Join Date: Nov 2009
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Those are called quick hauls and I didn't think of that, but it's a great suggestion. Last one I had was $125, super cheap solution.
I've heard of people working on the bottom at low tide. You'd be hard pressed I would think to dry it up enough to paint the bottom though, at least according to the paint OEM specs.
As for jumping in, I hadn't looked at the OPs location. I'm from the south where we'd never give it a second thought, it's so routine here. But still, you're talking about two or three minutes in the water at most. If you have a decent wet suit you'd pull it off fine.
I thought bungs are emergency soft wood plugs. I've never heard the term applied to a valve, but I get the point. The OP didn't say it was one, but assuming that's true, they are not so bad to free up. Loosen the nut, as a previous posted suggested and tap tap tap.... You don't even need to take the nut off all the way. Of course you have to evaluate how hard to whack it. What will the support hold up to is a judgement call. Consider also backing up the valve itself with a second hammer. Place a heavy hammer against the valve housing and tap the nut (not the threads). The heavy hammer just adds weight to what would need to move before breaking the valve off.
Do the plastic ("marelon"?) valves get stuck? I wouldn't expect too much trouble from those.
But seriously, the best option is wait for the next haul or get yourself a quick haul. My last boat was plastic and the yard let me quick haul before a lunch break and I was able to drill out and replace all three thru-hull fittings all together.
Can you put a grease zerk on those valves? I don't know what the seating surface is like. Exercise is the answer though for sure.
As for gate style valves (we actually use globe valves for thru-hulls, but the same general arrangement), the benefits are clear enough to marine engineers and regulators (designers, American Bureau of Shipping, Coast Guard, etc.) to require them in certified or inspected vessels, whereas their detractor(s?) hasn't offered a single disadvantage. Completely rebuildable, packable...
Remember that it would take a long time to sink a boat while working on a valve. The main thing is you don't want it to fail while you're away or sleeping at anchor. How many folks reading have a bilge alarm? (here's a hint for you: make a cheap one by soldering a float switch into the TEST circuit on a $5 smoke detector).
Tempest's suggestion to leave well enough alone is probably the best advice, but I know I could never follow it myself. It would bug me too much to know it wasn't right. Nevertheless the smartest thing would be to lanyard a bung to the valve, make sure the hose attached to it is good, or consider installing another valve upstream from it in the hose. Messing with it could cascade into disaster.
Good luck again!