20-2009   #3
Kooterville, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 49
I would guess a 7 amp-hour sealed lead acid battery: Sealed Lead Acid Sealed Lead Acid Battery For 12 Volts / 7 Ah: Electronics

would be able to pump about 1,500 gallons of water on a charge with a pump like this: Rule 25D Marine Rule 500 Marine Bilge Pump (500-GPH, 12-Volt): Sports & Outdoors

Put the battery in a dry box. For twice the price, you can get an automatic bilge pump and you won't need to mount a switch somewhere. If you go automatic, get the kind that turns on every few minutes and senses the motor resistance rather than the kind that works on a float switch. A float switch would bounce around too much on the river. The whole system weighs about 6 pounds.

A 5 watt solar panel will produce about 4 amp-hours of charging in full sun over a 10 hour day. Last time I tinkered around with this idea, the amount of solar panels needed were way to big to be practical, but the technology may have improved since then.
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Old 05-20-2009   #4
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
Most solar/battery powered pumps run slow and steady. So they work for keeping water out of the bilges of a boat at a slip or on a mooring. But they don't move enough water to be useful in clearing a raft after it swamps in a rapid.
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Old 05-20-2009   #5
Palisade, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 292
i'm guessing i've got about a 35 gallon footwell in my dory that I'm looking to bail, not an entire bucket raft...a passive/gravity system is an option, but that requires a false floor, and at 6'5" i like leg room...

I have a 35 amp/hour battery and a good PV panel, still need a pump. might be nice to be able to power some other electronics too...
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Old 03-12-2011   #6
Ny, New York
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1
Solar bilge pump

Thought you might like to take a look at this solar bilge pump
Solar bilge pump
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Old 03-12-2011   #7
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 185
You're never going to get all the water out of a bucket boat. Just drop in a deck and be done with it.
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Old 03-13-2011   #8
aurora, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 107
I'm building a bilge for my bucket raft right now. Done some math. Figgered that it will take about 15 seconds to drain my boat. Drawing 250 amps, that's ~1.1 amp-hour. Even with a 50 amp-hr deep cycle cell, I can empty the boat more times tham there are rapids on most week long trips. . is solar worth it for a week long trip?

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