I’ve been busy preparing everything before I leave – one of the important bits of safety kit (especially for paddling solo) is an electric pump. I hope I never have to use it. Here is how I installed it:
First I fitted the skin fitting (using a torch inside the boat and a chinagraph pencil to mark the position of the front bulkhead). The skin fitting was then sealed with a some sikaflex.
The pump I am using is a Whale SuperSub 650. This is very compact, can empty the cockpit of the kayak in a couple of minutes, and has a built in solid-state sensor which allows it to be used under either automatic or manual control.
With the pump installed behind the front bulkhead, there is enough room to fit a non-return valve between the pump and the skin fitting, while keeping a straight run of pipe to maximise efficiency of the pump. A cable gland was then fitted to take the pump wiring through the front bulkhead to the battery box.
For the battery box, I am using an otterbox onto which I have fitted a side entry cable gland. Inside the box, is 5A fuse, a 12v remote switch receiver and a 6Ah lithium battery (more about these later). This all fits so tightly into the otterbox that I didn’t even need to add any padding to stop it rattling. The battery box is not mounted in the front compartment as I think having it loose makes it easier to pack the boat when it is very full.
I’m using remote switches as this minimises wiring, while still allowing manual control of the pump. The remote switches are each sealed in a vacuum bag to keep them dry, with one in the pocket of my cag, and the backup switch stored somewhere in the day hatch. If I lose the remotes or there is problem with the receiver, it only will only take a couple of minutes on the beach to change the pump back to automatic control.