best boat drain plug

Best Boat Drain Plug: Expert’s Guide On Running A Smooth Ship

Introduction

Ever find yourself in a position where you’re always inside a wet boat, even after maintenance? Well, you’re not alone, this is a pretty common problem.

So what’s the reason behind this issue?

Well, the most likely culprit is a faulty drain plug. This is why it’s absolutely important to buy the proper drain plug for your boat. Otherwise, your boat will become the world’s most expensive bathtub.

So how do you know which one is the right one? Well, that’s where we come in. More precisely, our post on the best boat drain plug does. 

Since there are a lot of posts regarding this topic you might get confused. But that’s why we’re here to help. We’ve already done your homework for you. 

Down below we have the top 5 list of the best drain plugs available on the market.

We’ve even provided a section dedicated to the know-how of drain plugs. This will give in-depth insight to the curious members of the audience.

But enough with the formalities! Let’s venture out, shall we?

Comparison Table

 

Products Plug-in Type Handle Material
Attwood’s 7524A7 Snap-Handle Drain Plug Snap-Type Brass
 

Attwood’s 7526A7 T-Handle Drain Plug

 

Twist-Type Brass
SeaSense’s Twist Drain Plug Twist-Type Stainless-Steel
Amarine Made’s Oval Garboard Plug Garboard-Type Stainless-Steel
HAO BOPOREAE Kayak Drain Plug Twist-Type Plastic

Attwood’s 7524A7 Snap-Handle Drain Plug

Product Overview

First on the list is Attwood’s Snap Handle Drain plug. So why’s this deemed the king of all boat plugs in our opinion? Well, let’s find out

For starters, Attwood’s Snap Handle is made of brass. When it comes to corrosion resistance, the Attwood’s Snap handle is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest. This is because the base of brass is copper, which is less prone to corrosion.

Moreover, the “snap handle” design makes for a more snug fit. This makes this boat plug have the best sealing capabilities of all the rest. 

However, this comes at a cost. You need to follow a few rules if you install the Snap-Handle from outside. But knowing how to properly install it will lead to a longer-lasting performance.

What’s more, is that the Attwood Snap Handle is extremely versatile. It can be used for plugging other appliances and machines too! But how is this relevant?

Well, you’re getting the best value for money in that regard. You get to have an almost universal plug. Plus you can always trust Attwood.

They’ve been one of the leading brands in engineering, testing, and manufacturing high-quality marine products. They’ve been doing this for well over a century!

Pros

  • Excellent sealing capability 
  • Easy to install
  • Excellent durability
  • Resists corrosion well

Cons

  • Has to be installed properly

Attwood’s 7526A7 T-Handle Drain Plug

Product Overview

In second place we have a familiar name. It’s none other than the Attwood T-Handle drain plug.

By now, you guys can already tell that the Attwood brand knows its trade well. They’ve been masters at the craft of making marine parts for 100 years. As far as ancient knowledge goes, they’re at the forefront.

The Attwood T-handle is not an exception in this regard.

Like most of the plugs on the list, the Attwood T-Handle is designed to fit a 1-inch hole. It’s also reported to fit into a 1/8th of an inch hole. So it’s not limited to an inch. 

Moreover like its predecessor on the list, it is also made of solid brass. The brass body ensures a metal body that will not wither away.

The T-Handle also comes with rubber bungs attached around it. The rubber parts are known to expand and fill the hole. This is exceptionally adept at sealing out any water that might try to seep inside the bilge.

But since, it’s such a good boat plug, why is it second on the list?

This is because the T-Handle differs from the Snap-handle by its shape. This is why the Snap-handle ended up edging the T-handle to take the crown.

The Snap-handle allows for a tighter fit than all the other handles. The T-Screw, while being easy to insert, doesn’t provide that. It also doesn’t allow for an easier release, like the Snap-handle.

Pros

  • Excellent durability
  • Impressive sealing ability
  • Easy to insert

Cons

  • Hard to remove once in

SeaSense’s Twist Drain Plug

Product Overview

Coming in third place is the notable brand when it comes to Marine parts. It’s the SeaSense’s Twist drain plug. This officially ends our race for the top 3 ultimate boat drain plugs.

So what makes the SeaSense take the last spot in the top 3. Well, because it’s strikingly similar to number 2 on the list. 

So how are they similar?

The SeaSense is a Twist-type drain plug. Its shape is also like Attwood’s T-Handle. This means when it comes to ensuring a tight fit, the SeaSense won’t let you down.

Now, let’s talk about its material. Unlike the Attwood models, the SeaSense is made out of Stainless Steel. This means out of the 2 previous ones on the list, the SeaSense is more durable.

This is due to steel being more durable and hardy than brass. The reason behind this is that SeaSense’s base metal being iron. Iron is more durable than copper, so it’s only elementary this will be tougher.

The SeaSense is extremely well-built and has advanced corrosion protection. But it’s not as well-protected as the two “top brass” on the list. This is mainly because of its composition. Brass is more resistant to corrosion than any type of steel.

The SeaSense is designed to cover around 1-inch diameter holes in your boat. But it can also fit in holes measuring 7/8th of an inch too! This makes it a convenient drain plug to have for your boat.

However, viewers are warned, that if you’re willing to not hurt your fingers, use a glove. This drain plug’s tightness comes at a price. It needs to be screwed in pretty tightly.

Pros 

  • Excellent durability
  • Decent corrosion resistance
  • Easy to remove

Cons

  • Difficult to screw-in
  • Unappleaing looks

Amarine Made’s Oval Garboard Plug

Product Overview

Next up, we have number 4 on the list. Now, we had a tough time placing this in at 4th place. The SeaSense and the Amarine are pretty similar.

But in the end, the SeaSense ended up being on top. However, the Amarine still ended up being on our list for several reasons. So, why don’t we go over them?

The Amarine Made’s Oval plug is the most aesthetically pleasing boat plug out there. Its stainless steel is polished to give a nearly mirror-like surface.

Moreover, Amarine Made has an interesting feature that will pique a lot of people’s interests. More precisely, the ones that keep losing their boat plugs.

This is due to its retention system being in place. This was designed to make the boat plug stick to the boat’s surface.

Moreover, the Amarine Made can fit 1-3/16th of inch holes in a bilge. This covers a wide range of bilge holes.

Pros

  • Don’t get lost
  • Fits a wide range of boats
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Doesn’t ensure a tight fit
  • Not the most durable

HAO BOPOREAE Kayak Drain Plug

Product Overview

Lastly, we have HAO BOPOREAE’s Kayak Drain Plug. Now, this may be the last one on the list, but don’t count this out just yet.

It did beat a lot of worthy competition to grab this last spot. This is due to some of its interesting features. So why don’t we go about those features?

The HAO is the only one on the list that is made out of high-quality plastic. More precisely, high-quality nylon.

This means out of all the boat plugs on the list, the HAO will last the longest. This is because it cannot be rusted or corroded over time. The HAO has a good chance of outlasting you.

Moreover, the HAO comes with a scupper cup. It’s designed to fit a one-inch diameter hole. The HAO is also designed for enduring high vibration environments.

This makes it a perfect drain plug for older boats that are prone to vibrations. The HAO Kayak comes with two screws for every drain plug.

Pros

  • Excellent durability
  • Can handle vibrations
  • Affordable price.

Cons

  • Has to be secured with screws

 

Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Drain Plug

This section is reserved for the more curious minds out there. This section’s aim is to make sure that the reader acquires additional knowledge about boat plugs.

When it comes to ensuring your boat’s buoyancy, you shouldn’t make the same mistakes as the Titanic. Knowing more about the inner details of your plug won’t hurt anymore. However, not knowing about it will.

So, let’s dive right in shall we?

Why Does the Drain’s Material Matter?

Now for any type of plug that you buy, the material used is crucial. Since it’s stopping you from getting water in your boat, you should choose wisely. However, this is not to say that one is the better option than the other.

Each of these materials has a plus point. So what are each of these materials? There are commonly three types; brass, stainless steel, and plastics.

Before that, the normal anatomy of a boat plug is as follows. There is a hard part to it and a soft part. 

The hard part is the main body of the entire boat plug. While the soft part is the covering.

The soft part is almost universally made of rubber. These rubber components are installed to ensure a snug fit so water doesn’t seep in.

But what about the hard parts? Let’s go over each of these, one by one shall we?

These can be further differentiated into two categories, alloys, and plastic composites. In the alloy section, you have brass and stainless steel plugs. So how does each of these differ from one another?

Well, it lies in the composition of the two. Brass is an alloy composed of copper and zinc. Stainless steel on the other hand is made of iron, carbon, and chromium.

Brass in comparison to steel alloys is softer and more malleable. When it comes to the sturdiness of the part, stainless steel trumps brass in that department. This is because the base of the alloy is iron, which is harder than copper.

Moreover, the carbon particles in the allow help the iron to become more durable. The chromium part is added to give it some rust resistance. Without the chromium, it wouldn’t be “stainless” steel as it would corrode easily.

That being said, it’s a different case in the corrosion department. Ironically, when it comes to corrosion resisting abilities, the brass takes the lead.

While it may be softer and more malleable, the brass has a copper base. Copper makes iron look like a 5th grader when it comes to corrosion resisting abilities. Iron is the reason things rust in the first place since rust is oxidized iron.

So how do we break this tie? Well, we forget one important factor; the price.

There is no significant cost difference between brass and steel in terms of production. However, it’s important to note that steel is far more difficult to manufacture than brass. 

After all, brass is well renowned for its machinability, which is why it’s the metal of choice for applications requiring small, accurate metal components. This puts stainless steel at disadvantage as it is a bit more costly.

However, don’t count the stainless plugs just yet. It’s been reported that in more harsh maritime conditions, some grades of stainless steel outperform brass. These include rough riptides and stormy weather.

This leaves us with only one type of material- plastic drain plugs. Well, it’s a no-brainer when it comes to durability, choose the metal alloys. Plastics last longer, but compared to metals, they break easily.

However, if you’re willing to save up on your boat accessories. You should opt for plastic plugs. They are long-lasting and won’t cost a fortune to replace.

Types Of Boat Drain Plugs

Now is one of the aspects of the boat plugs that you need to know about. There are normally two types of plugs. Let’s talk about these.

Screw-In Plugs

This sort of plug is the type you twist in clockwise to ensure a snug fit. Normally these have a T-shape. The T handles make it easier to screw the plug it in. These come in handy when the plug needs to be installed on the outside.

Screw-in plugs also include a hole-looped shape. These normally resemble the traditional thermos flask lid shapes. 

These have a hole in the middle, which can be added with an extension cord. These extensions come in handy when they are installed from the inside.

Snap-In Plugs

Lastly, you have the snap-in plugs. The shape of this plug’s handle is a loop at the end of a rectangular handle. Once you rotate it clockwise, you have to snap the handle inwards.

This ensures an, even more, tighter fit. But there is one thing you have to consider when installing this plug from the outside. Make sure the handle is facing upwards, towards the waterline.

If it’s fit in facing downwards there will be a problem. The water pressure running down the back of the hull might flip the handle open. This might lead to a leaky boat plug.

FAQs

Question: What’s the function of a Limber Hole?

Answer: A limber hole is a drain hole in a boat’s frame. This allows water to drain into the bilge instead of gathering against one side of the frame. Limber holes are typical in wooden boat bilges and are drilled into the wood.

Question: Is it essential to have a drain plug?

Answer: Yes, for boats that aren’t “self-bailing,” drain plugs are essential. However, not every boat comes equipped with a drain plug. Smaller boats are more likely to have a drain plug than those with a bilge pump. This is because both of these serve the same purpose.

Question: Why does water keep getting inside my bilge?

Answer: Water that doesn’t drain over the side of the deck, flows into the bilge. This might be due to rainfall, rough seas, etc.

Conclusion

Seems like we’re at the end of our journey for now. This was officially what we had on the best boat drain plug available on the market. We sincerely hope, we could help you out with what you were looking for.

But you’ve probably made your pick from our top 5 list of boat drain plugs. But on the off-chance you’re one of the picky members within the audience, go with the top pick. There’s a reason this was the best one we could find out there.

With all that being said, all of us here are confident in the decision you’ll make. So it’s time to put a “plug” in it for now.

Till then, take care, and good luck venturing out into the sea.

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