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Old 08-12-2015, 12:42   #1
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thruhull + seacock replacements - planning before pulling

Hey everyone,

I am in need of upgrading and replacing my thruhulls and seacocks on my new to me Bristol 27. Due to being on a budget, i am trying to get an estimate of costs, for these upgrades. I want to have the seacocks and thruhulls purchased BEFORE i haul out for two reasons, one being finding cheaper sources of the parts needed, and 2 so i spend less time out of the water.

They are a giant cluster **** of a mess. I was only able to get 2 photos of one seacock before my phone died, and the images isn't the greatest(but attached). This seacock is used to drain the galley sink and the the icebox. As you can see there is a seacock, then a T fitting which has a ball valve. This ball valve is corroded like no other and also has poor drainage(the icebox).

The main seacock in place i believe is bronze, i attempted hand turning the little piece on the right side but was unable to. I believe its missing the handle though. As you can its turned blue, which i assume is the way bronze corrodes?

Anyways, does anyone have any recommendations on how to determine if the seacock and thru hull needs replacing?

Also does anyone have any cheap sources for seacocks and thruhulls?

When the time comes to replace, I'll be following the guide on pbase regarding putting a backing plate. unfortunately i am not sure if I can afford the fiberglass plating, so i may need to do marine ply coated in fiberglass. I would also like to use the tri flange seacock and base as i could pull the seacock and replace it if needed without pulling the boat.

My boat has 6 seacocks from what i can tell, 2 in the cockpit, one on the port side opposite inboard for diesel intake, 1 below the galley, and 2 for the head on the port side below the v-birth(1 intake, one out).

I need to dig some more to verify that there isn't one hiding anywhere, however as far as i know this is all of them. That being said, i am not 100% sure on sizing for all of them, but guesstimating they are all 1 1/2 inch, i'm looking at around $1400 with the premade backing plates(save me $300 bucks to make it myself) and the Groco tri flange.

That being said, does anyone have anything to say regarding these units? I noticed they said that these are bronze with "Chrome plated solid brass ball".

I thought the whole point of using Bronze seacocks from top to bottom was to NOT have brass? Based on this, we should NOT be using brass within the seacock setup, so since thats the case, WHY would i use a bronze seacock with a brass ball? Wouldn't the brass all just decay away within a VERY short amount of time?

Any tips would be great! I'm looking to get my boat hauled either end of this month or more likely early/middle next month to spend at most, 3 days out of the water to do a quick and dirty job of replacing all 6 seacocks and any sort of unknown issues with things like drive shaft(current inboard is seized but that is a project for a later period).

Thanks everyone!
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Old 08-12-2015, 13:18   #2
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Re: thruhull + seacock replacements - planning before pulling

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Originally Posted by chowdan View Post
Anyways, does anyone have any recommendations on how to determine if the seacock and thru hull needs replacing?

The attached pictures look like your seacocks are tapered cone type. The pbase site shows how you can service them as well. But you'll likely have to pull the boat out of the water and take them apart to be sure.

Also does anyone have any cheap sources for seacocks and thruhulls?

I just bought a bunch of Groco seacocks/thru-hulls (four 1 1/2" and one 1"). The best sources I've found are between Hopkins Carter and Defender. HC will have most of the main parts while Defender will have a few items like the thru-hulls.

When the time comes to replace, I'll be following the guide on pbase regarding putting a backing plate.

I used the same resource too to replace my raw water seacock a cuople years ago or so. Once you get to work, you'll see that it really isn't all that hard to do.

Any tips would be great! I'm looking to get my boat hauled either end of this month or more likely early/middle next month to spend at most, 3 days out of the water to do a quick and dirty job of replacing all 6 seacocks and any sort of unknown issues with things like drive shaft(current inboard is seized but that is a project for a later period).

That would be a lot of work to do in just 3 days. Just make sure you have everything you need ready to go.

Thanks everyone!
Good luck.
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Old 08-12-2015, 13:28   #3
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Re: thruhull + seacock replacements - planning before pulling

The pics appear to show tapered cone seacocks which can last for decades if maintained. I replaced my thru-hulls / seacocks a while back and, as my boat only has three holes, I ended up justifying expensive Spartan marine tapered cones very similar to what you have.

pbase has a great writeup on servicing these...

Servicing Tapered Cone Seacocks Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com

Otherwise, not sure how you'd verify their integrity until you take them apart and service. Is there any documentation on the boat for them, or perhaps the PO could shed some light on their history?

Also, easy and cheap to make your own backing plates out of fiberglass if you want to go down that road. Better yet, buy a sheet of 1/4in g10 from mcmaster carr and cut them to size.
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Old 08-12-2015, 14:16   #4
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Re: thruhull + seacock replacements - planning before pulling

Really appreciate the comments guys!


@Rhapsody - Are your Groco units the ones with brass ball? Are you concerned about brass being inferior?

My theory being the 3 days would be if I can get the boat out EARLY in the morning(7-9am) and on stands by 12pm, me and 1 other person should in theory be able to strip the 6 thruhulls(3 each, at 2 hours per unit), then by at around 6pm-8pm, upwards of 10PM if we take it easy and slow, meaning we have just over 3 hours per hole, per person.

That leaves 2 days remaining, and if we start at 8am the next morning, and we have all the parts, and the backing plates cut and ready to go, we should in theory be able to complete 3 per person within a 8-12 hour span.

That would also mean we have 1 extra day free. The inboard diesel is currently in an "unknown" state(likely seized), however this probably be a good time to service zincs on prop and check packing/bearings on rudder/prop. These checks could be done while the backing plates are in a curing state though, and the free day could be used for the needed replacements if needed. Since we'd have all the new parts ready to be put in and pre-made, the only thing we need to do is strip the old, clean up the area and mount the new.

Is the timeline/theory a bit too aggressive? There will be me and 1 other person or potentially a total of 3 of us doing the work. I try to take the estimated "optimum" time to do the work then add close to double if not more just for the "unknown"

Also i've see some full units made by Perko, they have the thruhull, seacock with plastic ball and sleeve(seems better than brass?), mounting plate and elbow hose adapter for $140. I could build mounting plates described in pbase for these. Save me a significant amount of money compared to a Groco setup(around $200 per unit for full setup for Groco).
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Old 08-12-2015, 14:32   #5
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Re: thruhull + seacock replacements - planning before pulling

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Originally Posted by laika View Post
The pics appear to show tapered cone seacocks which can last for decades if maintained. I replaced my thru-hulls / seacocks a while back and, as my boat only has three holes, I ended up justifying expensive Spartan marine tapered cones very similar to what you have.

pbase has a great writeup on servicing these...

Servicing Tapered Cone Seacocks Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com

Otherwise, not sure how you'd verify their integrity until you take them apart and service. Is there any documentation on the boat for them, or perhaps the PO could shed some light on their history?

Also, easy and cheap to make your own backing plates out of fiberglass if you want to go down that road. Better yet, buy a sheet of 1/4in g10 from mcmaster carr and cut them to size.
How much were your Spartan seacocks? Where did you purhase them from?

They may be expensive, but if they can easily last 30 years, it may be worth it. The problem i ahve is that I dont know if I will own this boat for more than 5 years. The long term plan is to use this boat as our "training" boat over the next 5 years, while fixing her up and bringing her into tip top shape, and reselling her. We'd like to upgrade to a 32-42ft boat to do a long cruise through caribbean, or if funds dont come out appropriately, then keep this girl and just take her to caribbean.

That being said, If i dont owner her for more than 5 years, it would be wiser for my personal investment to forgo the expensive seacocks and op for a lessor one and pass the problem onto the new owner, but i feel like if all seacocks were properly bedded, and had high quality parts that have perfect routine maintenance, then this could "add" value to the vessel.

I know all of the seacocks onboard are not running this same style though :\. Saturday ill have more photos of all of them to share!
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Old 08-12-2015, 14:56   #6
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Re: thruhull + seacock replacements - planning before pulling

The seacocks in your pictures look like the real deal and would be hard to replace inexpensively. And I wouldn't even be remotely concerned about a green coating, that just happens in the water environment (pink, on the other hand, is a bad sign).

Are the two seacocks in the cockpit above the waterline? Only there for when heeled? If so I'd try taking one of them apart while in the water, and see if you can't rebuild it. Would bet a little work following Pbase's guide would allow you to keep all the original units in place. If you find the cockpit ones in relatively good shape then I'd order the odds and ends of parts you need for the others and just re-build on haul-out (and if you really feel it necessary you could remove, add backing plate, and re-install).
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Old 08-12-2015, 15:52   #7
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Re: thruhull + seacock replacements - planning before pulling

Quote:
Originally Posted by chowdan View Post
How much were your Spartan seacocks? Where did you purhase them from?

They may be expensive, but if they can easily last 30 years, it may be worth it. The problem i ahve is that I dont know if I will own this boat for more than 5 years. The long term plan is to use this boat as our "training" boat over the next 5 years, while fixing her up and bringing her into tip top shape, and reselling her. We'd like to upgrade to a 32-42ft boat to do a long cruise through caribbean, or if funds dont come out appropriately, then keep this girl and just take her to caribbean.

That being said, If i dont owner her for more than 5 years, it would be wiser for my personal investment to forgo the expensive seacocks and op for a lessor one and pass the problem onto the new owner, but i feel like if all seacocks were properly bedded, and had high quality parts that have perfect routine maintenance, then this could "add" value to the vessel.

I know all of the seacocks onboard are not running this same style though :\. Saturday ill have more photos of all of them to share!
I got mine from Robinhood Marine out of Maine, who I believe also manufactures them onsite. All of them 3/4" and $225/ea if memory serves. Excellent quality.

The grocos valves can simply be unscrewed from the bronze base and swapped out further down the road when the ball valve eventually corrodes. Kind of nice in a way, making inspecting and replacing them quite a bit easier than servicing the spartans.

Can't go wrong either way! Doubt youd see much upshot from the spartans in the way of resale value.
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Old 08-12-2015, 16:33   #8
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Re: thruhull + seacock replacements - planning before pulling

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I got mine from Robinhood Marine out of Maine, who I believe also manufactures them onsite. All of them 3/4" and $225/ea if memory serves. Excellent quality.

The grocos valves can simply be unscrewed from the bronze base and swapped out further down the road when the ball valve eventually corrodes. Kind of nice in a way, making inspecting and replacing them quite a bit easier than servicing the spartans.

Can't go wrong either way! Doubt youd see much upshot from the spartans in the way of resale value.
Great advice! I guess it really depends on HOW many of the valves are not of this type. THis weekend ill be on the boat, documenting in notes + photos, everything from seacocks to rusted out hose clamps to measuring and getting information needed for new chainplate fabrications.

I also would like to figure out a good spot to integrate a shore power plug, as it currently is being routed through the chain pipe(similar to sea-dog design), which means we have a sponge and a bucket underneath to collect the water...not my ideal situation. I'm thinking ill be sticking a plug in the cockpit as that typically seems the most common.
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:06   #9
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Re: thruhull + seacock replacements - planning before pulling

Chowdan, I'd really love the chance to quote you on this project.

Compass Marine's instructions on Pbase are excellent. Groco now makes fiberglass backing pads such as he describes but they are already cut and drilled for you. They will work with either Groco or Apollo flanged seacocks or the Groco flanged adapters.
Groco Seacock Backing Block

I wouldn't worry about the chrome brass ball in the Groco valves. They have been in service now for more than twenty years with no problems. Water never touches the brass.

When you're ready, send me a list and I'll send you a quote.
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:17   #10
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Re: thruhull + seacock replacements - planning before pulling

Your timeline sounds easily doable to me.

I just replaced three 3/4" seacocks on our boat by myself in less than 6 hours. This included removing the old tapered plug beasties, grinding inside the hull, gluing g-10 backing plates on, cutting mushrooms to length, cleaning and sealing flange adapters and mushrooms, etc...

I would be surprised though if all of your seacocks are 1.5", but if they are I found that the bigger plug type valves are very serviceable, while the smaller ones not so much.


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Old 09-12-2015, 10:28   #11
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Re: thruhull + seacock replacements - planning before pulling

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Chowdan, I'd really love the chance to quote you on this project.

Compass Marine's instructions on Pbase are excellent. Groco now makes fiberglass backing pads such as he describes but they are already cut and drilled for you. They will work with either Groco or Apollo flanged seacocks or the Groco flanged adapters.
Groco Seacock Backing Block

I wouldn't worry about the chrome brass ball in the Groco valves. They have been in service now for more than twenty years with no problems. Water never touches the brass.

When you're ready, send me a list and I'll send you a quote.
Much appreciated. I will be reaching out to you with a parts list in the next week or so. Ill be going aboard this weekend to get sizing and what exactly is needed.

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Your timeline sounds easily doable to me.

I just replaced three 3/4" seacocks on our boat by myself in less than 6 hours. This included removing the old tapered plug beasties, grinding inside the hull, gluing g-10 backing plates on, cutting mushrooms to length, cleaning and sealing flange adapters and mushrooms, etc...

I would be surprised though if all of your seacocks are 1.5", but if they are I found that the bigger plug type valves are very serviceable, while the smaller ones not so much.


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Thanks for this! If the price is right, ill purchase backing plates, otherwise ill probably just cut out my own. I know that they all arent 1.5", but i figured i'd take a larger size and price out for all of them being this size to give me some wiggle room on $$.

I am glad to hear that you were able to replace 3 in ~6 hours. Gives me a bit of confidence that we can easily do this in the projected timeline with 2 people, and especially with 3 people.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:00   #12
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Re: thruhull + seacock replacements - planning before pulling

If your sea cocks are the tapered kind, just overhaul them, instead of replacing them.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:37   #13
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Re: thruhull + seacock replacements - planning before pulling

Yup, if you got bronze seacocks, should be good for life. Just clean them up. BTW: big decision you face is whether to ground all of them or leave them isolated.
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:17   #14
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Re: thruhull + seacock replacements - planning before pulling

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If your sea cocks are the tapered kind, just overhaul them, instead of replacing them.
How to overhaul them, you ask?
Take out the bolts that hold the plate holding the moving part in the fixed part. If it's seized together you may have to spray in some of your favourite easing oil, and if it doesn't come out easily,tap it through from outside with a hammer and something suitable, like a length of broom handle or 3/4" copper pipe. If the easing oil doesn't work try a blowtorch, (carefully). If you are using a hammer on the valve handle be very careful not to use so much force that you disturb the through-hull fitting
Clean the mating surfaces with 120grit Wetordry sandpaper and follow this up with some automotive valve-grinding paste until both surfaces are smooth all round
Clean up with a suitable solvent and apply a liberal coating of waterproof grease.
Reassemble the whole thing, but only tighten down the locating plate enough that you don't squeeze out all the grease.
If your seacock is one of the later type that has a grease nipple, just pump in a small amount of grease every month or two and "excercise" the valve on a regular basis.
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:19   #15
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Re: thruhull + seacock replacements - planning before pulling

My two cents (worth less than that)... with cost an issue you might consider whether you need to go the full backing plate / flange route (as excellently detailed on the pbase site) for all your through hulls.

My understanding is yes it's not he ABYC standard, but that the backing plate / flange setup doesn't do much if anything to prevent through hull failure, it's only designed to increase impact resistance if say someone stepped on it or a big heavy toolbox slide into it when you're heeling.

We are replacing through hulls this spring and there are a few I'm not planning on putting backing plates and flanges on, such as under my kitchen sink. Reason? Impossible space to work in as it is, and there will never be anything else in this tiny space except that through hull. On the other hand, my raw water intake I plan on doing the full flanged deal on because it is in a more accessible space, theoretically a possible spot someone could step on it etc.

Just a thought.

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