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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Slow drip in seacock - to haul or not

If this thru-hull is below the water line, it would gnaw at me all season. What if I'm wrong, what if it lets go when I'm not there. Most major problems are born from ignored minor problems (this is a fact). There are no bilge pumps that can keep up with a fully broken thru hull.

I agree that the odds are pretty low, but I do hope to win the actual lottery when I play. Someone does.

Swapping it out would be very quick, if you decide to go that route. Unless, of course, you try to make it complicated by changing sizes or styles that require adhering a backing plate. You could do a quick haul on a Saturday and stay in the slings to be splashed on Mon. Use the opportunity to clean your hull or change zincs when she's ready too.

Not saying you must, just giving my reaction.
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Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Slow drip in seacock - to haul or not

I would not be concerned about a slow drip in a tapered bronze seacock. Especially one that has been greased and moves easily. These things are very tough and can be kept serviceable for many years. Here's Mainsail's excellent tutorial on how to take this on.

Servicing Tapered Cone Seacocks Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
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Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Slow drip in seacock - to haul or not

#1 Spartan Seacocks are a nearly "life of the vessel" product. They can last nearly indefinitely IF PROPERLY MAINTAINED.. I would strongly advise against replacing these seacocks. You have some of the best & longest lasting seacocks ever built...

#2 They likely just need a clean and grease or at worst a clean, lap fit and grease.

#3 The PROPER GREASE needs to be used. People often try to save a penny or two and opt for a grease other than the specially formulated Spartan Grease. This grease is the consistency of cold peanut butter and works better than any other grease for this application.

#4 A plug inserted from outside the vessel to stem the flow can be used while you re-grease the cone. I would not "lap-fit" in the water as it can be tough to flush all the valve grinding compound out of the valve once you are done. No valve grinding compound can remain anywhere on the valve or cone after lap-fitting.

#5 DO NOT over-tighten after greasing. People always tend to make this mistake. They only need to be tight enough so the handle does not flop closed under its own weight.

#6 If you service these yearly with the correct products they can easily last well beyond 40+ years of service. I have plenty of customers with tapered cone seacocks well beyond 40 years and they are still working like new....

#7 These are the "officially sanctioned" on-line instructions for servicing Spartan tapered cone seacocks.. Servicing Tapered Cone Seacocks

#8 If you service these annually or at least bi-annually they will give you a very, very long life...

#9 Call Paul at Spartan Bronze and order some grease, a spanner wrench and some valve grinding compound, then enjoy your seacocks for another 30+ years.... Oh, he can also sell you a new handle..
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 07-01-2013 at 09:30 AM.
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Re: Slow drip in seacock - to haul or not

In a worst case scenario, the diving service I use told me that they do replace through hulls without hauling.....it involves the use of an old style toilet plunger. I wouldn't want to watch.
Just another option to look into, but your situation appears pretty benign.
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Re: Slow drip in seacock - to haul or not

Thanks for the advice, everyone.

I did call Spartan (and believe it was Paul I spoke to). Great guy - spent a lot of time answering my questions. He said it sounds like it needs to be lapped, and not to put more grease in it. We can't lap it without hauling, but based on the frequency of the drip we can wait. We've ordered the maintenance kit from Spartan, and now the question will be whether we can live with the uncertainty. It's $325 to haul the boat, so we're going to try to get comfortable with the drip!

Fortunately we'll be at the boat twice this week because of the holiday, so that will give us an extra chance to check it out and make sure the drip isn't getting any faster. Sigh. I can't wait until I'm an old salt so boat issues will stop causing me such anxiety.
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Re: Slow drip in seacock - to haul or not

Good that you found a professional read on your specific seacock. That would make me feel a bit better. Still, drips that aren't threatening your buoyancy will still have odor issues.

As far as the quick haul cost, do you have a diver clean your hull or change zincs? Cleaning usually included with the haul, or at the least, you can do it yourself in the slings.

That cost also seems a bit high for your boat. Is that a haul with blocks and stands and relaunch or just hanging in the slings overnight, where you might do the thru-hull work yourself.
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