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  #41  
Old 01-06-2014
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Re: Through-Hulls

I'm not going to pretend this point is a scientific argument. However, I doubt the big production boat companies switched to Marelon because it was superior, rather because it was cheaper. Maybe I'm wrong.
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Re: Through-Hulls

BubbleheadMd - "This post is full of impressive factoids and numbers, but I feel that it's alarmism at it's finest." FYI - Everything I wrote in that post was a fact. Marelon, is nothing more than Dupont Zytel 13% glass filled nylon and, according to Dupont will loose 60% of it's strength when saturated in water. Marelon's strength numbers are below that of PVC.

You state the following as a fact, "Marelon through-hulls and seacocks meet ABYC standards." One of the things I've learned the hard way is that, sometimes, it's important to know the answers, before you ask the question, or in your case make a statement that is totally inaccurate.

You see, the most commonly used and sold Forespar Marelon ball valves, seacocks, thru-hulls do not meet the ABYC H-27/UL1121 "standards."

Never have! Actually the Forespar has never had their 849 and 850 ball valves and seacocks, the ones that all the major suppliers have sold for years, UL tested which is part of the ABYC H-27 standard (actually it's not a standard according to ABYC, but that's another issue.) In fact, it's widely known that their smaller thru-hulls can't even meet the 500 lb hanging weight test as Maine Sail has clearly shown.

But here's two questions for you. I'd love to see you try and answer them correctly.

1. What is the tensile strength and flexural modulus of Forespar's Marelon? I'll even provide you with a Forespar site that can provide an "answer" for you.

http://www.forespar.com/pdf/techTips...is-Marelon.pdf

2. Is the seacock that a Wes Gary is holding in the Forespar video made of an "engineered carbon fiber and glass reinforced composite polymer ideally formulated for marine use?"

What Is Marelon

My goal hasn't been to alarm people, simple inform them. If you're happy with Forespar's seacocks and thru-hulls, fine. If you're happy with their seacocks because they are ABYC approved, then you'd best re-read my posts.
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Re: Through-Hulls

dbgreen59 - It's clear from your picture that the thru-hull is not mounted on the tub liner, but the hull itself. The critical thing is to make sure the thru-hull locking nut sits on a backing plate, if not one suggested by Maine Sail, at least a wooden one. If you're going to use a thru-hull/ball valve combination, use the Groco combi thru-hull. It's first inch or so of threads are NPT which will match the Groco ball valve, so get the right size, you can't shorten this thru-hull or you'll loose the critical NPT thread pattern.

Also, I'd definitely make the tub opening larger.

Fair winds,

jed
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  #44  
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Re: Through-Hulls

For the nut try an automobile axle nut socket and as far as thru hulls I have the original silicon bronze thru hulls and I cycle them regularly every month thru full range every month and they still work great with no signs of corrosion internally or on the outside they are 47 years old just have 3 two for the head and one for sink drain thinking of removing the head and going with just the porta pottie and relocating the sink drain above the waterline.
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  #45  
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Re: Through-Hulls

WC-

Do not accuse me of saying that your information was false or inaccurate. You cherry-picked a quote, and then accused me of calling you a liar.

I specifically stated that everything you posted was true and correct.

When I stated that Marelon was ABYC approved, I did cast my net a bit wide. I should have said "My Marelon" parts meet the ABYC installation standard. There is also wisdom in the post from the other forum that "UL approved parts do not necessarily make a UL approved installation".

I don't need to prove anything to you. Don't "challenge" me with information that is already published.

All that matters to me, is that my installation will withstand a 500 lb. hang test. It will not withstand a 500lb. "impact" or shock load, and I don't care. There is nothing, NOTHING stored anywhere near any of my through-hulls. Even if a battery were to break free in a knock-down, it physically would not fit anywhere near the nearest through-hull.

I respect Maine Sail and his level of caution is borne from a bad experience that never should have happened in the first place. Nevertheless, his tests are insightful and valuable. They are useful for making a risk vs. gain decision on through-hull installation.

I'm saying that for 99% of the recreational sailing or boating that people do, Marelon products, when properly installed, are acceptable.

It sounds to me, like ABYC needs to clean up their standards, and make them less ambiguous to prevent corporations from making public claims that their products meet industry standards. Allowing Forespar to claim that their fittings meet the ABYC materials standard, without rebuttal seriously dilutes ABYC's credibility in my eyes.

Why is this "standard" not a standard, as you say?
I'm reading the document now, and the word "standard" is used in nearly every paragraph. What are builders, and maintainers in the marine industry supposed to do? Follow the standard? Distrust the standard? Ignore the standard?

Oh wait- the final paragraph says:
Quote:
The American Boat and Yacht Council standards are guides to achieving a specific level of design or performance...
So here's the bottom line:
You are here, spewing (true) numbers and factoids, in a histrionic manner, advocating expensive, International Space Station-level through-hull installations that many people will never need.

Using the "guides", I have achieved a specific level of design and performance that I find acceptable, for my level of risk.

I will totally agree with you one one thing though:
I'm looking at online ads right now. ALL of Forespar's Marelon products claim that they exceed UL and ABYC standards, and that they will never brittle with time, or temperature change.

Then, they acknowledge to Maine Sail that the smaller fittings do NOT meet ABYC H-27 500lb. static test, and their own documentation states that they do not meet the ABYC materials standard.

I am scratching my head as to why they have not had their a$$es sued off. Why is this allowed to continue?

My last question for you, and maybe Maine Sail:

Can either of you point me to a survey, news article or USCG report where a vessel was lost or nearly lost, due to the failure of a Marelon through-hull or seacock due to MATERIALS failure, not improper installation?

I don't care about broken handles. I want to see a report where the ball seal blew out, or the through-hull snapped off, or the valve body shattered.

These fittings have been in service long enough now, that if they were the death-traps you say they are, surely a vessel would have been lost by now.

EDIT: Ugh...apologies. You posted a link to the Catalina failure.
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Lightbulb Re: Through-Hulls

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I'm not going to pretend this point is a scientific argument. However, I doubt the big production boat companies switched to Marelon because it was superior, rather because it was cheaper. Maybe I'm wrong.
Actually, builders use any given material for a host of reasons. Cost is one, so you're not wrong.
Thing is... it's not always simple. Example would be that the majority of boats sold in the last (pick a round #) 20 years are going into a less-knowledgeable "second home" market. Nothing wrong with that, but this translates into thousands of boats sitting in marinas 95% of their lives, permanently on shore power connections. By using the Marelon fittings, one source of trouble, loose electrons consuming thruhulls, is eliminated.

While our little YC moorage has pretty much state of the art power service, at regular expense, there are always complaints from other owners about their "Hot" marinas and all the problems with zincs going away quickly.

So, again, you are not wrong.... but there are more factors to consider.

And then, on the illogical side of marketing, owners of high end boat like Morris or Swan tend to want bronze everything and will pay more to get it.
Buyers at the low and middle end of the market are more concerned with amount of boat received on a $ per # basis.... and this concern goes up quickly at the low end of the production boat market.

FWIW, I have no "dog in this fight" having put all bronze thruhulls in our prior boat and then changed out the factory Forespar marelon fittings that were originally ball valves screwed onto threaded thruhulls and put back the newer Forespar one-piece seacocks from their "OEM line".

My solution works fine for me and since our moorage is electrically-well maintained, bronze would have been acceptable too.

Regards,
Loren

Last edited by olson34; 01-07-2014 at 02:54 PM.
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Re: Through-Hulls

BubbleheadMd – Let’s not get into a mudslinging contest. It’s possible you’ve misread what I said. You did make the following statement, “Marelon through hulls and seacocks meet the ABYC standards.” The fact is that many knowledgeable boaters and boater professionals and experts have made the same statement. I would never accuse any of you of lying about that topic. If it was not for a molding project I was working on, I most likely, based on the information available, would have made the exact same statement as you did.

In fact, there was a substantial amount of money expended to find out that Marelon had some serious problems when it came to marine applications. We made the same assumptions based on the information available to us that you made. The molder, a wise old gentleman (a non-boater) said “it’s sometimes important to know the answers, before you ask the questions.” It’s the assumptions (the questions we don’t ask) we make that can kill us.

It’s those assumptions we make that give us a false sense of security that I believe give old Mr. Murphy a real leg up. And we all know that, on a boat, Mr. Murphy’s on steroids.

For example, the ABYC uses the term “standards” rather loosely. In their documentation they refer to their “standards” as merely “guides for design, construction, installation, and maintenance.” They aren’t the kind of standards that most people think of, like ASTM. In my discussions with ABYC they were clear to make that distinction.

So to anyone willing to give it a try, here are the two questions I asked in my previous post. I'd love to see you try and answer them correctly. These are not meant to be trick questions. I’m not doing this to make anyone look foolish. They do relate to the issue of assumptions we make.

After each question, I’ve provided a site that has “an answer.” The first relates to a Forespar formulated chart that compares Marelon to bronze, and a few other materials. The second relates to the question “What is Marelon?”

1. What is the tensile strength and flexural modulus of Forespar's Marelon?

http://www.forespar.com/pdf/techTips...is-Marelon.pdf

2. Is the seacock that a Wes Gary is holding in the Forespar video made of an "engineered carbon fiber and glass reinforced composite polymer ideally formulated for marine use?
What Is Marelon

Sincerely,

Jed
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  #48  
Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Through-Hulls

I can't play the video where I'm at, at the moment.

In your quote, you use the word "carbon fiber".
Nowhere, in their written documentation do I see the words carbon fiber.
Never, did I believe that Marelon incorporated carbon fiber.
My understanding, (in my own words) was that Marelon is a glass reinforced plastic, formulated for below waterline use.

There appears to be a conflict between what Forespar is publishing on their website, and what you're saying DuPont says about the tensile strength and flexural modulous, so I don't know the answer to the question.

Either you are incorrect about what you think Forespar is using for materials, or Forespar is publishing incorrect numbers.

Shifting away from the material properties for a moment, and looking at the design-
My recent investigations show that Forespar redesigned the handle around 2009 so that a handle failure does not result in blowing out O-rings or a leak that cannot be plugged with a wooden bung.

Also, since you claim that Marelon is nothing more than DuPont Zytel, and will lose 60% of its strength when saturated with water, I'm going to purchase a 3/4" Marelon through-hull and a matching, flanged seacock. I'm going to submerge them in seawater for two weeks.

I'll install them in a manner similar to Maine Sail's test, and put them on a trusted friend's load cell to see if the installation fails at 60% reduced strength.

BTW- Exactly how long do you think DuPont Zytel needs to be submerged in water, in order to become "saturated"?
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Re: Through-Hulls

Onr point to consider if thinking about Marelon. The Marelon seacocks require a larger hole for the same internal diameter and it would make going back to bronze later complicated at best.
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Re: Through-Hulls

BubbleheadMd –

I really appreciate your response, you’re absolutely correct in asking for verification re. what I’ve written on this thread. Just like you, this information challenged my assumptions of marine products and the ABYC. I’ll have more on the ABYC at a later time.

By the numbers.

1. Please hold off on the purchase of a Forespar seacock, I think I can show you enough evidence to convince you about Marelon and Dupont Zytel nylon strength loss and moisture absorption. However, if you’re purchasing a ¾” Forespar 93 flanged valve to service an existing function that requires a ¾” flow rate you will need to go up to the 1 1/4” size. The reason is that the 93 series thru-hulls are a really odd ball size, unique to the 93 only. The ½ and ¾” utilize the same thru-hull so the ¾” ID .62” is undersized. A normal thru-hull calls for an ID of around .70”. The Forespar 251 thru-hull ID for the 849 flanged seacock is .69”. You would have to go up to the 1 ¼” if the requirement called for a full .70” ID flow capacity.

This info can be found on pg. 41 of the Forespar catalog.

2. It would take several months to fully saturate the seacock. Additionally, the rate of saturation increases at a decreasing rate over time. So it might reach 80% saturation in 3 weeks and the last 20% might take 6 weeks. This is also info available from Dupont.

3. Regarding the carbon fiber issue. First, you really need to watch the video, at least the first 50 seconds. I just tried loading the video and for some strange reason it’s not available. Luckily, it is still on Youtube
or on Youtube Wes Gary why marelon?

If for some reason it’s taken off Youtube all I can do is quote the basics of what Wes Gary said.

Wes Gary comes on holding a Foresar 849 flanged valve and he says,

“HI, I’m Wes Gary, I’ve (done this, that etc,...........)
“I know polymer composites very well.
“I’m here to talk to you about Forespar’s plumbing fittings. I know that Marelon is not just a plastic, but an engineered carbon fiber and glass reinforced composite polymer ideally formulated for marine use?”

Forespar did, for a short time, make a limited batch of 93 series ball valves made from carbon fiber. But, according to Forespar they abandoned that project long ago. And as I can prove, Marelon is simply Dupont Zytel 70G13L 13% glass filled nylon.

Also, Gary states that, “Marelon is the only plastic that meets the rigorous ABYC standards.”

This is simply not true. There are at least 24 plus plastics that I know of that meet and exceed the ABYC standard.

It’s important to note that this is a closely scripted, paid, advertising video, not just an amateur video. Also, here is a Forespar document that shows several items under the heading “Carbon Reinforced.” Again this is all scripted to present an image of innovation and strength.

a. Note that the word FIBER is omitted.
b. I can say comfortably that NONE of the products presented in that picture are or ever were made of “carbon fiber” and that’s according to Forespar. I have the email to prove it.
c. Interestingly, the black products might have carbon in them, “CARBON BLACK” that is, to create the black/UV resistant color. But that carbon is not for strength, and may even decrease the material strength slightly.

I cannot sent the Carbon reinforced document via Sailnet, it's simply too big. If you want to send
me your email in a private message I'll be happy to send you all three documents I have for you.

4. On page 32 of the Forespar Catalog, you’ll see a table Forespar uses to suggest that Marelon is a close second to bronze. However, the tensile strength and flexural modulus values presented there are for Dupont’s Zytel 70G33l 33% glass filled nylon. How do I know? It’s the material we tried using for the original molding. Marelon is Dupont Zytel 70G13L 13% glass filled nylon (more on that later) and we wanted to use a stronger material. On pg 33 of the Forespar Catalog you'll see Forespar's values for the real Marelon. Compare the two sets of numbers. This was no mistake, it's been out there for years, and they've known about it.

I’m also including the Dupont table for all the 70 series Zytel products. You’ll see that both sets of Forespar’s values for Marelon co-inside with the Dupont numbers. There’s no need to test them, Dupont has already done that, and it’s their testing equipment and their product so they will always want the better values. Remember tensile strength and flexural modulus are the defined ABYC testing characteristics. You can do the exact loss percentages at saturation, my 60% was a rounded value. The actual values are: Tensile strength 57.1% loss and Flexural Modulus 64.3% loss at full saturation.

Again, I cannot sent the Dupont Zytel document via Sailnet, it's simply too big. If you want to send me your email in a private message I'll be happy to send you all three documents I have for you.

Additionally, I’m providing you with a document that Forespar provided UL when they were testing the 93. You will see the Dupont 70C13L very clearly referenced, along with the thru-hull fitting material 8018 WT listed. This is a new form of Marelon, that has less strength than the “original” Marelon listed in Forespar’s literature.

Again, I cannot sent the Forespar document via Sailnet, it's simply too big. If you want to send me your email in a private message I'll be happy to send you all three documents I have for you.

I hope this is of interest. If anyone want the unattachable files please send me a private email with your email address and I'll send the info out. I can assure you it is as I as I represented it.

Fair winds,

jed
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