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Cockpit Drain

Copy Write8/06/2000©   Updated 12/16/2005

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The cockpit drain is forward near the companionway. If the boat sits level everything drains fine. Under motor or sail the stern is down just enough to prevent the water from draining completely a new drain is to be engineered at the aft end of the cockpit.

The actual engineering turned out to be rather complicated mostly because the cockpit locker is not big enough to get much of my 6'6" body in there. The access port in the cockpit side of the transom is invaluable but reaching down there still awkward. As is my usual style fitting things together several times dry run making adjustments before the final fit. I like working with PVC pipe just have to plan carefully. There isn't much time to make adjustments before the glue sets. It is a jigsaw puzzle. Some pieces must be set before others; care was needed to insure the final step could actually be completed as the pipe becomes increasingly stiff as the process goes.

The companionway drain feeds into a "T" oriented fore and aft. A pipe threads through a hole bored in the bulkhead. About 3/4's back another "T" is installed for the rear drain tube. The drainpipe runs through 2 elbows and through the stern thru-hull. The reverse angle on the transom made the connection there a bit tricky.

The stern drain plumbing didn't end up as planned. The necessity of working one handed caused some design changes. The thru-hull feeds into an elbow clamped to flex tubing (some of the original stuff) then to another elbow. A short length of pipe to connect the elbow to the "T" installed 3/4 down the drainpipe. Originally I wanted a direct feed from the thru-hull to the "T" reality was, I couldn't reach that far back to work.

If I am ever out on the North Atlantic in a howling gale and get pooped the cockpit won't drain fast enough. For sailing around my homeport it should do just fine.

I cut plenty of 2"X2"X2" treated wood blocks some will be secured with 4200 and cable ties used to secure the drain tube. I must also fill the original bulkhead hole down low, as well as a boo boo hole. My first was dead center on the bulkhead, knowing full well there is a vertical plywood cockpit support brace on the other side.

Just in case you are wondering, I can speak foreign languages quite well thank you.

The cockpit drains are finally installed, hopefully I have glued everything properly and nothing will leak. Only time will tell. The original drain in front of the companionway is still there. I installed a flush mount drain, port side stern. The drainpipe is PVC replacing the original flex tube. Also the drainpipe was moved up so it runs just underneath the bottom side of the cockpit floor, originally it snaked along the bottom. I keep anchors on that side and have been concerned about snagging the tubing and damaging it on the water.



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Disclaimer

The information on this page is not intended as a "definitive" guide to sailing .
Rather it is a collection of things that work for me also ideas I have learned from other sources.
The information is specific to my 22' swing keel South Coast Seacraft Eclipse.
The sailing area is local bays and ICW
Use at your own risk
Any good sailing resource book should provide a comprehensive review of sailing theory.




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