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  #1  
Old 02-19-2008
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tapered plugs

I have a question that Im sure has such an obvious answer that I dont see it. I bought this package of wooden tapered plugs because it is recommended that one be attached to each seacock. Do I size the plug for a hose failure and why would I use a plug and not just reach down and close the seacock which seems simpler and better. Or is it sized to the thru hull in case the whole seacock comes off? Now that would be a real challenge. Or maybe the plugs are for the seacocks which are cant be closed. Hence, not a seacock and is there supposed to be such a thing?
I can see having the plugs on board but why attach one to each seacock?
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Old 02-19-2008
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The tapered plugs are for a seacock failure, not for the hose. Size each plug for the seacock it is to be used for.
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Old 02-19-2008
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Free is correct, if you have a hose failure just close the seacock. The conventional wisdom is to attach them to the seacock so they are handy if needed. I don't agree with that. They are supposed to swell to provide a seal. If they are in an environment where they will get wet before you use them then they will already have swelled before you insert it and be of little value.
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I guess that's my question. What is seacock "failure"? Which part fails? It would have to be more than a weeping seacock. Do you mean the casting breaks where the hose attaches? Or the seacock wont close and something is seriously leaking downstream and so I yank off the hose and jamb in a plug at the hose outlet. That cant it as I would surely try to plug the hose, not the seacock. What is the anticpated scenario so I can size the plug?
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Old 02-19-2008
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I agree with TE...I keep my plastic bag with plugs in a VERY accessible spot rather than chance them getting wet and swelling or rotting over time. They are for broken seacocks ...not broken hoses.
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scosch,
What I did with my last boat, which had 12 bronze through-hulls, was keep several stashes of tapered wood plugs - of various sizes, throughout the boat.

These plugs were stored above the sole in lockers - adjacent to the removable panels accessing the valves. If a failure occurred, and thank goodness I've never had to use them, having several sizes to choose from enabled choosing the right size plug to fit into whatever size orifice happened to be spurting sea water.
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One scenario that was not mentioned, is the possibility of a handle inadvertantly breaking off a seacock. This of course, in the event of a hose rupture, prevents the valve from being closed. The hose would then be plugged instead of the through-hull fitting.
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Old 02-19-2008
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Guys (and all 3 Gals on this site):
Don't forget the mallet to go with the plugs. I keep one bag in each hull, with a mallet (2 pound, rubber) in the bag). Also put swimmers goggles in the bag:

When I went to submarine school we had to go through a trainer they called the 'DixieCup' - a large simulation of a engineering space on a ship/submarine that had programmable leaks, busting pipes etc...it flooded using water from the Thames river in New London. I had the misfortune of attending in winter.

Bare hands, cold water coming in with force. A one inch hole 4 feet below the water line puts in about 40 gallons a minute - 8 times a typical household faucet. Without the goggles you can't see crap, without the hammer/mallet all you can do is hold the plug in place. The swelling isn't immediate it takes time.

The also sell a couple of emergency sponges that are epoxy soaked and activate when soaked - becoming a plug in seconds. I haven't got any yet but intend to.
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I also read recently that toilet bowl waxes from your local hardware store provided good sealing capability. Anybody ever try that?
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chuckles,
Your story reminds me of one of the Advanced Scuba classes I took. We had to descend to 130 feet (U-853 dive), then at the bottom in a mock-up situation, unlock, remove and resecure a combination lock - in 5 feet visibility and 38F sea water.

Being UW at that depth is comparable to having a few martinis - I suppose a valid test for a sailor with a blown seacock as well. (g)
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