Clogged seacock...please help! - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-26-2009 Thread Starter
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Question Clogged seacock...please help!

Okay...I'm a sailor on a budget, so please, any answers short of hauling the boat out would be great. Back in August, I ran Honu up onto an oyster bar (my friends call me Captain Runaground). After finally getting the boat off of the bar, I noticed that no water was coming out of the exhaust. After some time, I finally found that the seacock is clogged (I discovered this by disconnecting the hose, and opening the valve... no water). Please bear in mind that this is the seacock for my raw water cooling system, and that the nearest marina capable of hauling my boat out of the water is an eleven hour sail from the dock. I've been under the boat with a screwdriver (and dive gear) and the block seems to be inside the boat. Any ideas?
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-26-2009
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We need a little bit more Info!!!! is the engine overheating? is it rawwater intake you are speaking of? is the strainer clear? what type of valve ball or gate? Have you tried the screwdriver from inside with hose removed?

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post #3 of 15 Old 01-26-2009
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You disconnected the hose at the seacock, opened the valve, and no water came gushing in?

Pull the hose again, open the seacock and poke down in with the screwdriver. When you get a gusher, close the seacock!

Does this thru-hull have a scoop outside the hull? You might have packed mud into the scoop.

If you get the gusher from inside, you might go under the boat and block the thru-hull with a toilet plunger so you can poke at the stuff inside the thu-hull without a big gusher. You'll probably have to do that several times to clear out the stuff. You could attach a short hose to the seacock that ends just above the waterline so you can poke something long down into the seacock once you've figured that is the problem
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-26-2009
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I have a K-mart socket wrench with a round knurled handle that is just the right size to clear the raw water intake from inside, also had a blockage that I needed to clear quickly and found my "new" hard chrome steel 'seacock sealife removal tool' in the toolbag.
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-26-2009
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Compressed air?

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post #6 of 15 Old 01-26-2009 Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! To answer your questions, it is the raw water intake, and yes the engine is overheating. I'll try your suggestions, please feel free to post any others that occur to you. Thanks again.
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-27-2009
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Open the seacock and poke it through with a screwdriver. Unless it's full of concrete, it really will clear and you will get blasted up the face with water.

Sometimes a plastic bag is over the intake, so it seems to clear then the bag seals over it again. I have had it happen once and it cleared when I shut the seacock then ran a big brush down the hull to sweep it away.

Whatever you do, DO NOT attempt to clear the blockage with the engine running and hot. It is not a risk if the motor is cold. If the motor is hot and the blockage suddenly clears, cold water will come racing into the hot motor parts and.... ssssccccrrrraaaaaccccckkkkkk!
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Last edited by Rockter; 01-27-2009 at 06:25 AM.
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-16-2009
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Hello,

not sure if it is proper etiquette do jump into this thread with my question,
but as the thread is new and my problem similar, I thought it to be OK.
Otherwise, please let me know.

The similar problem is this:

My boat is in a docked in a brackwater channel. This Sunday I happened again that the engine started fine, water was splashing out of the exhaust nicely. I motored into the river (5 minutes), throttled up and and few minutes later, I realized that the splashing had nearly stopped, and the engine temperature was rising.
I throttled back and it was getting better. I limbed back home, dove under the boat and found plant residue stuffed/sucked into the raw intake seacock.
In contrast to this lowcountryking, I could clean it out easily with a plastic stick.

My question: Any idea how I can prevent this without diving under the boat each time before I start and check ? And even that would not be foolproof, as some plant debris could float by JUST the moment I start the engine.

Are there any sieves or protector devices used to prevent this ?
The boat is a Catalina 30 / 1985 with a wing keel

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post #9 of 15 Old 03-16-2009
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Higgins,

by dumping the strainer/scoop on the outside of the boat and installing a large strainer on the inside of the boat, you can see any plant matter in the strainer and clean it out while on the water.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-16-2009
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thanks svthefilthywhore

I don't have any strainer or scoop on the outside.
All my "inlets/outlets" are nearly flush on the outside and maybe
1/2 inch wide. (seacocks are all "plastic")

I have a strainer on the inside, size a little bit bigger than an oilfilter,
a clear container with a round metal sieve inside.

But it was clean before I started, had only a tiny bit of debris after I checked it back on the dock, but the "hole" was stuffed from the outside by some black rodden peace of reed.
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