Removable bung in keel? - SailNet Community

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Old 09-29-2008
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Removable bung in keel?

Hi All,

I was looking at a sailboat for sale (South Coast 23 w/ shoal keel) and the owner had drilled a drainage hole in the keel. His plan was to put in a removable bung.

I've never heard of such a thing. Is this common (or recomended?)
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Old 09-29-2008
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I've run into quite a few boats that use one, good idea for storage, any water that gets in the boat is allowed to drain out immediately.

for illustration:

Garboard Drain Plugs

Have a small through hull at the lowest point on my bilge, and I'm debating whether I should fill the hole, or install a drain, I like the idea of allowing drainage, but realy dislike holes in my hull.

Ken.
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Old 09-29-2008
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Ninja'd! Yes, they are garboard plugs. They are more common in places where boats are hauled for the winter and there is a possibility of snow or rain getting below to the bilges, and going through a freeze/thaw cycle, which can be destructive. Another advantage is that you can haul the boat, pull up the sole boards and fully scrub or even powerwash the bilges (remove cushions first!) and let the dirty water flow completely out the plug hole. Then you wash the dirt from below that hole on the keel.

The disadvantage, of course, is that it's another hole in the boat. But if you use a recessed threaded pipe and a cap on the interior screwed into it, you are pretty secure, because it will only be disturbed at launch and haulout.
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My 76 Morgan O/I has one. Nice to drain the bilge & clean it when you haul out.
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I dunno why, but I have an almost irrational fear of holes in the hull. But as I read more about the South Coast 23, it makes perfect sense. Apparently, this is one of those designs where the cockpit drains into the bilge.
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Old 09-29-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWastedYears View Post
I dunno why, but I have an almost irrational fear of holes in the hull. But as I read more about the South Coast 23, it makes perfect sense. Apparently, this is one of those designs where the cockpit drains into the bilge.
Yes, well that doesn't make any sense. There is absolutely no reason why the cockpit of any modern boat should drain into the bilge.

If it were my boat, that would be the first thing on the list to fix!

Cameron
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Old 09-30-2008
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Many boats at our marina have garbord drains. A local boatbuilder usually installs them as well.

Our boats are hauled during the winter and the marina is not patrolled regularly. Typically snow can fill the cockpit and than rain/freezing rain can put a hard layer over this snow and also cover cockpit drains. A mid winter rain storm will then fill cockpit to level of hatchboard and flow into boat.

This does not happen often but there are many ways in which water can find its way into an unattended boat over winter and easily rise to or over floorboard level. One boat in our marina had replaced the cabin sole only to have this happen over the following winter. After that a lot of boats installed garbord drains.

Another option is to remove the speed transducer to leave this as a drain. It is much higher than the bilge though and the possibility of water filling the bilge and freezing would still exist - though below the floorboard level.

Garbord drains are not at all difficult to install and unless you have a cored hull I do not see this as a major problem. I do however see water sitting in a boat on the hard as a major problem.

Mike
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Old 12-03-2008
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Drain hole in keel

I recently bought a Morgan 35'. I didn't realize 'til the yard manager pointed out to me that I have a drain in the keel/bilge. He said they are somewhat rare, that only 6 or 8 sailboats in the yard have them. It's a nice feature. The plug itself is a nice bronze threaded plug that is removed with a 1/2" ratchet (no socket required). It's nice to know that any water that gets down there will run out, even after I remove the batteries disabling the bilge pump.

Take care.

Dewayne
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Old 12-03-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWastedYears View Post
I dunno why, but I have an almost irrational fear of holes in the hull. But as I read more about the South Coast 23, it makes perfect sense. Apparently, this is one of those designs where the cockpit drains into the bilge.
Note really about the drain plug, but interesting nonetheless... My Victory 21 had the same arrangement, where the cockpit drained into the bilge. It was near impossible to keep the bilge from filling up with water in the summer. I finally put a large tarp over the boom (a cheap one). After that, it was bone dry.
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Old 12-03-2008
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A South Coast 23 isn't really a modern design, being about 40 years old.
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Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
Yes, well that doesn't make any sense. There is absolutely no reason why the cockpit of any modern boat should drain into the bilge.

If it were my boat, that would be the first thing on the list to fix!

Cameron
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