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Old 25-12-2012, 10:51   #16
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Re: seacocks

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Originally Posted by Thames 4 Blood View Post
While mile building on my yachtmaster the instructor forgot he had closed the seacock cooling water inlet on his Jeanneau 45.2 and barbequed the engine on the way out of the marina.... Checklist is a VERY good idea!
The engine should have shut itself down before sustaining damage ... and it should have sounded an alarm even before that.
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Old 26-12-2012, 06:58   #17
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Re: seacocks

Interesting that in aviation procedures for dealing with emergencies are memorized but doing routine tasks always have checklists. Seems with all the potential distractions with boarding the boat with friends or rushing to catch the last launch that a simple checklist is a must.
Our boat is on a mooring -- it might be a long time before someone spots potential trouble from a faulty seacock. It's one less thing to go wrong. Our Sabre has 13 seacocks, some easy to reach some not so easy. The extra 3 minutes it takes to open then close the ones we use is a small price for the extra piece of mind. We do this anytime we leave the boat unattended for more than, as one previous poster noted, the time the bilge will operate before the batteries run out.
Just a thought. Everyone manages and perceives risk differently.
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Old 26-12-2012, 09:32   #18
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Re: seacocks

If the engine cooling supply seacock is shut off, the ignition switch/key should have a reminder tag, “Open Seacock”.

Checklists are a good thing.

Although I didn't generally close the seacocks when absent, I did exercise them (roughly) monthly, and enter the date in my mechanical log.
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Old 26-12-2012, 09:53   #19
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Re: seacocks

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If the engine cooling supply seacock is shut off, the ignition switch/key should have a reminder tag, “Open Seacock”.

Checklists are a good thing.

Although I didn't generally close the seacocks when absent, I did exercise them (roughly) monthly, and enter the date in my mechanical log.
My wife and I have the "Big 7" before we get underway - Engine Seacock, galley sink drain seacock, aft head water intake, aft head sink drain seacock, roller furler shackle, sail cover, and boom retaining line. We mentally check these before we turn the engine key and then again before the companionway boards go in.

If the list gets any longer and as I get older we will likely write this down on a checklist...
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Old 26-12-2012, 10:12   #20
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Several post about closing seacocks except the ones to drain the cockpit. A little like locking your house at night, but leaving the front door wide open with your wallet on the dining table while you sleep upstairs.

If all the equipment is all in good working order, why bother closing 80% of the seacocks?

That flooded sunken sailboat photo is sure sad. Hope and pray none of us ever experience that first hand.

Would seem to me the key, is good equipment. Meticulous maintenance.
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Old 26-12-2012, 10:23   #21
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Re: seacocks

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Several post about closing seacocks except the ones to drain the cockpit. A little like locking your house at night, but leaving the front door wide open with your wallet on the dining table while you sleep upstairs.

If all the equipment is all in good working order, why bother closing 80% of the seacocks?

That flooded sunken sailboat photo is sure sad. Hope and pray none of us ever experience that first hand.

Would seem to me the key, is good equipment. Meticulous maintenance.
Not a mathematician then .

It is all about risk management and one's own risk aversion or otherwise.

Can't speak for the others but my cockpit drains are left open because there is greater risk of damage from keeping them shut while boat is unattended then from keeping them open; however to migrate the risk (somewhat), their hoses and clamps are more frequently inspected (and replaced) than the seacocks that are routinely left closed. They also have to be routinely exercised during the inspections
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Old 26-12-2012, 10:31   #22
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Re: seacocks

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If all the equipment is all in good working order, why bother closing 80% of the seacocks?

...

Would seem to me the key, is good equipment. Meticulous maintenance.
Unless that equipment is infallible, one is risking the boat on a single point of failure. Closing the seacocks means two independent failures must occur for the boat to sink.

Of course, the most robust solution is to get a trimaran. Then it won't sink no matter what fails.
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Old 26-12-2012, 10:33   #23
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Re: seacocks

Close mine when leaving the boat, and open when getting back on.
No cockpit drain valves, the scupper outlets are above the WL.
1) Opening and closing the valves on a regular basis keeps them free.
2) OP never mentioned where the boat is. Couple of years ago in the marina where I keep my boat, I came down one morning to see a 36' boat sitting on the bottom.
When it was lifted and examined, a hose from one of the sea cocks was found split.
It was accepted that with the air temp being below -10C for a couple of days, the water in the hose froze and then hose split. Come the thaw,

I also close off all the battery switches (direct wire bilge pump), some one who I believe knows a lot more about boats than I do, told me it was one less galvanic circuit.
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Old 29-12-2012, 05:56   #24
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Re: seacocks

In addition to closing the seacocks, having a remote bilge monitor is also a really good idea! Check out this thread on THT:

Absolute Must Have...... - The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:09   #25
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Re: seacocks

If you have every opened the companionway hatch to a foot of water over the floor and your electric bilge having flattened the house battery your will close them every time you leave the boat ...even a slow leak can cause lots of problems.. It's a simple 30 sec job either end of the sail and helps the seacocks stay in good working order so it's a no brainier from my end.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:01   #26
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Re: seacocks

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Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
Close mine when leaving the boat, and open when getting back on.
No cockpit drain valves, the scupper outlets are above the WL.
1) Opening and closing the valves on a regular basis keeps them free.
2) OP never mentioned where the boat is. Couple of years ago in the marina where I keep my boat, I came down one morning to see a 36' boat sitting on the bottom.
When it was lifted and examined, a hose from one of the sea cocks was found split.
It was accepted that with the air temp being below -10C for a couple of days, the water in the hose froze and then hose split. Come the thaw,

I also close off all the battery switches (direct wire bilge pump), some one who I believe knows a lot more about boats than I do, told me it was one less galvanic circuit.

+1
Also ditto on the checklist….
Living aboard it was not an issue, but if even going away for one night, the thru hulls are closed….
Have heard of too many one in a million failures to risk my home
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:39   #27
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Re: seacocks

I never close my seacocks but agree that I should when not on board. They are however, regularly excercised. I also give all my hoses a good squeeze when excercising the seacocks.

Squeezing hoses is also something I do when inspecting boats. 1st photo below is a fuel hose that my thumb penetrated. 2nd photo is a sink drain that fractured when I squeezed it.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:55   #28
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Re: seacocks

I don't have a cockpit so no drains there, would leave them open. I close all below waterline seacocks, prior to leaving the vessel. I agree with the check list prior to getting underway, I use one on the commercial vessels, and on my private vessel as well. When I board my vessel, I have a routine that I rarely alter, first is to examine the exterior hull upon arrival, just a quick look at the waterline etc... then after the door is unlocked, I go to the engine compartment and check the bilges and so on. There is a lot to do before starting the engine and casting off the lines. We have a problem in the north with open seacocks filling with ice and breaking the hose when it gets really cold, have witnessed several vessel sinkings due to open seacocks.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:59   #29
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Re: seacocks

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I ... have witnessed several vessel sinkings due to open seacocks.
I'm willing to bet that no one here has witnesses a trimaran that sunk due to seacocks left open.
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Old 03-01-2013, 13:23   #30
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Re: seacocks

What about unsticking a stuck open seacock? There was a comment to use a hairdryer, etc., but if that doesn't work, what then (without a haulout and total replacement!
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