You should never go out to sea without a bilge pump, whether you're working on a small pleasure boat or a massive cargo ship. There are numerous things that could go wrong if these are not present.
However, the bilge pump requirements for large vessels and smaller ships differ greatly.
Fluids from leakage, drainage, and washing down all end up in ship bilge wells. These wells will eventually overflow and spill into the engine room if left unchecked. And this can lead to a slew of issues.
If the oily water rises, it has the potential to damage machinery. Furthermore, if one compartment floods, the boat's balance will suffer.
That is why it is critical to empty the bilge wells on ships.
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