Re: But, why no water from drain?


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Posted by Steve D. on April 18, 2004 at 23:17:18

In Reply to: Re: But, why no water from drain? posted by Wayne on April 18, 2004 at 19:03:41:

: > I'm still wondering, why does no water run out, from the small drain plug?

: [...] The floatation blocks themselves get saturated. The closed-cell foam can take up water through osmosis. Each of the foam blocks inside my Fish weighed 30+ pounds.

Sorry to beat a dead horse, but no water runs out AND I can hear and feel (by weight transfer) a large amount of water SLOSHING back and forth inside. Do waterlogged blocks make such a sloshing sound? I understand that I might have waterlogged blocks, but I clearly ALSO have a LOT of LOOSE water that doesn't drain, and that latter is the puzzle.

Anyway, I intend to get to the "bottom" of it. Tomorrow I will cut into the deck just behind the splashguard, and see for myself. Thanks for your help.
Water water everywhere??

Posted by Wayne on April 19, 2004 at 23:24:30

In Reply to: Re: But, why no water from drain? posted by Steve D. on April 18, 2004 at 23:17:18:

> Sorry to beat a dead horse, but no water runs out AND I can hear and feel (by weight transfer) a large amount of water SLOSHING back and forth inside. Do waterlogged blocks make such a sloshing sound?

Oh, I think this horse will take along time to expire. After you solve your mystery someone else will discover yet another variation in the waterlogged Fish epoch.

Installing a port or two will [pardon me] deffinitely shed some light on the conundrum.

I will venture two guesses [we should have started a pool - oh well] (A) one or more blocks have come loose... [still doesn't explain the sloshing sound tho] (B) Somehow water has become dammed up inside.

Knowing the typical Fish Gut layout I am very curious how this might be....

My money is on a loose block and maybe a few cups of free water.

Take a few photos, if you can, and post them at Sunfish_Sailor. Whatever it is you have will be a great example for future "drowned fish" owners.

Steve D./Wayne, You are correct this may be beating a dead horse on why the "drain" does not work. The actual opening is too small to work if it gets completly covered with water on the inside and forms a "lock" preventing air from entering and replacing the water. The "air balance hole" located on the front cockpit wall under the deck may also be plugged. This hole allows air pressure inside the hull to equalize with the outside air to prevent collapse or blow up of the hull. If you follow the directions by Dan at Wind Line, you should not have any problems eventualy getting your fish dryed out. Mike Kilpatrick ( has some more pictures/photos/instuctions on installing ports and drying out you fish. Good luck.
Well jeez, I wish I had read that point about the "locked" drain hole, about 12 hours earlier!

Today I cut a hole for a 4' inspection port, that I had bought but never installed in my old hull (which broke free from its chain on a Cape Cod beach last fall, never to be seen again). I located this port just back of the splashguard, on my newly acquired (free! albeit HEAVY...I could barely winch it onto my trailer from the ground, fearing a big crack at any moment) hull.

A couple of supplemental points re: making a hole. I used a metal-rated blade on an old jigsaw, and went very easily around on one blade (no big worry about scratches, the hull is already "choppy"). When planning the cut, be sure to allow space for the entire flat base of the jigsaw. I didn't (duh), and had to wing it a bit near the splashguard.

After cutting the hole (and noting the three inches of water, with apparently intact foam) and tilting the hull, I was surprised to see that the water now ran out easily. Like I said, jeeeeez. I probably would never have done the hole, if I'd known how easy this would have been, with maybe a straw pushed up the drain to pop the "lock".

Anyway, it seems I've lucked out with this acquired hull (w/"new"-style aluminum rudder plate), and everything looks and feels very nice inside. There's only some scuffs (completely through the gelcoat) on the bottom, and a few smallish collision cracks around the perimeter under the rail....I'm guessing the fiberglass is intact.

Now all I need is a $50 swivel jam cleat for the sheet (my freebie has just a hook), a cleat of some kind for the halyard (the old one seems to have ripped free under previous ownership), and the brass plug (a pain to find, I'm sure) for that drain. I don't really feel up to replacing the old metal bailer, until I confirm that there's no serious leak.

Thanks for everyone's input.
Steve, You will be glad later that you have installed the port. You may end up installing a larger (6") port up front (and one it the rear) later if you discover a leak around the mast step or dagger board well or if the Foam Blocks have broken loose. As you have discovered, you can now look inside and see if any water has entered the hull. The port will also allow you to get the water out of the foam over time (see the FAQs and Mike Kilpatricks web site) on getting the hull dryed out.
Steve, A lot of people plug up that little hole thinking it will cause water to fill up the hull if they capsize, so it's not uncommon to see them caulked up.

I wish you would ahve read up on installing ports on It would have made you job a lot easier.
As for the swivel jam cleat, do not use one unless you like capsizing in anything over 10 knots of wind. When you are hiked out you can not reach high enough to release the mainsheet from the cleat. FIne for no winf pond sailing, but not for any wind you can't sit straight up.
The prefered method is to use a 009 Harken hexarachet and mount either cam or clam cleats on the foward edge of the cockpit as far toward the outside edge as possible to allow you to through bolt them into the cockpit opening.
Mystery solved.... OK I lost that bet. On the other hand, the inspection port is a good thing to have... and you now know you have a pressure equalization hole that needs to be unplugged... and you may have a leak that needs fixing.

Along with the other things you mentioned it's all par for the course.

I concur with the "Small" Hexaratchet sans swivel base and jam cleat.

All in all, sounds like you got a nice deal on the boat.

Good Luck,