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We had only the inline strainer on our J/36 for 24 years. We cleaned out a few barnacles from the intake each fall when we hauled out. Nothing else to report. The new boat had a clamshell. When we hauled we found out that it was not only almost totally clogged up with barnacles but that it had been mounted backwards. We are going to leave it off and see what happens.
 

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In an ideal world there ight be a fitting like this that could be operated from the interior of the boat, or which had a internal arm that could be turned within the housing to clear the enclosed interior of the housing. I can image how I would engineer that, but cannot image anyone actually buidling such a thing.

Jeff
Wouldn't a simple solution be to have the intake tube go straight up into the boat before having a hose clamped to it above the waterline? You would want this anyway so that you could stick a brush down it to clean it out, as Maine Sail has suggested in his posts on the topic. You could have another tube slide down inside the straight intake tube ("sleeved") with a mesh or screen covering on the end. If you set the mesh end so it was even with the outside of the hull, it would have less drag than a clamshell. Flow would be the same as with a clamshell or screen. If you thought anything might be clogging the screen you could undo the hose clamp, pull up the inner sleeve and clean it off. Best of both worlds. Seacock might be a problem, but you could remove the sleeve if you wanted to close the seacock.
 

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This idea is intriguing. Why not use a large diameter thru hull with no clam shell nor screen which has a pipe attached which extends above the waterline? Then you have an elbow which leads to an inline strainer and then to the engine etc/whatever. To clean, unscreww elbow, insert a cylindrical stiff bristled long handled brush to clean the tube. Reattach the elbo.
What you describe here is what MaineSail has said in his posts on the topic of engine intake strainers - and what he has, obviously. It is simple, and easy enough to clean out that it makes having a screen on the outer end somewhat unnecessary.
 
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