Connections, Mounts, and Switches

Test Pumps


Most test pumps featured “quick connect” input and output ports. These are easier than the threaded style to use, but we’ve seen instances where a bad design caused them to fail easily. Be sure to closely examine pump connections when choosing a pump. Quick-connect fittings should be robust and operate smoothly.

1. The Shurflo Aqua King Premium (pictured), Aqua King Standard, and the Groco pumps were the only ones that used only threaded hose connections.

2. The Johnson Aqua Jet 4.0 pump uses a typical sliding quick-connect fitting. This style is nearly identical to one on a Johnson inlet strainer that broke during another PS test (Gear Graveyard, January 2011).

3. & 4. The Whale pumps use a unique quick-connect system. As seen here with the Fresh IC pump, the hose connection slides into a gray tube fitting and snaps in place. To release, users just push in on the gray tube.

5. The Jabsco Par-Max 2.9 offers only one, four-screw mounting option.

6. The Johnson Aqua Jet 5.2 pump also has only one mounting option, but its base is a bit wider.

7. All of the Shurflo pumps tested, including the UF1815 pictured, have the same footed, single-option mounting system.

8. The Whale pumps all had adjustable-mounting options, which testers preferred. The multiple holes offer more flexibility in choosing a mounting spot.

9. Via the light on this rocker switch, the Jabsco V-Flo “intelligent” pump lets users know when there’s a system problem.

Darrell Nicholson
Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on sailboats and sailing gear for more than 50 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising. Its independent tests are carried out by experienced sailors and marine industry professionals dedicated to providing objective evaluation and reporting about boats, gear, and the skills required to cross oceans. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser who has been director of Belvoir Media Group's marine division since 2005. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license, has logged tens of thousands of miles in three oceans, and has skippered everything from pilot boats to day charter cats. His weekly blog Inside Practical Sailor offers an inside look at current research and gear tests at Practical Sailor, while his award-winning column,"Rhumb Lines," tracks boating trends and reflects upon the sailing life. He sails a Sparkman & Stephens-designed Yankee 30 out of St. Petersburg, Florida. You can reach him at