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Old 05-11-2019, 16:38   #31
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Re: Closing Seacocks

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Always (when away from the boat for more than a couple of hours).



For the reasons that DH states below.



For those who don't close them, why bother having them. Surely it would be easier just to fit your hose to a sturdy though hull spigot when on the hard and not bother with all the hassle of maintaining the seacock.


While the sentiment is good, having seacocks allow you to close them when needed to repair or change a hose, etc or if damage occurs they can be closed and any leakage will stop so I donít think you were really serious about not having them altogether.

I have had three boats and all of them had/have 4 cockpit drains that drain below the water level. You canít close these without risk of flooding from rain, etc. I have to maintain my hoses and maintain a flood control system that will allow one of them to be broken without sinking the boat. I donít feel compelled to close every other one as I work to maintain them in the same state as I do the ones I cannot close. Maybe statistically I have a slightly increased risk of having an issue with 7 open instead of 4 but if you have to have some open anyway it just makes sense to maintain them to reduce the chance of any of them being an issue.

Having said that I do close seacocks I am not using (A/C, wash down, head) but I keep my engine open and sink drains just because I use them more or the risk of not opening them is high if needed.

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Old 05-11-2019, 17:50   #32
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Re: Closing Seacocks

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Same here.
Only 2 seacocks on a 60fter
And 4 x 3700gph bilge pumps and floats set at various depths
Bilge pumps? Donít even need them. My discharges are stand pipes without seacocks and my inlets are either in front of the forward watertight bulkhead or behind the aft watertight bulkhead. No hull penetrations in the big center section
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Old 05-11-2019, 18:11   #33
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Re: Closing Seacocks

My 53 foot boat has exactly three seacoks that are below the waterline at the dock. They are closed when the boat is unoccupied.

I have seen boats of a similar size with more than 15 underwater thru-hull fittings. Closing all those would take the better part of a half hour... and another 30 minutes to reopen them all. Another reason it's such a bad idea to have so many.
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Old 05-11-2019, 19:23   #34
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Re: Closing Seacocks

I have 7 seacocks (engine and head intake, galley and head sink drain, overboard discharge and cockpit drains), except for the cockpit drain ones I close all other seacocks when I leave the boat, the overboard discharge one stays permanently closed.

I see arguments on both sides but if you have the ability to make your boat safer why won't you? Even people who said they know the condition of their seacocks, clamps and hoses why not add an extra layer of security which you already have!
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Old 05-11-2019, 20:13   #35
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Re: Closing Seacocks

It may sound like a stupid question and I don't want to threadjack, but... how do I know how many seacocks I have and their locations? I should really read the entire manual, cover to cover, right?
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Old 05-11-2019, 20:23   #36
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Re: Closing Seacocks

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I should really read the entire manual, cover to cover, right?
Better yet, go through your boat in detail. I believe knowing the positions and conditions of seacocks and their attachments are the first things to learn on a new (to you) boat.
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Old 05-11-2019, 21:04   #37
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Re: Closing Seacocks

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It may sound like a stupid question and I don't want to threadjack, but... how do I know how many seacocks I have and their locations? I should really read the entire manual, cover to cover, right?
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Better yet, go through your boat in detail. I believe knowing the positions and conditions of seacocks and their attachments are the first things to learn on a new (to you) boat.
And next time you haul it out of the water, walk around and see if the number of holes visible on the outside match what you found on the inside.

The manual may not account for any alterations done by previous owners!
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Old 05-11-2019, 21:37   #38
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Re: Closing Seacocks

We have four sea cocks and close them all when leaving the boat overnight or longer, except right now two are broken and I have replacements aboard and will replace these two soon (it's on the list).

We also energize an additional automatic bilge pump.

We have no checklist for reopening them but if the toilet doesn't flush or the sink does not drain we remember and open them all.

Hoses rarely fail but hose clamps do, all the time.

My friend had to make an emergency run to the boatyard with his C&C 41 when one of his brass (bronze, does it matter?) skin fittings fell apart due to electrolysis. (he had his AC system bonded to his DC grounding system). Luckily he was aboard and the boatyard was open.
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Old 05-11-2019, 21:45   #39
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Re: Closing Seacocks

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.

My friend had to make an emergency run to the boatyard with his C&C 41 when one of his brass (bronze, does it matter?) skin fittings fell apart due to electrolysis. (he had his AC system bonded to his DC grounding system). Luckily he was aboard and the boatyard was open.
Does it matter?
Absolutely.
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Old 05-11-2019, 21:56   #40
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Re: Closing Seacocks

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It may sound like a stupid question and I don't want to threadjack, but... how do I know how many seacocks I have and their locations? I should really read the entire manual, cover to cover, right?
I really find that dismaying. Of course you should know your boat inside and out. Find every intake and outlet. Use some logic, trace every hose. Worst case, examine every square foot of the your hull from the inside.

Otherwise you are relying on luck that the unspeakable disaster never happens but it will.

The only question is whether it is before or after you turn your boat over to a new owner.

I feel lucky that I put in my through hulls and know where they are.
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Old 05-11-2019, 22:20   #41
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Re: Closing Seacocks

Almost never, other than to occasionally exercise the valve or to do maintenance. Thatís what keeping a boat in a livaboard marina (with friendly neighbors) and backup bilge pumps are for. With the hoses, clamps and sea cocks themselves in good shape, sitting still in the water puts them under very little pressure compared to being beaten with shock load while underway.
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Old 05-11-2019, 22:25   #42
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Re: Closing Seacocks

I close them when I leave for longer than several days (I live on my boat).
POs put in too many thruhulls. I will be removing and plugging up 4 thuhulls (including 2 above waterline superfluous cockpit drain thruhulls) next time I haul out.
The fewer holes in my hull, the better I will feel.
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Old 05-11-2019, 23:07   #43
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Re: Closing Seacocks

I used to close the engine cooling intake and hang the starter key there in the past, however, the new boat does not have the key, and I am quite sure that closing the seacock will cost me the engine one day. Need to think of a protocol to completely eliminate a possibility of starting the engine with closed water intake. Any ideas? Checklists are not an option.
There is no risk in closing other ones, so why not?
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:10   #44
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Re: Closing Seacocks

Do you close them when you are gone for a week or two? LOL I close them when I am gone for an hour. Anytime no one is on the boat, the seacocks are closed.

That being said, my other boat has been designed not to have seacocks at all. Only above the waterline discharges.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:26   #45
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Re: Closing Seacocks

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I used to close the engine cooling intake and hang the starter key there in the past, however, the new boat does not have the key, and I am quite sure that closing the seacock will cost me the engine one day. Need to think of a protocol to completely eliminate a possibility of starting the engine with closed water intake. Any ideas? Checklists are not an option.
There is no risk in closing other ones, so why not?
Iím going to go with force of habit here. It really becomes natural to open the engine seacock as part of the procedure of starting the engine. Since I have never been one to keep seacocks open at all, when I grab a key, or when I am flipping switches to on, I open the seacock also. Itís just part of the engine start up. I also look over the stern to make sure water is splashing out every time I start an engine.

Itís just about habits.
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