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Vent Plug

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

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Vent Plug

Postby boaterjen » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:04 am

HI guys,

I"ve been wondering about the front vent plug, in the V Berth. It has such a criticl role, yet it's small and seems fragile to me.

How robust is it? Is there a tougher one? Should I buy and carry a spare in case it fails?
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Re: Vent Plug

Postby K9Kampers » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:19 am

It should be ok as long as the henweigh is intact.
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Re: Vent Plug

Postby Kittiwake » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:25 am

K9Kampers wrote:It should be ok as long as the henweigh is intact.

Very cute K9 :D (I looked it up).
But seriously boaterjen, I do in fact carry a spare plug ... but only because the original got loose (weak henweigh?). Then I discovered that one could easily adjust the plug diameter by holding the plug part and twisting the loop end .... and furthermore that a tight fit seems far from crucial. I still keep the new one as a spare.
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Re: Vent Plug

Postby mastreb » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:01 am

The plug is in fact, not crucial. I've sailed many a time having forgotten to put it in place, and can confirm that it merely imparts a mild dampness to the bilge, even at extreme heel, if not in place. As long as the gate valve is securely closed, the plug is not a critical safety issue and exists merely to keep water from splashing out of the bilge and not all over the other things you're storing in under the v-berth. The bowl does a pretty good job of keeping ballast water where it belongs, and the boat will not sink if the plug and gate valve are both left open unless it is GROSSLY overloaded. Seriously by like 3,000 lbs.

Technically, having the plug in place does create a pressure seal that will help to keep ballast water in place if the gate is slightly open, but I can confirm that it merely slows down tank drainage if the gate is not firmly closed. For sailing purposes, the gate alone is more than sufficient to ensure that water remains the in the ballast tank.

Rather than replacing it, consider doing the mod where you run a 1" hose from the bilge plug hole to the chain locker to vent ballast tank air automatically. I'm still considering it, but laziness has thwarted my best efforts.
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Re: Vent Plug

Postby seahouse » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:14 am

What! You got a plug with yours? :o

My boat didn’t come with a plug. Instead, it came with a stage prop that was supposed to be a plug, but was not capable of plugging the hole. :cry:

OK. I exaggerate. It would have been capable of plugging the hole if I had applied a large dollop of silicone sealer along with it.

At the factory the hole in the fibreglass was drilled at a 20 degree angle to vertical (that, or the drill wandered) so the “plug”, yeah, let’s call it that, because of its poor construction, was not able to be sufficiently tightened to seal the hole. Instead, the “tin foil” deformed. Assuming you could insert it into the hole with it released (loosened on the threads) in the first place.

Check the hole too, it might benefit from some dressing or smoothing with a file.

After some shopping (there are lots of “junk” plugs in stores) I found one that had a pliable soft rubber body that would expand to give a good seal. I attached a lanyard to the old one and wrapped it around the bowl as a spare, better than nothing if the other is lost or broken.

So, I feel your pain. :|

In all seriousness the role of the plug is not really as critical as you might think- if it leaks the bowl will prevent, in most cases, the boat from swamping. But water sloshing around inside the boat and bilges is certainly a nuisance.

- Brian. :wink:
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Re: Vent Plug

Postby seahouse » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:23 am

Ya Mastreb – I like it - that’s a good mod that’s on my to-do list too. :wink:
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Re: Vent Plug

Postby Seapup » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:37 am

I used a 3/4" vent hose, it was way too slow and I didn't like not confirming the level.

Since my ballast vent (02x) is a few inches below the waterline (boat is always loaded to about the bootstripe) I enlarged the vent with a hole saw, glued in a 2" male threaded PVC coupling, and popped in a test plug. Now its a no brainer for the admiral to see right into the tank and confirm the level while underway..

Image
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Re: Vent Plug

Postby bscott » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:18 am

Whats to look at? Stick your finger in the hole--if wet, you're good to go--if not, open the dump valve and let the water in :)

Bob
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Re: Vent Plug

Postby yukonbob » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:46 pm

bscott wrote:Whats to look at? Stick your finger in the hole--if wet, you're good to go--if not, open the dump valve and let the water in :)

Bob


:D :D :D
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Re: Vent Plug

Postby Hardcrab » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:39 pm

For what it's worth, sailing without a vent plug can cause a problem in my direct experience.

If you want to sail faster and load your boat to be somewhat nose heavy (forward waterline sitting lower than aft waterline), the water level outside the boat will be equal to or higher than the vent hole, thereby letting water enter the unplugged vent hole.
Add some healing and larger swells/pitching motion, and the water will easily slosh around and overflow the "bowl" to drench everything.

There are many mods done to the vent hole to simplify the whole thing, but sailing or motoring without a plug of some sort might make for a huge headache, IMHO/Experience.
As usual, YMMV.

What we did for a mod was to 5200 a 3/4" pvc pipe into the vent hole (had to make the OD of the pipe somewhat smaller to fit the factory vent hole), and top it off with a 3/4" all PVC 1/4 turn globe valve even with the top of the bowl .
All from Home Despot.
1/4 turn the red handle on the valve to open or close.
Made a funnel adapter thingy for adding bleach.

Rather than letting the pipe and valve just stand up in the center of the bowl unsupported, I used some 45 fittings to route the pipe/valve to the inside wall of the bowl and clamped it there for additional strength.
Works perfectly fine and is easy to use/install.
It never leaks.
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Re: Vent Plug

Postby DaveB » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:40 pm

I have a 97 MacX with filler vent at companion way. The ruber screw fitting works good for me but if going on a long trip I would add water to the vent to make sure ballast is full.
MacX 2000 models put the vent at Vbearth. That is hard to tell if ballast is full, mine with aft location is easy to burp and plug.
The M has a tube at bow, should fill to max. ,vent plugs are easy to modify with a Quick lease Cam.
Cams are a plastic quick release that have two arms levers .( you probably don't reqire this but its a fail safe system)
I see no reason for my X but maybe for yours.
Dave

boaterjen wrote:HI guys,

I"ve been wondering about the front vent plug, in the V Berth. It has such a criticl role, yet it's small and seems fragile to me.

How robust is it? Is there a tougher one? Should I buy and carry a spare in case it fails?
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Re: Vent Plug

Postby NiceAft » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:30 pm

Dave said:
The M has a tube at bow, should fill to max


What tube are you referring to :?: I have an 05 :macm: , and the vent hole is indeed in the "V" berth area, but what tube are you reffering to :?: Do more recent :macm: 's have this tube :?:

By the way, which does boterjen have,an :macx: or an :macm: :?: I'm just wondering.

Ray
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Re: Vent Plug

Postby K9Kampers » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:48 pm

An :macm:
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Re: Vent Plug

Postby boaterjen » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:17 pm

Thanks for all good info. Learning about boat.

I will be careful w d one I have, n get another 4 a spare.

Tks

Jen
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Re: Vent Plug

Postby NiceAft » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:11 am

boaterjen,

You should click open the" User Control Panel" (which is on the left, near the top of the page), and then click open the "Profile" area, and fill in the appropriate boxes about you and your boat. In the future it may help you or another forum member.

Just a thought.

Ray
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