Should a bilge be completely dry? Is 1" of water okay? 2" of water? The prop shaft spinning should let water into the bilge, so even under 'normal circumstances' the boat takes on a bit of water.
Do fastidious owners dry out the bilge with turkey basters and sponges after every sail?
Or is the "acceptable bilge volume" of a choice by the user?
FWIW my boat has:
1. Diaphragm pump mounted in the the engine compartment. It clatters for about 1-2 minutes before it starts to draw water. When I flip the factory switch marked "Bilge Pump" on the panel, this operates. It looks original to the boat.
2. A sump-pump style (centrifugal, it sounds like) pump in the same bilge compartment. There is an after-market switch on the electrical panel labeled on/off/automatic and I believe this is also triggered by a float switch. I was told this is wired directly to the battery so that even if a clever sailor turns off his batteries to save power, the sump pump will wake up and get busy when the water triggers the float switch. If I have anything to add to @1911tex it would be to consider a similar fail-safe wiring plan.
3. The whale gusher Mk-3 manual bilge pump in the cockpit.
4. I have a bilge switch located in my head cabin. Nothing seems to happen when I turn it on, but I haven't worried about that yet, as it is low on my repair priorities. Is it connected to something? I hope so. @Loren Beach - If you have two diaphragm pumps, are they both located in your engine compartment? Where is the shower pump located?
@Tin Kicker - I have a 32-3 also. My bilge hoses (mast and main elect pump) are 3/4" clear plastic tubing. When I got the boat, it had rule 500gph pumps in it. I swapped the main pump to the Rule 800, but that's the largest Rule centrifugal with 3/4" ports.The pump breaker in the E32-3 is 10A which was probably typical for our boats. My boat came with two Rule 1500 centrifugals which are 4.8A each.
I'm rebuilding the fuel system right now and not yet to replacing the pumps but the plan is to basically follow the path Christian used. The mast/shower will keep the small Rule and I'll change the main to the diaphragm. All of my 35 year old hoses are being replaced. Only the hose for the diaphragm needs space between the bolts and I'll be putting reticulated gutter foam* over it as a coarse strainer before the bilge water gets to an inline strainer.@Tin Kicker - I have a 32-3 also. My bilge hoses (mast and main elect pump) are 3/4" clear plastic tubing. When I got the boat, it had rule 500gph pumps in it. I swapped the main pump to the Rule 800, but that's the largest Rule centrifugal with 3/4" ports.
The Rule 1500 uses 1 1/8" hose. How did you swing that? And, what is the fit like on those bigger pumps between the keel bolts and the bilge walls?