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So I did it: I forgot to put the drain plug in.

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I forgot it once, fishing with @clayton86.  That's when I discovered my auto bilge pump setup pumped it as fast as it came in. 

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Welcome. I’ve probably done it twice in the past 10 years.....man it’s so embarrassing....not the worst tho. worst I’ve seen was the guy didn’t tie his boat up good and it floated away from the dock...he had to get a ride out to his boat....if that happened to me I don’t think I’d ever be able to show my face  that boat launch again.

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1 hour ago, doughboy1979 said:

Yup, just did that last Friday and was close to losing it.  3rd time out on the new boat, took my 6 year old boy with me. Just started to fish when my son asked my there is water in the boat.  I casually said "son, it's a bass boat, it's going to have some water in it".  5 minutes later, he said again, but this time with urgency and a crack in his voice. I looked around and saw water was coming in under the seats and was about 10 inches high on my drivers chair.  I freaked the F*** out and ran to the back.  The back of my Nitro was almost submerged, and the bilge pump was not working.  So thank god the engine fired up and I started to go.  I tried to floor it, but the nose shot straight up in the air and could only go about 5-10 mph.  I was thinking "crap, I sunk my boat with my boy in it, my wife is going to kill me!!".  So then I had my son sit down at the very front of the boat, and with one hand I was steering the boat while the rest of my body I was standing as far front of the boat as I can muster while still holding on to the steering wheel.  About 5 minutes goes by and I start to feel, and hear, the engine RPM's getting higher and I could feel the boat start moving faster.  Took about another 2 minutes and I was able to get the boat on plane and moving!! But then I started to think about how the hell I was going to try and put in the drain plug.  I tried swimming underneath, but after a minute of not finding it I came up for a breath and my boy was crying and shaking.  He thought I drowned, which destroyed me "inside" seeing my boy that way.  So I then remembered that this lake has a swimming beach, so I drove my boat to the beach and I beached it.  Found the drain plug, put it, and we were off after that.  Needless to say my boy ratted me out to mom as soon as we got home, so that was an interesting conversation she had with me.  Now I gotta figure out my d**n bilge pump issue.  But d**n, that was some scary **** considering this was my first boat and out for only the 3rd time.  Glad it all worked out for you guys!!!

Dang brother, you have my sympathy. Glad you guys are both ok because just like my experience, that was close to being REALLY bad.

19 minutes ago, J Francho said:

I forgot it once, fishing with @clayton86.  That's when I discovered my auto bilge pump setup pumped it as fast as it came in. 

An auto on switch for my bilge pump is on my short list of things to buy.

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I've had it happen once the first year I owned my boat.  I was out alone at a lake that you have to idle out past a wave break wall quite a ways before you can open it up.  I throttled up and the nose of the boat came way up in the air. I thought there was something wrong with my engine because it wouldn't trim down.  So I shut it off and open the back hatch to see that it was 3/4 of the way full of water and the transom was almost at the water level.  Saw my plug laying the splash tray and luckily I was able to reach in the water and under the boat to put the plug in.  A couple minutes more and I would have been in a bad situation as I was out about 1/4 mile into the lake by then.  Turned on the bilge and it took a few minutes to pump out and off I went with a wet long sleeved arm.

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My dad and I did this once. We took off from our own boat launch so the trailer was still in the water. We got maybe half a mile and the water was around our ankles. We turned around quickly and headed back to the launch taking on water the whole way. We tried to drive up on the trailer, but had to winch it on and wait for it to drain. We were lucky. It was an older aluminum bassboat and I wouldn't trust the flotation. 

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It happens to everybody at some point, over the years I began leaving the drain plug in, and just use the bilge pump to rid water. Actually a wee bit of water in the bilge is a good thing, as it keeps the pumps wet.

If you throw a bar of soap in the bilge, the water will slosh it around, and keep the bilge area clean as well.

I take out the plug in the Fall when winterizing.

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An auto bilge pump ought to be standard on every boat but it is not.  My old NITRO had a switch for "Auto" or "Manual" but my current Ranger has a fully auto bilge as long as the master power is on.  I can also manually pump out with 1 or 2 pumps as needed.  Although I have never left the plug out, with my old NITRO, I took a client out who lived on the lake and I would pick him up and drop him off at his dock, then go load my boat at the marina.  I dropped him off and my boat was struggling to get on plane so I opened the back hatch and the water was almost over my batteries.  I hit the bilge and luckily the motor stayed running.  Long story short, the sealant around my transom bolts had broken loose and water would rush in when under power but not just sitting in the water.  Took a looooong time to chase that one down.   

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It's like a right of passage to owning a boat. 

I did it within a month of getting my new to me boat. I went out with my buddy and we were in the middle of the lake when he stepped off the back deck into the water. Ankle high. He said "Jason, we gotta go NOW". I knew instantly I forgot the plug. 

Instead of grabbing it out of the locker and jumping in like I should have, I turned on the bilge pump and plowed water to the ramp. WOT doing about 5mph with the nose straight up in the heavens. I think we were about 2 minutes away from sinking the d**n thing. Took about 20 minutes for the water to drain at the ramp. Doh! 

Ever since, I always put the plug on the driver seat so if I ever forget to put it in at the ramp, as soon as I get in the boat to sit down I either sit on it and remember or see it before it's too late. Only forgot it once since that time and it was right after I backed the trailer in. I hopped in at the launch and plugged it. Bilge pump cleared the water in 2 minutes. 

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It took me a year and a half but i got caught by the plug bug.  Got to lake boat off trailer in water tied to dock parked truck git back to boat and sis says' why is the carpet wet? Luckily i could reach plug by leaning over transom got plug in bilge pump running and then excused myself to go change my shorts😲😲  by the way i wanna t-shirt

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I don't know if this will help you but I made up some lables on my Brother printer "is the plug in". I have them at my console and one on each side of the top edge of my transom. Each side of my motor. Though not big in size when you're undoing the transom straps and motor totter you can't miss seeing them. Years ago the state gave them away, since stopped. Easy to make.

 

I've had that happen before. I caught myself early and almost immediately. No damage. You just chalk it up.

 

I've been doing this a long time and have a routine down long by now. BUT it can happen to anyone. Only takes a slight distraction. I'm by myself 98% of the time so I don't get many distractions. When I do have someone with me I don't want them helping for the most part getting ready to launch. I just have my way and roll like that.

 

 

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I could make you a few of those labels if you want and pop them in the mail. They are not tacky looking. And I think they have proven themselves to be useful. 

 

But it if I walk around my boat once before I put it in the water I've really walked around it 5 times. Between drain plug, small dock fenders, trailer harness, transom straps I pretty much have a routine. 

 

Dont sweat what happened. The most important thing is you and your dad are not hurt or killed. What needs to be repaired is small time vs. what could possibly happened. 

 

Be safe. 

 

I fish from a 19 ft. Tracker Pro Team puddle jumper. 

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See I told you we have a club. We have good membership numbers as you can see. 😂

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On 7/10/2018 at 2:01 PM, Troy1985s said:

Welcome. I’ve probably done it twice in the past 10 years.....man it’s so embarrassing....not the worst tho. worst I’ve seen was the guy didn’t tie his boat up good and it floated away from the dock...he had to get a ride out to his boat....if that happened to me I don’t think I’d ever be able to show my face  that boat launch again.

Ulterra...just sayin'

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I think it's a right of passage with any watercraft.  I've had it happen with a boat and a kayak.  Leaving it out of the boat was pretty uneventful, but the kayak was very eventful.  

 

I treat the kayak just like I would a boat.  I was it after every trip and drain any water in the hull, especially before going to a different lake.  I guess I forgot to put the drain plug back in and failed to check before launching.  I decided to move along and notice that it seems EXTREMELY hard to paddle, then I realize that I'm actually sinking.  Of course, I'm in in 20+ feet of water when this is happening.  Ever tried to swim a 100+ pound kayak full of water back to shore?  Not easy, especially in 55° water.  I was fortunate enough to have some guys fishing a boat tournament nearby see my dilemma and help me out.  Was super embarrassing until they shared their drain plug failure story.

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6 minutes ago, YaknBassn said:

I think it's a right of passage with any watercraft.  I've had it happen with a boat and a kayak.  Leaving it out of the boat was pretty uneventful, but the kayak was very eventful.  

 

I treat the kayak just like I would a boat.  I was it after every trip and drain any water in the hull, especially before going to a different lake.  I guess I forgot to put the drain plug back in and failed to check before launching.  I decided to move along and notice that it seems EXTREMELY hard to paddle, then I realize that I'm actually sinking.  Of course, I'm in in 20+ feet of water when this is happening.  Ever tried to swim a 100+ pound kayak full of water back to shore?  Not easy, especially in 55° water.  I was fortunate enough to have some guys fishing a boat tournament nearby see my dilemma and help me out.  Was super embarrassing until they shared their drain plug failure story.

Wow man. That sounds dreadful.

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As much as I'd like to say that this has never happened to me, I'd be lying if I did. It sucks when it happens, and it rather embarrassing, but it's not the end of the world.

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Call me when that happens and then your boat catches on fire on the way back to to the dock

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