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Old 23-11-2014, 10:08   #16
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Re: Replacing or servicing seacocks in the water

Changing seacocks and leaving the through hull can be done. However, if the seacocks are in that bad a shape I hope the through hulls don't snap if bronze, from the torque when removing the seacocks.


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Old 23-11-2014, 10:12   #17
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Re: Replacing or servicing seacocks in the water

evidently the OP has disappeared on this one.
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Old 23-11-2014, 10:57   #18
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Re: Replacing or servicing seacocks in the water

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Originally Posted by cha0s View Post
I'm quite sure this has been asked before, but a quick search hasn't turned up a result. I have a lot of seized open seacocks with old brittle hoses connected to them. I need to service (and possibly replace) the seacocks, but cant get the boat out of the water.
I found a product online called seabung which is designed to allow you to remove seacocks in the water, but this won't work for me, as a lot of the through hulls are oval with a strainer thing on them. BUT THIS GOT ME THINKING.

SO I'm wondering if theres a way to cut a bit of rubber (from a large tyre inner tube or something) or maybe even a bit of really thick plastic and then apply 3m 5200 or some other goop around the edges, and cover the through hull fitting from the outside (over the top of the irregular shaped through hull fitting), then safely work on the seacock without fear of the boat sinking if I break something when I start trying to free up the seacock.

I'm sure I read something about a large rubber cup type thing (like a plumbing plunger) that would cup over the outside of the hull but I can't find anything on line to match this description - and in any case, theres a few through hull penetrations in positions where I don't think something like this would seal.

I need a way to make it work with a sheet of plastic or rubber.
I'm sure that is a fine plan.
When your boat sinks the water pressure will equalise and using scuber gear you can merrily work on your seacocks at leisure.
Haul her out!!!!!
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Old 23-11-2014, 13:05   #19
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Re: Replacing or servicing seacocks in the water

Treat with caution !
I recall a cruiser who, when 2 days out of Panama (Pacific) tried to ease up a stubborn seacock in his Beneteau. The entire fitting came away from the hull giving him one moment of aquamarine blue before all hell broke out.
The rest of that leg to Galapagas was sailed with t shirts stuffed into the hull hole
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Old 23-11-2014, 13:06   #20
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Re: Replacing or servicing seacocks in the water

I had some open deck drains routed down below the waterline, one had been leaking and I couldn't haul out for a number of reasons, I just found a spot where my keel just touched, anchored bow and stern in some nice soft sand and let the tide go out. we have 2.4 feet of range here. I was able to remove the old through hull fitting, prep and patch with a polystyrene resin (kicked w/MEK whatever it was) material which is great stuff, structural strength and very sticky too. Of course the condo association dispatched the sherriff because a boat had nearly capsized and sunk in their bay. Why can't they just leave us alone? This place is going to end like southern California. An idiotfest.
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Old 24-11-2014, 13:35   #21
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Re: Replacing or servicing seacocks in the water

Thanks for all your feedback. Some very helpful ideas. A lot of our seacocks are tapered bronze, and since starting this question I've read a fair bit about how to free them up and at least close them - if not completely service and rebed them. If we can do this, then happy days! That will solve most of our problems until we can get her out of the water. The biggest challenge is still the raw water through hulls which have an oval shaped strainer attached to it. (its not a bolt on). I like the idea of careening in the water, using anchors or moorings. There are no jettys, or nearby schooners I can use. In any case it won't work for the raw water through hulls which are on the side of the keel. I'll have a go with the dry cleaning bag and the diver. And we might try in water careening to get to some of the other through hulls.
Thanks everyone.
Will report back when we've done it.
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Old 24-11-2014, 18:23   #22
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Re: Replacing or servicing seacocks in the water

The only way to do this is the right way, you need to pay much heed to the cautions you have heard in this thread, through hulls and anything below the waterline must needs be done with great care, stuffing a sock or a piece of balloon through your hull is not any kind of alternative, as far as I am concerned that is a last ditch situation, and you might have to ditch! you need to go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy the brass valves with teflon balls in the correct size (or pay a 1/3 more at marine retailer) have sandpaper and quik set 5200 then careen/lay her over on the side you are not working on, I used one of my main halyards, once the keel was on the hard she just kept going that way, have your pipe wrench, channel locks ready and begin removing the bad sea cock(s) as soon as water is low enough sand and dry the area inside and outside hull, insert new sea cock through donut....you do have donuts made up right? if not cut 3/4' marine plywood disks roughly 5-6" with a hole in the middle to accommodate through hull threaded body and apply several coats of epoxy resin or polyester, make new donuts for all of your through hulls (2 days w/good cure) load up area on the bottom of the donut inside hull and around new valve with 5200/ force it up into any gaps between the fiberglass and threaded body from outside hull, thread on lock nut snug until 5200 is just pushed out, wipe excess with rag and wait for tide, (hopefully several hours min) and then just before water is up to new through hull tighten the lock nut till the 5200 bulges from underneath the donut and on the outside of the hull too at this point you have a valve in place with a seal that should last many, many years. Make sure the valve is closed before you leave.
It is just like doing at the marina except you have rising water to contend with if something goes wrong, so have bungs, several hundred amp hours of deep cycle batteries, working bilge pump(s) and at least 2 spares of everything and don't careen in any loose muck, sometimes the keel will stick on the bottom with a vacuum, talk about a horror show!! it won't matter how big your bilge pump is then! you have like 6' tides right Pac NW? also you need to do the math with the tides, not just a tide table, print a graph for several days around the project. It will be a lot of fun and a big adventure, I suggest a bottle of good Barbados rum for the pain you will no doubt incur.
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Old 24-11-2014, 19:58   #23
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Re: Replacing or servicing seacocks in the water

Find a shoal with suitable bottom, then go for it.
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Old 24-11-2014, 20:53   #24
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Re: Replacing or servicing seacocks in the water

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...go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy the brass valves with teflon balls...
NEVER use brass valves in place of bronze sea cocks.
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Old 24-11-2014, 22:53   #25
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Re: Replacing or servicing seacocks in the water

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Find a shoal with suitable bottom, then go for it.
FFS. The first rule is do it properly and do it once. Pay the $400 and haul her. While out of the water do the cutlass bearing, inspect the hull thoroughly, look for blisters and damp spots, start of delaminations and give her a few thick coats of antifoul. Do your anode(s) with loctite and put her back in the water with confidence.
Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten.
Do it right.
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Old 25-11-2014, 00:03   #26
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Re: Replacing or servicing seacocks in the water

Can you go ahead and expound on this mandate a little, I have 3 brass valves for some 5 years now are they going to suddenly fail or something? just curious

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Apollo-1-...A107/203019483

just wanted to clarify: it is a SS ball in a teflon housing never sieze

Are we concerned with electrolysis? no worries because I emphasized replacing the whole unit/all brass
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Old 25-11-2014, 00:30   #27
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Re: Replacing or servicing seacocks in the water



Some previous discussion here.
Brass Seacocks -

If you only operate in fresh water, you won't have a problem. And some brass is OK.
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Old 25-11-2014, 04:28   #28
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Re: Replacing or servicing seacocks in the water

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post


Some previous discussion here.
Brass Seacocks -

If you only operate in fresh water, you won't have a problem. And some brass is OK.
Most serious through hull fitting deterioration is caused by electrolysis from boats around you in the marina or an electrical problem on your boat. In this photo the pink area shows this through hull has been acting as the sacrificial anode for some reason.
There are many many mixes of metals that make through hull fittings.
The whole issue is way more complex than what has been discussed here. Search wider than Home Depot.
There is chatter that black plastic through hulls are the way to go, Not affected by electrolysis or lightning strikes etc. My through hulls are 12 years old and I am going through the research at the moment.
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Old 25-11-2014, 05:03   #29
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Re: Replacing or servicing seacocks in the water

Just wanted to clarify the motives here. The boat is in the pacific islands and there is nowhere we can haul out (the yards here can only haul 50 tonnes and we are more than that). I'm not worried about the cost of hauling (by the way its $4000usd not $400). Its about the lack of options.
The boat has had no maintenance for 4 years, and will almost certainly not make the 800NM to Australia or NZ, in order to haul her. The tidal range is 1.5m and we draw 2.4. The main issues are the cooling raw water which is BELOW the hull/keel joint. The keel itself is about 1m depth. The beaches are solid/rough coral. We really don't have a lot of options in terms of making the boat seaworthy enough to sail for 800NM. I have never careened a yacht, so am quite nervous about trying this. I like the idea of trying to do it in deeper water using moorings and or anchors - and will give this a go before we try to beach her, and maybe never get her off!
I had thought that it would be a good idea to glue a barrier over the through hull, before we started but it sounds like theres no way of doing that. I think we will try to just get the seacocks shut, without replacing them. We'll do that when we get on the hard. Thanks all for your suggestions.
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Old 25-11-2014, 05:32   #30
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Re: Replacing or servicing seacocks in the water

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Originally Posted by cha0s View Post
Just wanted to clarify the motives here. The boat is in the pacific islands and there is nowhere we can haul out (the yards here can only haul 50 tonnes and we are more than that). I'm not worried about the cost of hauling (by the way its $4000usd not $400). Its about the lack of options.
The boat has had no maintenance for 4 years, and will almost certainly not make the 800NM to Australia or NZ, in order to haul her. The tidal range is 1.5m and we draw 2.4. The main issues are the cooling raw water which is BELOW the hull/keel joint. The keel itself is about 1m depth. The beaches are solid/rough coral. We really don't have a lot of options in terms of making the boat seaworthy enough to sail for 800NM. I have never careened a yacht, so am quite nervous about trying this. I like the idea of trying to do it in deeper water using moorings and or anchors - and will give this a go before we try to beach her, and maybe never get her off!
I had thought that it would be a good idea to glue a barrier over the through hull, before we started but it sounds like theres no way of doing that. I think we will try to just get the seacocks shut, without replacing them. We'll do that when we get on the hard. Thanks all for your suggestions.
There seems to be a lot of interesting back story that you haven't shared yet. But it sounds like you picked up a "bargain" and now you're finding out how much a free boat costs.

But it sounds like you may be able to partially careen your boat, with the keel still submerged. This won't stop water from flooding in, but it will stop the boat from sinking. Then you should be able to replace the at least the engine seacock. You would have to work quickly on a seacock that is submerged. Careening a boat that big sounds like a bit of an engineering challenge, but a couple hundred years a go people used to do it with big ships.
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