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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-15-2009
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Water...will find a way.

So, over the off-season, I worked many hours on our new boat, doing all the fun maintenance chores to ensure they were done, and done right (I hope!)

As the boat had a number of minor leaks, obvious from the water in the bilge and streaks down the hull in a few places, I went through the entire boat & tightened all the hull to deck joint bolts. Also rebedded the deck hardware, replaced portlight gaskets, seacock hoses & hose clamps, replaced stuffing box with a PSS Dripless Shaft Seal, and on and on...oh, and reconditioned all seacocks.

Well, at least I thought I did. After lauch a couple weeks ago, I noticed...AGH!...water in the bilge. Traced it to 3 out of the 7 seacocks leaking around the valve seam where the tapered cone fits into the body.

Nothing serious, but annoying. I've decided to wait for haulout to attempt a repair, which I understand might be done with a valve compound to buff out any small dings that are preventing a good seal

So...how much luck have people had with this process, if any?

The boat is a 1988 Sabre 30...good marine seacocks mounted right...but, leaking...and I understand this is not uncommon with these.

Other than that, she, so far, has been water tight!
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Old 06-19-2009
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I guess the question here is - what exactly do you mean by "reconditioned all the seacocks"?? My approach to this would be to remove the tapered plugs, clean thoroughly, grease and then reassemble. I have never experienced a properly maintained seacock leaking . Does tightening the tapered plug have no effect?

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Old 06-19-2009
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We recently successfully serviced all our tapered plug seacocks, as described by Leither (rhymes with teether)... the problem with tightening the gland is that the valves can become very hard to operate. But as a stopgap measure it may be worth a shot.
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Old 06-19-2009
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Thanks for the reply...

Yeah, that's exactly what I did. Disassembled, cleaned, regreased and re-installed the cone. Tightening the nuts does not seem to help...just makes it harder to close. A couple close easily, and don't leak.

I read that this is not uncommon...and they should not require such effort to move (i.e. should open and close fairly easily, and not leak.)

Read that it's possible to use a valve compound to carefully "polish" the interiors and the cone to remove any pitting or scratches that might be letting water by.

I was wondering if anyone has tried this, and what the results were.

Thanks!
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Old 06-19-2009
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Did you put the same parts back together??

If you try the valve compound use the fine stuff.
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Old 06-19-2009
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There is also some issue of NPT threaded ball valves mating to NPS threaded thru-hulls

Some manufacturers apparently just screw them together even though you do not get too many threads to catch. Probably not your problem, but make double sure it is the valve that is leaking and not the joint between the valve and the through hull.

I have had good luck with using a dry erase pen to find leaks. You mark in likely places. The water drips make easy to see tracks in the lines you drew.

Seacock & Thru-Hull Primer/Pre Information Photo Gallery by Maine Sailing at pbase.com

This is a Flanged Adapter Plate
This is a relatively new item in seacock technology. It allows the use of an NPT threaded ball valve on the top and a NPS threaded thru-hull then threads into the bottom.

As far as I know these are currently only made by Groco. The benefit is that even if the valve wears out you simply thread a new one onto the flange. This avoids a very time consuming job of removing the thru-hull, thru-bolts and seacock and then having to re-install these parts and fair over the bolt holes.

Last edited by davidpm; 06-19-2009 at 10:30 PM.
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