AE28 cockpit swamping thoughts and cautions….

A number of San Francisco Bay AE28 sailors have had experiences of taking green water into their cockpits…and ending up with dangerous amounts of water in the bilge/cabin. The boat has a large cockpit…and small cockpit drains. We acknowledge the AE28 is a daysailer and not an offshore/coastal cruising design. This said, we want to be as safe as we can be.

Our fleet spoke of keeping washboards in place, or at least a half height option… pinned or otherwise secured in place, if possible. Check bilge pump (automatic and manual) intake strainers. Test run all pumps regularly.

One easy and important modification is to seal the after cockpit bulkhead. Behind that 1/4” bulkhead is open space, allowing water to run into the cavity under the cockpit sole and directly into the bilge/cabin.

McMaster Carr sells a continuous gasket that works well to mechanically seal the gap between the bulkhead and the cockpit sole/hull. Part number 1120A312. See the attached diagram.