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Clever Invention: A Canoe Paddle With a Built-In Bilge Pump

Dan Dufault and John Hartz's Paddlepump
By Rain Noe - September 13

Here's something I didn't realize about seaplanes: "Seaplane floats are typically made of riveted aluminum and over time will leak," pilot John Hartz told New Atlas, "so part of the pre-flight is to pump out each float compartment. Paddles are also necessary equipment, because you can't motor all the way into the dock and there is no reverse."

Bilge pumps like the one above exist, as do canoe paddles. But Hartz's fellow seaplane pilot Dan Dufault had the genius idea to combine them, and the duo spent five years getting the design right. The result is their Paddlepump:

It also happens to be perfect for those with boats.

The shafts are made from anodized aluminum and telescope from 36" to 60". Inside is a "custom designed internal valving system [that] offers an effortless operation, high velocity flow, and quick bailing," the duo writes."Every canoe, dingy, kayak, and seaplane requires both a paddle and a bilge pump. We simply put them together to save weight, bulk, and simplify the experience."

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