I 28 cockpit drain and garboard plug - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-26-2008 Thread Starter
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I 28 cockpit drain and garboard plug

As part of the rebuild of my I 28 I installed a garboard plug. During winter storage here in Maine the standard cockpit drains can freeze because of the way they are routed. If they do freeze and it rains, as it does here every month of the year, a full cockpit can spill into the cabin. The garboard plug allows any water in the hull to drain during storage. As a backup cockpit drain solution I installed a flush drain in the cockpit floor that terminates just below the cockpit floor in a hose fitting. I can attach a garden hose to that drain during winter storage and run the hose into the keel and out through the garboard drain. A cover does obviate the extra drain solution, if it doesn't fail. There are yards that won't store a boat without a garboard drain. It was a simple installation and eliminates a potentially disastrous problem. I did thicken the hull with some bi-ax at the point of installing the plug.

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post #2 of 3 Old 09-26-2008
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Garboard Plug or drill a hole

Instead of a garboard plug, some folks around here just drill a 1/4" hole in the side of the keel stub. Come Spring they mix up a bit of epoxy with filler and fill the hole. Next Fall they drill out that same plug with a 3/16" drill. Repeat yearly!

It doesn't leak and if you index off of the speed sensor you can get pretty low.

I know folks who do not have plugs that pour West Marine -50 into the bilge to prevent freeze-splitting. I don't agree with this for our ( 2I8 ) boat.

The floors in our 2I8 failed due to damage which in part came from "sodden" floors freezing. The freeze-thaw expansion cycling took out the plywood laminate.

Don't let this happed to you! I am doing an extensive repair now. Buggers!

Paul Comte
2I8 Wisconsin
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post #3 of 3 Old 09-27-2008
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Drill a hole

I suppose drilling a hole every year will work.

I did spend a couple hours over several days installing the plug. I managed to measure the location so that the very bottom of the opening barely cut an arc out at the surface of the steel shoe so it is at the bottom of everything. I do have some tools and experience that may not be available to everyone. It required a rt. angle drill to place the pilot hole where I wanted it from the inside. It also required a small grinder to prepare the surface of the inside of the hull and the top or the keel for 2 layers of 12 oz. bi-ax S glass that I installed with slightly thickened epoxy resin . This added hull thickness that extended at least 8 inches on every side of the installation. I used a couple of hole saws working from the outside. First the larger hole saw to cut in to the depth of the plug's flange. I used the pilot hole I had drilled from inside the keel as my guide. This larger hole saw was just the size of the plug flange. I was careful to only cut to the depth of the flange thickness. Since I had added the bi-ax inside the keel this left a thickness that was greater than the hull's original thickness under the flange.
Then the smaller hole saw could still use the original pilot hole to drill completely through the hull. This hole was the exact size of the plug body. I used a rasp to finish the fit. I had to use a 1/2 inch chisel to remove the glass laminates that remained between the inner hole and the flange cut. I did touch up the flange cut a couple of times. I had left it a little shallow and now that I had the outside radius cut I could use the large hole saw without the pilot hole. If you do this pay careful attention to the hull shape and don't drill perpendicular to the vertical. When I was satisfied that I had the flange just deep enough to fair it flush with the hull I located the 4 bolt holes that would attach it to the boat and drilled them. One of these went into the lead. Pay attention to the materials the plug and the fasteners are made of to avoid any galvanic potential. I roughed up the new epoxy surface inside the hole so any excess 5200 that flowed in when I bedded the plug would stick and masked the outside of the hole so the excess there would be easily cleaned up. I bedded it and tightened the fasteners. Now I have a permanent plug that drains the bottom of the keel space.

It did take a little work but most of us are "maintenance junkies", right?


Last edited by downeast450; 09-19-2012 at 10:06 AM.
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