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HorizonHunter 09-16-2009 03:24 PM

Through Hull
Hey Everyone,

I have a cockpit drain lines that run down to through hull fittings. If I did not follow the 'what can go wrong, will go wrong' mentality, I would always leave the cockpit drain line through hull valves open, to allow rain water drainage from the cockpit.

I am just concerned about leaving a through hull in the open position while I am away from the boat.

I have a bilge pump hooked up through a float switch, but the breaker switch needs to be turned on in order for it to work.

My question is: Do other members leave their through hull valves in the open position?


Faster 09-16-2009 03:36 PM

Cockpit drain through hulls should be left open for obvious reasons. All sorts of problems can crop up if you allow your cockpit to fill with rainwater....

Your bilge pump should be direct wired to a battery and function whether or not your batteries are "switched on".

jrd22 09-16-2009 03:56 PM

Ditto what Faster says, it's a necessary evil. I leave my open, but I don't like it. All you can do is put new hoses and clamps on and hope for the best.

Tanley 09-16-2009 04:07 PM

Wow, we're shopping for our first sailboat and it never occurred to me that you should close all your through hulls every time you leave your boat. Am I understanding this correctly or is the question just in regards to the cockpit?

HorizonHunter 09-16-2009 04:15 PM

I always close my sinks, it just bugs me to know that my boat has a hole in the hull, and the only prevention is a hose and clamp. So I always close the unnecessary ones.

I am going to direct connect my bilge pump and float switch and leave my cockpit through hull valves open.

midnightsailor 09-16-2009 04:56 PM

That is proper procedure to leave cockpit seacocks open all the time. The seacocks are there primarily to allow the cockpit scuppers to be closed in case of any kind of troble with the hoses, clamps etc. and to allow them to be closed for serviceing of the scuppers , thruhul, or related parts. That said, they should be "worked" closed and opened a few times a month to be sure they will continue to operate easily. This goes for all seacocks, that they should be occasionally worked and not allowed to remain either open or closed month after month, or year after year. You want to be sure that they will operate easily if you ever need to operate them in an emergency.
In reponse to the bilge pump being wired directly to the battery. It isi considered good practice to wire directly to the battery or 24 hour circuit, just be sure to include proper protection for the circuit, such as an inline fuse, or dedicated breaker. Rick

HorizonHunter 09-16-2009 05:28 PM

yeah, good idea about the inline fuse or dedicated breaker. I will be rewiring my boats bilge tonight.

pedcab 09-17-2009 03:25 AM


My dad has a Phillippe Harlé Gros-Plant mini transat which has the same system to drain out water from the cockpit and his boat (a marine plywood/epoxy affair) doesn´t even have sea cocks... The hoses simply are driven in an "X" pattern from the cockpit floor to the bottom thru-hull plastimo plastic fittings (sealed with PRC aviation sealant) and properly tightened with AISI 316 clamps.

He never had any problems with the system...

If you make sure that you use proper hoses, fittings and sealants the communicating vessels law will take care of all safety issues for you :)

Pedro, from Portugal

celenoglu 09-17-2009 03:40 AM

Use double clamps on all hoses that have connections to a through hull even the ones above water level. If a clamp fails and the hose disconnects from anywhere you should assume that it will fall down with gravity and below waterline.

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