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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-04-2011
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Replacing seacoks + how to grind down old fiberglass around old gate valves.

I am working on replacing my original seacocks and through holes on my 1978 Catalina 27. I was able to get my water intake out and cleared no problem. The other two are gate valves that are a piece of copper tubing that runs flush with the exterior hull (pic included). As far as I can tell, there is no backing plate and they just built up fiberglass around the joint.

Would love to hear from any other catalina owners that have encountered this. I would also like to know what the best way to chip, sand or grind down the built up fiberglass so that I can start fresh from the hull. I have a pic or two below if that helps.

Nigel
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Old 04-04-2011
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Here are the pics

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Old 04-04-2011
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Angle grinder. but take your time, those things have a mind of their own.
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Old 04-04-2011
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I have a disk of 16 grit sandpaper that I use in an arbor on my drill. It should work if you don't have access to a grinder.

BTW- YOUR pic #1;


and YOUR pic #2;

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Old 04-04-2011
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Hard to tell but it looks like there might be a flange on the inside of the hull that was glassed over in the first pic. Take a die grinder or even a chisel and try to find the outer edge of the flange and either grind all the fiberglass away or cut a circle around it with a cut off wheel. You should then be able to twist the fitting to get it out (hopefully).

Edit: Based on the enlarged photos there might not be a flange at all. A die grinder bit (bullet shaped) works well in a drill if you don't have an actual grinder.
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Old 04-04-2011
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I removed one of these typical early Catalina volcano thruhulls from my C22 last year. I used a sawzall to cut the volcano horizontally near-flush at its base and then used the grinder to finish up. See footnote * below before proceeding.

Less grinding/mess that way.

I probably have a snapshot of the first cut somewhere if you're interested. I think I used a metal cutting blade in the sawzall.

* I can pretty much guarantee there's no flange either. Grasp the valve with a large crescent wrench and turn it - it will surprise you easily it turns free and you can then pull it up and out, valve, tube, and all. That's what I did based on the concerns I'd read about how dangerous that particular installation method was (prone to failure).
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Old 04-04-2011
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This was typical Catalina construction of the era. They basically glassed pipe nipples into the hull as thru-hulls. Nearly all of them have either leaked or been replaced for obvious reasons. A Fein Multi-Master or some of their knock offs like the Rockwell would do the job in no time flat as would and angle grinder. You do need to get the old nipple out though and that happens far to easily with a pipe wrench on the nipple...
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Old 04-04-2011
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Used an angle grinder on mine. Only took a few mins. It was tricky getting the nipple out.
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Old 04-04-2011
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Talking I used an oops Arbor for mine.

I used an angle grinder with a cutting wheel to cut the old gate valve off from the inside. Then used the sawsall to cut the wall of the nipple to the line of the fiberglass hull. (for the first one I took out) What a mistake that was!

For the second one, I used an Oops Arbor to cut a proper sized thru-hole around the old one from the outside. Once the thru-hole was cut, I finished the removal of the gatevalve with the angle grinder by grinding away what little fiberglass was still left around it. The process of removing one from start to finish takes about 20 minutes. Easy cleanup too.
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Old 04-04-2011
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Wink amazing!

From what I have been able to find, it sounds like there is no flange on the outer hull. This is partly why it is suggested to replace them as they can be prone to failure.

I think I might try the hole saw first, then sawsall or angle grinder. The nipple is only 1/2 and the materials I have are all 3/4". Previous owner bought all the materials and left me with the hard job

Thanks for all the feedback. You've renewed my confidence... until I hit the next roadblock of course! Too many spring projects on my list.
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