Hand pump good for any scenario

Armand Seguin



Beckson Marine Handy mate pump 212PC model
$31.80 (for 212PC model)


  • Safe for petroleum products
  • Large tubes allow for quick pumping


  • No storage container
  • Directions on packaging, not pump
  • Narrow tubes make for slow pumping

Although well known for its portlights, Beckson Marine manufactures other marine accessories including Handy Mate hand pumps. The model 212PC hand pump measures 13 inches long and can pump anything from water to petroleum products, such as diesel oil, gasoline or engine oil.

The 212PC comes with two different pickup tubes, including a quarter-inch diameter hose designed to go down the oil pickup tube to drain your oil. You can pump water or light liquids at 3.8 gallons per hour. A larger unit, the 16-inch 216PC, comes with a foot to keep it steady and a longer discharge line. It can pump up to 5 gallons per hour.

As its nomenclature suggests, the Handy Mate can perform many chores. Its all-plastic construction makes it safe to use with petroleum products, including gasoline.

The directions say that oil temperature shouldn’t exceed 120 degrees and should be safe to transfer when the engine has cooled. If you’ve been running your engine for a while underway, the oil temperature will be close to that of your water temperature, commonly 180 degrees. I found drawing even warm oil through a C/af-inch-wide tube to be difficult and slow. The larger tube easily pumped water in adequate quantity.

Here’s a heads-up: The full directions were on the label stapled to the pump’s packaging, so make sure you save those instructions. Few people would think to save the non-descript top of a package, and I think Beckson could have attached the full directions to the pump itself.

Since the pump includes several items, it would be handy if it came with a more permanent, resealable bag—especially since, having been used for oil products, the pump or tubes would be messy and drip on your boat.

Armand Seguin, S, served in the U.S. Coast Guard and holds a USCG Masters license. A member of Carquinez Sail & Power Squadron/25, the USPS-certified instructor boats in the San Francisco Bay area.

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