If you’re like many boatowners, you’ll only learn that the hoses connecting your cockpit drains to the transom through-hulls have failed when you see your floorboards afloat. The hoses most often fail over the winter when the freezing cold helps crack them open, and it always seems to happen during particularly windy winters when your cover rips or shifts out of position so as to allow rain and snow into the cockpit. You may also have a keelstepped mast that likes to funnel water into your bilge during winter rain storms, regardless of how secure your cover is.
My O’Day 31 has twice been flooded like this over the winter, and both times removing the freezing cold water from the bilge was a nightmare. After the second time, it dawned on me that an easy solution would be to just leave the impeller assembly for my knot log out of its hole for the winter. This way any water that accumulates in the bilge can drain right out. I ran the idea by my yard crew, and they said they recommend the practice. I also decided to put a plastic pot-scrubber ball into the hole to keep critters out. So far the system seems foolproof—although I still make sure to check my cover periodically.