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Caring for your boat is a real necessity – it is a valuable asset that floats on salt water and is constantly exposed to the elements, such as sun, rain, and hard partying at Palmilla (ha-ha!). Therefore, ensuring that your vessel is in top-knotch condition is crucial to its life.

For the following series of articles, I will be going over various maintenace tips and practices to care for your boat.

Tip #1. Manual and Automatic Bilge Pumps


The bilge in a boat is the lowest compartment of a ship where the two sides meet. Water that does not drain off the side of the deck drains down through the ship into the bilge. This water may be from rough seas, rain, or minor leaks in the hull. The water that collects in the bilge must be pumped out if it becomes too full or it may threaten to sink the ship.

It is important to frequently test your bilge pumps by switching from the automatic to manual position on the bilge pump switch. However, this doesn’t guarantee that the pump will work when unattended. You should also check the automatic float switch by manually raising it to make sure that it turns on the pump. Also, check for debris or corrosion that might keep it from floating up properly. If this switch fails, the pump won’t turn on and your boat could take on sufficient water over time to do serious damage.


This series of articles is contributed by Eduardo Hernandez, Business Development Manager at ERH Marine.  ERH Marine is the DR’s leading yacht distributor, with a wide portfolio of brands that satisfy all boating needs, be it fish or cruise.

Our other company, Dominican Yacht Management Service (DYMS – ERH Marine’s sister company), offers services to manage and care for your boat in its entirety. This is particularly useful if you don’t live in the DR, but maintain a vessel at the Marina. All these tips (and those still to come) have been taken from the DYMS Care program, and are performed regularly on the boats under our management.