If your boats in the water and you're 'abandoning ship' for a few weeks or more you need to have the utmost confidence in your electric bilge pump and the float switch if ones fitted*. You must of course, make sure the pump is permanently connected to the battery once you turn the isolating key to the off position! The correct size fuse must be fitted in case there is a problem with the pump. If a float switch is fitted you must make sure that there is no debris in the bilge that may impede the working of it ie floating debris jamming it open maybe resulting in a burnt out motor. *If your yacht or powerboat is on a swinging mooring perhaps a quay wall and there is no external power source and if your automatic electric bilge pump is the type that does not have a float switch but is activated by sensing a resistance against the impeller every 2 1/2 minutes you should of course be aware of the current drain on the battery, if it's say a small Rule 500 GPH, its weekly consumption is 1.4 amps per week in checking mode, if it's the larger 1100GPH Model it's 1.8 amps per week.
As for manual bilge pumps, when was the last time you replaced the diaphragm? There are no hard and fast rules as to when it should be replaced however if it's exposed to the weather and you do not know its history, my advice would be to change it ASAP! If ordering a replacement don't send us the old one, we only need the model type ie Whale Gusher Urchin or Henderson MK V etc.
As for bailing out your dinghy or getting to the bottom of a deep bilge on say a Folkboat, there is nothing better than the Whale easy bailer. It's available in two different sizes and can also be used as a diesel (not petrol) transfer pump. Maybe you are participating in the ARC this year, if so it's great for transferring fuel from Jerry can to the tank. Alternatively the Rule Submersible and Inline pump can be used with a lot less effort or the Battery Operated Handy Pump which can also pump petrol as well as diesel. Writing about diesel however, if the diaphragm on your manual bilge pump is neoprene and not nitrile and you have had a small amount of that fuel in the bilge and pumped it out (responsibly of course) the chances are that it's now beyond redemption!