Mike Dixon


A thorny problem.  A1 has three separate compartments, the fore cabin, the engine space and the aft cabin.  Most Atalantas have a further short space, the couple of feet or so between the two main bulkheads forward of the cockpit.  Ideally each space needs its own bilge pumping arrangement.  When I was restoring A1, it was readily apparent that she had no bilge pumping arrangements at all.  To put pumping arrangements in all spaces was going to be unsightly, with pumps and pipework everywhere, as well as expensive (but what price safety?).

My solution, though admitedly a compromise, was to fit a large capacity hand-operated pump on frame which slotted into the tapered companionway into the fore cabin.  The suction hose is long enought to reach all three compartments and the discharge hose empties into the cockpit and self drains down the keel slots.

Because of an annoying persistent leak in the engine compartment, an automatic electric bilge pump was fitted – mainly because the boat was being left to its own devices for two or three weeks at a time.

Couple of points; the suction hose,though flexible, must have good re-inforcement so it doesn’t suck flat – and the pump/hoses must be stowed where they can be deployed quickly and without fuss and bother.  Mine are stowed (on top) in the aft cabin.  I haven’t timed it, but I reckon the pump could be deployed inside of 45 seconds – a variation of the “fightened man with a bucket” option.

Aye Mike