Greasing Tapered Valve Thru Hulls In the Water - SailNet Community

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Old 12-05-2009
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Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast
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Greasing Tapered Valve Thru Hulls In the Water


As I am on the Mississippi Gulf Coast that currently has a shortage of boat yards (the 2 that are near me are a 2 day sail away) and I really felt the need to work the tapered valves that had long been ignored by a previous owner, I developed the following method for greasing my tapered valve thru hulls while in the water:

(1) Locate 2 kids toy foam balls. These are small foam balls about the size of a tennis ball or those balls you buy to develop hand strength. (That was what I was looking for when I found a pack of 4 of these foam balls in the toy section at Walmart).

(2) Take the balls to the boat and compare them to the tapered valve body. They need to be slightly bigger than the valve hole that goes through the valve body as you are going to stuff them into the body of the valve to block out seawater.

(3) Using the appropriate wrenches, undo the locking nut and rotating nut and remove them and the washer from the end of the valve. Leave the tapered valve in place.

(4) Get two balls ready and a shock-cord sail tie. (A velcro strap could also be used.)

(5) Push the tapered valve out and push in the balls. Secure the balls with the shock-cord sail tie.

(6) Yes, water will gush out during the above step, just be quick. As soon as you plug both ends of the valve body with the balls, the water will stop. Also, you can put the valve back in at any time to stop the water flow, too. Note: for a Pearson 26, this thru hull is only a foot or so below the waterline, so the gushing is not very forceful.

(7) Now clean and grease your valve. Emery paper is used by some. I just use cleaning rags and a cleaner (simple green) and a screwdriver for knocking out the barnacles inside the valve and then liberally use marine trailer hub grease. I also keep a small bucket with water for rinsing out the valve/barnacle debris. (You might also want to keep some hand cleaner and rags near by for cleaning the grease from your hands.)

(8) When finished cleaning and greasing the valve, pop the balls out and replace the tapered valve. Yes, some more gushing will occur, just be quick.

(9) Replace the end washer and then tighten the nuts holding the valve in place (washer first, rotating nut second and then lock nut). The valve should "just" turn manually, not be too tight. I tighten it slowly till the valve begins to stick and not turn and then back off to where it turns with a little pressure using a wrench. Be sure to use the lock nut to lock the rotating nut at a point where the valve is just as tight as you want it. You want to be able to turn the valve without much force using a wrench. You will need two thin wrenches to do this as these wrenches must be no thicker than the width of each of the two nuts as the wrenches have to work side by side to lock these nuts together.

Picture attached (It shows the 2 blue foam balls shoved into the ends of the tapered valve body and held in place by a black shock-cord sail tie. The parts of tapered valve are also shown (valve, end washer, rotating nut, and lock nut).
Attached Thumbnails
Greasing Tapered Valve Thru Hulls In the Water-plugvalve.jpg  

Last edited by ebrda72; 12-05-2009 at 05:22 PM.
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