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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 07-02-2006
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stuck seacocks

One problem the surveyor found in the 29.9 I'm buying is that some of the seacocks are seized up. These are bronze doohickies with sliding cones. Can a stuck seacock be freed while while the boat is in the water without risk of the seacock coming apart?
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Old 07-03-2006
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If they are seized, you will probably have to pull the boat to replace them. I don't know if it is worth trying to free them, as they may also have corrosion problems as well. Check the material by scraping it and seeing what color it is. If the metal is pinkish, that may mean that the zinc has leached out of the alloy, leaving it relatively weak.
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Old 07-03-2006
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You can try the following while in the water.
Borrow a couple of large electric kettles.
Fill them up and let them boil.
Pour the Water down the drain, cockpit scupper or where ever you have your stuck seacock. Refill the kettles and do it again. Then once more. Now take a rubber headed mallot and bang on the seacock handle with repeated soft to medium hard blows. Chances are it will move. When it does work it back and forth until it is nice and loose again. Then greese it and you are done.

This works because heat rises.
The hotest water stays in the pipe you pour it into and the heat is absorbed by the bronze of the seacock causing it to expand. This often causes the parts to unseize. This works best for bronze seacocks, but can also be useful for marlon and others.

Todd
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Old 07-03-2006
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Can someone explain how you grease a seacock while the boat is in the water? I have always taken the seacock apart while the boat is on land, and then greasing it, but now have a boat that stays in the water year round. How can I maintain the seacocks properly without hauling? (I know I need to haul the boat periodically to re-do bottom paint and other maintenance, but want to do whatever I can while the boat is still in the water).
Thanks,
Frank.
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Old 07-03-2006
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I'd like to know too.

BTW, the surveyor discovered that the handles are missing from some of the seacocks in the boat I just bought. (I haven't been able to look since then because I won't have access till the check clears.) What's the best substitute?
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Old 07-04-2006
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Hi All,

If you're lucky enough to have proper bronze tapered sea cocks fitted to your boat (or to your putative boat. as it may be) don't try to re-fit them with the boat still in the water.

Once out of the water, you can back off the locknut and adjusting nut with the right sized spanner (or a carefully adjusted monkey-wrench (as opposed to a pair of mole-grips)) and tap the end of the thread to loosen the barrel in its sleeve, before tapping the handle to break the torsional seal and withdrawing the barrel.

Once withdrawn, inspect the barrel for "coppering" - see Sailingdog's post above -and if it looks ok, polish it and the inside of the seacock's bore with fine wet-and-dry sandpaper.

refit the barrel in its sleeve with petroleum jelly (vaseline) or a similar high-density grease - anti-corrosive greases are available - and re-tighten the packing flange and locknut. the handle should be stiff to move, but not excessively awkward (I speak as a 200lb male, so for lighter builds, it should be moveable with a box-spanner over the handle and leverage of about 8-10 inches. Protect your knuckles with cotton working gloves (or similar) or you will surely bark them!).

Shut the valve, and upon relaunching, whip around the through-hull fittings and make sure they're not leaking. Any which are, tighten, and for those which aren't and are stiff, loosen the lock and backing nuts 1/8 turn before re-locking and trying again.

Finally, if you're replacing through-hull fittings, don't even dream of usinf plastic fittings, they're far too easy to break accidentally - and don't use ball valve fittings, the spigot that turns them can snap off in the ball meaning you can't shut them off.\

Employ the tried-and-true transverse tapered cone fittings (Groco) or the old-fashioned-but-still-effective in-line tapered cone fittings which can be re-ground and re-fitted in situ. they sometimes leak (a very little, and mine are 30 years old) but they abide by the KISS principle, and can be refitted at sea. By banging a bung in the hole from overboard!

see also: http://www.swainsons.com/gallery/dis...?album=5&pos=7 - for a sorry looking vale with handle pointing directly upwards (ie in the open position)

best,

Matt
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oh.. and opolgies for the smelling nistakes!
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Old 07-04-2006
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BTW, anhydrous lanolin or Lanocote works quite well on seacocks, and is almost impossible to wash off..
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 07-05-2006
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Not sure what you mean by "re-fit" here. Somebody in the Bristol Yahoo group said she freed a stuck seacock while her boat was afloat by tapping with a mallet after applying Liquid Wrench. Would it be too risky to try that or the boiling-water method while the boat is in the water? Do I understand you correctly that it's OK to loosen the nuts by 1/8 turn without hauling the boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Eagle
If you're lucky enough to have proper bronze tapered sea cocks fitted to your boat (or to your putative boat. as it may be) don't try to re-fit them with the boat still in the water. Once out of the water, you can back off the locknut and adjusting nut with the right sized spanner (or a carefully adjusted monkey-wrench (as opposed to a pair of mole-grips)) and tap the end of the thread to loosen the barrel in its sleeve, before tapping the handle to break the torsional seal and withdrawing the barrel.
Shut the valve, and upon relaunching, whip around the through-hull fittings and make sure they're not leaking. Any which are, tighten, and for those which aren't and are stiff, loosen the lock and backing nuts 1/8 turn before re-locking and trying again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Eagle
Employ the tried-and-true transverse tapered cone fittings (Groco) or the old-fashioned-but-still-effective in-line tapered cone fittings which can be re-ground and re-fitted in situ. they sometimes leak (a very little, and mine are 30 years old) but they abide by the KISS principle, and can be refitted at sea. By banging a bung in the hole from overboard!
Holy cow, you mean those tapered wooden plugs won't hold unless they're hammered in from the outside?! Yikes!
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Old 07-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wumhenry
Holy cow, you mean those tapered wooden plugs won't hold unless they're hammered in from the outside?! Yikes!
That's why the plugs are supposed to have a hole drilled through the fattest section and a piece of line attached to them. So you can tie them into place until they absorb enough water and swell up. Needless to say, the plugs need to be kept bone-dry until used.
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Telstar 28
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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