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Old 16-10-2014, 08:13   #46
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Re: Did It Yet Again :Banghead:

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
The marine pros I'm learning from all tell me the seacocks and hoses should be in such condtiion as not to be afraid to leave them open unless there is a severe storm warning or some such. Otherwise they'd be suspect while underway. And we wouldn't want that, would we?

Their basic premise is this. What is the difference, safety wise, in us leaving the boat for a week or sailing for a week non-stop?
Flying cloud sums it up pretty well. The only thing I would add to that is you would never go on a road trip or put your spouse in a car that was unsafe or questionable. But you still carry AAA just in case something happens. Things break, manufacturers have defects in their products, and you can't predict everything. Even brand new parts, hoses, clamps, whatever can fail right out of the package.

If you are on board and a hose ruptures or something starts leaking your high water alarm will go off, you will close all seacocks and find where the leak is. It's unlikely but stranger things have happened. If you are away your boat is gone.

Had this happen to me in the slip years ago. The only thing that saved our boat was it was end of season the lake was low and we had less then a foot of clearance under our keel. Came back after a week to find her sitting on the keel a foot low. Lucky for us our slip is shallow and aside from a wet carpet there was no real damage.

And as mentioned it is good for the seacocks to cycle them to keep them from seizing.

It's not about having or not having safe and proper equipment its about insurance and knowing nothing is infallible. You or the equipment can fail.

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someone is onboard when cruising.

someone is not onboard when away.
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Old 16-10-2014, 10:30   #47
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Re: Did It Yet Again :Banghead:

So how many crawl under the cockpit and close those seacocks every time you leave the boat...?
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Old 16-10-2014, 10:56   #48
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Re: Did It Yet Again :Banghead:

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I can think of no reason not to close the sea cocks.
Isn't this very thread about one of those reasons.

The risk of ruining an engine or generator has to be weighed against the risk of a boat sinking. I really don't hear about many boats sinking from unattended engine thru hulls. Most boats have unattended cockpit drain thru-hulls anyway so one more opening is not greatly increasing the risk. I do hear a lot of people forgetting to open them though at the cost of burning up an impeller and possible clogging a heat exchanger to the more dramatic overheating that can occur if not noticed.

I think it is all about weighing risks and this is a tough one for me to say clearly favors one over the other.

Jim
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Old 16-10-2014, 11:18   #49
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Re: Did It Yet Again :Banghead:

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So how many crawl under the cockpit and close those seacocks every time you leave the boat...?
umm.. I do.
And I do it EVERY time I leave the boat overnight.

Because of this, my routine is to open the seacocks BEFORE doing anything else...
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Old 16-10-2014, 11:23   #50
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Re: Did It Yet Again :Banghead:

I suppose it comes down to how buried your seacocks are and how many there are. Many under the cockpit are hard to get to, many engine cocks require moving the engine cover back and forth, some are under the V berth. No point in just closing a few. If you don't know your boat, the condition of the seacocks, or the hoses then by all means close them. I have a habit of lubing seacocks at haul out and replacing hoses when I buy a boat so don't worry about it much. If your head is below water line close that one for sure... vented loop or not. It seems most vented loops are plugged most the time anyway. To each his own.
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Old 16-10-2014, 11:33   #51
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Re: Did It Yet Again :Banghead:

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I suppose it comes down to how buried your seacocks are and how many there are. Many under the cockpit are hard to get to, many engine cocks require moving the engine cover back and forth, some are under the V berth. No point in just closing a few. If you don't know your boat, the condition of the seacocks, or the hoses then by all means close them. I have a habit of lubing seacocks at haul out and replacing hoses when I buy a boat so don't worry about it much. If your head is below water line close that one for sure... vented loop or not. It seems most vented loops are plugged most the time anyway. To each his own.
I have a Westerly 26. There aint a lot of seacocks to open and shut.
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Old 16-10-2014, 12:16   #52
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Re: Did It Yet Again :Banghead:

I disfavor cockpits that drain below the waterline. Our boat has easy to access sea cocks. That's one of the our checklist items when purchasing a boat. If they are buried then what's going to happen if you need to close them in a rough seaway?

It's easy to add a flow switch on the engine or generator to prevent damage so not a good argument for leaving them open in my view.
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Old 16-10-2014, 12:39   #53
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Re: Did It Yet Again :Banghead:

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
So how many crawl under the cockpit and close those seacocks every time you leave the boat...?
Unfortunately the modern (last 50 years) boat building standards are not really implemented by thoughtful mariners but by marketing departments and bean counters. As a result my 30+ year old 36 footer has at least, let me see, 7 (may be 8) seacocks, most below the waterline. And practically all in such hard to get to locations that shutting each one off and on each time I leave or come back would be a major PITA and would ruin the very idea of enjoyable sail or just relaxing after a hard day at the office.

Also my own personal experience tells me to leave well enough alone as each time I succumb to someone else's well meaning advice to "improve this or that" I end up breaking it or disturbing it so that it does not work as good as it did before I tried to "improve" it.
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Old 16-10-2014, 13:01   #54
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Re: Did It Yet Again :Banghead:

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How many times have you started a diesel engine with the sea cock off? Come on, 'fess up.

Once -- ok, anyone can do it. Twice -- mistakes were made. But three times? Four times????

I have only once in my life started a propulsion engine with the sea cocks closed. There was no damage (the seawater pump on my Yanmar is curiously robust).

God knows how many times I've done it with my genset . The problem is that -- first of all, I'm terribly absent minded, let's just get that on the table at the outset. And secondly, I have a rule of never leaving the boat overnight with the seacocks open. But then I have been living aboard since April and almost never spending a night off the boat, so the sea cocks didn't get closed much.

I just got back from a short business trip, drove down from Heathrow, arrived after midnight, dinghied out to my mooring, and oh joy -- home. The first thing I did was flip on the generator. And only when the awful squeal of the impeller exploding rang out, did I realize what an idiot I had been

And the 30 minute job of changing it naturally drags into an hour, an hour and a half . . . . Because you lose the woodruff key, or you can't find a tool, or you stupidly ingest seawater into your vacuum cleaner while sucking up the impeller debris, etc., etc., ad nauseum . . . .

Bleh!

I monitor what's going on with my genset with temperature senders at the thermostat and the seawater pump (the temp of the seawater pump being a good proxy for seawater flow). I have alarms set up, but somehow I did not hear them (maybe they're silent? ).

Now I think the only thing to do is hang some kind of sign on the genset start switch -- I can't keep going on like this.

*******

By the way, I tried the cable tie trick for putting a new impeller in -- it works extremely well. With a cable tie around it, the impeller goes straight in. Then you have to somehow wangle the cable tie back out again, but this is better than the alternative by a long shot. With the vanes retracted, you can with vastly more ease manipulate the impeller to line up with the woodruff key. Highly recommended.
I put an key lock (kill switch) inline and clip the key on the seacock so there is no power at the the switch and I need to go get the key from the seacock.

I originally got an ignition switch from a junk yard for a few dollars and was thought i was pretty crafty until the original key broke and I could not replace it. Thankfully, I learned from that mistake and keep 3 spares.

Before anyone thinks I am too smart... 4 times with the seacock closed before I realized I am constitutionally incapable of learning this lesson...

-steve
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Old 16-10-2014, 15:32   #55
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Re: Did It Yet Again :Banghead:

If you don't plan on closing your seacocks, why have them at all. Just fit a good thru-hull, good hose and good clamps.

Pretty low risk and you never have to remember if they are open or shut. If the unthinkable happens while you are on board, hammer in a plug to stop the water.

Meanwhile I'll keep closing mine anytime I'm away overnight.

EDIT: not trolling just TIC !
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Old 16-10-2014, 16:05   #56
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Re: Did It Yet Again :Banghead:

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
So how many crawl under the cockpit and close those seacocks every time you leave the boat...?
Yup, every time.
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Old 16-10-2014, 16:08   #57
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Re: Did It Yet Again :Banghead:

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As a professional, I have DIY'ed these to just about every type of sea cock. The time involved is less then it takes to replace most impellers one time.

Lloyd
OK, I get that. Worth thinking about. Thanks.
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Old 16-10-2014, 16:13   #58
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Re: Did It Yet Again :Banghead:

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So how many crawl under the cockpit and close those seacocks every time you leave the boat...?
My boat has 15 sea cocks. One is always off (black water). Six are always open (deck drains; cockpit drains). The other 8 get turned off every single time I leave the boat overnight, without exception. It takes about two minutes tops to turn them all off. Somewhat longer if I chase the toilets with fresh water before shutting them off. My boat was designed with all of the sea cocks instantly accessible -- as sea cocks really should be on any well-designed boat. Under the cockpit? What kind of designer would put seacocks there????

Funny, I never forget to shut them off. So why the hell do I forget to open them?
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Old 16-10-2014, 16:31   #59
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Re: Did It Yet Again :Banghead:

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So how many crawl under the cockpit and close those seacocks every time you leave the boat...?

Yep! I always open cabin sole hatch, close the seacock, and hang the keys on the handle. Works every time... And it keeps me moving in a laid-back life style. Easy




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Old 16-10-2014, 16:36   #60
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Re: Did It Yet Again :Banghead:

I have six seacocks. All are readily accessible. All those in use are closed if I leave the boat for more than a day other than the two which are cockpit drains. Those are left open but exercised every couple weeks. Each skipper has only himself to satisfy.
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