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Old 10-12-2012, 14:56   #1
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I am having some leaking problems with several of my thru-hulls. They are Spartan seacocks and I think the yard that "serviced" them for us last winter used the wrong kind of grease. All of the sudden several started leaking.

I am going to get hauled, then lap and grease the seacocks and then I want to test to see if they are fixed, or if any of them need to be replaced. I have been thinking all along that I would have to get put back into the water and then see if any leak, and if they do, get hauled back out if there were any problems.

It just occurred to me that maybe I can use a hose and after working on the seacock put the hose up to the hull from the outside and have someone inside the boat see if any of the seacocks are leaking and need to be replaced.

Is there a flaw in this thinking? Is there any reason not to do it this way? I know the yard will charge a bunch each time the boat is put in the water and taken back out, put back on the stands etc. If I could use the hose method it sure would save money and complication.

Advice anyone?
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Old 10-12-2012, 15:08   #2
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Re: Testing thru hulls with boat Out of Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by PamlicoTraveler View Post
I am having some leaking problems with several of my thru-hulls. They are Spartan seacocks and I think the yard that "serviced" them for us last winter used the wrong kind of grease. All of the sudden several started leaking.

I am going to get hauled, then lap and grease the seacocks and then I want to test to see if they are fixed, or if any of them need to be replaced. I have been thinking all along that I would have to get put back into the water and then see if any leak, and if they do, get hauled back out if there were any problems.

It just occurred to me that maybe I can use a hose and after working on the seacock put the hose up to the hull from the outside and have someone inside the boat see if any of the seacocks are leaking and need to be replaced.

Is there a flaw in this thinking? Is there any reason not to do it this way? I know the yard will charge a bunch each time the boat is put in the water and taken back out, put back on the stands etc. If I could use the hose method it sure would save money and complication.

Advice anyone?
If you clean, lap fit and grease with SPARTAN grease you should not have any issues. I probably do 30-40 of these each spring as I have a lot of Sabre and Cape Dory customers, among other builders who used these seacocks. I have not had a single leak after a proper servicing and adjustment. Using the wrong grease will result in premature leaks. The Spartan grease is specially formulated fir tapered cone seacocks and thicker than any other grease I have ever found. It just works. No grease can even come close to the performance of the Spartan grease in these seacocks..

When I do see leaks it is most often due to lack of servicing, cleaning & lapping and the wrong grease was used....

The biggest challenge is getting the washers on correctly then adjusting them so they stay open on their own but are not too tight.

If you do get a leak first try to re-adjust it. If you can't grab a Forespar Tru-Plug, cut it a tad shorter, and stuff it in from outside the boat and service the seacock..
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Old 10-12-2012, 15:09   #3
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Re: Testing thru hulls with boat Out of Water

Not sure how you can test them well out of the water... maybe the hose will work. I've used Lanolin in lieu of grease on old tapered seacocks. Just cleaned them up, never lapped them. Did this on at least 4 boats. Not one leak. The stuff is great for water sealing and is not thinned, depleted or effected by water. The downside is if the water is cold, they get a little hard to turn. So if you are one of those people that turn their seacocks off and on a lot,maybe not for you. Dont get me wrong, they always turn, just a slow motion turn!
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Old 10-12-2012, 15:10   #4
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Re: Testing thru hulls with boat Out of Water

You could put a plug in the thru hull from the outside and service it in the water?? It would be a lot cheeper.
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Old 10-12-2012, 15:48   #5
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Re: Testing thru hulls with boat Out of Water

When I replaced all the thru hulls on my first larger sailboat I was thinking the same thing. How can I test them before the boat gets splashed. My non sailing friend who was helping me with some projects came up with a simple Rube Goldberg solution. He bought an old fashioned toilet plunger. He unscrewed the wooden handle drilled out the threaded area with a hole saw, jammed a garden hose through the opening and clamped it off with a hose clamp. He covered the thru-hull with the plunger with the water running while I checked out each one from the inside. He got wet and I got reassured.
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Old 10-12-2012, 19:10   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellie
When I replaced all the thru hulls on my first larger sailboat I was thinking the same thing. How can I test them before the boat gets splashed. My non sailing friend who was helping me with some projects came up with a simple Rube Goldberg solution. He bought an old fashioned toilet plunger. He unscrewed the wooden handle drilled out the threaded area with a hole saw, jammed a garden hose through the opening and clamped it off with a hose clamp. He covered the thru-hull with the plunger with the water running while I checked out each one from the inside. He got wet and I got reassured.
I love it Tellie. I'm gonna do that and make sure to have the wife on the outside because, I'll tell her, it's important for me to see whether there is any leak.

And MS, I'll be using your instruction sights to do the work!
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:15   #7
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Re: Testing thru hulls with boat Out of Water

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I love it Tellie. I'm gonna do that and make sure to have the wife on the outside because, I'll tell her, it's important for me to see whether there is any leak.

And MS, I'll be using your instruction sights to do the work!

LOL, just don't tell her you got the idea from me
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:50   #8
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Re: Testing thru hulls with boat Out of Water

Thruhulls: disconect the hose, undo the seacock, remove the flange, remove the thru hull, replace the SEALANT, re-fit and fix the thru hull and the adjacent elements.

I will try to let the sealant fix very well (24 hours absolute minimum) before I follow with seacock/hoses/ connections.

Seacocks: if a seacock is leaking you wuill remove and inspect it. If found faulty then fix or replace (most of the time, this boild down to replacing).

b.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:18   #9
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Re: Testing thru hulls with boat Out of Water

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Thruhulls: disconect the hose, undo the seacock, remove the flange, remove the thru hull, replace the SEALANT, re-fit and fix the thru hull and the adjacent elements.

I will try to let the sealant fix very well (24 hours absolute minimum) before I follow with seacock/hoses/ connections.

Seacocks: if a seacock is leaking you wuill remove and inspect it. If found faulty then fix or replace (most of the time, this boild down to replacing).

b.
The OP is talking about tapered cone seacocks not ball valve or gate valve style. They can be lap fit in place and repaired" without a haul out or removal of anything but the tapered cone...

Servicing Tapered Cone Seacocks
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:05   #10
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Re: Testing thru hulls with boat Out of Water

Seacock should leak or not leak about the same in both directions. out of the water I'd just pull the interior hose, stick on a hose with a funnel or bottle on the end, and pour the water into the seacock while it is closed.

Hop down to the ground, see if there's any water coming OUT of the through-hull. Just the slightest dribble and you've got a leak. No water, no leak.

You can also talc the hull or hit it with some flour around each seacock, any dripping water will leave a trace breaking across it, so you don't have to actually see the drip.

Yes, I know, being in the water might put more pressure on it. So you use a longer hose and put the funnel as high up as you can, putting a similar pressure head into the seacock. Or connect up a hose with municipal water pressure, if you really want to.
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Old 11-12-2012, 13:52   #11
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Re: Testing thru hulls with boat Out of Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by PamlicoTraveler View Post
I am having some leaking problems with several of my thru-hulls. They are Spartan seacocks and I think the yard that "serviced" them for us last winter used the wrong kind of grease. All of the sudden several started leaking.

I am going to get hauled, then lap and grease the seacocks and then I want to test to see if they are fixed, or if any of them need to be replaced. I have been thinking all along that I would have to get put back into the water and then see if any leak, and if they do, get hauled back out if there were any problems.

It just occurred to me that maybe I can use a hose and after working on the seacock put the hose up to the hull from the outside and have someone inside the boat see if any of the seacocks are leaking and need to be replaced.

Is there a flaw in this thinking? Is there any reason not to do it this way? I know the yard will charge a bunch each time the boat is put in the water and taken back out, put back on the stands etc. If I could use the hose method it sure would save money and complication.

Advice anyone?
If you're going to be out of the water, simply disconnect the hoses from their respective fixtures within the boat, insert the tip of a funnel into the hose-ends and fill them with water. If the hoses aren't long enough for a good check, disconnect the hoses from the seacock and temporarily attach another, longer, hose. If there is no leakage evident on the outside of the hull, you're good to go. Simply open the seacocks, drain the water, and reconnect the hoses to their respect fittings. (If you have questions about the water, for example, if the weather is inclement--e.g. rain--add some food coloring to the test water.)

FWIW...
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