SailNet Community - View Single Post - Choosing Hoses
Thread: Choosing Hoses
View Single Post
post #1 of Old 03-27-2002 Thread Starter
Tom Wood
Contributing Authors
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 266
Thanks: 0
Thanked 12 Times in 8 Posts
Rep Power: 18
Choosing Hoses

I am replacing all the hoses on board—fuel, water, propane, and exhaust. Should I use rigid PVC pipe with short hose connections to give flexibility at the joints, or should the entire boat be done in the appropriate hoses?

Tom Wood responds:
There are few places on a boat where PVC is appropriate—notably for potable water, possibly for some seawater connections, but never, ever for such things as LPG (propane), fuel, or engine exhaust.

PVC is a semi-rigid thermoplastic, which means that it softens with heat, so certainly it would not make a good choice wherever high temperatures are involved. Being a petroleum-based product, it is not good at long-term immersion in oil-based products such as diesel fuel or LPG. But its main drawback on a boat is that it is subject to fatigue due to vibration, especially at any joints.

Even if it were an ideal product for use on board, the long, semi-flexible pieces of pipe are hard to work into the confines of a boat. Passing hose under bunks, through misaligned holes in the bulkheads, and around tight bends is enough of a chore using flexible hose. With PVC, it would be a major nightmare involving lots of short pieces with numerous hose joints, each one presenting a potential future leak.

I think I would stick with the proper hose for each application. And considering the work involved, I would buy the best quality hose, always matched to the fluid it will carry—it's a little more expensive, but always lasts a good deal longer.

Check out the Marine Hose Buying Guide in the SailNet Store, which will give you all the information you need to select the appropriate marine-grade hoses for the different systems as well as useful tips and installation directions. Good luck to you.

Tom Wood is offline  
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome