Full-liner, foam-injected hulls help make small boats hard to sink. Yet they create issues when it comes to installing flush-mount gunwale rod holders. Spray and wash-water can pour into the rod tubes and accumulate inside the gunwales, soaking the foam, adding weight and promoting mold and mildew. Also, cup holders can drain into wiring, causing shorts and corrosion. The solution is to install drains, allowing any water that enters to quickly exit. Here is how we installed drains on an existing set of gunwale rod holders on a full-liner boat.
Time to Complete: >1 Hour per Rod Holder
Tools and Supplies:
*Rod-holder-base drain caps ($15.95/four, greatlakesskipper.com)
*3/8-inch push-in impact drains, model PD-2 (95 cents, duskyonline.com)
*3/8-inch-inside-diameter clear vinyl hose ($4.43/10 feet, amazon.com)
*Power drill and 1/8- and ½-inch drill bits
*Life-Calk sealant ($6.32/1-ounce tube, jamestowndistributors.com)
1. Install the Drain Cup
Remove the rod holder and fit the bottom with a T-H Marine rod-holder-base drain cap (thmarine.com). These molded vinyl cups come in 2-inch and 2 3/4-inch diameters to fit small and large tubes, and each is fitted with a 3/8-inch hose barb at the bottom. The fit is tight, so warm the vinyl in the sun before fitting the cap to the rod tubes. Affix a tie-wrap for assurance. You can also order rod holders with built-in drains. In either case, don’t reinstall the rod holder just yet.
2. Determine Position for the Drain
Hold the rod holder along the inside of the boat with the flange parallel to the gunwale in line with its mounting point to determine where to install a T-H Marine 3/8-inch push-in impact drain (model PD-2). The spot should be a flat, nearly vertical surface on the inner wall that is slightly below the bottom of the rod-holder tube. Mark the spot with a pencil and look into the rod-holder hole to make sure there are no hoses or wires behind the wall where you plan to drill.