Bilge Pumps For Sit On Top Kayaks (Helpful Tips)

A bilge pump is a mechanical device that removes water from the bottom of a kayak. A bilge pump may be manual or electric, and it may also be designed to remove water with or without waves. The most common type of kayak bilge pump is for the “sit on top” model of a kayak.

How They Work to Keep Your Kayak Dry

A bilge pump is a mechanical device that is used to remove water from the lowest part of the boat. These devices are often used to remove any water that accumulates in a kayak, usually due to waves or rainwater washing over the sides of the kayak.

The main function of a bilge pump is to keep your kayak dry! Kayakers need to know how their bilge pump works because it’s one of their most important safety features.

Which Type of Bilge Pump Is Right for Your Sit on Top Kayak?

The first type of bilge pump is a hard-bottom kayak bilge pump. This style of bilge pump is designed to be installed into the floor of the kayak, and it’s usually not as powerful as an in-line pump. The best use for this type of bilge pump is to have it as a backup standby should your primary in-line pump become clogged or stop working for some reason.

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The second type of bilge pump is an in-line kayak bilge pump. These are most often used on sit-on-top kayaks because they are long enough to reach the water when the boat is upside down. The drawback for this style of pump is that it can be awkward when they are installed into the hull because they need to be fitted in a specific orientation.

When considering the type of bilge pump you will need, you should consider your sit-on-top kayak’s design, your paddling conditions, and your budget.

Bilge Pumps for Sit on Top Kayaks – Selection Criteria

Sit on top kayaks are different from the traditional kayak in that it has a cockpit that is open at the top.

The dimensions of the pump and its position will depend on the type of kayak and how you use it.

There are many factors to take into account when selecting a bilge pump for your sit-on-top kayak. The size of your boat, how you use your boat, and what you want out of that boat will affect what kind of pump you get.

3 Reasons Why You Need a Bilge Pump for Your Sit on Top Kayak

If you have a sit-on-top kayak, then you need a bilge pump. Here are three reasons why:

  1. Sit on top kayaks can be unstable. If water gets into the kayak and you don’t have a bilge pump, then the boat could easily flip over and send you into the water.
  2. It’s also possible for water to get in from overloading it. The weight of extra gear can make the boat sink if it’s not supported by enough water in the hull or by people sitting inside.
  3. If you get caught out in bad weather without a bilge pump, then your only hope is to bail with a bucket or use your head to scoop up any drips that run down from above while trying to keep your
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Do Sit On Top Kayaks Leak Water?

Sit on top kayaks are a great alternative to traditional hard shell kayaks and can be used by anyone, including those who cannot fit comfortably in a full-sized rigid kayak.

This means that any paddler who has limited mobility or has trouble getting in and out of the water can use these kayaks without issue.

The difference between sit-on-top kayaks and traditional kayaks is that the former is open on the top of the boat, meaning that there is no deck or cockpit to cover your body when you are in it.

This means that when the boat is filled with water, your body will be submerged. So if your kayak has an opening at the bottom for draining water out, you will need to install a bilge pump to pump out all of the water.

Where Do You Place A Bilge Pump In A Kayak?

There are two types of bilge pumps: manual and electric. They both come with their own set of benefits and drawbacks, but the most important step in installing a new one is to identify where on your kayak you want to place it before installing it there.

If your kayak has a transom with a large enough opening, you can mount the pump on the transom. If your kayak does not have a transom, you can mount the pump in one of two places: on deck or below deck.

It is important to place the pumplow enough so that it will be able to drain water from all parts of your kayak and not just one area. You’ll want to make sure you take your time and plan everything out before mounting it somewhere you regret.

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How Do I Know What Size Bilge Pump I Need?

Picking the right kayak bilge pump is essential to make sure your kayak or other watercraft doesn’t fill up with water and sink. You can avoid this common issue by learning what size bilge pump you need for your kayak.

The size of your bilge pump depends on the size of your kayak. The majority of pumps are sold in 5-horsepower increments, with 10- to 15-horsepower sizes available for larger boats. When comparing two different kayaks, the first thing you should determine is which one has a larger volume. The second thing you should do is figure out how much horsepower they each need. The higher the horsepower, the more powerful the pump needs to be and conversely, if one needs less power than another then it can use a smaller wattage model.


Bilge pumps are not required for kayaks to be completely honest. Kayaks are not made to be submerged in water, or underwater for an extended period.

However, if you are traveling in an area where you can expect your kayak to get wet, you may want to use a bilge pump for extra safety.

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