pump for bailing bilge water

In addition to checking to see WHY your 1M boat takes on water :scared: when sailing, is there any neat way to remove bilge water without removing your deck patch? Re-taping the radio cover takes time and you may only have a minute between heats.

What about some kind of thumb-operated pump, like a priming bulb on a small engine, or a small hand-cranked pump? It would need to be relatively small.

An old method I once saw was a vertical tube in the stern to let the water out. The tube was plugged for sailing.


may or may not apply…but on on many Victorias I see guys using the caps that are on toy water guns. you know it looks like a small cup with a “T” on the bottom… pick boat up. remove cap. tilt boat. water drains. push cap back in put boat in sail on…

I use the silicone plug sold by midwest…on my vic and odom

i thread a small length of line through the center of the plug (1x7) coated cable or needle and spider wire and secure one end to the boat I have the plug situated that I have to push the plug in to release it to drain the water. this way the plug cannot be pulled out by contact with another boat.

I have the hole located high on the transom near the deck such that lifting the boat out of the water, and while lifting the bow up healing the boat over 90* will result in water draining. It may not get all the water out, but whats is left (a couple teaspoons worth) is not enough to raise any concern sloshing around int he bottom of the hull…

I think on large boats like, the ec12, the turkey baster or syringes are the method of choice…

Visit your local “TRAIN” hobby shop and take a look at the small, battery powered “pump” that some of the railroad guys use to move water through streams on their train layout.

The one I saw was about the size in diameter of a pencil, and perhaps 1.5 inches long. It hooked up to the train layout power, but was DC current. Not sure if it would work as part of the r/c equipment - and also not sure it would work without continuous water moving through it. A pick-up tube, the in-line pump and anexhaust tube through the stern.

That’s the best I can do - you are on your own to determine if it will work or is viable.

we have the makings of a “jet boat”…:slight_smile:

I use a plug like Marc in both my Victoria and my IOM’s. I thread a 12" length of elastic into it from the bottom and tie it inside the boat by the fin trunk. I can tip the boat nose up and on it’s side, pull the plug to drain, and when I release, it gets pulled back into the hole. The hole is inside the cockpit right at the stern, up near one rail.

Thanks to my over 20 years building and flying RC airplanes I had the chance to talk oftenly with Quique Somenzini, world champion in RCaerobatics. Once I asked why he uses a hand gas pump to fill the gas tank in the airplane ( a laser 200 with a twin 80cc engine) directly through a very miserable fuel line closed by a chopped nail when there where very nice gas valves in the market.

The answers was as simple as logic. “what is not on the plane does not fail”.
So…what is not on your boat will not fail!. I think the water pupm from model trains pumps very little ammount of water. I will suggest to stick to the silicone bung that you can lace at the transom or at the front deck in your hull to drain any ammount of water within a minute. Also it will not fail.

But…if you like gizmos…check this, i use it in my 52" gas boat.

It will drain your hull while you are sailing!

Hope to be useful.

Tato Lazo


I have used the auto-bailer on power boats. They often fail when the boat is stalled, and become an auto-filler. I formerly used the bung system on a 1M, and my Ocean 500 has one, but I was thinking that on a 1M, for the little water that gets in during a few heats, a hand-operated pump might be faster, and no need to even lift the boat out of the water.

The electric pumps might be swell, but it involves extra batteries, and are always pumping, so will soon fail, unless you add more radio gear to operate the pump.

I think I will take some time to remove the radio gear, and investigate where the water gets in.

turkey baster with a long silicone tube. simple easy…one squeeze of most turkey basters remove about a cup of fluid… the addition of the silcone tube would allow you to get the suction end at the deepest lowest point…

if you don’t want to drill the transom for a bung-hole…i don’t like having the extra hole in the odom’s transom, purely aesthetics. but…its much easier than the sponge method…

trynig to dry the boat without removung it from water is a call to disaster.

imagine medium wind, rig A, you at hte border of the laggon, trying to plug in your device to the silicone tubing…the bulb hiting the rocks, the boat heeling…a nightmare!!!

Best way is to keep it simple (KISS principle) with the silicone bung , but always remove the boat from the water for a proper service and avoid any chance of damage.

about the auto bailer coverted to autofiller…it is true. a solution coud be a small 1/8" tube protuding the hull bacwards 8 venturi effect9 and a little piece of silicone with a one way little valve attached to it. ( the kind used for smoke systems in airplanes)

Bu ti like the bung,

tato Lazo


I still have a need for a drain on the back of the Odom somewhere, and all I can think of is to glue in a BIG T-nut, maybe about 1/4 inch for 5/16 into the transom or the deck? Then putting in a bolt with a string or wire glued into a hole drilled down the middle, with a nut for a keeper.

OTOH, I drained the radiator on the car last Spring, and the radiator had a petcock fitting, but can you get one small enough for a 1meter?

I read through one of the Odom “assembly manual” documents I got, probably from the COA website, and it tells you to make a 1/4 inch hole through the transom to use as access to the screw on the rudder shaft. It tells you to put a tapered plug in the hole, but I assume you would just tape over it?


I use the tapered silicon plug on my Victoria. I have a wire through it with the wide part of the plug inboard. Such that all I have to do is push the plug in tilt the boat drain the water and then a quick tug on the wire and the plug seats itself again.

on my two IOMs i drilled a small hole in the transom mid way up well above the water line Which as you mentioned makes accessing the rudder post screws much easier. since the hole is so high you don’t need to seal it with tape.

As mentioned above the old school water gun plugs are a popular idea as well

Honestly I would not overthink this. Sometimes the simplest method is the most elegant and best

the picture of the plug by itself is next to a sails ect large bowsie. so you get an idea of the size…

That’s probably what I’ll do: Drill a hole and put a plug in it. I’ll borrow a plug from an old water gun :smiley:

Even a bit of a sponge would work: you just squeeze it & roll it a bit, then stick it in the hole. Then you lose it the second time you take it out :wink: There shouldn’t be much getting in because it’s above the water line, and even if you use a bit of sponge, you’d only get a drop or two from some water weeping through. I should’ve noticed that tip long ago, so it’ll save time taping on that lazarette.

I have to overbuild things. The simplest things will fail on my boat, even if somebody else builds it. I use 120 LBs wire for stays because the 10 LB. stuff breaks on the second race.

the silicone plug is from sails ect or midwest model yachts

find a dollar store. and buy a few water guns and keep a few in your tool box. and when you need to distract someone you just give them a squirt

The silicone plug should be easily made- I probably have some stuck to the workbench! The water guns are scarce this time of the year, but I can always dig into the box of toys. I’ll see about adding a squirter button to my transmitter. :smiley:

Geez, go to the hardware store and get a turkey baster. While there buy some vinyl tubing with diameter to fit end of baster. Press on, cut to a length that will reach your bilge. Squeeze bulb, put tube end in water, let go of bulb, remove tube, squeeze bulb to empty water from turkey baster. Repeat as necessary.

I’m not interested in a baster, turkey or otherwise, nor am I interested in utilizing any vinyl tubing for anything on my boat.


Hi Marc,

Just a small point of caution with the tapered silicon plugs in stern of your IOM’s, be careful the plug does not extend the hulls legal LOA over one metre, otherwise it is not class legal…l got done with this one on my IOM’s

Cheers Alan

Alan. I do not use a plug on my iom or my Rg65 for that very reason. With the vertical transom and hole well above the waterline, I’m not worried about water intrusion. In a pinch I could place a piece of electrical tape over the hole if it was a particularly rfought day.

The Victoria on the other hand. I use the plug As it’s a pretty wet boat…

I seem to be out of stock regarding the water pistols, and so are the stores, at this time of the year. Is there any alternative? I was thinking of some kind of snap-cap, like you get on a toothpaste tube, but the hole is small. Right now, I drilled a hole, and since I don’t have a squirtgun, I used an earplug to seal the hole with a paperclip on the end of a piece of line to keep the plug from getting lost.

Is there something in the super-store that would have a hole about 8mm? It needs to be very shallow or flat, so it doesn’t stick out- it is a model boat. The idea is like this, but I’d enlarge the hole: