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Old 06-12-2012, 14:26   #61
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Re: Cockpit Drains

Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
If you have seacocks of any kind which are not readily accessible, then you should consider cutting an access hatch or moving them. In my opinion this is recklessly bad design, very dangerous. You should know all of your sea cocks intimately, and be able to reach them in seconds, in the dark. Keeping your boat afloat might depend on it some day.
This is really the driving force, the status quo is NFG from this respect even if I do renew it with shiny new seacocks et al. If I were loaded up for cruising, I couldn't get at those seacocks in under 5 minutes likely, without heaving stuff overboard in a panic. No way in the dark either. So if I have to do something else, the something else might as well drain like a bat out of hell.


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Old 06-12-2012, 14:33   #62
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Re: Cockpit Drains

"Also, remember that submarines are designed to sink and not get wet on the inside."

Man, please solve that problem for the rest of us.

Hey Dockhead, can we just be friends with our seacocks? Intimate is going too far.

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Old 07-12-2012, 08:36   #63
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Re: Cockpit Drains

Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
I'm having a little trouble understanding this obsession with cockpit drains for several reasons:

1) Our boat (Caliber 40) was pooped in a serious tidal overfall with huge standing waves - cockpit was full to overflowing the seats - continued sailing with no change in trim or buoyancy that I could detect. The three stock/standard 1.5" drains emptied the cockpit in short order while I tried to steer around the worst of the 10' + waves. I noticed no change in the helm responsiveness.

The wave that got us was big enough and put enough water into the boat that we found several inches of salt water in our sauce pans on the 2nd shelve up in the cupboard under the galley sink. All of that water just drained into the bilge where my three bilge pumps quickly discharged it.

This event occurred in the north Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) about a mile offshore.

2) My brothers boat (Tartan 42) was pooped in a full gale with 12' breaking square waves where the water went from hundreds of fathoms to less than 10 fathoms and there was a 2 knot current opposing the waves. The stock Tartan cockpit drains quickly drained the cockpit. I was hand steering and again we felt no change in the boat handling or steering. Our bigger concern was not over running the next wave as we surfed at 12 knots down each wave. This occurred in the eastern entrance to the Straits of Juan de Fuca between the Olympic Peninsula (Washington State) and Vancouver Island, Canada.

It never occurred to us in either event to be concerned about the speed at which the cockpits drained.

Additionally - I've done a fair number of blue water miles in many boats from 40 to 65 feet and have done several days and many nights of down wind sailing in more than gales and more than 12' breaking seas and I can never remember being concerned about getting pooped or having breaking waves enter the cockpit.

I've spent several enjoyable nights sitting in our cockpit in 45+ knots and pretty big breaking seas as our Sailormat windvane drove us downwind at about 150 degrees apparent and just marveled at how, each and every time, the stern would rise and the breaking sea would rush on by.

Several hundred miles east of the US Carolinas we did 430 miles in 48 hours in a big light fast CRUISER all of it downwind with spinnaker or big genoa on a pole. The swell was enormous with an occasional breaker - never once had reason to think about water in the cockpit.

Attached picture during a 250 NM crossing from the Baja Peninsula to Banderas Bay on the Mexican Mainland in 40+ knots and biggish breaking seas for about 10 hours. Cockpit stayed bone dry and the autopilot steered every inch of the way. We stayed above 7.3 knots with only a 90% jib up.

Maybe I've been naive for several decades of ocean sailing and didn't realize the danger those stock drains posed.
"I'm having a little trouble understanding this obsession with cockpit drains "
Yeah, me too. Once the cockpit is full.... it cant get any fuller! Better off spending your time making a well sealed companionway. That's why I asked in my earlier post if anyone had ever filled their cockpit with water at he dock.
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 09-12-2012, 10:47   #64
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Re: Cockpit Drains

Originally Posted by Chasing Summer View Post
TacomaSailor ... I see your location as San Diego and Puget Sound. I presume sailed both north and south more than once. I'm currently in San Diego rebuilding my boat. What route do you take going north. Do you gunk hole it using your diesel a lot or do you go out to sea and tack north? When I'm finished I'm headed to SF Bay then on to Puget Sound. I've always wanted to cruise Puget Sound. After that I head for the South Pacific.
Chasing Summer:

Our boat is in San Diego 'cause I am tired of the cold and dreary weather in Puget Sound (south part of the Salish Sea to be PC). I am authorized to say that because I started sailing in Bellingham, WA (far north part of the Salish Sea) in 1972 and have endured that miserable weather for much of the next four decades.

I've sailed four boats from Puget Sound to San Diego, two from San Diego to the Sea of Cortez, and two from the Sea of Cortez back up to San Diego (900 NM). I sailed several times from San Diego north to the Channel Islands.

And I've sailed NW and SW the entire length of the west coast of Vancouver Island.

I do have a deep appreciation for US West Coast offshore sailing.

I love the downwind trip from Cape Flattery to San Diego. I would never consider the upwind trip from Point Conception to Cape Flattery (west entrance to the Strait Juan de Fuca / Salish Sea).

The worst, most miserable, and scariest trip I have ever done was on my brother's Tartan 42 from Cabo San Lucas to San Diego. Fourteen days of misery - dead into 15 knots and five foot swell every inch of the way.

And that is trivial compared to what I would expect from Cape Mendocino to Cape Flattery. The wind is usually not the issue and with good-modern weather forecasting it is possible to avoid all those 20+ knot NW wind days that are so common from Mendocino north.

BUT and it is a huge BUT one cannot avoid the ever constant, persistent, and prevailing NW to NNW swell that is seldom below four feet. The swell is what makes it so hard to sail upwind along that coast and very uncomfortable to motor into it. There is nothing dangerous about the conditions - it is just uncomfortable and unpleasant trying to make progress NNW into a persistent NNW swell, cool air temps, and cold water.

t is particularly unpleasant when the wind is out of the West or WSW and at right angles to the NNW long period swell. 25 degree rolls at 12 seconds was pretty common for many, many days and nights.

Here is a video on our last trip - 100 mile SSW of Cape Flattery with a big Low west of us and a 5' NW swell -

You can see many other sailing videos of my September 2010 trip from Tacoma WA to San Diego at TacomaSailor's channel - YouTube

Mid-July, Mid-August downwind, 50 miles off the Oregon coast at 3 AM in light fog and four knots apparent from astern - 55 degree water temp, 57 degree air temp and I could not stay warm in the cockpit. I've spent at least 15 nights out there and every one was damp and cold.

I have stopped in almost every port along the US West Coast and would take advantage of all of them if I was motoring/sailing north. Given that I would plan on at least six weeks if I wanted to be comfortable and avoid struggling with the NW swell.

When it was time to take Mirador from the Sea of Cortez back to Puget Sound I chose a truck from San Carlos, Mexico. I am pretty good with finance and economic calculations. I figured it would cost me about $4,000 and two months to take Mirador on her own bottom from the North Sea of Cortez back to Tacoma, WA. The truck trip cost me $8,2000 including ALL costs.

Friends sailed their 35' boat from Cabo to Seattle - they went out 1000 miles, motored thru 700 miles of North Pacific high calms and then sailed the rest of the way. Took them 36 days - non-stop.

Other friends motored and sailed from San Francisco, CA to Seattle in their Hylas 46 - took them 18 days and they had a great time. They had east or SE winds for 12 days and didn't think the swells were that big an issue.

As for sailing in Puget Sound (Salish Sea is now the term and it incorporates Puget Sound, eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, San Juan and Gulf Islands, Straight of Georgia, Bellingham Bay and who knows what else) is spectacular when the weather is nice.

I love it there and the San Juan and Gulf Islands are about my favorite place in the world to be on a boat. However - after five days of mist and high temps in the upper 50s in August, 2010 I left the San Juans for a trip south to San Diego.

You can check out my web site (THE VOYGAGES OF MIRADOR) and Flickr page (TacomaSailor) for hundreds of pictures and stories about sailing in the Pacific NW.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:18   #65
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Re: Cockpit Drains

TacomaSailor ... Thanks so much for this wealth of information. I'll also check out your website. Now this is what this forum is all about.
Lowell - s/v Chasing Summer - Spencer 42/hull 17 ... happy sailing
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Old 09-12-2012, 13:03   #66
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Re: Cockpit Drains

I haven't heard a mention of check valves on anyone's cockpit drains. On my CC, the sole is probably only 1 1/2' above waterline, with below waterline thru hulls. I certainly felt that they are necessary. The check valves are fairly rudimentary, a rubber handball in a cage. "X" ing the discharge lines might make them less necessary, but they seem important now.
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Old 09-12-2012, 18:12   #67
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Re: Cockpit Drains

Check balls are okay. However probably not ABYC. Don't rely on them when the boat in unattended. If they stick closed where will the rainwater go? Thru the engine panel? Down the companionway? Or over the side?
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Old 09-12-2012, 19:17   #68
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Re: Cockpit Drains

Thanks for reply, Daddle. I'm surprised that the check balls may not be ABYC compliant. Granted the boat is late 60's vintage, but it was designed by Laurent Giles. The reality is though, I don't shut the ball valves when leaving the boat, relying on the intergrity of the 2" thru hulls and using exhaust hose, double clamped to connect the drains to the valves. With my recently replaced knees, getting down into the engine "room" is no easy feat!!

I wonder if any of us routinely shuts the larger thru hulls that are hard to reach when leaving the boat.
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Old 09-12-2012, 21:34   #69
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So some sailboats have two types of drains in cockpits. One for sailing with ball valves you close when at the docks, which are larger, and smaller drains, that run out above the waterline for rain and washing, and stay open?

I only have two drains, both the same size, normal bathroom sink size, both exit straight down at the front of my center cockpit, with engine room ball valves, I never shut. Before I read this thread, never thought to trying to close them. I will check to see if they work this spring.

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