Keep Your Boat Afloat with Ultra Bilge Pumpswitches™

ULTRA Bilge Pump Switch
ULTRA Bilge Pump Switch
ULTRA Bilge Pump Switch

These high quality hand crafted pump switches remain sealed from moisture for as long as you own your boat. 

ULTRA Bilge Pumpswitches™ come in three sizes depending on your needs: Mini, Junior, and Senior. All three are available in either 12 volts, 24 / 32 volts, respectively. Each is a commercial switch with extra lead wires, adhesive butt slices, and capabilities.

Power Boat Magazine gave ULTRA Bilge Pumpswitches a glowing review after testing six switches

I have a Hallberg-Rassy 42’ sailboat.  20 years ago (yes, 20) I installed a Ultra, Senior Bilge Pump Switch.  It is still working great. 

Thank you for making such a good product.  My Ultra has served us well during two Atlantic crossings, around Europe and the Med, then through the Caribbean.  I wish everybody made products this good.

Tom Wingfield

Peter, a reader and member of, Attainable Adventure Cruising, related a tale of frustration with a bilge pump switch in this comment and that got me thinking about a great piece of gear that we have used on Morgan’s Cloud for over 20 years without one single failure or hint of a problem:

A bilge pump switch from Ultra Safety Systems. Sure it seems extravagant to pay $165 US for a bilge pump switch when you can buy a whole pump with a switch for less. But how often can you buy any piece of gear for a yacht that works flawlessly for two decades, let alone one that achieves that in a wet environment? And anyway, what is making sure your bilge pump really comes on when it should worth to you?

Four things seem to contribute to the reliability:

  • A magnet within the float activates the switch, so the switch itself can be, and is, hermetically sealed.
  • The float is surrounded by a closed cylinder, which protects the switch from being fouled by bilge debris, that is only breached by small holes in the bottom to let the water in.
  • The electrical leads are long and pre-connected at the switch end in a totally waterproof manner and terminated at the other end with crimp connectors provided with heat shrink covering, so you can make the connection well clear of the bilge.
  • The general high quality of the components and assembly.

Using a separate switch like this, rather than one integrated into a pump, also conforms to a basic tenet of running a reliable voyaging boat that we have learnt over the years:

It is almost always better and more reliable to buy and install a system made up of separate components rather than to buy an integrated device that tries to do it all.

The Ultra Pump Switch also comes with a second set of contacts above the first that can be used to activate an alarm if the bilge pump is overwhelmed or simply fails. We have this connected to the company’s alarm that contains a siren that will wake the dead. And the even better thing about this alarm is that it is battery powered and so works even if the boat’s power is off or has failed. I feel strongly that all boats should be fitted with an alarm like this. After all, how often have you heard:

“The first time we knew anything was wrong was when I went down the companionway and stepped into water up to my ankles.”

By that time it is very often too late to find the leak and save the boat.