Projects: Chainlocker Drain

There are a couple of things that Cape Dory didn't quite get right on the CD36. Some of those things we've already remedied - e.g., exposed core around the emergency tiller access, non-watertight bulkhead under the v-berth - and others we're still working on. One of those little, and yet annoying details, was the lack of a proper drain for the chain locker, which would allow water to collect in the bin located in the crotch of the v-berth and eventually seep into the sole. While we had the forward cabin apart for the holding tank replacement during the spring of '06, we decided it was time to install a proper drain. Apparently some Cape Dory 36s, perhaps later models, have a piece of pipe just forward of the v-berth bulkhead that routes seawater under the sole and into the bilge. On Ariel, however, there was no such thing, so my initial thought was to install just such a drain. The point at which I lost my nerve, however, was when I realized I would have to drill a blind hole through the bottom of the bin in the v-berth crotch and under the sole. My fear may have been unwarranted, but the safer route always seems the better route. Besides, installing a drain in that location would still allow water to collect under the v-berth rather than containing the water in the chain locker. As a result, I decided that the best way to approach the project was to first make the chain locker watertight, then install drains that would carry the water to the bilge. After adding fillets and a couple layers of fiberglass cloth to the inside of the chain locker bulkhead to waterproof it, I stacked pieces of styrofoam to fill the bottom just enough to provide a flat surface to flush-mount the drains in the locker bottom. After some careful measuring, I drilled holes upwards through the bulkhead, then inserted pieces of 1/2" pvc through the styrofoam and set them in thickened epoxy. The pieces of pvc, cut at a shallow angle on one end, sit even with the new epoxy floor and exit the bulkhead under the v-berth bunkboards. Two short lengths of 5/8" hose attach to the exposed ends of the pipes and are linked together by a Y-fitting made from 1/2" copper tubing. The drain hose then passes under the holding tank, through the bulkheads and into a locker in the head where it is teed into the sink drain.

This picture shows the Y fitting and the two pieces of pvc prior to routing the drain hose under the holding tank bed. The drain hose travels along the port side of the v-berth and tees into the head sink drain and thru-hull.

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