A US supplier of marine parts has found considerable demand for Vesconite T-handle and flatter stern screw-in drain plugs for a particular brand of wake surfing boats built between 2006 and 2014.
The original drain plugs were made of brass and also had a brass base. They were found to corrode due to galvanic corrosion, a process through which one metal corrodes preferentially when two metals are in contact with each other. They were also found to be hard to remove and required greasing of the thread, which is not ideal due to environmental concerns about lubrication in a marine environment.
Users have now looked elsewhere. Brass, stainless steel and aluminium are all available. Different sizes and shapes are also obtainable, particularly among the T-handle plug offering.
However, many of users continue to face difficulties with their drain plugs, and have chosen Vesconite replacements, which are made of a polymer that does not swell, does not require lubrication, is resistant to the effect of ultraviolet light and remains unaffected by sea water.
The Vesconite T-handle plugs and stern plugs have been a long-standing order from the US marine-part supplier for ten years, and thousands of units are now employed in trailered boats globally.
The correct insertion, proper tightening and sealing of a drain plug is essential to making a boating safe.
The removal of boat plugs is also an important way of ensuring the stored boats do not fill with water. Moreover, plug removal after boating is also vital to ensure that aquatic invasive species are not spread from one water body to another water body, which is a serious concern in many parts of the world, including in the US.
Vesconite Bearings, the maker of the marine drain plugs, believes that custom and OEM boatbuilders understand the importance of details, even down to the drain plug. A quality fitting—especially one that is used so often with trailered boats—reflects highly on the brand.
“Vesconite has 10 times the wear life of traditional bronze,” says Vesconite Bearings marine representative Sharon Mc Ardle.
“This is an important feature as the polymer is unlikely to abrade and will not corrode, and ultimately begin to leak.”
The polymer that makes up the drain plugs is available in the US in custom precision-machined, ready-to-use parts or as raw stock.