Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
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Re: Beneteau seacock and thru-hull response
I owned and cruised a 65' gaff ketch built in 1909 in Taunton, Mass for 5.5 years through the SoPac. When that boat was built the yards would keep their employees employed through the winters by building yachts on spec. This was a marvelous Wm. Hand designed vessel with a bronze seahorse figurehead and a triad of bronze seahorses holding up a binnacle that reputedly came off a square rigger wrecked nearby while she was being built.
I never gave any thought about her thru-hulls, chain plates or fastenings failing, mostly spending my time maintaining the wood (wooded her hull twice in the 5 years I owned her). Seacocks and the like got their annual attention, but it never occurred to me that they could actually fail. Even at 65 years old they were in great condition.
Leaving Hawaii for Tahiti, we encountered a storm which many years later we found out was probably the remnants of a hurricane from central America, but at the time it was just 5 days of gale force winds. She did just fine, opening up a few seams which was normal for an old wooden boat at that time. A few lead strips and underwater seam compound tacked over the seams solved that problem until the haul out in Tahiti some months later. No broken fastenings, chainplate or rigging failures.
Then, at 65 years old, she went through a tropical cyclone off Fiji. In winds over 100 knots, she was capsized three times, filled with water three times and yet that old girl held together and really, she got us through that storm with only a bit of help from us. Even though there was plenty of damage, there were no broken fastenings, chainplates or rigging failures.
Of course, there was no internet back then, and no discussion groups about this manufacturer or that. It seemed all boat manufacturers cared whether those sailing their boats lived or died. Boats were built with care and love, not to make some fat cats even richer.
My point being is that it is a sad state of affairs in the boating industry when profits trump the safety of those who will sail the boats. Things like thru-hulls and chainplates shouldn't need to be a worry for an owner of a 20, 30 or even 40-year-old boat. That is just inferior materials or poor workmanship, IMO. And yet most of us accept this as the way it is.
What's wrong with everybody involved making a good living building really good boats? Nobody getting rich, just making a good living. Boats designed and built to safely take their owners, worry free with good maintenance, wherever these sailors wished to go for 50 or 70 years or more? Wouldn't that be a marvelous legacy? Wouldn't that be enough? Apparently not.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
ďBelieve me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.Ē ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
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Last edited by capta; 07-31-2018 at 10:03 PM.