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Old 24-02-2012, 20:36   #1
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Hard-to-reach Sea Cocks

Rutea was built to Lloyds' hull specifications so I don't doubt that her two-and-a-half inch cock pit drains were well calculated. We have never taken a wave that has tested how quickly the two massive drains will empty the cockpit of water but I don't doubt that it's pretty quick. The problem is that the sea cocks on the other end of the drain hoses (which are wire-reinforced exhaust hose and are secured with double t-bolt clamps) are well below the waterline and in a difficult area to access. Shortly after we bought the boat, I had the original ball valves replaced with new bronze ones but the problem is that a two-and-a-half inch ball valve is going to be stiff to open and close under any circumstances. To complicate matters, the yard that installed the ball valves had to cut the handles shorter in order for them to operate at all but reducing the needed leverage to open and close the valve easily. A couple of years ago, I replaced the too-short handles with ratcheting box end wrenches and even though I keep them well sprayed with WD-40, they haven't held up well. Granted, it's unlikely that a hose would give way, opening a two-and-a-half inch hole in the boat but it seems improper to have a big sea cock that can't be opened and closed easily. I've thought about installing electric sea cocks but they're pretty expensive. I'm hoping that there's a really clever CF member out there that can make some recommendations.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 24-02-2012, 20:42   #2
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Re: Hard-to-reach Sea Cocks

The solution may be to use something other than WD-40 if the ratcheting wrenches worked. WD-40, contrary to popular belief, is a very poor choice for rust protection.

Can't remember off hand what is the current favorite but I'm sure a few others will chime in.
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Old 24-02-2012, 20:48   #3
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Re: Hard-to-reach Sea Cocks

I found my valves tough to operate and discovered the draw bolts were steel. Corrosion had compromised the bolts but the swelling under the head had tightened the assembly so it was very difficult to operate. I have been systematically switching bolts to SS. Here is a source for new valves for less. Banjo Valves and Fittings - Alsco Industrial Products, Inc.

BTW - WD40 is not oil and makes a crappy lubricant. It is a solvent with parafin (wax to you British). When the solvent leaves, the gooey sticky wax remains. Every application leaves a bit more glue. I assembled mine dry and they work well. Operate every handle often.
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Old 24-02-2012, 20:50   #4
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Re: Hard-to-reach Sea Cocks

Cutting the handles was the wrong move, nothing more than a cheap fix. A better approach would have been to cut the handles and then weld them into L-shapes so that the original mechanical advantage would have been preserved.

You may want to think about switching yards. Those guys just weren't smart.
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Old 24-02-2012, 21:15   #5
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Re: Hard-to-reach Sea Cocks

Don't know if PB Blaster or Kroil is available in NZ, but if it is that would be worth a try in my opinion.

Spray it on, tap the seacock lightly a few times while it foams. Wait 15 minutes and repeat.

I'd be surprised if that didn't loosen it up well.

If they are the cone type and not actually ball type they might benefit from disassembly and re-lapping.
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Old 24-02-2012, 21:49   #6
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Re: Hard-to-reach Sea Cocks

PB Blaster is great stuff. Makes a bit of a mess, put lots of paper towels around the area you're spraying. Also stinks and gasses a lot.
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Old 24-02-2012, 21:51   #7
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Re: Hard-to-reach Sea Cocks

Would this help?
Seacock Helper
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Old 24-02-2012, 22:17   #8
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Re: Hard-to-reach Sea Cocks

I went to Google and did a search for cock grease. Hate to tell you what popped up.
A bit more refined search:
BoatUS.com - Seaworthy Magazine
Seacock Removal and Replacement
Servicing Tapered Cone Seacocks Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com

It didn' occur to ask. Are your cocks braonze or plastic? All on our Camper & Nicholson (LLoyds register etc.) are plastic BANJO valves with draw bolts. If you have tapered bronze plug valves you reall need to take them apart and service properly including a good waterproof grease. A greas with molly or teflon filler or other EP additive will make them stay free longer.
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Old 24-02-2012, 22:51   #9
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Re: Hard-to-reach Sea Cocks

I have been thinking of installing some through floor cable pulls which will be connected to the seacock handles.
As this will allow operation from within the cockpit i think it is a logical improvement.
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Old 25-02-2012, 03:36   #10
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You can purchase PB Blaster from Mitre10 hardware store in Albany just north of Auckland NZ
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Old 25-02-2012, 09:01   #11
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Re: Hard-to-reach Sea Cocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Would this help?
Seacock Helper
Brilliant!
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Old 25-02-2012, 09:11   #12
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Re: Hard-to-reach Sea Cocks

I knew I should have patened the tools ive made over the years LOL now stuff like I made cus Im cheap and like to make stuff, is being sold !! O well live long and maybe prosper LOL Bob and Connie
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Old 25-02-2012, 09:31   #13
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Re: Hard-to-reach Sea Cocks

The long handle or the special tool aren't ideal as you are just applying more force than you should have to--yes, yes, I have done it, but the real answer is to get the sea cocks lubed up properly so they move better. You wouldn't want to break off the entire seacock in an emergency. Water pump grease works well for lubing the seacock action.
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