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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 02-03-2003
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Seacocks and Thruhulls

When should seacocks/thru hulls be replaced? I''ve seen and read a lot that basically says "when they are corroded and/or leaking, etc.", but that''s not really that helpful.

The brass seacocks/thruhulls on my boat are 20 years old. They look fine. The seacock handles are rusting - but I suppose I can replace those. The ball valves all work - some are a bit harder to work than others but I think all they need is a good greasing.

I really don''t want to go tearing apart the thruhulls/seacocks if I don''t have to.

Anyone have any advise?

Thanks.
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Old 02-03-2003
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Seacocks and Thruhulls

I have the same question of my seacocks. Mine are working just fine too. They are generally not easy to get at and most have the very rigid black hose on them which is almost impossible to get off without ruining.
The servicing is easy once they are off.
I am wondering if there is something I can do to make it more easy to service them.
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Old 02-03-2003
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Seacocks and Thruhulls

Most older seacocks are bronze and not brass. (Although some oriental boats came with brass seacocks and those should have been replaced when new.) Bronze tapered plug type seacocks have a nearly infinite lifespan if maintained and not exposed to electrolysis. Proper maintenance requires lubrication with a waterproof grease at least annually and often with greater frequency. Most high quality seacocks have a removable screw on the side of the seacock that permits injecting lubricant onto the tappered plug and then by opening and closing the seacock lubing the surfaces. Some older seacocks actually had grease fittings.

It is a good idea to disassemble seacocks during haulouts to check the mating surfaces and clean out old grease and salt deposits. When a seacock starts to leak or stick, during haulout the surfaces can be carefully ''lapped'' with very fine valve polishing compound.

I am concerned when you say that the handles are starting to rust, that you do not have marine seacocks. There are non-marine plumbing components that use dissimilar metals that are totally unsuitable for marine use. Marine components normally would not have steel handles.


Jeff
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Old 02-03-2003
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Seacocks and Thruhulls

Ahoy, me mateys, finally a good question with a story to highlight me point. The first thing I did when I bought my boat was tear out all the fixtures stove, sinks , and wood that was not marine grade . The head was a pretty green color and the connection at the valve threaded onto the thruhull looked really scarry. I thought to gently cut the hose and then work on removing the head with out stressing the joint. However the second my hand came in contact with the hose the connection snapped and I''m watching the sea pour in without a single usefull tool or material to deal with it. Bildge pump didn''t work either. So I sticks me finger in the hole while I think how Ironic it was that I''d be going down with me ship on the first day.The point is maintain them replace them at YOUR convienence and for gods sake always keep the corks from your rum bottles handy. The Pirate of Pine Island
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Old 02-03-2003
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Seacocks and Thruhulls

If you wake up at three in the morning and follow the urge to drive down to the waterfront to make sure ole'' Betsy''s still floatin'', that may be a good sign that you need to do something about those things! Sounds like Jeff is right and your using regular old hardware store issue ball valves. If so, the time to change them went by long ago!

Pi
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Old 02-04-2003
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Seacocks and Thruhulls

My seacocks appear to work fine, the hose and clamps appear reasonably new,all of the thru-hulls have what appears to be a plywood backing ring and two of these appear to be mushy one appears to be seeping water but it is so slow that I am not sure if it is condensation dripping from the seacock or not. Should I pull the boat to replace these collars at this time?
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Old 02-04-2003
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Seacocks and Thruhulls

Carisea, the water could be coming in through the hole where the thru-hull comes in. Does not sound like an emergency ,but next time you haul you should probally remove and re-bed your thru-hull.-thomas
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Old 02-04-2003
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Seacocks and Thruhulls

Ahoy carisea, Re Read the Pitates message above. Then Test the through hull by tapping on it with a hammer. I water squirts into your face change your thruhulls. If water squirts to your knee hit through hull until water hits face and repeat step 1. The Pirate of Pine Island
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Old 02-04-2003
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Seacocks and Thruhulls

My mistatement Jeff - the seacocks ARE bronze and not brass (don''t know why I said brass).

Interesting observation about whether these are marine grade. I''m not sure who made these seacocks but they are the originals. Would a boat manufacturer use non-marine grade seacocks? I have an S-2, the cousin of Tiarra - high end production boat - seems unlikely they would skimp on such a key component.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-08-2003
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Seacocks and Thruhulls

The answer to your question is of course (YES). Boat manufacturers are notorius for doing stupid things like that,after all have you ever read a marine warranty contract, scary!
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