Latest News: Forums Technical Whale Gusher – will they pump air?

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    I have a whale gusher pump in my boat and I was wondering if it could double as an air pump for an inflatable dinghy or matress? Anyone ever tried that?

    I vaguely remember a skipper once telling me that if there was a gas leak in a boat you could turn the gas off and use the manual bilge pump to pump the gas out of the boat. Now I’m not advocating this as best practice or anything so don’t flame me with you safety concerns – it’s just an example….




    I’ve spent hours pumping the bilges of a yacht at anchor off Seil free of gas after some joker left it on. Supper was very late but we didn’t blow the yacht up! Its not very efficient but if you’re at anchor its one way to get rid of the gas. I don’t know about blowing up your airbed/tender but the bellows type pumps are very efficient. I have an Urchin pump on my Wayfarer but generally find a plunger type pump much easier to use though I suppose an Urchin could be rigged with shockcord etc to use singlehanded. My Urchin is permanently plumbed in and I use it mostly for water below the floor boards if its filled on a mooring.


    I think it will pump air, but given that it is a displacement-type pump, you will only get the same volume of air per stroke as you would get when pumping water. One stroke might give you a litre or so, but there are a lot of litres in a tender. I’m not sure about the effect of pumping for a long period “dry”. It might cause the rubber diaphragm to heat up. (This may not matter in a gas emergency on a yacht, but it might cause faster wear and tear. Why not ask the manufacturer?)

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