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post #8 of Old 06-15-2008
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I have a fibreglass boat currently on loan. Bronze seacocks and brass fuel cocks (it's the Great Lakes and my electrics are sound).

I have a steel boat I am prepping for world cruising. Marelon is a godsend. However, I can think of a couple of better approaches, some of which my boat already incorporates. The Marelon is *only* on the "exit" points for grey water from the kitchen sink and the head sink. Ridiculously overbuilt, but I can live with them.

For the "entry" of water, I have a three inch standpipe, the top of which is sealed with a threaded metal cap and is above the waterline. Off this standpipe are teed off four seacocked hoses, one for head seawater; one for engine pump (there is a Perko bronze strainer to keep the cooties out); one for the March pump to run the A/C, and a spare I will probably use for a watermaker. I will probably further T off the A/C for deck washdown use or cockpit shower as you can't use my A/C off the dock.

The advantages of this system are many. Primary is that you don't have a lot of inaccessible holes in the boat and failure points. Secondary is that you can actually unscrew the cap and fish around (sometimes for fish!) to clear obstructions. For this reason I've purchases a strainer cap I will adhere when next I haul.

The improvement I mention is perhaps to weld on short extensions to the "drains" to bring the Marelon seacocks higher and closer to the waterline while still allowing proper drainage on most tacks. Should a failure occur, I would prefer to have the gushing one foot below WL than three feet, having seen the difference this makes in water pressure.

A final element is not always considered, but should be: the exhaust line. I have my exhaust on the starboard side on the water line. I think it would be a good idea to put a "shut-off seacock" in this line to avoid siphoning water into the exhaust system when sailing on a heel. Some sailboats with the more usual stern exhaust are able to fit a loop under a coaming, some can't. But the situation remains that the engine is usually below the exhaust and seawater in the manifold can ruin your day.
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