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Video drain plug on boat

While a drain plug for a boat may seem like a simple part for a single use, they are actually more significant than you think. Drain plugs serve an extremely important and essential function that surpasses day-to-day operation and actually falls into the category of a safety item.

As we discussed in 7 Common Mistakes Made By Boaters, forgetting about your drain plug can be an easy and very sad way to sink your boat.

Aside from obvious financial loss from irreversible damages or costly repairs, you’ll also have to deal with the emotional aftermath and despair of missing your beloved vessel—not to mention, the embarrassment of knowing that the damage was done from a situation that could have been easily avoided.

Carry a Spare Drain Plug

Spare Drain Plug

We understand that everyone makes mistakes. First-time boaters are rookies who are still learning what it takes to own, operate and maintain a boat—and unfortunately, some of the best lessons come from failure. Along those same lines, even the most seasoned boaters aren’t perfect and eventually, they will slip up just like the rest of us. The best thing you can do as a boater is to be proactive and prepare for anything and everything.

Keep a spare drain plug on hand at all times, in addition to other critical items that we’ll touch more on later. Knowing that you have a spare available will give you the security and peace of mind you need to truly enjoy your time on the water.

In terms of where to store your extra drain plug, consider locations on your boat that are easily accessible. For example, you might keep it in a small glovebox by the helm, in your nearby cup holder, attached to your boat keys, or in another convenient, easy to reach place.

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Types of Drain Plugs

Boat drain plugs are modest pieces of hardware. When inserted, they prevent water from coming into your boat, and when removed, they allow water to drain out. Simple and effective. When choosing a suitable drain plug for your boat, you have a few different options to choose from:

  • Twist/Snap Plugs: One of the most common and popular drain plugs used, twist/snap plugs have a threaded retention system that helps maintain a water tight seal.

Twist Drain Plugs

  • Nylon Plugs: Generally made of chrome-plated brass or stainless steel, nylon plugs are a cheaper alternative to maintaining that watertight seal.

Nylon Drain Plugs

  • Garboard Plugs: Garboard plugs allow quick drainage of boat when hauled out. They ensure a watertight fit and can use features found on both twist and nylon plugs. They are also easy to remove with basic tools.

Garboard Plugs

  • Baitwell Plugs: Bait Well drain plugs snap into leak-proof and non-slip position to form a secure seal on any boat. The Bait Well Plug is Brass and has a rubber neoprene body that will give you that secure seal.

Baitwell Drain Plug

Long Story Short: Always Come Prepared

Although we know safety isn’t always at the forefront of your mind when you’re heading out for a day on the water, you can proactively ensure that you’re always prepared by putting together an emergency kit with spare parts and other miscellaneous items. In addition to spare drain plugs, Power and Motoryacht also recommends carrying the following replacement parts onboard:

  • Anchor
  • Impellor
  • Prop
  • Extra fluids (engine coolant, lube, transmission oil)
  • Oil filters and fuel filters
  • General repair tool kit
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To purchase a spare drain plug or other additional parts for your boat, visit Marine Depot Direct.

Have you had any close calls with your drain plug? Let us know in the comments below!

Visit for a wide variety of cost-effective, top quality stainless steel marine hardware. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube for the latest updates or call 818-215-4211 to speak with a representative.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>