Whale to the rescue

Keith Wheeler retrofits a Whale Double Stack Freshwater Pump to his boat to increase performance and reliability. Here’s what he said about it:

I began sailing dinghies aged 14 and by aged 30 had progressed to cruising yachts moving up from a small 18ft boat to 36ft. Two were fitted out from scratch and the rest were subject to refits and improvements. During this time, I bought both manual and electric bilge and freshwater pumps from various manufacturers. After a number of failures, I realised that there are no compromises when it comes to bilge pumps, as your life can depend on it, and so I bought my first Whale Gusher. As the boats got bigger it became apparent that freshwater pump failures were annoying and inconvenient.

After 30+ years of sailing and trying to get my wife engaged, we brought our first motor cruiser in 2007, a Broom 33. In 9 years of cruising in the UK and European waterways, it proved to be a much more successful activity for us both. However, the boats Achilles heel was the reliability of its freshwater system and pump, which was not made by Whale, and it ultimately chose to fail at the most inopportune time (mid shower) and left us with only expensive water pumps by other manufacturers available to get us up and running again.

Fast forward to 2018 and the 33 has been upgraded to a Broom 41 and I’m now eager to get some cruising in and around the Scottish isles where well stocked chandleries are somewhat rarer than in the west country. The water pump installed had a poor flow rate and would splash after 20 seconds of use with only one faucet open, which meant a soaking whilst cleaning your teeth or filling the washing bowl. Knowing this was unsatisfactory and would ultimately cause me issues with failure given the higher demands on the system (history dictates these things will be hugely inconvenient), it had to be upgraded to a Whale freshwater pump before we left Plymouth.

Because of my experience of quality and reliability on my last sailing boat which had a Whale water pump and bilge pumps, I purchased the Whale Double Stack Freshwater Pump, as well as 2 new Gulper waste pumps.

Double Stack Freshwater Pump

By virtue of its design, it has built-in redundancy having 2 separately wired pumps as part of the system that can act independently of each other, and the specs looked good flow rate wise for the showers and number of outlets on the boat. More importantly, it was also compact enough to fit into the space we had available in the engine room.

Installation was a breeze! With only four screws and two pipe connections, it was installed within the hour – the longest part being the install of a 2nd DC supply for the 2nd pump.

The pump performance is far superior and the increased pressure and flow rate has helped clean the pipes. The flow rate has also increased in the galley from 8 litres per minute (lpm) to 18 lpm. The noise in the saloon is down by 8db over the previous water pump installation which has been significant, especially if anyone turns on a tap during the night.

You could say my experience of purchasing Whale Products is limited, but that’s because you only have to buy it once. In my view, in terms of a mix of performance and reliability, Whale represents the best value pumps around.

For more information on the Whale Double Stack Freshwater Pump, visit the product page on the Whale Marine website here.

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One response to “Whale to the rescue”

  1. Rebecca says:

    Hi Peter

    Great article thanks, and perfect timing as we are about to fit out our houseboat and have been looking for such a product! The only issue I have been having is that no Uk based company seem to stock this particular model, may I inquire to where you sourced yours please? Thanks in advance and happy sailling!