Will a Boat Sink Without a Plug?

A boat plug, also called a drain plug, is an essential part of keeping your boat from sinking. The plug is located at the back of the boat, near the waterline. When the plug is removed, water can enter the boat and sink it. Other reasons a boat may sink include taking on too much weight, hitting something in the water, or leaks in the hull. It’s important to have boat insurance in case your boat sinks so you can be reimbursed for damages. 

What is a Boat Plug?

You may commonly hear the boat plug referred to as the drain plug.  The purpose of the drain plug is not only to help water drain out of the boat, but also to keep water from getting in.  Oftentimes, modern boat plugs are made out of metal.  Your boat’s bilge can get water in it for a multitude of reasons, including rough water when out at sea, high amounts of rain, and leaks in the hull.  The boat plug is the way to get the water out of the bilge quickly when it is out of the water.

Keep in mind that your boat most likely has two drain plugs, rather than just one.

What Happens When You Remove a Boat Plug?

If your boat is out of the water when the boat plug is removed, any water inside the boat will be drained out.  However, if you remove the boat plug while it is in the water, or forget to install it before putting the boat in the water, then water will start to flow into the boat.  Forgetting to install the boat’s drain plug happens to even the best boaters – but if you do not notice in time, your boat will sink.

Sometimes, something can go wrong with the drain plug.  Because of this, it is highly recommended that you keep an extra drain plug in the boat.  Many boaters will keep the spare plug in the bilge.

Where is the Boat Plug Located?

The boat plug is located at the back of the boat, near the waterline.  You will most likely find it at the bottom of the boat’s transom.

Removing the Boat Plug

There are multiple types of drain plugs available for boats, and they are removed in different ways. 

Twist/Snap Plugs: The twist/snap plug is the most common type of boat plug available.  The way to install and remove them is exactly how it sounds.  You either twist the plug or snap it into place.  The snap plugs work like a baitwell plug.

Nylon Plugs: These lugs are a cheap way to make sure that your boat has the watertight seal that a boat plug needs.  They are typically made of chrome-plated brass or nylon steel.  They screw into place and then have a plug that will twist into the middle.

Garboard Plugs: Garboard plugs, similar to nylon plugs, screw into place using three screws.  They allow the water in your boat to drain quickly, but keep in mind this also means the water will come in quickly as well.  You can remove this plug by removing the screws and taking it out.

Other Reasons a Boat will Sink

Other reasons a boat may sink include taking on too much weight, hitting something in the water, or leaks in the hull.

There are many reasons your boat will sink other than forgetting the drain plug.  Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Clogged scuppers – if these are clogged, water likely will not be able to make it through.  Once these clog up, your boat is likely to fill with water and sink.
  • Lightning – if lightning strikes your boat, it may leave a hole or a crack in the hull.  Your boat may not look like it has damage after a lightning strike, but it is important to check regardless.
  • Harsh weather – leaving your boat in the water during inclement weather can cause it to sink.  For example, hurricanes or excess rain can cause the boat to sink, while high winds can capsize the boat.
  • Corrosion – this is the most common reason for a boat to sink.  Corrosion is usually a result of not taking proper care of your boat.  This leads us to our last reason that a boat may sink.
  • Neglecting routine maintenance – when you do not follow through with the routine maintenance on your boat, a myriad of problems may arise.  However, if you are not checking on the boat through this maintenance, you will not notice that these problems are happening until something bigger comes along.  That something bigger may just be your boat sinking.

No matter why your boat has sunk, having your boat covered by boat insurance will help you reduce the cost of repairing it or purchasing a new boat.

The Importance of Boat Insurance

Accidents happen – even forgetting to put the drain plug back in your boat.  The damages to your boat can be sizable, depending on what happens to your boat.  These damages extend past just a missing boat plug.  If your boat goes missing, is damaged in another way, or if your boat causes damages to another individual’s boat, boat insurance has you covered.

Having boat insurance greatly reduces the costs that you may face in the event something goes wrong with your boat, leading to more money staying in your pocket.

Contact Robinson & Stith For Boat Insurance Today

It’s important to make sure the drain plug is placed securely in its spot before putting it in the water, or you may find yourself with a sinking boat.  In the event that you do forget to put your drain plug in, you will want to have boat insurance to help cover the cost of damages.

If you are near the New Bern, North Carolina area, reach out to us here at Robinson and Stith!  We are able to help you get a boat policy, as well as a policy for anything else you may need!  Our industry expert staff will find the most valuable boat insurance policy at the most affordable price.  Contact us today to get started on making sure your boat is properly protected.