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Tempest

Cockpit refuses to drain....

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With the days getting longer and spring looming I'm starting to get back into sail-mode and, of course, that begins with a massive list of shit that needs to get fixed.

Item one is a safety issue.  My cockpit refuses to drain.  I first noticed the problem last summer with a bunch of human meat in the back of the boat.  Water starts to backwash up through the cockpit drain and then takes FOREVER to leave.  Out of curiosity my buddy and I used buckets to fill the cockpit with water until the point of feeling uncomfortable and then waited to see how long it would take to drain.  We were relaxing and drinking beer so weren't impatient and we ended up bailing the water back out of the boat the same way it came it.  This left a guy feeling like this was a very unsafe situation, especially since I'm planning to take the boat down to the ocean this summer.  One poop... probably ok but a second one coming in while the back of the boat is bogged down will probably sink it.

Only have one drain in the back centre of the cockpit which has a T-fitting and a through-hull directly under the centre of the cockpit sole.  The other side of the T goes to the sink drain.

I don't want to go with an electric pump but I'm wondering if there are really any other options!?

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Are you sure the drain lines don't have 20 years of dead leaves or bugs in them that are restricing the rate of flow?  Or that the T-fitting isn't corroded almost closed, etc, etc...water able to backwash into the cockpit, and not drain out equally fast sounds like a piece of the inner part of a hose has separated and is acting like a one-way check valve, letting water in (closed position) but not letting water back out (open and blocked position). 

I'd start by replacing the hoses, while also confirming that the tee fitting and thru hull are not obstructed....

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I had a similar situation. My drain was connected via a hose to a fitting on the transom. Turns out the cockpit drain opening was just big enough for a bottlecap to get in, which lodged in the hose where it connected to the transom fitting. I finally figured it out and got the bottlecap out, followed by putting a small bar across the cockpit drain opening so it became the smallest opening (ever so slightly) in the system.

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First question: did it ever drain well?

If not, design problem. If it did, probably blocked, see comments above.

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Only had it for 1 season so no idea if it ever drained well.  It already has bars over the drain port so I don't think a bottle cap could get down there and water comes out fine when it's on the trailer.

That doesn't mean the hose isn't fucked though so I'll giver a good what for when it get warmer out.

That said, I have a hunch that it's a design issue with the cockpit sole being too close to the waterline.

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You may give it a try with white vinegar 1 to 1 warm water diluted fill the hose wait an hour so than use a plastic pressure/vacuum pump used to open clogged sinks to move dirt out better to suck the water in the hose first.

Caution do not harm brass bronze etc with vinegar for long duration and hoses with eccessive pressure.

This is easy before going mechanical diagnostics and repair ı guess. 

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does the sink drain properly ?

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What's the boat? I had a Vivacity that would barely drain because the cockpit sole was only a little above the waterline.

If that's not a problem, try plugging the sink and repeat your experiment - you might be getting some strange venting problem.

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If it drains fine when on the hard, it sounds like the cockpit is too close to the waterline. Time to get out the tape measure and level!

If so, maybe add another cockpit drain and put a pump in its line.

Regarding the use of vinegar to clear hoses you might want to check out: http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/vinegar_in_the_head before you do.....

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7 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

you might be getting some strange venting problem.

yep , waiting on an answer re sink drain

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Fire a quart of Drano down each hole and ream it out with an appropriate implement.

OR

Put a cup of baking soda down each drain and follow with a cup of vinegar, then cap the cockpit drain. Have crash pumps ready.

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On 2/2/2018 at 2:12 AM, Mid said:

does the sink drain properly ?

This is a good question.  Pretty sure it drains fine but I'll investigate.

On 2/2/2018 at 9:49 PM, Ishmael said:

Fire a quart of Drano down each hole and ream it out with an appropriate implement.

OR

Put a cup of baking soda down each drain and follow with a cup of vinegar, then cap the cockpit drain. Have crash pumps ready.

Thinking if it's that badly clogged I'll just rip the hose off and replace it.  a clear line may be better anyway.

On 2/2/2018 at 10:50 AM, SloopJonB said:

What's the boat? I had a Vivacity that would barely drain because the cockpit sole was only a little above the waterline.

If that's not a problem, try plugging the sink and repeat your experiment - you might be getting some strange venting problem.

It's an Ericson 23-2.  Unfortunately I think it's a low sole issue but a venting issue sounds interesting... maybe I should try removing the T and see what that does.  I hardly ever use the sink anyway.  It's pretty much just a junk holder.

On 2/2/2018 at 6:17 PM, Fleetwood said:

If it drains fine when on the hard, it sounds like the cockpit is too close to the waterline. Time to get out the tape measure and level!

If so, maybe add another cockpit drain and put a pump in its line.

Regarding the use of vinegar to clear hoses you might want to check out: http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/vinegar_in_the_head before you do.....

Might not have a choice.  I don't want to drill and add extra lines if I don't have to.  Could it really drain any worse with a pump in the line (as in, if the power wasn't working but the line was free of debris)?

Yeah, I have a hard time imagining vinegar doing much of anything.

 

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Most pumps make good plugs when they're not pumping.

(How many drains in the cockpit? SA regs here in Oz require at least 2. More is better.)

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On 2/4/2018 at 11:11 PM, Fleetwood said:

Most pumps make good plugs when they're not pumping.

(How many drains in the cockpit? SA regs here in Oz require at least 2. More is better.)

Yeah, I was just thinking in terms of a pump failure but the regular drain sucks so bad it may be a moot point.

 

It has 1 drain and I'm unaware of any regulations requiring more in Kanada

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Is the boat overloaded with stuff?  Sitting on her lines correctly?  Not that unusual for the sole to be close to water level and even under water when at hull speed / digging a hole in the water.

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On 2/2/2018 at 12:53 AM, IStream said:

I had a similar situation. My drain was connected via a hose to a fitting on the transom. Turns out the cockpit drain opening was just big enough for a bottlecap to get in, which lodged in the hose where it connected to the transom fitting. I finally figured it out and got the bottlecap out, followed by putting a small bar across the cockpit drain opening so it became the smallest opening (ever so slightly) in the system.

That happened to me, however mine got lodged in a way in which it became a check valve and would "open" to let water into the cockpit and then "close" preventing water from draining. My experience sounds similar to the OP.

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Add a 2" hole thru the transom on each side of the rudder, just avoid the gudgeon areas. They don't have to drain all the water just a majority of it.

Looking at the line drawings your cockpit sole is at water level. And the transom drains would work at floor level.

http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=401

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On 2/5/2018 at 4:00 PM, Tempest said:

Pretty sure it drains fine but I'll investigate.

how's that investigation proceeding ?

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On 2/6/2018 at 2:18 PM, Kenny Dumas said:

Is the boat overloaded with stuff?  Sitting on her lines correctly?  Not that unusual for the sole to be close to water level and even under water when at hull speed / digging a hole in the water.

I don't think so.  My lazarettes are full of sails and life jackets on one side and the other side has 2 anchors and a propane tank.  I think she's sitting on her lines pretty well.

21077466_380521755697737_6001100244651709466_n.thumb.jpg.31fceedb7af77ed24ccf1499ccafa5bb.jpg

19983792_364518740631372_7822706550085100588_o.thumb.jpg.171384d548a78c9a54e1c0a2cf14117d.jpg

On 2/8/2018 at 6:43 AM, RImike said:

That happened to me, however mine got lodged in a way in which it became a check valve and would "open" to let water into the cockpit and then "close" preventing water from draining. My experience sounds similar to the OP.

I think I'll probably pull the lines off and replace them, just to make sure they aren't the problem.

On 2/12/2018 at 6:11 PM, See Level said:

Add a 2" hole thru the transom on each side of the rudder, just avoid the gudgeon areas. They don't have to drain all the water just a majority of it.

Looking at the line drawings your cockpit sole is at water level. And the transom drains would work at floor level.

http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=401

I actually quite like this idea... I'll mess with the lines first and then consider this a last resort.  The boat definitely does float with the sole above the waterline and even with 3 big guys standing right at the transom only a bit of water comes back in through the drain.  I imagine a hole cover would be perfect to stop and following waves from launching water into the cockpit.... maybe something similar to this:

118224-zoom.jpg

On 2/12/2018 at 6:37 PM, Mid said:

how's that investigation proceeding ?

It's cold a fuck here so I haven't done anything yet.  March will be the month I start doing all of this stuff as the snow will be gone and we'll be getting some nice sun and warmth.  I'll be measuring for new sails then too.

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1 hour ago, Tempest said:

It's cold a fuck here

well the cockpit probably won't drain till the snow melts :P

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Tempest, it looks like you are up against what I was in my Vivacity - the sole is too close to the W/L to fully drain under all conditions.

I've heard of people criss-crossing their drain hoses to the opposite side through hull in that situation but don't know if it would help.

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The draining speed sounds thoroughly inadequate for ocean use anyway. If you are going offshore any distance, I'd suggest getting the hole saw out and effecting a permanent upgrade.

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On 2/14/2018 at 1:03 PM, SloopJonB said:

Tempest, it looks like you are up against what I was in my Vivacity - the sole is too close to the W/L to fully drain under all conditions.

I've heard of people criss-crossing their drain hoses to the opposite side through hull in that situation but don't know if it would help.

I actually only have one drain hose from centre of cockpit that comes out just to the starboard side of my keel so no criss-crossing for me.  Don't think it would help anyway.  Any water ingress is very minor, it's the not draining after being pooped thing that concerns me.  Or if water were to end up in my boat for any other reason...?  say, heavy rainfall overnight (unlikely but just spitballing).  Hell, even if the boat sat for a few days with heavy coastal rain it could potentially be a problem.

On 2/14/2018 at 5:32 PM, See Level said:

You rubber cork them when you don't need them.

Kindof a moot point.  Doesn't help if the water doesn't drain when I remove the corks.

On 2/15/2018 at 4:20 AM, Wet Spreaders said:

The draining speed sounds thoroughly inadequate for ocean use anyway. If you are going offshore any distance, I'd suggest getting the hole saw out and effecting a permanent upgrade.

It's a 23' boat so I definitely won't be losing sight of land.  Strait of Juan De Fuca might be the biggest water that boat ever sees.  That said, apparently it gets zesty out there so it would nice to have the comfort of a draining cockpit.

Not gonna lie... I'm already pretty hesitant to cut holes in my transom but I do kinda feel like it would... or at least should work....

On 2/15/2018 at 8:39 AM, SloopJonB said:

He's on a long, skinny lake.

For now.  Just got an eviction notice so I'll be on the ocean by the end of the summer.

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It is hard to find adequate drainage in the cockpit of a production boat. I live on a "sea worthy" 40 footer and had to enlarge the 2 floor drains and add drains through the transom.  

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