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  #41  
Old 05-09-2012
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Re: Closing seacocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
We have 20 thru hulls...

... Do you close your thru hulls when you leave your boat?

Mother of God. 20 through hulls Really? Maybe it's what's making your hull stronger....

This reminds me of an old Boeing joke. You might appreciate this.

So with the 787 being built of new fancy composite material Boeing was learning the hard way with some of the structural parts. Most embarrassing of these was that they were having a hell of a time keeping the wings on.
They kept adding more and more reinforcement to the composite and every time they would mount the wings they would fall off.

It got to the point where the engineers were so embarrassed that they started mounting the new wing-box at night, so that if if fell off again nobody would see.

Well it did fall off again and the only person to see it happen was the janitor. He laughed at the engineers each time it would happen without holding back. One night, after the wings fell off again one engineer, in a fit of rage asked the janitor "What? You got a better idea??"

The janitor said, "yeah I do. But you'd never listen."

"Oh yeah, so what's your idea?"

The janitor wiped tears from his eyes and said, "drill a bunch of 1/2 inch holes, one inch apart right along this line where the wing joins the fuselage."

Needless to say, the engineers laughed him out of the hangar and banned him from working there at nights where they were testing the wing-box.

After failure and failure and failure again, one engineer finally suggested not increasing the size of the composite attachment and suggested trying the engineer's idea. They were desperate, and tried it in secret and low and behold it held! They tried every stress test imaginable but the wings would not come off!

Finally they sheepishly went back to the janitor and asked him how he knew that drilling a line of holes through the most important part of the structure would hold????

He said, "You guys and all your education never pay attention to anything. I don't know anything about composites, but I can tell you from working with toilet paper for the last 40 years that NOTHING will tear along a perforated line!"

Now, in answer to your question. No, I never close my through hulls when leaving the boat unless it's for more than a month. Properly maintained, they don't leak. I maintain them. They stay open. They're more likely to come undone underway with stresses of the hull and floating debris to hit right? Why would they suddenly fail at the dock?

By the way, I found a picture of the original hull mold for the Jenneau 54. I've attached it here:


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  #42  
Old 05-10-2012
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Re: Closing seacocks

I have 6, and usually don't close because I am lazy. But I think I should.
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  #43  
Old 05-10-2012
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Re: Closing seacocks

My little Gust has but one (for the galley sink) and it is kept closed except when in use.

Life is so much simpler with a smaller boat...
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  #44  
Old 05-10-2012
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Re: Closing seacocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Mother of God. 20 through hulls Really? Maybe it's what's making your hull stronger....

This reminds me of an old Boeing joke. You might appreciate this.

So with the 787 being built of new fancy composite material Boeing was learning the hard way with some of the structural parts. Most embarrassing of these was that they were having a hell of a time keeping the wings on.
They kept adding more and more reinforcement to the composite and every time they would mount the wings they would fall off.

It got to the point where the engineers were so embarrassed that they started mounting the new wing-box at night, so that if if fell off again nobody would see.

Well it did fall off again and the only person to see it happen was the janitor. He laughed at the engineers each time it would happen without holding back. One night, after the wings fell off again one engineer, in a fit of rage asked the janitor "What? You got a better idea??"

The janitor said, "yeah I do. But you'd never listen."

"Oh yeah, so what's your idea?"

The janitor wiped tears from his eyes and said, "drill a bunch of 1/2 inch holes, one inch apart right along this line where the wing joins the fuselage."

Needless to say, the engineers laughed him out of the hangar and banned him from working there at nights where they were testing the wing-box.

After failure and failure and failure again, one engineer finally suggested not increasing the size of the composite attachment and suggested trying the engineer's idea. They were desperate, and tried it in secret and low and behold it held! They tried every stress test imaginable but the wings would not come off!

Finally they sheepishly went back to the janitor and asked him how he knew that drilling a line of holes through the most important part of the structure would hold????

He said, "You guys and all your education never pay attention to anything. I don't know anything about composites, but I can tell you from working with toilet paper for the last 40 years that NOTHING will tear along a perforated line!"

Now, in answer to your question. No, I never close my through hulls when leaving the boat unless it's for more than a month. Properly maintained, they don't leak. I maintain them. They stay open. They're more likely to come undone underway with stresses of the hull and floating debris to hit right? Why would they suddenly fail at the dock?

By the way, I found a picture of the original hull mold for the Jenneau 54. I've attached it here:


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  #45  
Old 05-10-2012
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Re: Closing seacocks

Huh, 20 seacocks..

And I feel guilty with 2..
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  #46  
Old 05-10-2012
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Re: Closing seacocks

I recommend Minn changes over to gate valves on the 20 holes.

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  #47  
Old 05-10-2012
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Re: Closing seacocks

Swiss cheese, colander, all funny. Saw 'em coming from a mile away. Remember, we're talking about a boat with three full heads plus a dedicated shower room. Add the galley and that is 5 sinks alone! Still, I don't deny it's quite a few thru hills......... We do have a dedicated cabinet in the salon with every type of plug available. Packs of traditional dowels, that big soft cone thing, a bucket of stay afloat, etc. It also accounts for the 3 bilge pumps: an electric primary, an electric backup, and an installed hand pump. All with fully dedicated and independent hoses and thru hulls. Oh yea, a high water bilge alarm as well.

Here are ones that I close each time I leave for days.

Main engine intake
Genset intake
Aft shower sump
Aft shower sink drain
Washing machine drain
Aft head floor sump
Aft head sink drain
Aft head raw water intake
Prop seal
Forward port head sink drain
Forward port head floor sump
Forward port head raw water intake
Forward stbd head sink drain
Forward stbd head floor sump
Forward stbd head raw water intake
Macerator outlet (already closed)
Galley sink drain
Dishwasher drain

Left open:

2 separate air conditioning raw water intakes (hey, 2 of the 3 are combined!) and 3 separate drains
Deck washdown pump intake
2 cockpit drains

Geesh, that's 26 seacocks and you thought 20 was bad? Still have more without seacocks..... 3 bilge pump outlets, speedo wheel and four underwater lights.

All the seacocks are contained in 6 distinct locations. I can open/close them all in under 2 mins, in my sleep. And I do.

It's been interesting to see the diametric approaches. I've seen several boats go down over unattended leaks. I am surprised at how many really leave the vulnerability while away for extended periods, but it's your call.
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  #48  
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Re: Closing seacocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post

Now, in answer to your question. No, I never close my through hulls when leaving the boat unless it's for more than a month. Properly maintained, they don't leak. I maintain them. They stay open. They're more likely to come undone underway with stresses of the hull and floating debris to hit right? Why would they suddenly fail at the dock?

MedSailor

It doesn't have to be the actual seacock that fails. There are clamps and hoses attached, that add points of failure to an open seacock.

Wel maintained, you're probably right. What are the chances? For me, it just takes a little bit of the worry out of the equation, at the cost of 2 minutes of my time. The other benefit of closing them, in my mind, is that I know they are operational.

Does the period of time away from the boat matter?
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  #49  
Old 05-10-2012
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Re: Closing seacocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
We have 20 thru hulls, with seacocks, that I can count off the top of my head. A half dozen or so more for three bilge pumps, underwater lights, etc. When we leave our boat for more than a run ashore, we close nearly all our thru hull seacocks. In particular, we close the raw water intake for the main engine and generator. If they broke, they would most certainly overwhelm the bilge pump in time. We also close all the waterline thru hulls, such as the sink drains as well as the intakes for the heads and other accessories. We can't or don't close 100% of our thru hulls, as we leave the dehumidifier on, which requires that we leave the air conditioning thru hulls open. The washdown pump also stays open, because it is very difficult to get to (not a good reason, but the truth and I worry about it).

When at anchor or the dock for any period of time, I will typically close the main and/or genset thru hulls, if not being used. I will leave the rest open, if we are only going ashore for a number of hours, not days. Otherwise, everything gets shut down.

I recently had an experience where it seems very possible that the yard mechanics ran my engine up without opening the seawater thru hull and killed the impeller. Ironically, they claimed they knew they had to open it, because we are "the only boat in the marina that closes it when we leave".

I found it hard to believe, not to mention being a better argument for why they might forget.

Nevertheless, let's sound off. Do you close your thru hulls when you leave your boat?
I have 7 thru hulls below the water line and I close all of them when leaving the boat for more than an hour or so, except if she is tied up in my slip or another when I'm running the A/C. The A/C inlet is a 3/4" bronze sea ****. Thru hulls above the water line I never close except in the fall. My bilge pumps empty into the aft end of the cockpit and overside so they are not in play. I've done the same thing for 3 large boats over 30 years and I can't imagine leaving them open all the time as I know some guys do. We had a boat sink on a mooring here about 15 years ago when a hose clamp failed on the engine raw water circuit. Having seen that once, one never forgets.
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  #50  
Old 05-10-2012
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Re: Closing seacocks

Some have made a point, that I failed to make. It isn't the seacock itself that I'm concerned with breaking, its the hose or appliance attached to it. With them open, the entire length of hose from beneath the hull to the engines, heads, etc, are essentially pressurized. I have found more cracked hoses in my lifetime to think it couldn't happen while I'm away.

Most of the cracks I've found would be accommodated by the bilge pump, if I weren't there. But eventually, every bilge pump is going to burn out if left to run perpetually. If you're on the hook, your batts may not survive. Worst case, if the 1.25 inch engine seawater line came off something, there is no way the bilge would keep up.

You'll note that most of the thru-hulls I listed are drains at or just above the waterline. They are very unlikely to be the primary cause of a problem, but are typically right next to some that could be, I see no reason not to close them.

Finally, some have mentioned they don't close theirs until they go up on the hard. Ironically, that is exactly when you want to leave them all open. You want all moisture to drain and have zero risk of freezing and cracking the seacock.
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