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Ensign Sailing Forum

Keel drains?
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The small plugs on the bottom of the keel are intended to drain water that has leaked into the keel from the bilge. They were installed by a previous owner.


Water is not supposed to get into the keel itself, but on some boats the fiberglass cap on the keel is breached and water in the bilge gets into the keel. This can cause the keel to crack if the boat is stored in freezing temperatures over the winter, as ours are at Saratoga Lake. Some owners drill small holes in the keel and then seal tj=hem up once the water has been drained.  The owner of this boat decided to install removable plugs. The plugs can be removed before winter storage to make sure any water that may have gotten into the keel is allowed to drain. Just make sure you remember to out them back in before you launch the boat in the Spring 😊


Vic Roberts



NO there were no factory-installed drain plugs in less you requested them and it would have been like a purchased drain plug. 
Drain plugs vary in many ways. We used to install a Garber drain that was used to ground the boat and also for winter drainage. 
I designed a much better one later on that had to be modified a little but was slick and more for the racer in mind. 


My new to me 1965 Ensign has 4 threaded plugs along the bottom edge of the keel, 2 on each side. I looked at more than 10 other Ensigns at our club in Saratoga and none have these plugs. I do see where people have added keel drains in various locations but none anywhere near as low as these. The look like they could be factory installed or were done very well.

anyone know anything about these?

Rick Castle

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