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post #1 of 5 Old 03-04-2004 Thread Starter
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I hope you all will be patient with my first time boat owner questions, but better to ask now.

1. What is the conventional wisdom concerning gate valves and sea cocks while the boat is in its slip during the week? I would be tempted to close them all any time I am not on the boat, but getting at them might get old after a while - particularly the raw water intake. Can they be left open while the boat is unattended?

2. Through ignorance and neglect I have let the batteries in the boat I just bought run down to the point that they will no longer start the motor. What are my options? Do I have to buy/rent a charger, or is there some way to jump start?

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post #2 of 5 Old 03-04-2004
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As far as I know, they should all be closed when the boat is left unattended. As a matter of course, I only open the pet-cocks to systems needed while underway, and often will close them after using and shutting off the system. If the system will not be used immediately, the petcock is usually left closed.

BTW, I would replace any gate valves with petcocks, and the sooner the better.

~ Happy sails to you ~ _/) ~
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-04-2004
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I''d always close won''t be old if you return to your boat one day and see the spreaders at water level.

As far as batteries, many sailors have been there done that. It''s a learning experience. Take your starting battery off the boat and charge it like a car battery, then when you get your engine started, the alternator can charge the batteries back up. You can get a battery charger relatively cheap at any big store (Wal Mart, Sears, etc.)

best of luck
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-04-2004
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After many years of boat ownership I am very set in my ways and have some strong opinions.

Replace any gate valves with marine ball valves ASAP. My head is plummed to fresh water and holding tank so I don''t use seacocks for it. I leave sink and cocpit valves open but it would be better to close the sink drains. I do close the engine intake valve however. I hang the engine key on the valve handle so I don''t forget to turn it on. The engine likes to be left full of water to prevent rust. You also don''t want any flooding.

I feel a marine battery charger is a great investment. Get a 2 output 10 amp for your 2 battery setup. Install an automatic bilge pump wired directly to one of the batteries. Check the water level on the batteries every few months. I buy Costco marine batteries at ~$50 each and replace one every couple of years.

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post #5 of 5 Old 03-04-2004
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Your marinal, dock, or club may have a "starter battery" setup already. Essentially, it''s a battery with jumper cables on wheels, ready to roll & carry to wherever it''s needed. For the seacocks,
closing them whenever you leave the boat is the way to go. Opening them up forces you to at least look at the hoses and helps keep you aware of the conditions of things.
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