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Stern Boat Plug (thoughts and opinions)

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Stern Boat Plug (thoughts and opinions)

Old 04-01-2021, 06:11 AM
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Default Stern Boat Plug (thoughts and opinions)

Ok.... So serious question and want your honest opinion...
Being that it is raining I am out here working on the boat and going over things I needed/wanted for the boat. Well I got to thinking about a story I read last night about a guy who was offshore with his sons and they started to take on water. Doing the bailing with a manual pump, running bilge pump, etc.... Today being out here got me to thinking what if that happened to me....
So quick run down.... The plug for my boat is the old style (rubber twist to squeeze). In a past experience, I was on an aluminum boat, got the boat on plane and removed the plug because of water in the boat. Could this be done on my KenCraft Challenger 250 with twin Mercury Optimax 200s. Instead of putting the plug on the outside (where I have no access to it), placing it on the inside where I can gain access to it. Get the boat on plane if possible, and remove the plug (hopefully drain water using the Venturi Effect), and as I get close to the dock plug it back.

I don’t have a maual (hand) bilge, but I do have a backup electric bilge with alligator clips to assist in bailing water.
Old 04-01-2021, 06:28 AM
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Just a really bad idea for many reasons
Old 04-01-2021, 06:31 AM
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Bad idea to plug the boat from the access in side. Bad idea to pull the plug. Bad idea in not upgrading to a brass screw plug. Bad idea in what regard?
Old 04-01-2021, 06:41 AM
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Well one bad thing I can think of is when you are sitting at rest the water pressure is pushing your plug inward. If you install from the inside it is conceivable that it pushes it in through the hole causing your water in the boat situation. If you install from the outside, when the water pushes in on the plug it is just securing it more.
Old 04-01-2021, 06:50 AM
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I had a boat where the plug was installed from the inside. It was a Twist to tighten/flip to lock type.

the biggest issue I have encountered with pulling the plug to drain the bilge is operator error. If you forget to put the plug back in things get sketchy pretty quick. I was on my buddy’s 19’ sex ox years ago and he pulled the plug as we turned back towards the ramp to drain the bilge. When we got to the ramp he forget to put it bavk it. While I was retrieving the truck/trailer he was idling along near the ramp. Just as I start to back down the ramp he drive the boat up it and beaches on the concrete. I see him jumping around and go to see what’s happening and he is standing in ankle deep water trying to put the plug in. We bailed her out, pushed her back in the water and then put her back on the trailer, feeling lucky.
Old 04-01-2021, 06:53 AM
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Thinking about it, my 18’ aluminum express Jon has the plug mounted from the inside. It has the step sponsons on the back so the exit for the plug is under the boat and not Easily accessible from the rear/outside
Old 04-01-2021, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by tommyjones View Post
I had a boat where the plug was installed from the inside. It was a Twist to tighten/flip to lock type.

the biggest issue I have encountered with pulling the plug to drain the bilge is operator error. If you forget to put the plug back in things get sketchy pretty quick. I was on my buddy’s 19’ sex ox years ago and he pulled the plug as we turned back towards the ramp to drain the bilge. When we got to the ramp he forget to put it bavk it. While I was retrieving the truck/trailer he was idling along near the ramp. Just as I start to back down the ramp he drive the boat up it and beaches on the concrete. I see him jumping around and go to see what’s happening and he is standing in ankle deep water trying to put the plug in. We bailed her out, pushed her back in the water and then put her back on the trailer, feeling lucky.

I had a buddy who would plug his engine well drains because the boat sat so low that water would come in, I'm sure he had water logged foam. When enough water collected rom splashes over the well we would pull the plugs from the inside to drain. I can tell you that at least when I was on the boat they were never just left out until we were getting close to the dock. Get on plane, pull the plug, sit there holding the plug and watch it drain, as soon as it is drained put the plug back in. There should never be a situation where forgetting to put the plug back in is a possibility.
Old 04-01-2021, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by VTXrider View Post
Well one bad thing I can think of is when you are sitting at rest the water pressure is pushing your plug inward. If you install from the inside it is conceivable that it pushes it in through the hole causing your water in the boat situation. If you install from the outside, when the water pushes in on the plug it is just securing it more.
I agree but they still make boats where they plug from the inside VTXRider, for example C-Hawk boats.
Old 04-01-2021, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by VTXrider View Post
I had a buddy who would plug his engine well drains because the boat sat so low that water would come in, I'm sure he had water logged foam. When enough water collected rom splashes over the well we would pull the plugs from the inside to drain. I can tell you that at least when I was on the boat they were never just left out until we were getting close to the dock. Get on plane, pull the plug, sit there holding the plug and watch it drain, as soon as it is drained put the plug back in. There should never be a situation where forgetting to put the plug back in is a possibility.
any time you take the plug out there is a possibility you forget to put it back in. But you are right, if you are going to do it, you should have a procedure or checklist to mitigate the risk of leaving it out.
Old 04-01-2021, 08:09 AM
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Our first boat, a Starcraft had the plug inside. You had to lay on your stomach, reach under the rear seat and down into the bilge, blindly to remove. Not too bad when you're 15 ad 45 or 50 years and not fun. We decided to put it in from the outside, for a lot of the reasons stated above. Another benefit is that you can see the plug as you're prepping your boat for launch, no forgetting to install.
Old 04-01-2021, 08:29 AM
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My father had a runabout with a 40 horse Johnson Seahorse back in the 60's. The plug was on the inside and operated by a long rod. I was amazed the first time I saw him pull the plug at speed and watched the water drain out the back. I thought for sure we were going to sink.
Old 04-01-2021, 08:36 AM
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Look at GEMLUX Products. They make a transom brass plated screw plug that can be unscrewed from either inside or outside the boat and the plug cannot be lost. I have one on my Parker 2510 that sits on a lift. I open it every time I come back from a trip so that all water drains from the bilge of the boat. See link below:

https://gemlux.com/collections/boat-.../products/3065
Old 04-01-2021, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by JSR View Post
Look at GEMLUX Products. They make a transom brass plated screw plug that can be unscrewed from either inside or outside the boat and the plug cannot be lost. I have one on my Parker 2510 that sits on a lift. I open it every time I come back from a trip so that all water drains from the bilge of the boat. See link below:

https://gemlux.com/collections/boat-.../products/3065

I installed these on my tunnel hull....they work great.
Old 04-01-2021, 09:07 AM
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It's perfectly doable but understand that having your plug on the inside means water gets to try to push it out as opposed to it being on the outside where water helps keep it there. Also would not recommend doing if solo. For one, leaving the helm long enough to play with a drain plug while on plane is a no no. For two, you open yourself up to forget about reinstalling it since you've walked away from it to man the helm as it drains. if you had a buddy, you'd get to stay back there with it and watch it drain. Please don't take this as "if the plug is on the outside then it's fine" that's far worse sticking your hand in front of a prop creating a rather strong suction at speed.
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:18 AM
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Gemlux drain plug and be done with it.
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:19 AM
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Years ago that was pretty much the "how it was done". When you saw the boat with water in it after a rain storm or whatever the response was "I'll be back in a few, I'm going to run the water out of the boat".
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:22 AM
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I would figure out how water is getting in my hull instead of trying to pull a plug while underway to drain it. Isn't that what bilge pumps and emergency pumps are for.
Old 04-01-2021, 09:48 AM
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No doubt if you know water is getting in then figure it all out before your launch. I was speaking in terms of sink and swim vs last ditch efforts.

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