Steps to a new dinghy plug

Boat maintenance at its core is about taking things off and putting them on. Paint job? Remove the old, brush on the new. New thru-hulls? Take out the old, put in the new.

  Removing tabbing from the hull.

Removing tabbing from the hull.

You get the picture.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on replacing a part that goes on a boat. The details will change depending on application (sealant, screw vs bolt, material of part) but in general, these are the steps that are good to follow.

1.    Remove the old. Fully remove it. Clean out any old sealant, any dirt or gunk or anything. It’s worth spending some time making sure you got it all. In extreme cases, you might want to fully drill it out, fill with epoxy or even a wood bung and epoxy, and start all over again.

  Old plug assembly out.

Old plug assembly out.

2.    Dry fit the new. Put it in, making sure it fits well and correctly. Check for weird problems (maybe it overlaps where you don’t want it to, or sticks out too far.)

  Dry fit.

Dry fit.

3.    Drill any holes that are needed, with the part in place. Do this carefully.

4.    Dry fit the part with fasteners. Do they work in the pilot holes you drilled?

5.    Remove the part, clean the hole and the part. Apply sealant.

  Apply sealant to the part.

Apply sealant to the part.

6.    Fit the part to the hull.

7.    Apply sealant to the fasteners.

  Apply sealant to the fastener - easily done by screwing the fastener into the tube.

Apply sealant to the fastener - easily done by screwing the fastener into the tube.

8.    Fasten the part to the hull.

  Enough sealant to do the job.

Enough sealant to do the job.

9.    Clean it all up!

  Clean it up! 

Clean it up! 

10. Install the plug into the assembly. We used sealant with this too, as we'd prefer to keep water out. When we need to remove it, the threaded aspect of it will mean it's easy to remove (or that's the theory anyway.)

  See the sealant?

See the sealant?

Then you need to go for a ride.

  An old picture. Belle loved riding in the dink.

An old picture. Belle loved riding in the dink.