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Willy Vac

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As a kid, I carried a Shop Vac into my dad’s boat to clean out the bilges, engine compartment, and the like. Then we had to lug the dirty-water-loaded container back out onto the dock to empty the contents into a bucket. It was effective, but also a bit of a back breaker. Bill Wallace, of Wallace Marine, must’ve lugged a few Shop Vacs up from the engine room in his time, too, because he’s created the Willy Vac. I first saw this cool tool onboard Viking’s new 70 Convertible during a recent boat test. Simply put, it’s a central vacuum for your boat’s engine room. The unit is mounted in the engine room and with a 2,400-gph pump, you can suck dirty water out of the bilge in a hurry. Its valve system allows you to send contents either overboard or into a container. It can also be used as a crash pump; to extract coolant from an engine during maintenance; and to pump out a stopped-up head. The Willy Vac’s top-loading strainer basket is easily removed for quick cleaning. There’s nothing as rewarding as a clean engine room, and this is a piece of gear that can help.