Skunk sailboat drain plug

Thread starter #1
Hello, I’m new to the group. I just acquired a skunk sailboat which I’d like to place a drain plug in so that when it’s on the launch dolly I can leave the plug open to drain. It doesn’t look possible to install it through the transom bc the molded seat wraps around the back creating a enclosed space. Is it possible to create a floor drain plug away from the skeg to drain the boat?

Thanks for your help,

Ghost Rider

Planing into eternity...
I Googled "Skunk sailboat" and I see your problem: a drain in the traditional location would involve two holes & two plugs, plus it would introduce water into that void... not something you really want. You could install or glass in a "drain tunnel" through the void... more trouble than it's worth. You could install a drain through the hull itself instead of the transom: not something I would recommend. Given the relatively small size of the craft, I would probably figure out a way to safely tip the hull while rinsing it, so the water simply runs out over the rail... or I'd use a bailer & perhaps a towel to get rid of water after rinsing, even if that meant rinsing & bailing it out more than once. I dunno if you're in fresh water or salt, that also makes a difference... you can get away with less rinsing if you're sailing in fresh water. Just my $.02, I didn't see any good close-up pics of the area in question when I Googled the boat, maybe a shot or two of that area would inspire other ideas... might as well take pics inside & out of the hull. CHEERS!!! :rolleyes:

Ghost Rider

Planing into eternity...
Went back and looked at some of those photos again (nothing better to do while I wait for prospective buyers to tour my house), are those two open ports or hatches up forward in the cockpit? Are there bulkheads under the cockpit benches, or at the forward end of each bench? Looks as if you can simply reach in and check... if that void is actually open, go ahead and drill two holes, one low on the transom and one through the aft bench, minding the lower gudgeon and keel when you drill through the transom. I'm thinking that void is closed, that there are bulkheads to seal it off so it provides flotation, but I may be wrong... never even heard of a Skunk boat till I read your post. Another plan would be to go ahead and drill through the void at the transom anyway, and install an inspection port or two on that aft bench to help dry out the void once you're done rinsing the boat. You'd still want two plugs if that void is used for flotation, just to keep it sealed in case of capsize, swamping, etc. Just don't drill too low, and don't drill where you might damage the lower gudgeon or keel. Slightly off-center would be okay, but some good close-up pics might offer a better solution. CHEERS!!! :cool:

Edit: For clarification, the hole drilled in the transom can be slightly off-center, the hole drilled low from cockpit into void can be centered for appearance's sake. Another thought: do you know if that void is simply air, or is there foam inside? Knock on it to see if it's hollow... if it's filled with foam, that would mean rigging some sort of drainpipe or "drain tunnel" through the foam, if you catch my drift. Like a scupper aboard a larger boat, only with removable plugs at each end. Meh, at some point an armchair expert will chime in here, LOL... I'm just burning time till my next home tour, and it's fun to work out a solution for each problem as it arises on this forum. ;)
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Ghost Rider

Planing into eternity...
Another observation: if that void is filled with foam and you need to rig some sort of scupper pipe, you have several options. PVC is what first popped into my mind, but you could also use brass, like the tubing used by plumbers for natural gas, aye? Also, some rubber or vinyl tubing, maybe that clear tubing used for some marine plumbing purposes... whatever would work, you could clear foam through an inspection port to install the scupper, perhaps push a pipe through the foam by trial & error, I'm sure others here will have suggestions or ideas on the topic. :rolleyes:


Just had some unexpected visitors tour the home, they were passing by and liked the look of the house, so I gave them an impromptu home tour... no need to drag the realtor into the equation on Sunday, and these were nice elderly folks with a son around my age helping them to check properties. They sure liked the setup, and I told 'em I'd throw in the 65" curved screen & leather sofa if they make a good offer. Maybe they'll be the ones to buy my place, so I can get back by the ocean and start looking for another boat, LOL. :cool:
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Ghost Rider

Planing into eternity...
Final observation: Don't be fooled into thinking that only a manufacturer of boat parts & fittings can help you here, any good industrial warehouse will probably have everything you need to make this project happen. Sure, it'd be nice to have some pretty little nautical fitting made by "Rip-Off Boat Fittings R Us, Inc."---but there's more than one way to skin a cat, and some of those industrial solutions are WAY cheaper, LOL. I'm thinking of threaded brass fittings with nipples for tubing, same as plumbers & gasfitters use, maybe some PVC setup, who knows whatcha might find in a big ol' industrial warehouse worth its salt... speaking of salt, if you're mixing metals and sailing in saltwater, electrolysis is a factor, though it may not be a significant problem with a daysailer like yours. Just wanted you to know that you have options, no need to throw money away when another solution is equally viable, or actually superior, LOL. :rolleyes:

As a deckhand aboard a 100-ton (net) steel sportfisher which happened to be a converted oil rig tender confiscated by the USCG in the Gulf for drug-running, I helped install the PVC plumbing system for the newly-welded-and-constructed live bait tank, as well as other systems on board, and we used ONLY industrial parts found in a big ol' warehouse in National City, LOL. Centuries or millennia ago, when man first thought about building a boat, there was no Internet, no stinking boat shop, none of that overpriced bull$h!t around, man simply took the raw materials and built the boat as he saw fit. You can do the same with this relatively minor installation project... whether it's epoxied in, sealed with rubber washers, threaded, glued, what the f#% ever, just choose a solution that works specifically for your boat, and try to make it the most simple and streamlined solution. That's it, and that's all, time for me to grab a cold beer and think about a late lunch, LOL. :cool:
Thread starter #6
Thanks for all the suggestions. To start I’ve attached a few pictures. The boat is only sailed in freshwater ( small inland lake in Ontario Canada) near Owen Sound Ontario were these boats were built in the 70s and 80s I believe.

The easiest and quickest would be a floor plug. Of course the quickest isn’t always the best solution. I believe the seats are hollow but I’m not near the boat currently to bang on the seats. I always can’t check whether the seats are open under the bow storage area.

Let me know if you think of anything else after seeing the pictures

Thanks again




Upside down?
Staff member
Would the Opti way (a cut-open plastic milk bottle, in case you are wondering) work for you?
With a sponge for the final clean up...
Thread starter #8
Bailing would work just fine while I was around but I had planned on leaving it on the dolly when I’m not at the cottage and didn’t think it would be great to leave it sit full of water for a couple weeks at a time potentially. I was hoping to pull a plug and have it drain itself.
On boats with a fixed boom the downhaul adjustment is accomplished using the Cunningham. This rig, with it's floating boom uses a downhaul line. It's the same adjustment only a slightly different method.