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I hadn't used the boat for a week so I went out to the mooring to check. Water was pouring out of the the two bilge pump thru hulls. I rushed below to see what the problem was. The cover on the raw water strainer was off. I shut the seacock and discovered that the hinged bolt to lock down the cover had broken. I checked the other bolt and it was also cracked. The strainer had been cleaned out several weeks prior. It was pure and simple luck that I went out to the boat that afternoon. I am currently awaiting delivery of another manufacturers water strainer.
This strainer was in all likelihood original with the sailboat in1988. I had replaced all the hoses and several of the seacocks when I purchased the boat five years ago but the strainer? it looked fine. What could go wrong? Well, now I know and would strongly suggest you check out your water strainer to avoid that sinking feeling.
Rich
 

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One of None
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Glad you didn't loose the boat! Now. shame on you! (spank spank) It is wrong to not to close ALL the sea valves when the boat is unattended. First thing I told the new owner of my boat. Did I practice what I preached? (no one will ever know )
 

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wow got lucky. why not close the seacock and leave the engine keys on the handle so you will remember to open it before using the engine. I never leave any seacocks open when leaving the boat. thats what they are for. over the years I have seen several boat sink at the dock for the same thing or a hose came off or split
 

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I certainly close the raw water seacock, as there are so many potential failure points in that circuit. I don't always close the kitchen sink, and the bathroom sink.
 

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The PO of mine, just days before purchase, had the head inlet thru hull fall apart in his hands, fortunately.
so we changed all of the through hulls on the grid before I paid him, I was able to have the survey done and painted the bottom as well. On the PO's Grid time.
 

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I certainly close the raw water seacock, as there are so many potential failure points in that circuit. I don't always close the kitchen sink, and the bathroom sink.
As it happens, a few weeks ago I had the kitchen sink metal (connector under the sink) literally crumble in my hands when I was working on something down there. I could have failed literally any time and easily sunk the boat had the seacock been open.


I ALLWAYS close ALL seacocks when I am not on board.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for your replies,
I have been building boats and sailing them for over forty years. My present boat has eight seacocks. To go and shut them all off and then have to remember to turn them all on would take a lot of the pleasure out of sailing. Also, I have known people who thought their seacock were open for the refrigeration, only to discover a large repair bill because it was closed. Or the folks who blew out the head because the valve was closed. I understand the reason for shutting the seacocks, I choose to be vigilant in the maintenance of those seacocks and their associated hoses.
My reason for the post was to suggest people check their water stainer, not to start a dialog about closing seacocks. My failure was due to metal fatigue, something you normally wouldn't see unless you were looking for it.
 

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One of None
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Close em no matter how many. As a builder you know better! You nearly lost your boat because of the rationalization you put forth.

But you knew you would hear this when you posted on an open forum.
 

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Sinking will take a lot of the pleasure out of sail too. don't go off on us because you are to lazy to close them and did not expect a failure. the one thing that I have learned in 60 years of working on boats is to do everything you can to prevent a failure. if you don't turn them off then I say you should expect the next failure will be sooner then you think.
 

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We always close all seacocks when leaving for more than a day. If you make it part of your normal leaving and returning routine you should not forget. (turn on engine battery, open engine seacock, etc...) It's worked for us.
 

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What about the drain(s) from the cockpit, do you close them as well, when you leave the boat?
According to Boat US, closed (or blocked) cockpit drains are the number one cause of boat sinkings in marinas. The cockpit fills up, and downfloods into the salon.

One nasty possibility is that the drains block, the weight of water in the cockpit is enough to lower the drains below sea level, then the boat sinks fast.

Rather than close the cockpit drains, the solution is to have components that you can rely on. I have the really thick Trident hose, double clamped at the through-hulls.

You also need to visit regularly and make sure they are not blocked.
 

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As it happens, a few weeks ago I had the kitchen sink metal (connector under the sink) literally crumble in my hands when I was working on something down there. I could have failed literally any time and easily sunk the boat had the seacock been open.


I ALLWAYS close ALL seacocks when I am not on board.
This just emphasizes that you need to have all the critical components in good condition. Solid through-hulls, top-quality hose, double-clamped.

The Trident hose to my sinks is so stiff, it could disconnect from the sink and nothing would happen as the top end will always be above the water line.

Closing sea-cocks is fine, but that should be a failsafe, not a substitute for quality components and proper maintenance.
 

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What about the drain(s) from the cockpit, do you close them as well, when you leave the boat?
Not sure if that was addressed to me.

In any case, it would not apply, my cockpit drains do not have seacocks. The corresponding thru hulls are under the stern and above the waterline (though only just).
 

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This just emphasizes that you need to have all the critical components in good condition. Solid through-hulls, top-quality hose, double-clamped.

The Trident hose to my sinks is so stiff, it could disconnect from the sink and nothing would happen as the top end will always be above the water line.

Closing sea-cocks is fine, but that should be a failsafe, not a substitute for quality components and proper maintenance.
I agree, that is exactly as I see it.

I did not think I would need to do preventive maintenance on a kitchen sink; failure of this part was not something that I expected. Of course now I know that this can happen but I assume that there may be other things that I do not expect to fail. Therefore I want redundancy. Therefore I close the seacocks.
 

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Daniel - Norsea 27
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According to Boat US, closed (or blocked) cockpit drains are the number one cause of boat sinkings in marinas. The cockpit fills up, and downfloods into the salon.
I had that happen to me last winter. We had heavy snow that blocked the drain in the cockpit then immediately followed by rain. Came to the boat and the bilge was full. And my boat is on a trailer.
 

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My reason for the post was to suggest people check their water stainer, not to start a dialog about closing seacocks. My failure was due to metal fatigue, something you normally wouldn't see unless you were looking for it.
Sorry, but your experience is a very good case for closing them, IMO. You may want to run the risk to save a time on each trip, but you could have lost your boat.

I don't own a boat (don't get to sail enough), but would go through a pre-cruise checklist before each outing even for my own boat. That would include the position of seacocks.
 
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