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Small Boat: Self Draining Deck Or No?


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Are self-draining decks worthwhile in a smaller boat, say 4.8m-5.5m range?

With the deck sealed and raised to allow for scuppers, it makes me feel like the internal freeboard is only knee high, which just doesn't feel safe.

So, are they genuinely functional and a worthwhile trade-off for internal freeboard? Or a kind've pointless sales feature in that sized boat?

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Good Morning Thunor, you are probably going to get alot of differing opinnions, so here is mine for what it is worth. I like self draining in boats, it is just another saftey aspect. Yes in some boats that will decrease freeboard, but in the brand we sell Stacer, the freeboard is no differnent between say a 489 Baymaster with self draining and the 489 Baymaster SVS without self draining, the only difference is the price you pay extra for self draining. I personally would be looking for a boat that has self draining, auto bilge pump and foam underfloor and honestly that is why we chose to sell Stacer becasue they offer all of these safety features. The truth is you will proablably never need such features in a 4.9M boat, but it is nice knowing they are there.

Just my thoughts,

Huey.

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Trailcraft boats have successful self draining hulls. Ive spent considerable time in 2 of their models in the 5.5 and 5.8m range and they drain well and we normally didnt get wet feet when stationary and standing at the stern. They still had good internal cockp1t freeboard.

The floor in the cuddy of the 5.5 was slighly lower than the main deck and not self draining. It used to pool a little water (not life threathening amounts). A bung into the sealed floor cavity here would have haved fixed this when used appropiatly.

Im not making any statement (good or bad) about Trailcraft here. They are the smallest self draing mono boats I have been in so thats why i mentioned them. I think they do self draining on models below 5m as well.

If the boat is moored, or you have bars to cross, then I guess self draining can only be considered an advantage + i agree with all Hueys comments above re pumps and foam etc.

Do you have a particular model/brand in mind ?

cheers

Rod

Edited by fishingrod
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Are self-draining decks worthwhile in a smaller boat, say 4.8m-5.5m range?

With the deck sealed and raised to allow for scuppers, it makes me feel like the internal freeboard is only knee high, which just doesn't feel safe.

So, are they genuinely functional and a worthwhile trade-off for internal freeboard? Or a kind've pointless sales feature in that sized boat?

Yep Thunor your question is applicable to my second boat which is an eagle ray tri hull that has self draining cockpit decks. It was designed that way for shallow surf rescue areas where most types of deep sea rescue boats would be unsuitable.

It is genuinely functional and depending on whether or not you want to fish in rough and wet conditions in close to rocks and river mouth swells etc it is indeed a very worthwhile trade but true to say, at the expense of internal freeboard in this particlar brand.

Its larger brother is exactly the same boat and is used by the coast guard in Noosa for surf rescue in seas where other boats would roll over, get swamped and or take in water.

The downside to that is the freeboard and you just have to get used to it and consistently watch your step so to speak as you can be taken by surprise and be thrust too far forward and overbalance unless you hang on to something, sit or crouch down.

The advantage is that the boat is absolutely unsinkable and will always float the right way up should you ever get rolled so to speak. So it is really an extra safety feature that is pretty important in boating anyway

So I guess the advantage in the design in my boat is that it is extremely stable, three blokes can stand on one side and you can hold the boat in the swell at river mouths with no worries at all about being swamped.

Quite frankly I love the boat for rough weather bay and river fishing and it would be pretty daring fishing for young fit blokes who wanted to fish the surf areas and hold the boat in the swell behind the breakers, in close to rocky rough hot spots and all that sort of dare devil fishing.

In my case it's just a great boat to drive up onto sand bars and get around bridges and pylons and in close around rocks and and jetties and go into little backwaters and all that sort of thing.

I don't think you could go wrong with a Stacer as Huey says as you do get it all far better plus the advantages of having a safer and more sensible leg height for freeboard and if I ever out grow my mustang and eagle ray combination I would go see Huey for the Stacer and just have it all in the one good boat with self draining cockpits, without having the worry of owning two heavy fibreglass boats basically when both are just for a certain type of fishing.

I may as well add these photos of my second boat, this little eagle ray. post-829-1187565022_thumb.jpg post-829-1187565095_thumb.jpg

cheers

Hope this helps a little in not having enough leg height freeboard in some makes of boats with self draining decks.

jewgaffer :1fishing1:

Edited by jewgaffer
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Hi Jewgaffer

Eagle ray looks great but are they really self righting if they turn turtle? Had a quick look for their website but couldn't find it.

Edited by pelican
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from my book of wisdom

boat self draining - you cant put a self draining cockpit in anything under 22 or 23 feet and maintain stability. Imagine 3-4 big blokes out on the shelf with their bag limit of yellowfin.

boat SELF-DRAINING - WATCH FOR 5-7M BOATS WITH A TOO HIGH CENTRE OF GRAVITY.

consider self draining in boats only 5.5m and above - self draining cockpits add safety and seaworthyness.

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Thank you for all the responses so far!

I had the smaller trailcraft in mind when I made the thread, along with a trailcraft-esque custom centre console I'd tried.

The self-draining deck makes sense on paper, but I'm just thinking the danger of going overboard in rolling conditions with those low sides, along with the fact you can't stand up against the sides when fighting a fish, it kind've puts me off.

And with the deck raised, I get the feeling that the whole boat is top heavy, or would roll easily. Perhaps I'm wrong, but that's just how I felt when in the boat.

I want a small, safe, eminently practical

boat.

Was going to either buy a kit, or get something designed.

Something like this is in the right ballpark (a smaller trailcraft type thing)

03061g3.jpg

http://www.marinekits.com/catalogue.php?id=85

If a wave broke this boat, it would all just go straight out the open back so fast that the air underneath the deck would not have the time to want to "flip" the boat (if that makes any sense)

the lip on the transom is to prevent wash slopping freely into the boat I imagine...

And the internal freeboard seems reasonably high enough, and not knee height.

Any thoughts/ideas welcome...

Edited by Thunor
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We used to have a haines hunter 580slf center console with twin 90 yammy 2 strokes.

It had a self draining deck with scuppers and was amazing at rest.

One time off south head botany i hooked the big one(but it got away) all 4 crew members came 2 1 side of the boat heres the average weights of these guys

me-65kg

dad- 95kg

barry-95kg

craig-145kg

plus the esky slid down and cracked me in the ankles and we had the bait tank on this side of the boat plus a load of fishing gear.

The boat did lean to the side but it wasnt really to bad, i miss the self drainin deck.

cheers james

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Yep Thunor your question is applicable to my second boat which is an eagle ray tri hull that has self draining cockpit decks. It was designed that way for shallow surf rescue areas where most types of deep sea rescue boats would be unsuitable.

It is genuinely functional and depending on whether or not you want to fish in rough and wet conditions in close to rocks and river mouth swells etc it is indeed a very worthwhile trade but true to say, at the expense of internal freeboard in this particlar brand.

Its larger brother is exactly the same boat and is used by the coast guard in Noosa for surf rescue in seas where other boats would roll over, get swamped and or take in water.

The downside to that is the freeboard and you just have to get used to it and consistently watch your step so to speak as you can be taken by surprise and be thrust too far forward and overbalance unless you hang on to something, sit or crouch down.

The advantage is that the boat is absolutely unsinkable and will always float the right way up should you ever get rolled so to speak. So it is really an extra safety feature that is pretty important in boating anyway

So I guess the advantage in the design in my boat is that it is extremely stable, three blokes can stand on one side and you can hold the boat in the swell at river mouths with no worries at all about being swamped.

Quite frankly I love the boat for rough weather bay and river fishing and it would be pretty daring fishing for young fit blokes who wanted to fish the surf areas and hold the boat in the swell behind the breakers, in close to rocky rough hot spots and all that sort of dare devil fishing.

In my case it's just a great boat to drive up onto sand bars and get around bridges and pylons and in close around rocks and and jetties and go into little backwaters and all that sort of thing.

I don't think you could go wrong with a Stacer as Huey says as you do get it all far better plus the advantages of having a safer and more sensible leg height for freeboard and if I ever out grow my mustang and eagle ray combination I would go see Huey for the Stacer and just have it all in the one good boat with self draining cockpits, without having the worry of owning two heavy fibreglass boats basically when both are just for a certain type of fishing.

I may as well add these photos of my second boat, this little eagle ray. post-829-1187565022_thumb.jpg post-829-1187565095_thumb.jpg

cheers

Hope this helps a little in not having enough leg height freeboard in some makes of boats with self draining decks.

jewgaffer :1fishing1:

That's a nice little boat you have there jewgaffer, I hadn't heard of them before.

My old boat was a little stabi, I'd love another but they are a little costly now :( Like your surf friendly boat, what I loved about the stabi was its "go anywhere" useability. I could get it over really shallow bars (25-40cm or so with the motor trimmed right up)

I just really want to build my own boat this time around to save $$ and to get precisely what I want. Plus I just like building things, its half the fun :biggrin2:

We used to have a haines hunter 580slf center console with twin 90 yammy 2 strokes.

It had a self draining deck with scuppers and was amazing at rest.

One time off south head botany i hooked the big one(but it got away) all 4 crew members came 2 1 side of the boat heres the average weights of these guys

me-65kg

dad- 95kg

barry-95kg

craig-145kg

plus the esky slid down and cracked me in the ankles and we had the bait tank on this side of the boat plus a load of fishing gear.

The boat did lean to the side but it wasnt really to bad, i miss the self drainin deck.

cheers james

Sounds like it was a realy nice boat. Little too big for my purposes though I think...

Edited by Thunor
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