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Old 25-12-2012, 02:54   #1
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Seacocks

I have recently purchased a 40 foot sloop (12 years old) which I have moored at a marina. I am mindful of the advice in many sailing manuals about the wisdom of turning off all seacocks when leaving the boat unattended for a period of time. If the boat is relatively new, well maintained with excellent seacock fittings, I wonder if it is reasonably safe to leave them open, say if leaving the boat for a few days rather than turning them on and off each time the yacht is taken for a sail. I am quite new to sailing so would be appreciative for any advice here.
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Old 25-12-2012, 03:57   #2
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Re: seacocks

I close mine all the time. I also have a check list to open them when I sail because I have a 51 year old brain and I forget things, so every box has to be checked off. Here is a hint, if a seacock is stuck or jammed, apply heat from a hair drier or preferably an electrical heat gun for a few minutes. Chances are it might free it up.

It is up to you whether or not you want to do this
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Old 25-12-2012, 04:24   #3
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Re: seacocks

I confess that I haven't done it myself, but a checklist seems an excellent suggestion. I should probably have one for securing the boat at anchor/docked and another for getting underway.
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Old 25-12-2012, 04:44   #4
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Re: seacocks

It is one of those things you really should do, but after a while .......
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Old 25-12-2012, 05:42   #5
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Re: seacocks

It's important to understand what you're closing if you do this. Closing the seacocks for cockpit drains, for example, may not be a good idea. On some boats in rainy climates, you can flood the cockpit. Without a bridge deck, you may end up with fresh water all over the cabin sole. I learned this the hard way, a long time ago.
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Old 25-12-2012, 06:31   #6
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It would seem to me, in an ideal world, there would be NO seacocks below the waterline. Would that be asking too much? I could not count in my mind, how many holes are drilled in my hull below the waterline for this or that?

I never touch mine. They look good, not many years service from last replacement, old enough they were still made in the USA. Double hose clamps.

Can't get to many of them anyway without a deceleration of war! Churchill had easier decisions on his mind than me fixing to open or close all holes on my boat.

Read the instructions for a child's swing set that that said, all nuts and bolts needed tightened at least once a week. Lol

That would be the only nightmare I could think of that would be bigger than opening and closing all seacocks on my sailboat.
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Old 25-12-2012, 08:59   #7
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Re: seacocks

I would venture that most boat owners do not close their seacocks when leaving the boat. Has anyone ever had a properly installed hose fail while the boat was sitting there unattended?
I took a quick look at the Trident website and the weakest hose I found for below the waterline use was their black heater hose that might be used to supply water to an airconditioner. It was rated at 50psi @ 212 deg.
I'm not trying to argue against closing seacocks, at the worst it can't hurt, it might help and it exercises the seacock so that it will work when you need it to.
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Old 25-12-2012, 09:04   #8
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Re: seacocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by traveller141 View Post
I have recently purchased a 40 foot sloop (12 years old) which I have moored at a marina. I am mindful of the advice in many sailing manuals about the wisdom of turning off all seacocks when leaving the boat unattended for a period of time. If the boat is relatively new, well maintained with excellent seacock fittings, I wonder if it is reasonably safe to leave them open, say if leaving the boat for a few days rather than turning them on and off each time the yacht is taken for a sail. I am quite new to sailing so would be appreciative for any advice here.
Yes, it would be reasonably safe.... but not completely safe. You will have to decide the level risk you (or your insurance company) are happy with.

I close all seacocks except cockpit drains, turn off the battery master switch and lock the companionway in that order every time I leave the boat for more than a few hours.
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Old 25-12-2012, 09:12   #9
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Re: seacocks

Closing the seacocks when ever your away from the boat is a good idea.

It really sucks to just see a mast in your slip.
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Old 25-12-2012, 09:39   #10
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Re: seacocks

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!
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Old 25-12-2012, 09:42   #11
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Re: seacocks

Cotemar, which hose failed on that boat and why did it fail?
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Old 25-12-2012, 09:56   #12
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Re: seacocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by traveller141 View Post
I have recently purchased a 40 foot sloop (12 years old) which I have moored at a marina. I am mindful of the advice in many sailing manuals about the wisdom of turning off all seacocks when leaving the boat unattended for a period of time. If the boat is relatively new, well maintained with excellent seacock fittings, I wonder if it is reasonably safe to leave them open, say if leaving the boat for a few days rather than turning them on and off each time the yacht is taken for a sail. I am quite new to sailing so would be appreciative for any advice here.
I have rarely, if ever turned them off in 40 years of ownership. But I always know my boat and it's condition very well.
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Old 25-12-2012, 10:33   #13
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Re: seacocks

With a lot of modern throughulls/seacocks being made in poor materials, its more likely they will fail than the hoses!
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Old 25-12-2012, 10:36   #14
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Re: seacocks

wotname, not a good idea to turn off the battery master unless your automatic bilge pump is wired direct to the battery....

and yes, i turn off all my bronze seacocks when leaving the boat for a spell, except one of the two cockpit drains.

definition of 'a spell' - the length of time the automatic bilge pump will run before it drains down the battery bank.
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Old 25-12-2012, 10:47   #15
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Re: seacocks

Battery off, all seacocks closed, cockpit scuppers left open, good quality, doubled SS 316 hose clamps (rotated to oppose each other 180 degrees apart) at top and bottom, plus a yearly service of the seacocks and an eyeball to make sure the wooden tapered plugs are present and unrotted.

It seems a small routine to have confidence in the boat's ability to stay afloat.

I've seen three boats sunk at dock. One was a single clamp failing in the head intake, another was the engine raw water intake hose splitting and a third was a poorly tightened stuffing box.

So two of three could have been avoided by closing the seacocks.

I have a standpipe on my steel boat. It's in some ways a better solution.
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