How do these seacocks look? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 53 Old 11-03-2014 Thread Starter
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How do these seacocks look?

Hello everyone,

I am a new member, but I have been lurking around here all summer. I just finished my first season as a keel boat owner, a new-to-me 1973 C27. I had a fun season and she sailed great with no real issues or failures.

The boat is now on the hard now so I am beginning to try to wrap my head around and prioritize repairs that I have in front of me. To that end, this will be the first of several of maintenance questions I would to like to get help with.

So onto my question:

I have read in various places that the original seacocks on an early model C27 are a disaster waiting to happen - that they will fail in some manner and sink the boat.

So is this true? If so, how will they fail and what are the early warning signs? Do these pictures of the seacocks below the sink show any sign of concern? What can you tell me about these in general?

Some more info: The gates are not seized as I have opened and closed them a few times, mostly leaving them closed. The water tank did have water in it, but I drained it and the tank and these lines have been winterized. I am only a day sailor and I frankly do not plan on using the fresh water system at all, and I probably will only use the ice box for dry storage.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 53 Old 11-03-2014
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Re: How do these seacocks look?

Those aren't even seacocks, they are gate valves. And they are rotten, unsafe gate valves at that.
Yep, I'd definitely put those in the category of a disaster waiting to happen.
Sorry, but it looks like you've got some replacing to do.

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post #3 of 53 Old 11-03-2014
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Re: How do these seacocks look?

My boat had the same sort of thing. I replaced it this spring before sailing. I posted a few pics here: Notes on a thru-hull replacement

I ended up spending over $600 to replace one thru-hull because I went with oversized bronze and had to buy some new tools. The actual work was pretty easy.

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post #4 of 53 Old 11-03-2014
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Re: How do these seacocks look?

1) As capta said, those aren't seacocks; in fact, they don't even look like they're bronze. They need to be replaced with either real seacocks, or marine ball valves (the latter being more common these days).

2) Your "thru-hull" also looks like a glassed-in pipe nipple; a common flaw (and potential disaster) in Catalinas, and many other boats of that vintage. That should also be replaced with a proper thru-hull.

3) Unless the other thru-hulls and seacocks on the boat have been replaced they are undoubtedly just as bad. I would replace the lot.

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post #5 of 53 Old 11-03-2014
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Re: How do these seacocks look?

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How do these seacocks look?
Scary!!

As others have said.. these ARE on your replacement list before you launch again.

Ron

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post #6 of 53 Old 11-03-2014
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Re: How do these seacocks look?

This was one of the very first "upgrades" I did during the off-season when I owned a Catalina 27 (my first "big" boat). Not a huge job, but you need to do it right, with new through-hulls and backing blocks, along with real sea-cocks.
The pipes that Catalina used back then for thru-hulls are not mechanically mounted to the hull at all, they are just held in by a cone of fiberglass.
Some useful info on this (and lots more) can be found at Replacing Thru-Hulls and Seacocks Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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post #7 of 53 Old 11-03-2014
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Re: How do these seacocks look?

Those are NOT seacocks. They are gatevalves that have no place on a boat. Get seacocks fitted or give up boating.
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post #8 of 53 Old 11-03-2014
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Re: How do these seacocks look?

If you ignore the advice given here, be sure to post and let us known how bad was the disaster or did you just sink the boat with no fatalities.
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post #9 of 53 Old 11-03-2014
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Re: How do these seacocks look?

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Originally Posted by Capt Len View Post
If you ignore the advice given here, be sure to post and let us known how bad was the disaster or did you just sink the boat with no fatalities.
Let's not get too carried away here. Those valves and pipe nipples could last for several more years --- or they could fail tomorrow (probably at the worst possible moment). Problem is, there really isn't any sure way to know which is more likely without taking everything apart, and at that point you might as well replace everything anyway.
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post #10 of 53 Old 11-04-2014
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Re: How do these seacocks look?

Agreed replace them they are not bronze and those are not thru hulls if you want flush smooth hull when closed look at shakewell valves

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