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Clean out plugs - use them regularly!

YamahaCC

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I bought my boat, that was mint, with 'stuck' clean out plugs. Had to use an electric chain hoist to remove them - which actually started to lift the stern off the trailer before them released! My boat lives in the water June-Oct and being so I leave the plugs in as that is a failure point for water to possibly leak in should they be left out.

Every time I use the boat I always quickly pop them out and re-set them - over the past few years - with no issues. This year I slacked and did not do it for about 3 weeks. The starboard one came out fine, the port one was stuck! Luckily after getting a good grip and every once of my strength it released. I have been doing it before every outing since with no issues. Just a warning, don't get lazy, keep them in good working order.

I personal have a spare set of plugs and rebuild one set each year and use the other one the following year.
 

PJ73

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I spray mine with yamalube
 

Scottintexas

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you can leave your plugs out when not in use even while in wet slip, the water rises/falls with the boat so unless you have a failure at the bottom of the cleanout tube (which has sealant and a clamp on it) you won't have any issues,
 

tabbibus

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Yamalube all the way! Also I'm pretty sure you can leave them out when in the water.
 

Beachbummer

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My boat is dry stacked which means it spends some nights in the water over weekends and during long periods when the boat is in use. It has spent many days on the water with no plugs on. Works as expected, boat is still unsunk.
 

YamahaCC

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Well you will not have any issues....until you do. Just like with my saltwater boats and seacocks. They should be closed at ALL times unless being used. One of the first things your insurance company will do with a sunk boat is check the status of your seacocks. Sure, those all have hoses and clamps but you can have a failure at any time. Same with the clean out plug tubes. Mine is on a lake mooring and there are fair amount of waves, with the plugs out I watch the water rise and fall in the tube. If there was a leak or failure it would be trouble. Everything in life is an odds/risk game. For myself leaving the plugs in (as long as I pop them in/out once an outing) offers a 0% risk, where as leaving them out is a lot higher risk. I work in the marine industry, when you have seen as many boat sink as I have for the reasons I have you would think twice about leaving them out while in the water for a longer duration.
 

Beachbummer

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I'm struggling to understand how you fear the water will enter the boat with the plugs out. Can you give us your reasoning?

I feel I understand how the boat sits and if the water level is at the top of the plug, the boat has already sunk.

EDIT: I'm taking about the clean out plugs, which were referred to on the first post. I also leave internal plugs out so the water flows to the bilge for extraction by the pump. This is controversial, and others have different thoughts.

SECOND EDIT: In your wave scenario, it actually helps that the plugs are out, as they can drain more water on the deck, vs the plugs close, and the water remaining on top of the swim platform longer. This is ancademic discussion because the boat floats fine either way.
 
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OCMD

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Take 'em out after done for the day. Your boat will not sink. Put them in next trip out. Smooth and easy in, same out; been doing it for almost 15 years with no issues. Only issue I ever had was when I took delivery of the 2008 SX230, 2d owner. Although mint, prior owner never took 'em out. It was a mild bitch getting them out but once out? Remove after every outing and never looked back.
 

YamahaCC

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I'm struggling to understand how you fear the water will enter the boat with the plugs out. Can you give us your reasoning?

I feel I understand how the boat sits and if the water level is at the top of the plug, the boat has already sunk.

EDIT: I'm taking about the clean out plugs, which were referred to on the first post. I also leave internal plugs out so the water flows to the bilge for extraction by the pump. This is controversial, and others have different thoughts.

SECOND EDIT: In your wave scenario, it actually helps that the plugs are out, as they can drain more water on the deck, vs the plugs close, and the water remaining on top of the swim platform longer. This is ancademic discussion because the boat floats fine either way.
When you have been in the marine industry for 40+ years you will see things others do not. The physical 'plug' housing sits just above the resting waterline, if that. The larger 'tube' that slides over that is a potential failure point. Should that hose clamp ever let go for whatever reason and the silicone sealant degrade enough the water will run down between the housing and the tube, if the plugs is out, and wave action allows for the rise and fall. I removed everything and replaced my scupper with the SS one when I bought mine, the silicone seal around that housing was mediocre at best and showed signs of degradation.

Leaving the plugs in will only allow rain water to accumulate in the tube, unless you get a monsoon for days and days this is not an issue, plus mine has the full mooring cover on when not in use.

Again, it comes down to risk/chance/odds. Honestly the odds of that clamp going and the seal failing are rather low, however, if that does happen allowing significant water to enter the bilge there is a high risk of the bilge pump eventually draining the battery and the boat filling with water. Obviously the more water in the boat the lower the boat is going to sit allowing more water pressure against the failure point which will increase the water flow into the boat. To me, there is 0 benefit to take the plugs out when on the mooring and all the piece of mind to leave them in.

Again, my barge recovers a few sinkers every year - you would be surprised how many times it is just a simple fitting or clamp that failed causing it to go down.

Everyone is free to leave theirs in the manor in which they feel most comfortable, I am not telling anyone they have to do what I say at all, but certain ways are safer than others.
 

Beachbummer

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I disagree with you on this one. If you have a leak in that location, you are worse off with the plugs in. With the boat at rest, with no plugs on, the water level is below the hose. You will get more water with the boat at rest with the plug on vs off.

I hear you rubber and clamps fail all the time. I have been a proponent of bilge alarms and float for a long time because it's a matter of when, not if, something underwater breaks and allows water in the boat.

In this case, with the plug off, the boat allows water to flow out faster.

I'm going to double check the behavior on my boat when I put the plugs on this week, but I feel pretty certain of what I recall in this space and I stand by my statement. I think with all risks considered, Plugs off are LESS risky than On for water intrusion purposes on an otherwise floating boat. If you add the plugs expand and do better dry, it makes it all the more reason to leave them out.

In any case, as with everything, dear reader, it's your own boat, and you make the decision you feel confortable with for your own equipment, and you alone suffer the consequences.
 
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YamahaCC

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I disagree with you on this one. If you have a leak in that location, you are worse off with the plugs in. With the boat at rest, with no plugs on, the water level is below the hose. You will get more water with the boat at rest with the plug on vs off.

I'm going to double check the behavior on my boat when I put the plugs on this week, but I feel pretty certain of what I recall in this space and I stand by my statement. I think with all risks considered, Plugs off are LESS risky than On for water intrusion purposes on an otherwise floating boat. If you add the plugs expand and do better dry, it makes it all the more reason to leave them out.
Yes, it is below the hose, barely. When I have mine moored the water level goes almost midway up the tube with wave action with boats passing frequently.

The only 'risk' to leaving them in is rain water accumulation as that is the only source of water possible to get into the tubes with the plugs in. Also the drain around the upper part is suppose to remove any rain water before it gets in the tube. Normal rain water will not sink the boat, even with a non-functional bilge pump.

Plugs out exposes the risk of an endless supply of water intrusion into the hull should there be a failure in the system.
 

Cabbi

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I bought my boat, that was mint, with 'stuck' clean out plugs. Had to use an electric chain hoist to remove them - which actually started to lift the stern off the trailer before them released! My boat lives in the water June-Oct and being so I leave the plugs in as that is a failure point for water to possibly leak in should they be left out.

Every time I use the boat I always quickly pop them out and re-set them - over the past few years - with no issues. This year I slacked and did not do it for about 3 weeks. The starboard one came out fine, the port one was stuck! Luckily after getting a good grip and every once of my strength it released. I have been doing it before every outing since with no issues. Just a warning, don't get lazy, keep them in good working order.

I personal have a spare set of plugs and rebuild one set each year and use the other one the following year.
Just bought mine and the previous owner had them permanently put in, so that will be my chore come October. Good advice to have a spare and keep them in great condition.
 
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