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Discussion Starter #1
Asked at a few shops and no one seems to know if this has been tried, but would love to have a drain in the bottom of an old (1985 Achilles) bucket boat.
Thinking when I get home from a silty/San Juan river trip, it would be nice to wash it all out.
Has anyone ever tried cutting a hole big enough for a military valve to be installed in one end of the floor.
Thinking it could be closed all day and during the trip, then opened up for drain out.
Is this just stupid? Crazy? Better ideas? Leave well enough alone and scrape the grit out of the crack between the floor and the tubes?
Thanks for the advice for a new raft owner
 

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Good idea. Go ultra simple here, perhaps something like cutting a nickel sized hole and using a single contact lens case (not sure I'd want the bulk of a military valve on the floor) to seal it up while floating. But I'm not sure cutting a hole in a raft floor is the best strategy.

If breaching the integrity of the wrap floor is an issue, one could simply overturn the raft and wash it out. Once at the take out with buckets to remove the solids, then prop it up at home with paddles, pool cues, ski poles, or golf clubs and use the garden hose.

Getting all that silt out is a good idea regardless of method. One of my faves is just to run a local stretch and let the river wash the boat.
 

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I'm sure its been done, most everything has at least once. Even with a drain though, you'll have to dig the grit out of the corners. You have to do that on self bailers as well, probably even more so. Any drain you put in is a potential failure spot and then you are in water to the draft level of your boat the whole trip. I'd say let it be and deal with it the old fashioned way at the takeout. A small drain isnt going to help you after a San Juan trip anyways. I just got a boat in after a san juan trip and the thing must have 10 lbs of silt in it, and its welded to the floor. Give it a good bucketing on its side at the takeout and it'll just need a rinse at home before you dry it and put it away.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My buddy thought I was crazy for bringing a 5 gallon bucket. At the takeout, he was asking to borrow it as his collapsible buckets don't have the same force. We did give it a thorough bucketing at takeout and it does need a good rinse that will happen this morning.
Thanks for the thoughts, feel free to offer more.
 

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aka The Curmudgeon
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The idea is good but I'd be concerned about several things including creating a catch-point projecting downward from an otherwise smooth floor that could catch on logs and rocks and rip your floor. If I really want my self bailer clean at the floor/tube joint I still have to prop it on its side in the driveway and get after it with brush and hose. I'm guessing you'd still have to do that even if your floor drain worked well.

Congrats on your Achilles and putting an older boat to good use!
 

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If your taking it apart anyways I wouldn't think it would be worth it, but if you have some sport of elaborate frame and you store it fully rigged and don't want to take it off the trailer I could see that working.

If I were to do it, I'd put the valve very near the bow/stern to keep it out of harms way and if it leaks a little it won't fill your floor. I'm not really sure what valve I'd use, I'd almost be inclined to use a brass boat drain and sandwich it between a donut of plastic on the bottom and a reinforcement patch on top. Of course it would be better if it were plastic, but I haven't seen those....


There may be better things out there, but hopefully it gives you other ideas if you end up going this route...
 

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use one or two of these.

I have a SE380x with 2 in the bow and two in the stern...I love being able to run wet or dry although with the stuff I run in this boat I usually run dry and just drain once/if I take on too much water. I think it's really handy.
 

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seems like it would be more trouble than its worth to put a hard valve or plug in the bottom of a bucket boat. couple of things

first the irregular part of the drain plug thing (like elkhaven shows) on the bottom could snag on a rock or something and tear the bottom of the boat out

second when the water drained out of it, there would be a little puddle around the raised valve hole where the sand would settle right back down.

get a bucket of water and wash that boat out like folks are saying. then if you want to get it good and clean do the last rinse with the left over water jugs

its a bucket boat.
 

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aka The Curmudgeon
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Oh Brother!
Too much trouble and hassle and complication for what you have to gain.
Tip it up on its side in the driveway.
Forget about cleaning, focus on using the good ol' boat!
Peace,
the Capt
 

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CoBoater. FWIW, if I were to do such as thing, it would be tucked way up under the bow or stern. I agree any where low would be bad. I want professing a finished plan, just an idea. I could see some advantages but likely just as many disadvantages. I had a similar drain ducked up in the Stan of my drift boat with no issues after 10 years. I could see it working but would rather have something more forgiving. ...

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Oh god if that makes sense, late night typing on my phone = illegible bull shit

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