Transom drain plug


Active Member
Thread starter #1
Why do you suppose the Sunfish never came with one, is not class legal...or is it because it was considered the interior would/should normally stay dry and the starboard deck plug was more a pressure release vent (for heat expansion)?
I mean, what 12 yr old girl sailor is going/capable tip the boat when it's beached vs just pulling a transom plug? (Oops!!... forgot to put it back in????) :-D
Not sure how the deck plug would be a pressure release vent. I've seen several older Sunfish like my '74 actually have a small hole towards the top of the forward section of the cockpit. Always wondered why and figured that was for pressure relief. My '66 doesn't have this. I have transom plugs in both my Sunfish. My old boats get very little water in them while sailing, but the plug in the back is easy to drain on the beach.

BTW, my '66 Alcort has drain plugs on both the starboard and port sides.


Well-Known Member
Depending on where you drill a transom hole, there could be a foot or more of Styrofoam to drill through!

I have extended spade bits, and was able to have an effective drain.

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Thoughts to ponder.
Why put another hole that close to the waterline? It will leak eventually.
The vent hole is on the forward bulkhead in the cockpit, or drilled through the deck data plate in early boats.
There can be a lot of 2 part marine foam back in the transom area, not the spot where you want to send water to drain on the beach. It is also impossible to get to the low point there.
If we are going to cut a hole, put in an inspection port on the deck, lots of access to sponge out water from the keel, repair backer blocks, repair daggerboard trunk.


Active Member
Thread starter #5
After Googling....I see there have been previous threads. My fish transom typically are the low part when on the trailer, or the tongue is easily raised, and I like to leave the plug out when not used. I don't get a lot of water but maybe a cupfull or two with a weekend and whitecaps. My inspection ports are on the cockpit fore and aft walls, which I always leave open when not sailing too.


Active Member
The hole in the cockpit was for older Sunfish with the color deck which would get
hot. The air inside the hull would heat up then contract. With a plugged vent hole
you could actually watch the deck get sucked inward. The transom plug only works
if the boat is on a uphill slant since the low point is just behind the daggerboard
trunk. When the boats were new they were pretty well sealed up but after a couple
years start to slowly accumulate water. Like most things the company will
not add something that if it increases the selling cost. It's called passing the
problem down the line to the consumer, something car manufactures
engineer into their products on a regular basis.


Upside down?
Staff member
I am with Signal Charlie, and, really, a hole in the stern doesn't get rid of all the water due to the innards of the Sunfish.
When a Sunfish is rested on a horizontal surface, any water inside will collect near the daggerboard trunk and, assuming access via a port, can be sponged out easily.


Active Member
Thread starter #8
Except my Sunfish is pretty much on a trailer when out of the water and although the center typically is the lowest point.. it's too easy to have the transom the lowest when on a trailer. At home, they're even on a slight grade and make the transom that much lower than the centerpoint.
One of the pics shows my location and type of drain plug. NO housing to leak! ...and the plugs are only a couple bucks. Since the "drain plug" pic...I've taken filler material, and made the hole about 3/4" thick at that area...using my finger and sanding and then sprayed gelcoat in the hole. That way the plug has more surface area to grip. Maybe an updated pic later. Did my Puffer that way too, which came with a plug.


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Active Member
Thread starter #9
Lastly...the interior of my older fishes are so nasty, you get more than water when sponging. ...grit, dirt, small pieces of foam. I sponge wash my car but my fish innrds are "drip dry" ;-)