1989 204c overnighter cuddy cabin drain

seal2691

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Hello all, I have been doing research on the drain located in the cubby cabin of my overnighter. This was my first year with the boat and when I was winterizing I noticed what I thought was a little water in the drain. I ended up solving my bad smell in cabin because I syphioned 3 gallons of smelly water out of the hole. I can see anything on where the water is supposed to drain to or how to fix? If the drain goes to the port side through hull that sits about the water line I can see that through hull unless I take off the cabin door and wall so I can see through the access panel. I am so hesitant about cutting a hole in the bottom near the drain but not sure what else to do. Anyone thoughts on fixing this?Screenshot_20211120-164140_Gallery.jpg
 

Lt.Mike

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That’s way too low to drain overboard. That drains into the bilge.
I’d first verify you have no fuel or vapors leaking into the bilge area and with that done I’d put a strong shop vac hose to it to see if it pulls the probable clog back up. If that doesn’t do it a drain snake carefully run down it may work. If that doesn’t do it you might try a drain cleaner that uses natural enzymes but “nothing that has chemicals or acids”!
I have the same boat (1987 204C) and the drain tunnels from compartment to compartment along its centerline are only about 3/4” in diameter. Too easy for crud to block.
 
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seal2691

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That’s way too low to drain overboard. That drains into the bilge.
I’d first verify you have no fuel or vapors leaking into the bilge area and with that done I’d put a strong shop vac hose to it to see if it pulls the probable clog back up. If that doesn’t do it a drain snake carefully run down it may work. If that doesn’t do it you might try a drain cleaner that uses natural enzymes but “nothing that has chemicals or acids”!
I have the same boat (1987 204C) and the drain tunnels from compartment to compartment along its centerline are only about 3/4” in diameter. Too easy for crud to block.
Thank you, yes no fuel, I pulled the fuel hatch to replace fuel lined and all is dry and sealed.
 

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Adding on... the cabin bilge in many Grady's are actually lower than the aft (main) bilge. So it's not uncommon for a certain amount of water to stay in the cabin bilge when the boat is in the water or relatively level on the trailer. That could explain the water you siphoned out. Add a little bleach (a few capfuls is all you need) and some more water down that hole and let it slosh around for a while.

Next, it's possible that the drain tube that goes through the bulkhead between the fuel tank and aft bilge actually has a rubber stopper in it - you never know what a previous owner has done! Check for that, first.

Now, since it sounds like you're on a trailer, jack up the bow really high. Pour some water into that hole and observe the aft bilge - if nothing is clogged, you should see water show up. Then you go ahead and level the trailer again and "de-smell" the forward bilge with bleach or whatever you choose, then put the bow high again and rinse.
 
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seal2691

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Thank you very much, yes I plug the plug that sealed off the fuel compartment when I was search were the drain actually went and drained too. On my way to buy a snake and see what happens
 

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yes I plug the plug that sealed off the fuel compartment when I was search were the drain actually went and drained too.
Huh? Does this mean you already jacked the bow up really high to check for drainage?

FYI, in case you didn't realize it, you won't be able to run the snake from the cabin... that's just a simple hole that lets water drop into the bilge.

I'm surprised there's no access plate in the floor. My Offshore has a plate to access the cabin bilge pump. Does this model not have a cabin bilge pump? I'd be very tempted to install a simple access plate - it would certainly help in situations like this.
 

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I would be very careful using a snake in 30 year old rubber hose, especially if it is the spiral ribbed bilge hose, which may catch the tip of the snake. You should be able to tell if it is smooth or ribbed by using a long screw driver, or a piece of wire coat hanger, with a short 90* bend on the end, to feel below the connection.
Have you tried filling it back up with water and using a small sink plunger, or just a little pressure from the hose?
Dennis, I was curious about what was underneath, too, a hole or a hose? 3 gallons of water would fill a hose all the way to the transom. OP said siphoned, but I think he meant sucked, because I can't see where he could get the discharge below the water level to create a siphon.
 
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trapper

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seal, have a 208 that holds water in the same place and to keep the bilge area clear I have put a 6 inch hole /hatch with cover ahead if the drain hole so I can get the wand on my power washer down there to keep the bilgy runway clean. My first power wash blew all kinds of bit and pieces out . Now and then I park on a good slope (boat ramp) and let the bow clear itself, as the bilge stays clear.
 

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It wouldn't make sense for there to be a hose attached from that thru-hull fitting (drain fitting) in the floor, directly to the PVC drain pipe that runs under the fuel tank. If there was a hose, that would mean there was no way for standing water that got in the underfloor cabin compartment to drain... unless Grady added a second PVC drain pipe... which doesn't make sense when one will do the job. And, like Glacier mentioned, there's no way that 3 gallons would be "stored" in the PVC drain pipe.
 

seasick

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Those hulls as mentioned have a low spot forward of the fuel tank. Water will settle there. In some cases, water in the aft bilge will flow forward into the fwdbilge.
You won't be able to keep the forward bilge dry in normal operation but you can do a few things to help.
There probably is a drain tube that runs under the tank and aft. It does not connect to the drain you showed. It can get plugged but if it does you are not able to clear from the forward bilge. If your hull has a smallish deck lid in front of the motor well, that is where a fresh water tank would be if present. the drain tube under the tank starts there and runs to the fwd bilge area. If you pull that access lid and probably the water tank, you can snake forward. But before going through that, open an access plate to allow you to see into the rear bilge. Now fill a good amount of water into that forward drain and see if the water starts to fill the aft bilge. It may take a lot of water. If you do see water flowing, judge how fast it is flowing. If it is really slow, the drain tube is probably clogged. If water drains into the aft bilge in a reasonable time frame, that is normal. Note that if the boat is in the water or on land and level, not all the forward bilge area water will drain aft.
Assuming everything is as expected, every once in a while pour some water and soap or even some bilge cleaner into the forward drain to 'rinse' the bilge. That will help with the smell.
 

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Make sure you raise your lower unit before you jack the front of your trailer as high as you can. Any plug in the drain is most likely from junk flowing from front to back, so if I could access the tubes in the rear, I would try to blow them out towards the front with a water hose. Does anyone know for sure that the '89's had drain tubes, and not just limber holes in the bulkheads?
 

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Huh? Does this mean you already jacked the bow up really high to check for drainage?

FYI, in case you didn't realize it, you won't be able to run the snake from the cabin... that's just a simple hole that lets water drop into the bilge.

I'm surprised there's no access plate in the floor. My Offshore has a plate to access the cabin bilge pump. Does this model not have a cabin bilge pump? I'd be very tempted to install a simple access plate - it would certainly help in situations like this.
No, I have not jacked up yet, doing that tomorrow because I am getting some 4x4 just for safety and have to put battery back in to tilt the engine up. Yes the drain hole just goes to a sealed cavity in bilge. I stick a snake down there and could here it just flopping around, very surprised there is no access hole or bilge pump. I checkef the bucket I used and it was close to 4 gallon I sucked out. Thank you for all your help, I don't want water freezing in there over winter
 

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OK, so... on the assumption (for now), that jacking the trailer up high enough will allow you to "prove" that the drain pathway is clear, you can dump a half gallon of non-tox AF in that hole and then watch/verify that it comes out into the main bilge... or, really, just look to see that it comes out the garboard drain plug. If that happens, you're good.
 

seasick

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That space definitely has a path to drain to the rear. It may be clogged but there is either a tube ( my 2001 hull has a tube) or just slots to allow water to drain past the gas tank. What yo see may be normal. My hull also holds several gallons of water in the fwd bilge area. That drain hole yo are sticking the snake into is just a bushing. There are no hoses attached to it. If you want to check for a drain tubs, get a borescope, a camera on a flexible fiber optic cable. There are ones that are pretty inexpensive that use a wireless link to communicate to an app on a phone or a tablet. They come in various lengths. 10 feet or so is all you need to scope that space.
Here is an example of one
 
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Lt.Mike

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Adding on... the cabin bilge in many Grady's are actually lower than the aft (main) bilge. So it's no uncommon for a certain amount of water to stay in the cabin bilge when the boat is in the water or relatively level on the trailer.
Now, since it sounds like you're on a trailer, jack up the bow really high.
This makes perfect sense as when stored at home I crank my trailer jack all the up in its body before disconnecting it from the hitch then block it as close to the jack’s base as I can. I then jack it up off the hitch and get that nose up high. I usually get some additional amount of water out of the drain when I do this.