Additional Cockpit Drains - Forward

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2004 --

This project started in 2004, and finished in 2007.

During the repower,
with the engine out, the fuel tank out, and everything else removed from the stern,
Stella Blue was way off trim.

There was an inch of water
in the front of the cockpit.

I've always intended to add more drains,
both forward and at the very back.

This looks like the time to do it.

I drilled a hole through the exact center of where the drain was going to be, and let the water flow down into the bilge.

I went back
with an even bigger hex key
and took the core out a full inch
all around.

Then I used a hole saw to lift a plug out of the deck, leaving the bottom skin intact. All the core was reamed out with an old hex key.

Then I painted the core with thin West System epoxy, and filled the plug with epoxy thickened with colloidal silica.

The hole was cut out using concentric circles with a hole saw.
More on that later.

The single drain stayed like this during the entire repower project, as well as during the huge
cockpit sole recore project,
and did a good job of
keeping the the cockpit dry.

But there was one big problem.

The exhaust system for the new engine was a real challenge.

By the time it was all done the mixer elbow and the hose for the cockpit drain wanted to live in the same place.

I made it fit, but really wasn't comfortable with it. Fortunately, I had planned to add *two* drains forward, and decided to just block this one off and have a single drain on the other side.

The hole was filled with epoxy, colloidal silica, and
chopped fiberglass.

I destroyed the fitting while removing it (above.) After cleaning it up well, the bottom of the hole was sealed with tape.

Someday, when I have
a can of paint open,
I'll slap a dab on this.

I made a cover out of a scrap of 1/8" prefab fiberglass from McMaster-Carr, and
epoxied it into place.

Fitting the through hull
just perfectly flush was the most
time consuming part of this job.

I used 1-1/4" marelon through hull fittings. A nearby hardware store had small old fashioned drain screens for old sinks. They fit perfectly, but can be removed for easy cleaning. I bought five of them, because it took me months to find one that would fit, and I'm sure to lose a few at the years go by.

(In this picture, there's also epoxy smeared on the sole. That's part of a different project, as I prepare the
new sole for new non-skid.)

I had made a square plywood backing plate for this drain, but that was two years ago and I lost it. So I made a new, round one, that's barely big enough. It can't be any bigger, though, since I ran all sorts of wire and cable through here during the repower.

I'm going to go back and add another hose clamp. This drain is directly above the electric fuel pump on the engine.
I don't want water to drip onto that.

The original plan, way back when, was to have each of the forward drains go straight down to an through hull fitting. So when I put the new through hulls in, I used a tee fitting to allow another hose fitting to be added on top.

After the repower, I realized that if I added a hose and fitting there, I'd never be able to get the starting battery back out, and the hose would also block easy access to parts of the engine.


So I ran the hose like this.

I'm a bit worried that it might place undue stress on the cockpit fitting. It seems perfectly strong, but maybe I'll come up with some kind of brace so that when I move the hose around (like, when changing oil) I won't risk creating a leaky fitting at the top.

I'd like to make that 90 degree elbow into a 45, too, so I'll start looking for a gentler fitting made of schedule 80 PVC.

I'd already planned to have a second drain on the port side,
so the sole core was already removed and a solid
epoxy plug in place.

To fit the flush drain, I used a hole saw to lightly score the outer circumference, and a smaller one to cut just as deep as the flange. Then the main hole was cut.

The whole thing was then
shaped carefully with my
Handy Dremel Tool.


The sole is finally ready for me to put the nonskid down.

It's hard to believe that I started ripping this apart three years ago.
Sailing without nonskid hasn't bothered me, except when I spill potato chips.