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Trailer Boating

Is the Plug In?

In the rush to launch a boat from its trailer, many boaters forget to place the boat plug into the drain hole.  The problem, although usually not tragic, can certainly be embarrassing!

The moment the boat hits the water, water starts to fill the boat.  With john boats and utility craft, the taking on of water is quickly recognized and the boat can be retrailered, drained and plugged.  Depending on the amount of water taken in, the plug can be inserted and the water bailed without re-trailering the craft.  However, not so fortunate is the boat with a deck over the bilge.  The absence of the plug again causes water to enter the craft, but the operator may not detect the water quickly.  The embarrassment of merely forgetting the plug can soon become something more serious.

Most of the boaters in this category recognize that their boat is taking on water while out on the lake or river.  Whether it is the drag in power or the presence of water becoming noticeable, the extra weight and loose water will effect the stability of the boat.  Although most boats will still float to some extent when full of water, the expense and inconvenience of recovering a flooded boat can be high.

Boaters who realize that they are taking on water should not panic!  However, they should put on their life jacket and head towards shore.  The chances of returning safely to the shore is high.  In many instances, if you can build up enough forward speed the boat may actually self­bail enough so that you can reinsert the plug.

Launching a boat need not be a complicated procedure but forgetting to insert the drain plug can turn it into one!  Before you launch your boat, always double check the drain plug and have a safe day on the water.

Related Articles:
Ramp Courtesy
Safe Trailering
Lighting Tips for Trailers
Boating Safety Course
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