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Backed in with plugs out


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I pulled the boat out on the trailer  (21 VLX) then took the plugs out (transom and T handle).  The boat wasn’t quite up to the plastic stop so I backed it back into the water to try and wench it forward a bit more.  Yes.  Plugs were out.  I noticed the boat was a little heavy when I pulled it out on the ramp then realized I never put the plugs back in before backing it in.  Water drained from both plugs for a couple minutes.  Should I be concerned with that much water in the bilge?   Thanks.  

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How long was it in the water with no plugs?  If it was just there long enough to make an adjustment I doubt it was enough to be too concerned about.  I would turn the steering wheel full left and coat the shiny part of the rudder cable end with WD-40 and cycle the wheel and repeat a few times. 

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I did the exact same thing back in 2000 with my new-to-me '98 Sea Ray!  Had even already hooked up transom straps, in addition to pulling the plug, then realized I needed to winch the boat a couple of more cranks . . . .

I'll bet that backing in without the transom plug inserted has happened to a lot of people, at one time or another, so don't beat yourself up.

FWIW, I had the hose to my water-cooled shaft seal pop off its bib, while I was wake boarding (saw water spewing out of bilge pump outlet, and signaled my wife to shut down) on maybe the third or fourth outing when my boat was brand new.  Water had gotten pretty high pretty fast.  Carpeting surrounding bilge was damp.  I worried at the time about the starter motor, which sits low on my Indmar engine, and the steering cable, but 15 years have gone by without a hiccup.  You're probably gonna be fine.

I must admit, though, that I have never pulled the T-handle plug on my Malibu (I use vacuum pump for oil changes).  Transom plug is the only one I routinely pull.  Why pull both?

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8 minutes ago, srab said:

I must admit, though, that I have never pulled the T-handle plug on my Malibu (I use vacuum pump for oil changes).  Transom plug is the only one I routinely pull.  Why pull both?

The belly usually ends up being the lowest point.

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electricjohn

Did something like that once. Forgot to make up the crossover hose on the exhaust manifolds. Took 2 dips to figure out where the water was coming from cause it only happened with engine running. Scared my daughter who rode away then came back to pick me up. Had to run fast to get the trailer back in the water. Lots of water but no side effects what so ever. This happened in '04.

My 1970 boat? If I had a nickel for every time I launched her without the plug, I could have afforded a ski boat in the '80's. That's our salt water boat, so washed, flushed,  and drained after every use, which was almost daily when I was a teen. After 20 years, finally put a bilge pump in her.

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If you ever have this happen again, don't put it back in the water.  Drive your tow vehicle up to around 15mph and slam on the brakes, the boat will slide up.  I learned this from a guy a the dealership who trailers boats for a living.

 

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2 minutes ago, dcarl said:

If you ever have this happen again, don't put it back in the water.  Drive your tow vehicle up to around 15mph and slam on the brakes, the boat will slide up.  I learned this from a guy a the dealership who trailers boats for a living.

 

Yup - but make sure the transom straps are either off or loose.  Makes it a lot easier to get the boat to move.

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2 minutes ago, dcarl said:

If you ever have this happen again, don't put it back in the water.  Drive your tow vehicle up to around 15mph and slam on the brakes, the boat will slide up.  I learned this from a guy a the dealership who trailers boats for a living.

 

You can do it at less than 5mph if you hit the brakes on a downhill slope. 

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4 hours ago, 23LSVOwner said:

The belly usually ends up being the lowest point.

True-dat! 

On two separate occasions, I've left the boat at the dealership for what turned out to be several days (with my towing cover on, BTW) to have routine maintenance, only to discover that the ski locker had ten plus gallons of water in it when I picked her up.  The first time, I didn't notice until after I had launched.  I was idling back towards the marina when I opened the locker door and saw it, then immediately went into panic mode, thinking I must be taking on water.  But the bilge was dry, and lifting the ski mat and frantically feeling for the locker drain plug confirmed it was still in.  Whew!

The second time, I discovered it before I left the dealership's parking lot.  Live and learn.

 

Edit:  It often doesn't rain down here, during the summer and early fall, for fairly lengthy stretches of time.  But, when it does, it's usually an impressive downpour!  So, I suppose its possible that they'd left my cover on, and cinched tight/taut, each time.  I suspect not.

Edited by srab
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I'm fairly sure that the water test at the factory includes launching with the drain plugs out in order to fill the bilge with water to make sure the automatic bilge pump turns on, and then putting the plugs in while the pumps run and the engine comes up to temp before driving the boat in circles to make sure everything else works. There might be a few things you want to check, like the steering cable mentioned above, but: it's a boat, everything in it should be able to get wet for a few minutes and still work just fine.

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Kind of related: what size is the transom drain plug on a Sunsetter LXI? My boat is a 1999, just picked it up from the dealer today and noticed some water draining out at the transom after I got it parked. It could be that the plug is in the boat somewhere, but I wanted to have a backup when I head out early tomorrow (before my dealer will be around), so... what size plug/screw/stopper do I need for Plan B??

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6 hours ago, JustSayin said:

Kind of related: what size is the transom drain plug on a Sunsetter LXI? My boat is a 1999, just picked it up from the dealer today and noticed some water draining out at the transom after I got it parked. It could be that the plug is in the boat somewhere, but I wanted to have a backup when I head out early tomorrow (before my dealer will be around), so... what size plug/screw/stopper do I need for Plan B??

It should be a 1/2" NPT plug. 

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18 hours ago, justgary said:

It should be a 1/2" NPT plug. 

Thanks Gary!

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