Whilst up in Scotland last week, my electric pump for the SIB gave up the ghost. Having been forced to inflate it with the hand pump a few times I decided that the pump needs replacing PDQ (I'm still knackered!).
The pump cost me about £60.00. Today I just purchased an electrical pump for my car and motorcycle tyres, you know the type, plugs into the cig lighter on the car. This cost me £12.00! Why such a huge price difference!
Right, the boat pump is basically a small 12v motor with an impeller blade at the front in a small plastic housing. Printed on the front of this plastic housing it says 'Made in England'. I took the housing off to see if the pump could be repaired. The device was VERY simple. Apart from the plastic housing all that was there was a switch and a 12v electric motor (the main component). On the electric motor was a sticker ‘Made in China’!
Now I know that these motors are VERY cheap. For example you can buy a rechargeable electric drill for £9.99 – these are ‘Made in China’. I know that the shops buy these for about £5.00. The importer gets them for about £3.00, and they are shipped all the way from China! I wouldn’t mind betting that they use the same motors as the boat pump. So the motors must cost about 50p each. Add on a bit of injection-moulded plastic, assembly costs, distribution costs, and what do you have. A HUGE profit.
What can I do about this?
Well, I’m not sure but….
Can I buy a car pump and adapt it for the boat? Cut off the valve adapter. Attach hose and boat valve adapter. Then pump away. Stop when tube is almost ‘hard’ then finish of with a few strokes of the hand pump (as I did with the boat pump).
Boat – high volume, low pressure
Car tyre – low volume, High pressure
Will this cause a problem? Can anyone help? Does anyone else care? Who will be the next Education Secretary? Will Charles and Flanker ever see eye to eye?
Keith (always a friendly face) Hart