Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Bremerton, Washington
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Drains, valves, and seacocks: weighing the alternatives
As I posted in another thread, my recently purchased 1981 Spirit 28 does not have any sort of isolation valves for the cockpit drains (which are below the water line) nor the bilge pump overboards (which are not). The hoses are connected to 1-1/2" barb-type through-hulls, which appear to be Marelon.
While the bilge pump hoses appear sound, the cockpit drain hoses are pretty sketchy - thin wall wire reinforced, with plastic "cuffs" (look like vacuum cleaner hoses). One is also a little short, so it's slightly skewed on the barb (although it is double clamped, and doesn't leak).
Ideally, I would like to replace all the through-hulls with proper seacocks. However, I don't plan to haul out until spring at the earliest. But I'm nervous about those drain hoses, so I don't want to leave it as is for any longer than necessary.
I've modified a plumbing pressure test plug to fit security in the outside of the through-hull, so I can make some minor modifications in the water. Here are the options I can see:
1. Replace the cockpit drain hoses with better quality, correctly sized replacements, and then install seacocks at next haulout. This would be the cheapest and easiest (at least in the short term), but would still leave the drains vulnerable to a hose failure (freezing, for example) in the meantime, and with no way to isolate drains or bilge discharge in case of a calamity.
2. As a temporary measure, install Marelon ball valves on the existing through-hulls (I would need to cut off the barb section of the through-hull, but there appears to be plenty of threads available). But ball valves are plenty expensive (over $100 each - almost as much as seacocks), so I'm reluctant to make that investment, only to replace them with seacocks in 6 months.
3. Install the ball valves as described above, but as a permanent fix. If I went with this option, I would trim the through-hull such that the valve is snug against the retaining ring, which would somewhat reduce the likelihood of snapping off the assembly.
Thoughts or suggestions?
Last edited by Rusty123; 10-31-2012 at 07:00 PM.