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Old 28-05-2015, 13:50   #1
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Bronze valves and fittings

My Beneteau Oceanis 323 is now 10 years old and i am wondering whether it is time to change trough hull fittings and valves.
I have learned on a forum that the cooling water">engine cooling water intake and the volvo seal cooling water intake are particularly prone to be damaged in a relatively short time.
I am currently looking at the bronze valves and fittings offered under the brand name Seaflow, by asap-supplies.com in UK.
Has anyone tried this material yet?
Is asap-supplies a reliable chandler?
Many thanks in advance for any help.




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Old 28-05-2015, 20:26   #2
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Re: Bronze valves and fittings

Kinpa,

You really need to know what alloy the parts are. Some bronze is good for decades, some needs replacement every five years. If you can find the alloy number, which should be stamped or cast on the part, it's a pretty easy search.
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Old 28-05-2015, 23:14   #3
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Re: Bronze valves and fittings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinpa_1951 View Post
My Beneteau Oceanis 323 is now 10 years old and i am wondering whether it is time to change trough hull fittings and valves.
I have learned on a forum that the engine cooling water intake and the volvo seal cooling water intake are particularly prone to be damaged in a relatively short time.
I am currently looking at the bronze valves and fittings offered under the brand name Seaflow, by asap-supplies.com in UK.
Has anyone tried this material yet?
Is asap-supplies a reliable chandler?
Many thanks in advance for any help.
In the same supplier pages they have LAVAC seacocks. Thats where you should start rebuilding your system.
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Old 29-05-2015, 00:08   #4
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Re: Bronze valves and fittings

The fittings you need should be made from Naval bronze 85-5-5-5. Oyster supplies fittings sourced from Italy for the correct composition. In the USA, i was able to source parts made by Perko out of Miami, FL. And sold via West Marine when I replaced our through hull fittings last season.
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Old 29-05-2015, 02:29   #5
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Re: Bronze valves and fittings

Thanks TeddyDiver, i had similar material on may earlier boat a 1974 S&S Caribbean 35 ketch made by Chris Craft.
Said components have an exctionally long service life, but do require some space to be fitted and operated.
Unfortunately Beneteau is not the keenest manufacturer/designer when it comes to replacing parts. I have room enough in the engine area and the galley. Unfortunately in the toilet all fittings are only accessible from the the door under the sink and space is very limited as the entire toilet is made of a grp countermould. I am afraid only in line valves (as they are now) can be fitted.
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Old 29-05-2015, 02:42   #6
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Re: Bronze valves and fittings

You need to know the metallurgic composition of the bronze and where it's manufactured. I couldn't find where Seaflow was made doing a quick google search. If it's made in China... don't buy it.

Here's the website you want. Aquafax.co.uk

They sell all three grades brass, DZR and naval bronze. The naval bronze is the good stuff made in Italy. I just purchased a strainer made of bronze here in Italy from a local chandlery. Look on the website, then source the parts here in Italy after you know the manufacturer.
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Old 29-05-2015, 02:52   #7
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Re: Bronze valves and fittings

Thanks Kenomac i am going to visit the link you did send me.
Incidentally the spec i can read on asap-supplies are:
...These bronze body ball valves feature a stainless steel (AST430) handle and handle nut with a non-slip grip. The ball valve body is made from CC491K bronze and the female ports are threaded BSP. The ball sealing gaskets are PTFE. The ball is chrome plated CW617 brass. The valve shaft and packing body are brass CW617....
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Old 29-05-2015, 10:13   #8
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Re: Bronze valves and fittings

Be very wary of anything brass in your seacocks as this stuff is not designed for life in salt water, especially if there are stray electrical currents around.

Go with DZR (Dezincification Resistant Brass), which is marked with a clear CR on the body (for Corrosion Resistant), proper marine/naval Bronze or consider Marelon which is the marine nylon. Only issue with the Marelon seacocks is they are a tad on the chunky side so may not fit easily if you only have a tight space.

Sadly the EU Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) states that "through hulls and other fittings should be suitable to last 5 years". So many boats have been produced with cheap freshwater brass fittings. These have failed due to dezincification in less that 3 years in some cases. If yours have a red handle be very, very, very afraid as this is a classic indicator for freshwater brass. DZR has a green handle in case you want to check.

I went with Marelon with the exception of the engine seacock which is now DZR due to the heat restrictions for nylon when I replaced all our seacocks 2 years ago.

Keiron
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Old 29-05-2015, 10:34   #9
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Re: Bronze valves and fittings

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Be very wary of anything brass in your seacocks as this stuff is not designed for life in salt water, especially if there are stray electrical currents around.

Go with DZR (Dezincification Resistant Brass), which is marked with a clear CR on the body (for Corrosion Resistant), proper marine/naval Bronze or consider Marelon which is the marine nylon. Only issue with the Marelon seacocks is they are a tad on the chunky side so may not fit easily if you only have a tight space.

Sadly the EU Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) states that "through hulls and other fittings should be suitable to last 5 years". So many boats have been produced with cheap freshwater brass fittings. These have failed due to dezincification in less that 3 years in some cases. If yours have a red handle be very, very, very afraid as this is a classic indicator for freshwater brass. DZR has a green handle in case you want to check.

I went with Marelon with the exception of the engine seacock which is now DZR due to the heat restrictions for nylon when I replaced all our seacocks 2 years ago.

Keiron
I would avoid DZR. Too much zinc IMHO. It was developed to withstand corrosion of hot fresh water, not any kind of seawater..
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Old 29-05-2015, 11:39   #10
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Re: Bronze valves and fittings

Quality bronze fittings may last 'ages'. Poor quality brass fittings may last lest than a year. You can judge your boatbuilder by the fittings they used.

Start with identifying what you have. You can remove the most prone ones and inspect.

If have anything less that the good stuff, replace them with the good stuff and you are set.

I think it will be maybe 2 or 3k max full replacement. Nothing compared to the value of your boat.

b.
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Old 29-05-2015, 12:20   #11
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Re: Bronze valves and fittings

Many thanks to all for your valuable comments.
I will have the engine cooling water intake removed, as it is the easiest one and go from there.
For what i can see out of your comments the bronze choice is technically more sound solution, though the expensive one.
As i share the comment that whatever is the cost involved, it is still a minor part of the value of the boat, i am inclined to go for bronze components.

Now the problem is what brand to choose and where to buy (online) better within the EU, but also buying from the US wont be a problem if the goods are the right ones.
I would welcome any recommendation for quality bronze manufacturers and reliable online chandlers based on your experience.
Again many thanks for your support.
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Old 29-05-2015, 12:24   #12
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Re: Bronze valves and fittings

If you're in Italy, why not just buy them here. Italy manufactures some very good naval bronze fittings. Why buy them in the UK? The UK imports the good stuff from Italy.
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Old 29-05-2015, 12:29   #13
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Re: Bronze valves and fittings

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Originally Posted by Kinpa_1951 View Post
Now the problem is what brand to choose and where to buy (online) better within the EU, but also buying from the US wont be a problem if the goods are the right ones.
I would welcome any recommendation for quality bronze manufacturers and reliable online chandlers based on your experience.
Again many thanks for your support.
Groco, Blakes, Spartan.. As far as I know of..
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Old 29-05-2015, 12:54   #14
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Re: Bronze valves and fittings

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If you're in Italy, why not just buy them here. Italy manufactures some very good naval bronze fittings. Why buy them in the UK? The UK imports the good stuff from Italy.
You are right, but funny enough the shipchandlers I have visited, do not carry a stock of bronze material, as this is not very popular in Italy among the standard boating community. They may supply bronze materials but only on order and with fairly long delivery time. The largest italian chandler OSCULATI: Boating supplies - Accessori per la nautica whom i have contacted at the Milano central shop are mostly recommending stainless steel, as they have it fabricated in asia at low costs. The reason for inquiring UK/US dealers is only meant to source the material immediately, as it appears that bronze items are available for delivery.
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Old 29-05-2015, 13:00   #15
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Re: Bronze valves and fittings

Ok, lets back up a bit.

The alloy you have CC491K is also called 'Gunmetal' Bronze. it is the traditional alloy used to make... cannons. Its composition is 85% copper, 5% zinc, 5% lead, and 5% tin. As an alloy it is highly resistant to de-zincification dress corrosion and pitting, and very hard wearing. This is already a high quality part. Unless you are seeing active corrosion somewhere I doubt you need to replace it.

The dangerous metals are the high zinc series (10% zinc or more).

If you want to replace what you have, then I am a fan of Grocco but there are other good manufacturers.

The one caveat is that I absolutely would not use anything with lead if it could possibly supply drinking water.
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