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Old 27-11-2012, 08:07   #31
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Main Sail... I'm not joking... What kind of camera do you have? The pictures on here and on the pbase sight are always very detailed. Mine never turn out so good.
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Old 27-11-2012, 08:16   #32
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Re: Brass Seacocks -

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Originally Posted by PamlicoTraveler View Post
Main Sail... I'm not joking... What kind of camera do you have? The pictures on here and on the pbase sight are always very detailed. Mine never turn out so good.
Nikon D-200, Nikon D-40, Nikon D-70 and an older Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 (due for a new point & shoot)..

Many of those are cropped and tuned using Googles free Picasa. I find this one of the best photo organizing and tuning programs on the market and they give it to you for nothing... I use it over programs I paid hundreds of dollars for such as the clunky programs like Adobe Lightroom, Elements and Photoshop...
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Old 27-11-2012, 08:59   #33
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Re: Brass Seacocks -

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Lots of builders are not using bronze..

Here are but two pretty scary examples where none of the fittings had any sort of "CR" markings. Also that tall one could be snapped off at hundreds of pounds below what the US standards call for..



But it is not just the fittings they also use CHEAP hose that gets brittle and cracks especially in engine spaces. I replaced some of this hose on a vessel last summer that was three years old and the hose was already showing signs of cracking...

How long do you suspect this bonding wire will be of any use..? BTW this was a $430,000 USD boat......


Some builders use bronze but then cut corners and mix it with cheap yellow brass:




This is one of the few US Builders left doing a flanged & thru-bolted bronze seacock installation using 85-5-5-5 bronze components...


This cheap yellow brass valve was connected/sandwiched between two 85-5-5-5 bronze fittings a male adapter and an 85-5-5-5 thru-hull fitting. The thru-hull and male adapter were in perfect condition yet this valve was totally shot in under a year. There was NO BALL left in it..

As you can see the ball is completely GONE.....


Here's a yellow brass male adapter threaded into an 85-5-5-5 bronze elbow. The elbow was perfectly fine the male adapter crumbled..
I find that truely amassing. Owning a Cape Dory has most likely spoiled me. but I'd run as fast as I could from those manufactures...
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Old 27-11-2012, 09:35   #34
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Re: Brass seacocks -

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Originally Posted by perkie43 View Post
We're doing our first haul out since we bought our Manta 42 March 2010. I believe our sea cocks are Groco........

Are there parts and procedures to rebuild them? (Neebie question)

Any and all information greatly appreciated!

Craig
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Most of the major marine suppliers carry rebuild kits for Groco seacocks. And BTW, they supply a new plastic ball rather then the old chrome plated bronze ball. The last time, a couple years ago, it cost be $60 for a rebuild kit for a 1-1/2" Groco seacock.

Heres a link for online info and parts.>> groco marine products on-line
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Old 27-11-2012, 10:00   #35
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Originally Posted by PamlicoTraveler

Glad yours are OK, but I think Main Sail's post gets to the heart of the issue, and that is that European makers are not using Corrosion Resistant CR/DZR seacocks. So all the "harmonized standards" are not being adhered to.

The US boat builders would be wise to use this as a marketing tool. It is completely fair competition to point out that safety is possibly being compromised by competitors in an attempt to gain a price advantage. And yes, boats are built to a "price point," but you shouldn't have to wonder if your thru-hull is going to fail in short order because of inferior products.
There is No requirement under The RCD to have any particular material in seacocks nor to have any particular service life

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Old 27-11-2012, 10:04   #36
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Originally Posted by boatpoker

It's comforting to know that the same people who are managing the Euro are managing boat building standards
Yes Europe muddles through , one way or the other boats or currencies

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Old 27-11-2012, 10:08   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbates
BRASS; really? are you sure? what nut would use brass? BRONZE only. Brass is for ornaments..
Very few companies now using bronze, and there are many varieties of Brass that are perfectly suitable for seawater use. It's just that 60/40 isn't.

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Old 27-11-2012, 10:09   #38
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Re: Brass Seacocks -

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I was told by beneteau in relation to my 393 that it was DZR.
Well we obviously can't speak to what fittings are on your specific Beneteau, but Beneteau have said both publicly and privately (and lab tests confirm) that they have used 60/40 brass and NOT DZR. I was told directly by the president of Beneteau USA that they have used brass worldwide and that there have been no 'special order hulls' made with DZR or bronze fittings. . . that if there are any DZR or bronze they would have been installed aftermarket. Their claim is that Brass is 'good enough' and passes CE (Which is the only standard they are required to meet, as ABYC is voluntary, not required, in the USA).

My personal observation is that brass does generally survive longer than I would have thought, but that we are starting to see serious failures in the +10 year old used Beneteau market - brass fittings that are just honeycombs after the zinc has leached out, and will snap with medium pressure. Beneteau say that this confirms their approach, since the fittings are generally lasting more than 5 years, and the customers can just relatively inexpensively replace them after 10 years.

For me the important thing is that customers know what they are actually buying. They can then make the appropriate cost benefit trade-off for themselves.

What bothers me most about all this is most sailors have been unaware that the large European brands have substituted brass fittings in, and that these manufacturers have often either obscured their answer, or refused to answer or given incorrect answers when customer have asked.

Most sailors if asked would say that only bronze should be used, and that no respectable manufacturer uses brass, and they are initially unbelieving when you tell them that many in fact do use brass (and I don't mean dzr). And most sailors believe they can determine by looks (color and sand casting finish) what a fitting is made of, which is incorrect. You can identify some obvious brass parts, and some that have clear markings, but it is in fact near impossible to determine the composition of many parts visually.
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Old 27-11-2012, 11:01   #39
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Re: Brass Seacocks -

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
There is No requirement under The RCD to have any particular material in seacocks nor to have any particular service life
Dave
A couple of pages ago you went on and on about "harmonized" standards and said it was not the case that EU production boats were using brass and that "CW602n DZR is not really a Naval brass." Now you are letting us know that there is no requirement for seacocks to have a certain service life.

This thread isn't about "requirements under the RCD," it's about quality and safety.

Here was your earlier post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow
It simply isn't the case that pure brass fittings are used in all EU production boats most I've seen are DZR. bronze is on the other hand quite rare. .. The other issue is that seacocks arnt in general falling out of such boats.
Now we know that it isn't rare, the bigger European production companies do use non-DZR brass - so now you are letting us know that there is "No requirement under The RCD to have any particular material in seacocks nor to have any particular service life." Just to make sure...Do you work for a European Boat Manufacturer? I assume you would have disclaimed if you did.

Interesting thread and some very knowledgeable contributors with accurate and useful information.
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Old 27-11-2012, 12:03   #40
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Re: Brass Seacocks -

If you buy a sea valve or thru-hull with a UL Marine stamp on it or ABYC stamp, in the US, they are almost always made of 85-5-5-5 bronze. Stick with brands like Groco, Apollo/Conbraco, Buck Algonquin or Spartan as they all use 85-5-5-5 (eighty-five three-five) bronze. It is 85% copper, 5% tin, 5% lead & 5% zinc.

Heck one can always buy Marelon OEM series valves which are both very, very strong and corrosion resistant. I would not however stick a Marelon valve onto a thru-hull fitting as they are VERY weak when installed in that manner..

Eighty-five three five is the same bronze that was used at the turn of the century in the old Wilcox Crittenden tapered cone valves that lasted longer than many wood hulls did. I have a box of 80 year old WC tapered cone seacocks that when cleaned up will go another 50 years. They came of a 1932 classic that was re-fit in 1998. Other than some verdegris (the green patina) these valves are in perfect working condition. 85-5-5-5 bronze, what is most commonly used for below water applications in the US, is not the same as DZR brass or a 60/40 manganese or yellow or many of the other "brasses" that are unsuitable for long term use below water....

I have a 3" brass nipple that began leaking badly, it had been threaded to bronze fittings that were 100% fine. The brass literally looks as if it melted, threads completely dissolved. We caught it in time but this WOULD have sunk this boat in a few minutes when it let go.. If I can find it I will take another pic and post it..

If I ever purchased a European boat replacement of ALL seacocks would be the first thing I would tackle. Personally I find this unsafe and 100% unacceptable that the builders feel this sort of "short cutting" is okay especially on a $400k plus vessel...

They will only listen if buyers refuse to pay for this crap...
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Old 27-11-2012, 12:28   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PamlicoTraveler

A couple of pages ago you went on and on about "harmonized" standards and said it was not the case that EU production boats were using brass and that "CW602n DZR is not really a Naval brass." Now you are letting us know that there is no requirement for seacocks to have a certain service life.

This thread isn't about "requirements under the RCD," it's about quality and safety.

Here was your earlier post:

Now we know that it isn't rare, the bigger European production companies do use non-DZR brass - so now you are letting us know that there is "No requirement under The RCD to have any particular material in seacocks nor to have any particular service life." Just to make sure...Do you work for a European Boat Manufacturer? I assume you would have disclaimed if you did.

Interesting thread and some very knowledgeable contributors with accurate and useful information.
My information came from a number of marine surveyors. I know, I personally didn't see the boats in question, and my own were DZR.

I was also addressing the point re ISO standards , there is no service life requirement persay in the RCD. , European manufacturers are not building sub standard boats , they merely have taken a decision to use what they use.

I wasn't arguing two legs god four legs bad. The issue of dezinification is not a major issue amongst European owners. If it was you'd be seeing thousands of boats having their seacocks replaced.

It goes without saying that bronze s better then DZR and that's better then 60/40. However the current seacocks do have a " reasonable " service life. The proof is in the pudding. It's worth noting that very few US manufacturers are using bronze.

What has happened over the last 20 years is that the boat industry has seen that brass last " long enough " and it had decided to use it. Throwing ones horrified hands up in the air, is somewhat ridiculous. Replacing a few seacocks is not a big expense comparatively. But the vast majority of boats are just fine ( by the simple fact that they are above the water)

One can go through many aspects of a boat , on both sides of the pond and see trade offs and compromises. I see far more serious compromises currenty then seacocks.

Dave
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Old 27-11-2012, 12:32   #42
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Re: Brass Seacocks -

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
They will only listen if buyers refuse to pay for this crap...

If enough people asked the salesmen "what metals are the seacocks made from" then maybe the manufacturers would spend the 0.1%, or whatever it is, to put good quality equipment in. Even where it cannot be easily seen.
Then a few years down the track cruising sailors would not have spend time on the hard replacing products that would have much cheaper to get right in the first place.

I would like to think forums like this have a role to play in publicising these problems and facilitating a change.
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Old 27-11-2012, 12:52   #43
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If enough people asked the salesmen "what metals are the seacocks made from" then maybe the manufacturers would spend the 0.1%, or whatever it is, to put good quality equipment in. Even where it cannot be easily seen.
Then a few years down the track cruising sailors would not have spend time on the hard replacing products that would have much cheaper to get right in the first place.

I would like to think forums like this have a role to play in facilitating this change.
This is pie in the sky, nor is it relevant. Based on my buying experience, if I said to a dealer I love that 400k boat but I won't buy it unless you change all the seacocks , you think it wouldn't be done in 10 millisecs. At least it's something easily done on a new boat !

Ultimately the RCD is likely to be changed and this will become more prescriptive, this is its general trend.

But this argument is like the untinned wire argument.

In every case where I bought an old boat, ( now upto 6 ) I've had all the seacocks surveyed, in several cases some where replaced. I mean big deal. There are other more important things that I'd like to see changed but can't , like good hand holds , proper chart tables , poor engine instrumentation , sharp edges, lack of sea berths etc. I had all the forward doors fall off their hinges in a big seaway in a Gibsea recently the hull flexed so much the doors wouldn't go back.

The fact is in a new boat dezinification is not an obvious problem, service life's are typically in excess of other things failing. In my experience surveyors are aware of the issue too.

This whole issue is somewhat described as " horrified of Kent " and a letter to the times.

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Old 27-11-2012, 13:07   #44
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Re: Brass Seacocks -

The costs to the manufacturer of specifying the correct seacock material are indeed small.
The cost and inconvenience to boat owner of replacing all the seacocks is considerably higher. The boat needs to out of the water. The new fittings need to match the old etc, etc.
The cost and consequences of a boat sinking because of the failure of a seacock is much higher again.

It is difficult to understand how someone would advocate the use brass seacocks.
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Old 27-11-2012, 13:15   #45
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The costs to the manufacturer of specifying the correct seacock material are indeed small.
The cost and inconvenience to boat owner of replacing all the seacocks is considerably higher. The boat needs to out of the water. The new fittings need to match the old etc, etc.
The cost and consequences of a boat sinking because of the failure of a seacock is much higher again.

It is difficult to understand how someone would advocate the use brass seacocks.
No one advocates brass underwater. In the real world the problem is simply one of the set of compromises taken by boat manufacturers, in a production environment the cost of each screw is counted and cost reduction strategies simply force compromises all over the place.

Brass fittings underwater unfortunately survive longer then they " should", hence it forms part of " it will do" that accompanies boat building.

In my view , there are far more issues stemming from cost reduction in modern boats then seacocks. I've seen Chinese fittings explode , I've seen crap engine installation etc etc. lets keep the issue in perspective.

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