Cockpit drain on Lake Union Swift/Tenderly

When finished, my Lake Union Swift will spend summers on a trailer under a cover at a local sailing club.  There will be times when it will go several weeks, at least, without me paying a visit, and I'm worried about water finding it's way under the cover and pooling in the boat.  Worst case is the cover coming loose and lots of water getting in after heavy rains.

I think I could put a drain at the bottom center of the transom, though I haven't yet looked at how much clearance I've got with the rudder and pintles/gudgeons.  However, that location won't do me any good unless the trailer tongue is up in the air.  Even if I could get the boat/trailer to balance that way when parked, I'm concerned that it would be a liability, with the whole thing possibly getting flipped by our occasional violent winds.

A drain forward of the centerboard case, at the low spot in the hull when the trailer tongue is resting on the ground, makes a lot more sense to me.  But a couple of issues:

  • I'm not seeing a drain plug that mounts flush with the outside of a hull this thin.  I want to minimize drag as much as I can.
  • Getting to the plug is complicated by the floorboards, though I could probably leave a hole or create a small removeable section to get at it.
  • A self-bailer would do what I need, I think, but I've had issues in the past--leaks (when the boat isn't moving quickly), getting fouled with sand, and toe injuries chief among them.

Wondering what solutions others have come up with.  Thanks!!

3 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: Cockpit drain on Lake Union Swift/Tenderly

I do think it is a very a good idea to have the drain feature somewhere, even when using a cover. Protects the wood from long term pooling of water, as now matter how careful you are, there are always "accidents" that cause a cover to blow away or sag so badly it collects water and dumps it in the boat. A drain makes it easy to wash the inside of the boat, if nothing else.  An Anderson (auto) bailer would be my choice if you do the drain in bottom of the (thin) hull, even though you'll rarely be going fast enough for it to be useful underway. But the one argument is that on the days when you are shipping water, those are the days when an auto bailer might actually do some bailing for you. The good Elvstom design stainless steel ones that inlcude a lever arrangement that locks them shut should leak none or hardly at all when the gasket is new.

I put my plug in the base of the transom on my NE Dory, and I do raise the tongue enough to ensure it drains.  You can always hang a concrete block over the trailer tongue - or some other sort of tongue weighting arrangement if necessary (weight isn't needed for my dory trailer, but I do use a block on my Flying Scot trailer).  And if you're really worried about wind, screw-in tie-down stakes with a strap that runs over the boat might be an option, so long as you're always able to park in the same spot.  We did always strap down our boats (various sailing dinghies) when I was in Kansas.  And we just had a microburst (so bad it took the roof off the clubhouse, just like it was a tornado, maybe it was - it was very localized damage, but the bullseye was the club grounds, go figure) here in Georgia that damaged several boats buy flipping them off of trailers.  Here almost no one uses straps.  Actually, there hasn't been a rush to strap down boats here in the aftermath of that rare event, either.

RE: Cockpit drain on Lake Union Swift/Tenderly

Thanks Bubblehead!  Despite my previous not-so-great experiences, I may end up going with that mini Elvstrom/Anderson.  But haven't given up hope that someone has a simpler solution.

RE: Cockpit drain on Lake Union Swift/Tenderly

   Andersen drains do often leak when closed. But usually not much and once you get underway it drains out.  Provided you get enough speed. Our friend Mark Nye reports it takes 4 mph to get the drains to work right. 

« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.