Out with the Old Mechanical Switches

Fisherman on boat

Fishermen pride themselves on outfitting their boats with the best technology. Sonars, radars, fish finders, chart plotters and hydraulic winches all assist these tenacious men and women in yielding greater catches. But there’s one vital system that the marine industry never, until recently, innovated. One that when malfunctions brings the fishing day to a screeching halt. It’s none other than that pesky mechanical float bilge switch. Prone to jamming and breaking the mechanical float switch does not live up to what its purpose demands.

Fishermen, like Richard J. from Montauk, New York know all too well the headaches that accompany the traditional mechanical float switch. Richard has over 40 years of fishing experience ranging from big haulers to smaller clam boats. Today he runs two vessels, a 25-foot T-Jason named Spuc and a 23-foot Thomas Marine Clam Boat. For years he, like his fishermen cohorts, has replaced the unreliable mechanical switch countless times.

“I have used mechanical float switches a long time and have had a lot of problem with them,” said Richard. “Basically, they never seem to work when you need them.”

Richard first discovered Blue Guard Innovations (BGI) products at Rhode Island Engine Company. There he saw what he had been looking for, a technologically superior alternative to the traditional mechanical float switch; BGI’s Solid-State Bilge Pump Switch with High Water Alarm (BG-SWA).

The BG-SWA is the perfect replacement for the antiquated mechanical float switch. Unlike its predecessor, the BG-SWA has no moving parts to jam or break. The BG-SWA integrates directly into any bilge system and immediately activates when its sophisticated sensors detect water or other fluids. It triggers the bilge pump to activate only when necessary, prolonging the life of the pump. If fluids are continuously detected, then the BG-SWA sounds an alarm alerting the captain of an emergency.

One feature that really caught Richard’s attention was the ability to test the switch via the BGI Config App. He no longer wastes valuable fishing time crawling into the bilge and manually testing his pump system. He simply accesses the BGI Config App via Bluetooth on his phone, prompts the system to “test”, and when his app gives him the “green light,” Richard is good to go! A “red light” would indicate he needs to address a problem, like the pump is malfunctioning or is overwhelmed. The simplicity and reliability of this function sets Richard’s mind at ease.

“I am glad to have found the Blue Guard switch,” said Richard. “I won’t ever go back to an old mechanical switch.”

BGI smart switches and sensors are the perfect replacement for old mechanical float switches. All BGI switches and sensors are CE and ISO 8846 Marine Ignition Protected and tested to ABYC-1500 standards. To learn more about all of their switches and sensors visit bluebgi.com or call 720-214-3640.