Cockpit drain? what for!!?

pcatterall

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Just reading Bond9007s wet feet query which got me thinking ( again).

My 'new' boat ( Neptunian centre cockpit) is the first I have had with them fitted.
( Atlanta had a wheel house and my Leisure 20 has an engine well) So please excuse this basic question.

The cockpit floor is well above water level but has engine covers which bolt down but will leak a bit.
There are 2 large drains which cross and have blakes seacocks which I have checked. One is easy to reach but the other less so.

Is the main purpose of the sea cocks to drain rain water which could enter despite the canopy or to drain vast quantities of green stuff which ( heaven forbid!!) may try to swamp me!!
If the later would 2 x 35mm drains get the water out quickly enough to prevent serious water getting into the electrics.

Would it be worth considering additional/extra drains which exit above the water line as I can't see even extreme (by my standards) heel allowing any water in.
 

Neil_Y

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The main reason for decent cockpit drains is to get rid of large quantities of water should you get a green wave over the cockpit which would effect the boats stability. Any electrics or engine hatches should be water tight if they are outside.

Rain water should also drain but big pipes that will drain a cockpit when it is heeled at 45 degrees are to keep the boat stable I believe.
 

Tom Price

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[QUOTE=pcatterall:
"The cockpit floor is well above water level but has engine covers which bolt down but will leak a bit".

Suggest you refurb cockpit hatches to be 100% watertight, overhaul all seacocks and hoses, and live with what you've got - can't be bettered IMHO.
 

Searush

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Centre cockpit he says, so what's the chances of that being pooped or swamped when pottering around the UK coast? Even when we ship green water, it's usually only a couple of gallons, even tho it feels like more when it hits you slap in your face.

Anyone ever had a cockpit full of water in normal UK cruising? Even in quite severe contitions & a smaller boat it's never happened to me. maybe I am just lucky, but I doubt it.
 

Spyro

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Anyone ever had a cockpit full of water in normal UK cruising? Even in quite severe contitions & a smaller boat it's never happened to me. maybe I am just lucky, but I doubt it.

Yes! In my old trapper 300 I had one wave burst through the Dodgers and dump a lot more than a few gallons in the cockpit. It was most unusual as I didn't see it coming and it was from a different direction from most of the other waves. It wasn't even a particularly rough or windy day. I had been out in much worse. I was certainly glad of decent cockpit drains that day.
I wouldn't consider bunging them up.
 

Coaster

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If your question is "why are seacocks fitted to the drains?", in other words why should anyone want to close the drains, then the answer is to deal with maintenance and emergencies. If one of the drain hoses split, or needed replacement, that could be done with the boat in the water.

We usually leave our cockpit drain seacocks open, despite having a cockpit cover to keep out the rain when the boat's not in use.
 

guernseyman

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Anyone ever had a cockpit full of water in normal UK cruising? Even in quite severe contitions & a smaller boat it's never happened to me. maybe I am just lucky, but I doubt it.

Thinking of severe conditions, it can happen. Think of the '79 Fastnet when our senior politician, Peter Dorey, had his harness fixed to the steering pedestal. Both he and the pedestal were washed overboard, so clearly there was a lot of water in the cockpit.
 

Strathglass

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Centre cockpit he says, so what's the chances of that being pooped or swamped when pottering around the UK coast? Even when we ship green water, it's usually only a couple of gallons, even tho it feels like more when it hits you slap in your face.

Anyone ever had a cockpit full of water in normal UK cruising? Even in quite severe contitions & a smaller boat it's never happened to me. maybe I am just lucky, but I doubt it.

Yes happened to me at the end of last season.

Sailing south in my Contention 33 from Arbroth to the Forth, Half way between Fife Ness and May island. SWMBO and myself on board.

Well reefed but sailing comfortably on the wind at about 7 knots. Blowing fairly steady about 28 knots.

The seas around the May Island can be quite confused at times and I had chosen to stay well out to avoid the THOUSANDS of lobster pots nearer the mainland.

One big wave over the bows fully filled the cockpit.

It has an aft cockpit 6' long, 2' wide and 1' deep.

Fortunately, when I built the boat I deviated fron the original design by reducing the depth of the cockpit by 10" and fitting 2" crossed drains instead of 1.5" and it emptied very quickly.

We also had engine problems that day - but that is another story.

Iain
 
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Neil_Y

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Needles channel, wind against tide, Cheverton crusader 27', smashed washboards and fore hatch damaged. Not me, but my father, after the event he said he should have gone round the other end or waited. It could very easily have sunk the boat.
 

pcatterall

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Thanks guys so it pays to be prepared and assume that (even with my high up centre cockpit and sedate rig) I should be able to handle an unexpected large green one!
The cockpit is around 2 feet deep though only 4'x4' but apart from the engine covers ( which I will try to seal) there are only doors to the fwd cabins with just a 12" threshhold ( name escapes me!!)
Given the height that I have is it not worth thinking about 2 horizontal drains which would exit well above water line? I will examine and see at what heel water would come in but I guess its well above what swimbos inclinometer will allow.
 

Stemar

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Thanks guys so it pays to be prepared and assume that (even with my high up centre cockpit and sedate rig) I should be able to handle an unexpected large green one!
The cockpit is around 2 feet deep though only 4'x4' but apart from the engine covers ( which I will try to seal) there are only doors to the fwd cabins with just a 12" threshhold ( name escapes me!!)
Given the height that I have is it not worth thinking about 2 horizontal drains which would exit well above water line? I will examine and see at what heel water would come in but I guess its well above what swimbos inclinometer will allow.

Never mind SWMBO's, I'd put money on it being well above what your inclinometer will allow! The problem's far more likely to come from a rogue breaking wave that can rear up way above the run of the mill waves. As others have said, it's rare, but doesn't need particularly extreme conditions.

In the unlikely event that your cockpit does get filled, you're looking at the best part of a ton of water high up. The quicker you can get rid of it the better, 'cos it ain't going to do your stability any good at all!
 

webcraft

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Anyone ever had a cockpit full of water in normal UK cruising? Even in quite severe contitions & a smaller boat it's never happened to me. maybe I am just lucky, but I doubt it.

Up to the top of the locker lids yes, a couple of times. We only have 1" drains, but I was amazed how quickly they worked. Wouldn't like to get filled to the top of the coamings though - I reckon that would be about 2 tons of water, not far off the weight of the boat!

- W
 

Topcat47

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I got a cockpit full of water comming up Alderney Race three years ago. The 1" drains couldn't cope. I now have 1.5" drains. Nuff said!
 

Seajet

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I got a cockpit full of water in the Solent between the forts - boat Anderson 22, wind gusting 55 knots.

The drain, about 3 square inches aperture, was not big enough, she took too long to drain and this allowed a couple more large waves to clobber us while almost at a standstill due to the weight; in the case of this particular boat I should have removed the fairing plug from the outboard well, which gives a massive drain.
 
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