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post #11 of 20 Old 06-19-2014
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Re: Crealock-34 head

About three years ago we ordered a new Groco. It leaked. After working with the factory to adjust, then rebuild, we could not get it to stop leaking. Tried another new one, and it has the same problem. Their tech told us they had just changed manufacturing, so I am assuming it was a manufacturing defect. I would hope it has not taken them three years to fix, but I wonder if they are still having problems.

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post #12 of 20 Old 06-22-2014
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Re: Crealock-34 head

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Originally Posted by 34crealock View Post
Just heard that Groco heads are back ordered for a year. Seems like production problems. They must have moved their production to China.
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About three years ago we ordered a new Groco. It leaked. After working with the factory to adjust, then then rebuild rebuild, we could not get it to stop leaking. Tried another new one, and it has the same problem. Their tech told us they had just changed manufacturing, so I am assuming it was a manufacturing defect. I would hope it has not taken them three years to fix, but I wonder if they are still having problems.
It's been a couple of months since I've had a chance to pop in. Lo and behold, here's a discussion of one of the issues we've come up against in our refit.

We decided to replace our old Groco KH head with a new one. We ordered the new one from Defender in February at a great price; part of a Valentine's Day sale. (Just what every wife wants for Valentine's - especially when Valentine's Day is also her her birthday! I'm lucky I married a sailor!) It arrived and we delivered it to the Hinckley yard. A few days later the mechanic opens the box. We just happened to be in the yard at the time. He called us into his shop and showed us the bowl. None of the interior bowl surface was glazed. Neither was the rim. Only the exterior of the bowl, to within an inch of the rim, had received glazing. The surfaces had a gritty, rough texture on par with a 220 grit sandpaper.

So, we returned it, and re-ordered. We were told there was a backorder on the KH head, and that shipping was set for late May. Late May came, as did an email from Defender and Groco. There would be no KH heads shipped until further notice, due to production and QC issues with 'vendors.' So there.

We gave converting to a La Vac very serious consideration. Ultimately, we decided to have our old pump rebuilt/reconditioned by Groco. Our old bowl is fine, but the seat needs replacing. A factory rebuild option seems a viable one. Patrick at Groco was beyond helpful when I called to ask about rebuilding the unit. At an estimated $350.00, a pump rebuild is certainly a better option than a brand new replacement pump. These are not cheap heads, by any means. The pump was shipped off to Groco in Maryland last week.

There's more posted on our blog, with a couple of fresh updates on the refit progress, and a few tales of woe, now resolved. Link is below.

Bill & Lisa Ballard
S/V Jo Beth
1984 Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34, Hull #16

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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Last edited by svjobeth; 06-22-2014 at 09:28 AM.
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post #13 of 20 Old 07-09-2014
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Re: Crealock-34 head

After putting another repair kit in the Groco, it failed again. The local marine store had the bottom end of a Raritan PH compact on clearance sale. I had to special order the bowl. After looking at Rain Dogs installation I cruised the local wooden boat builders for a chunk of 5 or 6/4 teak. To get the compact to fit I installed the new base about 2 inches proud of the original fiberglass base. It took an 1 1/2 90 degree, 10 " of 1 1/2 hose and 2 feet of 3/4 hose to make the switch. Now the Groco K lower unit is headed to Groco for an overhaul( with one year warrantee). The old one lasted 20 years. Pretty darn good for a marine head.

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post #14 of 20 Old 07-09-2014
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Re: Crealock-34 head

Groko (Patrick) rebuilt my 1988 Model K. Turns out he was the one who had assembled back in '88. It now pumps smoothly, no leaks and the big stuff goes down effortlessly. Don't forget! PSC during their refits send the Model K pump for rebuild. If its good enough for them then its good enough for me.
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'88 PSC 34'
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post #15 of 20 Old 07-20-2014
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Re: Crealock-34 head

Our rebuilt Groco K pump arrived late last week - we dealt with Patrick there as well - and it looks like new. He even cleaned up a shut off valve on the intake line which the previous owners had fitted - and I wanted off!

Of course, it hasn't been used yet. I'm sure it will be fine - Groco stands behind their products. We're quite happy with the way it turned out.

Bill & Lisa Ballard
S/V Jo Beth
1984 Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34, Hull #16

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain
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post #16 of 20 Old 07-21-2014
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Re: Crealock-34 head

My Raritan compact works great but when the guts of my Groco come back from overhaul this week I will most likely throw it back in soon. It just fits better.
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post #17 of 20 Old 07-22-2014
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Re: Crealock-34 head

That's great to hear so many stories of success rebuilding old K's. Mine gets intermittent use so I doubt that's very good for the seals.

I have a rebuild kit on board, I think I'll go ahead and bring it home and take my time with it in the shop and see if I can't improve it.

Works pretty well despite the inability to make a full stroke. Not all of my crew can evacuate the bowl because you have to pump wicked fast to get the suction going. I think the other thread mentioned shortening handle but haven[t read that lately. Mine does have a slight bend which helps. It also back up into the bowl but hopefully a joker valve will handle that. Not sure I have one of those. From memory in the spares storage, it was a series of o rings and such, in a ziploc. Not sure it is complete - never been into one of these.

I guess these bases are painted bronze? No wonder they're so pricy. Hope I can get mine working like new - grateful they put quality units in this boat.

I gotta do my tank covers too. Rough seas make it smell in the v berth although there's never been any liquid escape. I guess that's the time to handle it. Before my pristine berth turns into a sewer.
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post #18 of 20 Old 07-22-2014
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Re: Crealock-34 head

This reminds me, I have a spare Groco K handle if anyone needs one.

Pacific Seacraft 34 #142

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post #19 of 20 Old 07-23-2014
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Re: Crealock-34 head

If you have a rebuild kit from Groco a new Joker valve should be in there.

It's not something I look forward to doing, but the rebuild on one of these heads isn't anything to be intimidated about. The Groco supplied instructions are straightforward. Having fingers which work like nimble spider legs would be a huge help for some of it.

Bill & Lisa Ballard
S/V Jo Beth
1984 Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34, Hull #16

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain
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post #20 of 20 Old 07-27-2014
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Re: Crealock-34 head

My Groco came back from the overhaul. I popped it back in and it looks like new and works like new. Any want a Raritan compact, like new.

Al Pickering
PSC 34 #286
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