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Author Topic:   drain plugs and "Self-bailing"
alukban posted 06-25-2002 12:40 PM ET (US)   Profile for alukban   Send Email to alukban  
Sorry in advance for my very inexperienced question...

Aren't whalers supposed to be self bailing/draining ? If you fill it with water, the floor botton is above the water line so that the floor empties of water via the stern bilge drain plug (assuming it's open) - no? So why does my boat not "drain"? It slowly fills with water (boat not moving) when this drain is open.
Is the big, 90 horse motor changing the trim of the boat so that this drain hole is now below the water line? If I left the drin open and allowed the boat to fill, will it fill all way and swamp the boat? This does not seem very "whaler-like".

Where does one get new drain plugs (T or lever handled)?

Andrew :)

JFM posted 06-25-2002 01:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
Andrew, most Whaler's decks are below the water line with extra weight.
You could try a flaaper plug, but it's easier to keep the reg. plug in.
To get rid of water, bring your boat to plane and pull the plug. Regards, Jay
Soho posted 06-25-2002 01:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Soho  Send Email to Soho     

Different models hold different levels of water at "equilibrium". When asking a question it is always useful to note what model/year and engine you have as it helps the gurus around here give you a better, more informed answer. With a question such as yours, information on what gear you have in the boat and battery placement would also help. Assuming that you have a 16-17 foot hull, it will hold a certain amount of water with the plugs out. About an inch at that back I think, maybe more if there is more weight at the back. It should not swamp.

New drain plugs can be had at almost any boating store - West Marine, Boat US etc.

Hope this helps,



alukban posted 06-25-2002 01:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for alukban  Send Email to alukban     

Omitted info:

It is a '68 Currituck w/ 1995 90 hp Evinrude, battery and oil under front seats/console - had no fuel in the 6 gallon portable tank at the time (it started floating).

Ok, I'm less worried now. I'll start worrying at 2" deep...

Andrew :)

Bigshot posted 06-25-2002 01:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
It might do more than 2" but as soon as you start to sweat, it stops coming in. Very few will stay totally dry. My 13' with a 25 and no battery and tank will take in about 5 gallons. My montauk will take in about 30. I will in a storm just pull the plug and leave it, the water comes to about the back of my seat.
Jerry Townsend posted 06-25-2002 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
As Jay points out, many Whaler decks are below the water line and as such are not self bailing. Some of the newer Outrages (and there may be others as well) have the decks above the water line and are self bailing.

As Jay points out, to drain the water, simply get the boat moving (it does not have to be on plane) and pull the plug. Of course, the faster the boat is going, the higher the velocity pressure (to a physicist and engineer) is and therefore, the faster the water will be suctioned from the boat. ----- Jerry/Idaho

Bigshot posted 06-25-2002 03:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Actually....being a drunk that failed physics:)....I feel that plowing causes the boat to drain the fastest. Maybe it is the weight of the water pushing it out or maybe because the plug is still under water(where on plane it is above) it does what Jerry said above.
gunnelgrabber posted 06-25-2002 04:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for gunnelgrabber  Send Email to gunnelgrabber     
it surprised me how long it took to clear 4" out of my 16' in the river the other day at 12-15mph....wallowing,feels weird!. glad i wasn't in the gulf!...sometimes you wouldn't be able to go 25-30mph to get it gone quicker! a sobering experience....lm
Eric posted 06-25-2002 05:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
That's why I've got a bilge pump.
acseatsri posted 06-25-2002 06:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
18OR, 150 hp OMC, 2 batts in console, oil tank in motor well, 8 hp honda kicker on transom, 63 gallons fuel- water level is about 1" below deck. As soon as I get in, water is almost level with the floor.
tuna1 posted 06-25-2002 06:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for tuna1  Send Email to tuna1     
Weigh your boat!!!!!,you might just find it's a little heavy from a water in the core foam.It happenned to me and i was very careful when looking at the boat,but did not weigh it.Sure wished i did after the fact.
NEVER SCARED posted 06-25-2002 08:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for NEVER SCARED    
My 18' Outrage, 150 omc, 15 kicker also fills to 1" below floor. Positive floatation indeed!
dchris2 posted 06-25-2002 10:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for dchris2  Send Email to dchris2     
2001 13' sport 2 cycle 40 hp merc, completely dry. They don't make em like they use to.
crashq posted 06-26-2002 05:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for crashq  Send Email to crashq     
My 1983 Outrage 18 has a 140hp Evinrude, 25 hp Johnson kicker, and two batteries. The first day we fished it with any of the plugs (front hold, rear sump,& engine well) The water was about 3 inches below the teak sump cover (and the deck) at the end of the day. We had three people on board and a full tank (65 gallons).

I think by self-bailing, they mean it will bail while underway, not at rest. They also did not say how fast it will bail. If you have 4" of water in the boat it will take a while. Only so much can go through the small drain holes.

Jay A posted 06-26-2002 08:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jay A    
When I docked my 1970 13' Whaler at a marina I always left the drain plugs out! And they were below the waterline! With one 6 gallon metal fuel tank over to port and the other to starboard and about 8" forward of the "cofferdam", the water intrusion wouldn't get to them! And I always left the outer drain open when underway. That transom well also made a great poor mans live well!
Jerry Townsend posted 06-27-2002 12:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Crashq - the term self-bailing stems from the deck being above the water level and hence, the boat will self-bail at rest or in motion. This feature is incorporated into the later Whalers. Leaving the plugs out will always accumulate a small amount of water while at rest which is suctioned out with the boat under way. Many will leave the plugs out with the boat docked and the water level in the boat is in equilibrium and will not increase. ----- Jerry/Idaho
mudpuppy posted 06-27-2002 09:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for mudpuppy  Send Email to mudpuppy     
What is the proper way to manage the drain plugs on an 87 15 supersport limited with a 60 hp merc, 4 hp Johnson kicker, and 21 gal of fuel. I have been leaving the drain plug in, and keeping the two plugs in the splash well out, and relying on the bilge pump to remove any shipped water. The pump moves any water into the splash well , and forward speed causes it to drain out.

What happens with this boat if I leave the lower drain plug out at all times? I did it by accident once and wasn't sure when the water was going to stop.

JFM posted 06-27-2002 10:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
Mud, you'll burn your pump up! Just turn your pump off and try. Regards, jay
mudpuppy posted 06-28-2002 01:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for mudpuppy  Send Email to mudpuppy     
Are you saying I should launch and use the boat with the lower stern plug removed? It seem like I'll have water up around my ankles when I'm not moving. Or should I just remove the plug when I encounter conditions that cause me to take on water? I haven't weighed the boat to try to check for a waterlogged foam core, but I can lift the stern up a little and move it around the trailer by myself, so I doubt it's gained any significant weight through the years.
JFM posted 06-28-2002 09:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
Mud, To see how much water your boat will take on simply pull the plug and step out of the boat. It will not sink, but give you a good idea how much water it will have and still float. This will help you decide to use your bilge pump all the time or not. I would run with your plug in unless you need to drain some water.

In my 13, I have a jack plate, 40 4 stroke, 12 gal. Pate tank and battery all behind the helm. In the helm with the plug out she still float but has 4 inches of water in it. Having no bilge pump, if I see a storm of heavy rains comming I pull the plug. I would rather have 4 inches than a foot or the stern under water. Regards, Jay

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