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Old 03-11-2011, 06:25   #1
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Through Hull Fittings - Straight Answers Needed

Lots of discussion recently in the UK sailing press about the materials used for some through hull fittings and seacocks on many new boats. Some apparently have a design life of only 5 years. I have a 2010 Jeanneau 42DS and I have been trying to find out what material has been used on my boat, i.e. bronze (unlikely), DZR brass (hopefully) or brass (oh help!).
I cannot seem to get any answers from Jeanneau or anywhere else. All I want is straight answers so I can make informed decision on whether to replace all the fittings. I don't want to end up with a disaster.
Has anyone got any information that might help?
Many Thanks
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:02   #2
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Re: Through Hull Fittings - straight answers needed

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, TimPeacockUK.

Bronze is richer, more golden brownish/reddish in colour than Brass; which is usually a yellow colour.
You might try to borrow a Portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Analyser
Metal Identification Equipment
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:23   #3
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Re: Through Hull Fittings - straight answers needed

Sand-cast bronze will also have a rough service.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:24   #4
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Re: Through Hull Fittings - straight answers needed

Sorry, I mean "surface"
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:51   #5
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Re: Through Hull Fittings - straight answers needed

I would be shocked if even the cheapest boat would use standard brass for a through hull. Getting even a five year life on brass would be unlikely.

Had not heard of DZR brass so had to look it up. I guess that might be acceptable for marine applications but, think bronze still the best option.

Have no idea how one could tell by looking at the fitting, unless there is a logo or maker's mark on the fitting itself. Any chance of that?

It does make me wonder that Jeanneau will not answer the question. Did they refuse to answer or have you just not been able to reach a person that has the answer?
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:59   #6
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Re: Through Hull Fittings - straight answers needed

There has been a lot of activity in the UK press over the past 6 months over cheap materials (brass) used in certain through hull fittings.
Essential Seacock Checks | YM Plus | Yachting Monthly
I have tried to contact Jeanneau both directly and through the dealer from who I bought the boat to get details of what these bits are made from, but as yet have not had any replies.
In many ways I do not mind if they tell me that they used brass with a service life of 5 years - at least I would know that I need to change them. Its just the frustration of not being able to get a straight answer.
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Old 03-11-2011, 18:25   #7
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Re: Through Hull Fittings - Straight Answers Needed

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Originally Posted by TimPeacockUK View Post
Lots of discussion recently in the UK sailing press about the materials used for some through hull fittings and seacocks on many new boats. Some apparently have a design life of only 5 years. I have a 2010 Jeanneau 42DS and I have been trying to find out what material has been used on my boat, i.e. bronze (unlikely), DZR brass (hopefully) or brass (oh help!).
I cannot seem to get any answers from Jeanneau or anywhere else. All I want is straight answers so I can make informed decision on whether to replace all the fittings. I don't want to end up with a disaster.
Has anyone got any information that might help?
Many Thanks
Well, as you read in the press:

1) if Jeanneau does not answer, it tells you a story,
2) have a look at your seacocks - if they are clearly marked as per press articles, they are DZR, otherwise assume them brass.

If they are chromed, they are not bronze.

If they are noname, they will most likely be brass.

If they are brand ones, look up the markings and google out their specs.

If you replace, replace with bronze, if you want to keep the boat. Replace with brand DZR if budget an issue.

PS Should Jeanneau have used plain brass fittings, do not get surprised, I have seen countless examples of plain brass fittings in nearly all mass production boats younger than say 15 years.

PS Imagine I am in a place where none of 6 local chandleries stock bronze nor DZR fittings. That's choice.

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Old 03-11-2011, 18:31   #8
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Re: Through Hull Fittings - Straight Answers Needed

If they a re chrome, why couldnt they be bronze? Bronze chromes well....
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Old 03-11-2011, 18:36   #9
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Re: Through Hull Fittings - straight answers needed

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I would be shocked if even the cheapest boat would use standard brass for a through hull. Getting even a five year life on brass would be unlikely.
So be shocked.

I walk into my friends boat and help him with a seacock change. I am not telling the manufacturer's name here. We take out the old seacock (seacock - hahahahaha) well, anyway we take out the ball valve fitting and we look at it close up and personal - no name on it, no markings on it, it is chromed.

The boat is a 1995 model. EU built, a major brand, category Ocean certified, etc..

IMHO thruhulls and seacocks on such boats (no names, no names please) are a joke.

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Old 03-11-2011, 18:41   #10
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Re: Through Hull Fittings - Straight Answers Needed

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
If they a re chrome, why couldnt they be bronze? Bronze chromes well....
Bronze can be chromed.

Which bronze seacocks are chromed? Bodies, not balls.

Lavacs, Groco, Apollo, Vetus are not.

But I might be wrong, just have not seen any yet, too young.

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Old 03-11-2011, 19:30   #11
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Re: Through Hull Fittings - Straight Answers Needed

I think that Kanter aluminum boats have chromed bronze through hulls.
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Old 03-11-2011, 19:56   #12
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Re: Through Hull Fittings - Straight Answers Needed

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I think that Kanter aluminum boats have chromed bronze through hulls.
May be. Never seen their thru-hulls. Have you? I think chrome is pretty noble, pretty close to bronze. That's perhaps why we can chrome bronze but we don't see much of chromed aluminum around (at least not on boats;-).

I would suspect toys like Kanter have a seachest rather or welded fittings or machined aluminum perhaps?

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Old 04-11-2011, 06:37   #13
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Re: Through Hull Fittings - Straight Answers Needed

Unfortunately many boats built under the RCD rules have brass or DZR brass fittings the RCD only requires 5 years service life of such fittings. In reality any such boat over 5 years should have all the seacocks taken out and replaced with bronze. While these fittings have lasted much longer they are definitely suspect.

There are proposals to have the RCD modified in this respect, its one of the drawbacks that manufacturers often "build down" to the rules.

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Old 04-11-2011, 06:48   #14
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Re: Through Hull Fittings - Straight Answers Needed

No mention here about Marelon fittings from Forespar? I thought they were what folks were going to?
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:49   #15
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Re: Through Hull Fittings - Straight Answers Needed

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(...) its one of the drawbacks that manufacturers often "build down" to the rules. (...)
Bet there is not enough bronze fittings around to replace all the junk now.

Buy some bronze fittings, wait for the first couple of boats to sink, sell what you have with 1000% profit ... (thread: making money while cruising).

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