The 10 Best Bilge Blowers
This wiki has been updated 4 times since it was first published in March of 2020. Ideal for yachtsmen, anglers, and recreational boaters, these bilge blowers will quickly and safely expel flammable, heavier-than-air gases from your bilge or tank. Clearing your tanks before starting your engines is an important part of safety at sea, especially if you have not done so for some time. These should be installed by an experienced person or qualified marine electrician. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
June 11, 2020:
Safety is of paramount importance at sea where you have to rely on your vessel and your crew to look after you in an emergency when help can be hours or days away. Fire is the number-one cause of boats of any kind sinking, and flammable liquids and gases are the number one cause of fires onboard. Before the advent of electronic systems and motors, sailors would use hand pumps to pump out their bilges and “blow their tanks” to evacuate any gases that sink into the lowest parts of a boat.
Any electrical switch or paraffin lamp can ignite the petrol, diesel, or propane fumes in a boat, and the results are almost always catastrophic. Bilge blowers are a vital safety feature on any boat that has an engine or liquid fuel onboard.
While all of the bilge blowers listed are good, the Jabsco 35115 is lower on the list, despite being more expensive, due to its size, which reduces your options when deciding where to install it. The Detmar 7-5-4C is a quality product, with its anti-shock design, but it is reported as being loud, necessitating placement outside of the cabin.
It should be noted that “easy installation” or “easy to fit” should be considered “comparatively easy to fit”. These blowers are almost always retro-fitted to boats and are necessarily secured to the lowest parts of the boat, or the engine bay, where access is always difficult. The Attwood Turbo 4000 is considered easy to fit because it is compact, and only needs two screws to fix it to a bulkhead.
Noise is also a consideration for pleasure boaters who are fitting units inside the galley or heads for air extraction. The Jabsco 35115 makes the list over noisier models that are better suited to the bilge, or under the cockpit sole where volume is not a consideration.