I wanted to install a backup bilge pump with a trickle charge solar panel. I have read too many horror stories of boats taking on water due to a bilge pump failure, so my next project was to install a backup bilge pump. I began by installing a small solar panel on the top of the cross-member of the tube that connects the dodger to the bimini. (please see photos under Carpe Diem Updates)
The next challenge was to run the wires to a dedicated 12V battery that I located aft of the engine, on the port side under the floorboard. (this cavity is known as the 'Hell Hole,' a descriptor borrowed from aviation.) This battery is solely dedicated to servicing the backup bilge pump. That way, in case all of the house batteries are dead for whatever reason, this one would still be working.
I secured the battery in place by using some short 2x4s, so it would not slide around. Then I ran the wires from the battery, and from the second bilge pump, to the Rule three-way switch that I mounted on the bottom of the settee, along with a 12V meter to have the ability to viaually ensure that the solar panel is charging properly. After that was completed, I installed an anti-siphoning loop in the discharge line and placed it in the area under the sink. Finally, I ran the hose under the port side of the galley to terminate at a thru-hull on the transom. This latter turned out to be the hardest part of the project.
Now, the solar panel keeps the battery topped off, and I never have to worry about water in my bilge. ;)
New Bern, NC
35* 6' 10" N / 77* 2' 30" W
2001 C36, Hull #1965
Std Rig; Wing Keel; M35B