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Old 18-11-2013, 14:17   #1
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Bulkhead fittings and seacocks in water tight compartments.

I'm in the process of buying a boat, and most of the seacocks are built inside cabinet and joinery work that is tabbed into the hull, with access through the top only. The top of the cabinets Above the waterline... But the hose runs through holes in the face or interior dividers of the cabinetry.

I thought the top access above the waterline "Box" was interesting, even if hard to access (understatement)... but the loose fit of the hose through the box leading to heads and sink drains, lead me to wonder why not use bulkhead fittings with a hose barb on both sides of the bulkhead, so there is no leakage potential if the hose or seacock has a failure inside the box.

On one hand it adds a point of failure, at each of the hose clamps... but on the other hand the box would be water tight around the seacock its self, and even valved off on its way out of the water tight "box."

Anyone have thoughts as why we don't see this done?

Zach
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Old 18-11-2013, 14:30   #2
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Re: Bulkhead fittings and seacocks in water tight compartments.

Not sure I understand the "box"? My theory is the simpler the better... one continuous hose through a hole in the bulkhead vs barb fittings and clamps.
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Old 18-11-2013, 15:03   #3
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Re: Bulkhead fittings and seacocks in water tight compartments.

I've spent a bit of time pondering how it might be termed best.

I suppose if the cabinetry that extends above the waterline, "Box" is thought of as a sea cock inside a sealed sea chest then any failure of the seacock would be contained inside the box and not sink the boat... Unless the box leaks.

Where the hose fits loosely now (Would leak) is where I got to thinking about bulkhead fittings that would not leak, while still allowing the hose to run somewhere outside the box.

Zach
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Old 18-11-2013, 16:15   #4
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Re: Bulkhead fittings and seacocks in water tight compartments.

Ahh.... so it's lie a 2nd layer of protection.. you have to somehow get through the cabinet top/ counterspace etc to open/close the seacock....?
Wow... I've heard of anal but this one takes the cake!
I think worrying about properly maintained seacocks is a waste of time. It think it's probably rare for even a Lowes gate valve to sink a boat... much less a proper seacock. (cant think of how many gate valves I've seen on production boats over the years.... a lot of them) Not saying they are good by any stretch of the imagination.. just the odds are low if things are maintained.
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Old 18-11-2013, 16:31   #5
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Re: Bulkhead fittings and seacocks in water tight compartments.

I agree about anal!

I'd never thought about it till I saw the top access built into this boat, which didn't make any sense at all in the hunt for access to where the hose goes until it clicked that was what they were trying to attain.

Zach
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Old 18-11-2013, 17:21   #6
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Re: Bulkhead fittings and seacocks in water tight compartments.

Having had a boat literally sink under my feet from a failure to seal some bulkhead fittings passing through a watertight bulkhead (long story)...

I'm all for the idea of the bulkhead barbs. If that turns your cabinet into a watertight (or very slow to leak) compartment so that if the seacock fails the water only rises in that one cabinet to the level of the waterline... If the boat is already built that way seems like it would be wasting an intentional design and could save something way down the road. Don't think I'd go to the trouble if building a new boat, but since you seem to have one where someone almost did...

Of course, if their cabinet penetrations are already well above the waterline then maybe it isn't necessary to seal the penetrations?
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Old 18-11-2013, 19:16   #7
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Re: Bulkhead fittings and seacocks in water tight compartments.

The see two big issues with this. First is that it greatly reduces the likelihood of proper maintenance, and second, should the compartment fill up with water it would exert a huge amount of load on the structure. It would have to be very well built to have a hope of being strong enough.

That being said, this is part of the argument for a Sea Chest. If they are done properly, they are a great thing, if done poorly they are terrible.
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Old 22-11-2013, 07:12   #8
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Re: Bulkhead fittings and seacocks in water tight compartments.

In my experience plumbing on a boat is far far more likely to fail at fittings, particularly at hose clamps (which by their very nature compromise the initial integrity of the hose where they are fastened) than along the run of the hose itself. The less fittings the better as far as I'm concerned.

It really comes down to whether you regularly inspect your plumbing and replace thru-hulls, hoses and fixtures on a regular schedule within their service life or you don't. If the former, then the job becomes exponentially more complicated and expensive if you have a fitting everywhere a hose passes through a piece of cabinetry.
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