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Old 11-11-2019, 10:00   #106
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Re: Closing Seacocks

I would say the danger of forgetting to open seacocks serving your engines outweigh the dangers of not closing them. Close your plumbing seacocks if you must.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:02   #107
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Re: Closing Seacocks

Eliminate sea water from the galley and the heads. Use fresh water. Too many incidents come from these.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:05   #108
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Re: Closing Seacocks

My rule used to be (swallowed the hook) How long can my batteries run my bilge pumps? If Iím going nm to gone longer closeím.
If Iím connected to shore power, theyíre closed
Donít want to get into a debate on seacocks but you quickly learn how difficult it is to close gate valves in a hurry. The resultant frequent inspections arenít a bad byproduct either
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:08   #109
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Re: Closing Seacocks

I close mine every time I leave the boat for more than a day. The only ones I leave open are my cockpit drains. I sleep better and Iím more likely to spot an issue if Iím in there opening and closing them regularly.

I think itís now muscle memory for myself and the only negative Iíve ever experienced is forgetting to open my shower/sink valve, turning on the shower pump and flooding the floor via the sink..
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:13   #110
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Re: Closing Seacocks

When the boat is in the water and left unattended I close the seacocks. I do check all hoses, but why risk anything is what I say. I always check the engine oil before starting, visual the engine and the salt water intake is right in view while I am checking the oil. I turn it on.

When the boat is out of the water, all winterized, I pick one of the lowest seacocks and disconnect the hose, open the seacock. REASON- My third boat, an O'Day 34, sunk on dry land. I was injured and could not get to the boat for many months. Nobody to check it for me and on the hard, so figured all OK. The marina did not check anyone's boat. Well, the cockpit drains filled with leaves. Lots of rain and it filled the cockpit and dumped over into the cabin. About 6" of water above the cabin sole when I opened the companionway. Very surprised. An open hose-less seacock would have saved a lot of work.

Just make good notes, put a flag someplace alerting what is open. Everyone winterizes and then they have a long checklist of to do's before they splash. Just put the darn hose back in place. Under the galley sink is the lowest so I unhook one of those.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:24   #111
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Re: Closing Seacocks

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Originally Posted by sailorladd View Post
Two reasons why, in my opinion, it's a good idea to close the seacocks when you leave your boat even for a day....

Firstly for peace of mind, which is a huge reason, knowing that your boat won't sink from a leaking sea cock ,as most sunk boats have (statistically) and second, it helps to keep the valve alive by USING it... when a bronze valve is left unused for a long period it will be hard to open and in some cases even be extremely hard to open, and by forcing it open, one can damage it..

Once, when I was living on my boat in Lanai Hawaii, I flew over to Maui to work for about three to four days, on my return as we flew over the little boat harbor in the 4 seater plane I was in, I saw to my horror, my boat was partially submerged and I almost had a heart attack... when I finally got on board, I saw that my marine head was overflowing out of the pan and....yup I had left the sea cocks open...It took half a day to bucket out all the water, as my whale gusher pump was broken, and I learned a severe lesson, which I am passing on to anyone who reads this... always remember too that Murphy's law works out at sea as well,:banghead if not better than anywhere else
Pretty much my experience, although in my case it involved a 4 year old flushing her panties, jamming open a joker valve, backflow of sea water from the open thruhull and the rest is just a painful memory.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:35   #112
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Re: Closing Seacocks

Hi All, It depends where you keep your boat and the season you are in. We are based in the Med and water is very salt and there is no risk of freezing seacocks. So we leave them open and close all (except the cockpit drains) when we go home for more than a week (automatic bildgepump). And yes we use a checklist to be sure we do not forget one.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:57   #113
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Re: Closing Seacocks

Iíve had 5 boats that stayed in sea water year round (over a 40 year period), my dad 3 more - we seldom ever closed the seacocks, aside from exercising same twice a year.
We do haul annually for maintenance, which includes checking all thru Hull seacocks & hoses....
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:09   #114
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Re: Closing Seacocks

My boat is kept in warm temperature ocean water year round and I never close the seacocks. I do however exercise them every now and then and religiously haul out the boat annually for full maintenance and service.
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Old 11-11-2019, 13:21   #115
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Re: Closing Seacocks

I never used to close them either, untilóó
I spent a very quiet night at anchor in glassy seas in the Philippines 90 miles north of Cebu. Woke in the morning to find my Vetus anti-siphon valve had failed and allowed sea water to fill up the water lock then overflow into the exhaust manifold. With the help of a Kiwi yachty, we removed the injectors, spun it over with the starter motor, a couple of oil changes and it was fine after that. The cause was the small anti siphon tube had blocked up with salt. I got rid of the plastic Vetus one and had a more substantial bronze one made and shut the sea cock!!
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Old 11-11-2019, 15:32   #116
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Re: Closing Seacocks

If leaving the yacht for more than one day we will always shut all the sea cocks, except of course the cockpit drains. This also gives them some movement plus a visual check. The engine one is always turned off when the engine is stopped. I place a peg on the key as a reminder.
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Old 11-11-2019, 15:41   #117
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Re: Closing Seacocks

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Eliminate sea water from the galley and the heads. Use fresh water. Too many incidents come from these.
Same here.
Ability to carry 5 tonne of water helps
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Old 11-11-2019, 16:58   #118
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Re: Closing Seacocks

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Originally Posted by Tmacmi View Post
How religious are you about closing the seacocks if you leave your boat for a week or two?

I have four seacocks, 2 for sink drains, 1 for head intake, 1 for motor cooling.

Do you have a departure check list to make sure you remember to open a critical seacock like the motor?
Check with your insurance company. Sometimes your insurance is voided if your boat sinks with the Seato is open.
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Old 11-11-2019, 23:03   #119
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Re: Closing Seacocks

Most people who are disciplined enough to close their seacocks every time probably keep their clamps and hoses in good order as well, so their risk of sinking is much lower anyway because they keep their boats in shape. And people who participate in these forums are probably also less likely statistically for this to happen since they generally pay attention to their boats and are better informed. So this exchange is kind of preaching to the choir.

I'd rather advise fellow boaters to learn all about their hull penetrations--especially below the water line--and the plumbing connected to them. I also preach using good hose double clamped with ABA 316 clamps. After that, closing the seacocks regularly is mostly for peace of mind among those who are already fastidious enough that this would never happen to anyway.

FWIW, I leave my engines and genny seacocks open due to the difficulty of access, but I pay extra attention to my hoses and clamps (which are removed annually for winterizing). I also plan on getting MiFi next year for overall internet access and incorporating a WiFi bilge alarm. I do close my AC seacock when away because the access is easy and the hose is a bit less robust than my engine hoses. That's how I balance my risk/laziness ratio.
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Old 11-11-2019, 23:24   #120
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Re: Closing Seacocks

I think it is interesting that out of 8 pages of comments on the seacock subject, only one poster has commented on one of the most valuable "alarms" that almost no one has on their boat. That would be the "HIGH BILGE LEVEL" alarm. It can be accomplished by using a commercially available system, My preferred method is installing a float switch higher than the normal water level run it to a relay that would power the boats horn, and a self latching relay pulled in by a NC push button that would be used as an "alarm silence" circuit. The advantage of this system is when your boat is out in the mooring field, and something goes wrong and the horn starts blowing sooner or later someone will get annoyed enough to investigate why the horn is blowing.
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