Peeler Skiff in water full time

Hi There

I'd like to keep my Peeler Skiff in the brackish waters of Maryland full time this season. 

Does anyone have expereince installing a bilge pump and painting the bottom for this purpose? 

I'm looking for bilge pump reccomendations (float switch operated, I imagine?), and bottom paint reccomendations, as well as any other advice- do you keep the boat covered or uncovered? What else am I not thinking of? 

I'm also planning on installing a bimini top. 

Thanks in advance!


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RE: Peeler Skiff in water full time

   Obviously, covered will be better than uncovered.  The sun probably does more damage to boats than anything else (besides impact with hard objects!).  Perhaps one thing to think about as you plan for a cover is how the cover will add windage to your overall package with respect to your docking/mooring situation, and how a cover that is sturdy enough to stand up to the elements will be relatively expensive and over time will require periodic replacement.

If the boat isn't right out the front window of your house, I'd recommend a bilge pump (perhaps even if it is) - of couse with a float switch, that can be built in or separate.  Built in probably most convenient.  Rule is a company with a long and well respected history making small bilge pumps, but there are plenty of choices.  Ensuring your power source is reliable is as important as ensuring the pump is reliable.  One issue I foresee with the Peeler Skiff is the lack of an actual bilge.  I'd want to check the technical details on your pump choice to see how far it will draw down water. That might be one of the most important features. Leaving 2" in the Peeler might leave quite a bit of water behind that could become a source of bilge "mung" (that's the Navy term for it) if you don't visit often enough to sponge things out.

Literally hundreds of bottom paint choices.  Others will have more knowledge than I.  In Maryland (not "tropical") and brackish water, you probably don't need the really soft, extra ablative stuff.  That does best at limiting growth, but will "color" your body and clothes and swim suit if you rub up against it, and it requires more frequent repainting (and more hazmat/regulatory controls for usage).

RE: Peeler Skiff in water full time


My Peeler has been in the water since it was launched in 2015. It is commonly launched in April and pulled in October, spending 6 months in the relatively cold water of Buzzard's Bay.  I have always had a bildge pump (Rule electronic) and it does a reasonable job of keeping all but the last 1" of water out of the boat.  The inability, short of a sponge, to get the last bit of rain out is one of my few issues - it would be nice to have some type of sump.

I use conventional ablative bottom-paint, I think Hyrdrocoat, with no issues.  Bottom paint is a local thing, but I dont think you will have any problems.

The one issue that I have had is the blistering of Brightsides where it is constantly wet. Interlux does not recommend its used below the waterline for a reason.  I have replaced the sole paint with Kiwi Grip and repaint the bootstripe as needed owing to blistering.

My boat is not covered, but it lives on my dock or mooring which is close by.  If you can;t keep an eye on it it the boat should be covered.  A 2" rain rainstorm will leave 8" of water in the stern if the bilge pump fails - ask me how I know.

The only other change that I made was the addition of HDPE runners to the bottom to deal with the rocky beaches here.

Good luck,


RE: Peeler Skiff in water full time

Keep in mind that a cover will need to be:

1. Breathable or else you'll have a mold/mildew problem

2. Well supported or rainwater will pool and soak through the breathable fabric into the boat

3. Well secured or the wind will cause it to rub against the boat, removing paint, varnish and epoxy and exposing roughened bare wood to the elements.



RE: Peeler Skiff in water full time


My Peeler Skiff, About Time has been moored in a small saltwater cove in New England for the past 5 years. The Interlux Brightside Polyurethane Marine Paint has held up well uncovered in the sun. Below the waterline she’s panted with a regular ablative bottom paint (renewed each Spring).

I used the following components to rig an automatic electric bilge pump. I mount the switch on the plastic ammo can with the battery and the solar controller the sealed inside. The holes for the wires that connect to the solar panel and the pump must caulked well. The ammo can and the pump itself must be firmly attached to the bottom or they will come adrift in the first bad weather.

If you’d like more information let me know and I’ll try to provide it.



RE: Peeler Skiff in water full time

Hi Dick, 

Thanks for the detailed bilge pump components information. I would like to add one to my non center console Peeler.  Can you provide some detail of where you plumbed the pump thru the hull? Thanks, 

Charlie D


RE: Peeler Skiff in water full time


I'm almost embarassed to say that I have not plumbed to outlet hose through the hull. We've talked about doing that, but it never seemed worth the effort.

The pump is secured to the bottom under the aft seats. The last thing we do before rowing from the mooring to shore is to pull the hose up through the same hole we use for the fuel lines and out past the outboard motor. When we get underway again, we just feed it back down under the seats and out of the way.

The solar panel is secured to the seats on the after starboard quarter. We do not have a tiller on the motor. You'll need to secure yours where is is exposed to the sun but doesn't interfere with steering.




RE: Peeler Skiff in water full time

   I lead my hose over the transom next to the motor mount and secured it with zip ties. Since my Peeler is a trailer queen the pump only gets used it I forget to put the drain plug in.

RE: Peeler Skiff in water full time

Thanks for the responses. Dick, you still have a cool setup. Maybe just feeding it over the transom for now is better than drilling a thru hull that is less than optimal. Catboater, I've been "Been there, done that" with no bilge pump at my community launch--worse, I didn't even have the plug with me!  My boat name is "Been There". Best to all

Charlie D


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