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Old 20-11-2013, 11:12   #1
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Seacocks... MARELON or BRONZE

After gutting out my boat and installing a new fuel tank. I decided I would change all the seacocks.Bronze is tried and true, but was curious about the new MARELON PLASTIC SEACOCKS. They claim to be the next best thing. Has any one experienced any benefit to plastic verse bronze. Thanks Paul
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Old 20-11-2013, 11:26   #2
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Re: Seacocks... MARELON or BRONZE

I had a groco ball valve fail on me after three weeks. I'm sure some marelon ones go bad as well, maybe more often, but for whatever it's worth it's not like the bronze ones are perfect.
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Old 20-11-2013, 11:30   #3
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Re: Seacocks... MARELON or BRONZE

You'll probably hear both but I currently have Marelon on my 28' Triton and they are going to be replaced at next haul out. I already have the bronze on board to replace them. The Marelon were installed by PO and I think they're flimsy and cheap and one of them leaked from day one. Every time I open or close them they feel like the handles are going to break off -- in other words, it does not inspire confidence.

I also have a Marelon winch on my boom for reefing...it's going to be switched out as well...hopefully before it falls off on its own! I've only used it a few times and it's already loose.
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Old 20-11-2013, 11:42   #4
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Re: Seacocks... MARELON or BRONZE

Seacock replacement is a lot of work, they should work well and last 20+ years. I would go bronze. Not had good luck with Marelon myself. The basic material is tuff, the implementation needs a major rethink. I've heard they've made some changes over the years... not sure if they are significant though.
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Old 20-11-2013, 11:54   #5
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Re: Seacocks... MARELON or BRONZE

FWIW, I'm prepping to replace aging bronze grocos with these:
Seacocks (UL Approved) | Robinhood Marine Center

Really expensive, but have heard nothing but good things and they will last almost indefinitely with proper maintenance. 3/4 seacock plus thru-hull and nut together costs about $300 a pop. Luckily I only have three holes in my boat.
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Old 20-11-2013, 12:04   #6
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Re: Seacocks... MARELON or BRONZE

Depends on what your boat's worth.

The 29 year old Spartan seacocks on our Cape Dory are original and perfect.

For me, it's bronze, in particular Spartan.

Your question is similar to asking which car, Kia, or Rolls Royce? The Kia will, of course, get the job done. Lots more Kias sold than Rolls. Only because they are way cheaper, not because they are anywhere near the car as the Rolls.
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Old 20-11-2013, 12:16   #7
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FWIW, I'm prepping to replace aging bronze grocos with these:
Seacocks (UL Approved) | Robinhood Marine Center

Really expensive, but have heard nothing but good things and they will last almost indefinitely with proper maintenance. 3/4 seacock plus thru-hull and nut together costs about $300 a pop. Luckily I only have three holes in my boat.
Thats so funny. Those look like the ones I just removed. The base was 3/8 thick, had to use a grinder to cut it out.
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Old 20-11-2013, 12:20   #8
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Re: Seacocks... MARELON or BRONZE

I had Spartan Bronze on my 1976 Pearson, Marelon on my 1985 Ericson and back to Bronze on my Caliber. The Marelon handles would fail with no warning. IOW, the handle would turn but the ball would not. Only bronze for me from now on.
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Old 20-11-2013, 12:22   #9
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Re: Seacocks... MARELON or BRONZE

Marelon will work well but you have to stay up on the maintenance. The thing I like about the bronze is that you can bring them back form almost dead. When I bought Argyle, I had four seized up tapered plug bronze seacocks. I was able to free up three of them and clean them up and they have worked perfectly ever since. The one that couldn't be revived was was a solid green mass so I replaced that one with a Groco that has worked perfectly for six years.

The problem with the Marelon is that once they become difficult to turn (and they will if you don't lube them often enough) you can't put any torque on the handle to try to free it up.

The advantage to Marelon is that they don't add to any electrolysis problems so you don't have to connect them to common ground. They are also cheaper.
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Old 20-11-2013, 12:30   #10
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Re: Seacocks... MARELON or BRONZE

Yep, those SPartans look like tapered plug seacocks. Indestructable. Even the ones that came out of Taiwan in those boats for years are great. There just aint nuttin' to go wrong with them other than needing lube.
I guess the most fastidious guys maintaining them "lap the taper" when overhauling them, but frankly, Ive cleaned alnd lubed quite a few and all I did was lightly sand the crud off by wrapping the sandpaper around the cone and twisting with my hand. Clean and lube and you're good to go!
It's hard to think of a single boating item I have more faith in than those type of seacocks. The Groco and other's bronze ball valve type are kinda neat but my guess they wont out last a tapered bronze one.
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Old 20-11-2013, 12:40   #11
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Depends on what your boat's worth.

The 29 year old Spartan seacocks on our Cape Dory are original and perfect.

For me, it's bronze, in particular Spartan.

Your question is similar to asking which car, Kia, or Rolls Royce? The Kia will, of course, get the job done. Lots more Kias sold than Rolls. Only because they are way cheaper, not because they are anywhere near the car as the Rolls.
I disagree. You buy a kia because its cheap. The plastic marelon fittings are not cheap. Size for size there about the same price. Now as far as brand names. Well I did not ask is graco better than Spartan. I asked has any one benefited from the plastic marelon seacock. The manufacture of marelon says they are maintance free (will operate smoothly and crossion free) Well is that in real world sailing conditions. I also know that most modern production boats are being equiped with marelon fittings. Hmmm. :-) As to whats my boat worth... WELL its my familys home (PRICLESS).
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Old 20-11-2013, 12:50   #12
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Yep, those SPartans look like tapered plug seacocks. Indestructable. Even the ones that came out of Taiwan in those boats for years are great. There just aint nuttin' to go wrong with them other than needing lube.
I guess the most fastidious guys maintaining them "lap the taper" when overhauling them, but frankly, Ive cleaned alnd lubed quite a few and all I did was lightly sand the crud off by wrapping the sandpaper around the cone and twisting with my hand. Clean and lube and you're good to go!
It's hard to think of a single boating item I have more faith in than those type of seacocks. The Groco and other's bronze ball valve type are kinda neat but my guess they wont out last a tapered bronze one.
I agree with that. It also looks like it can be dissemble for easy cleaning. When thinking price, on seacocks I am more concerned about water in the boat. Heck a 3/4 hole can sink your boat. I will be sticking to bronze for sure.
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Old 20-11-2013, 13:02   #13
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Re: Seacocks... MARELON or BRONZE

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I agree with that. It also looks like it can be dissemble for easy cleaning. When thinking price, on seacocks I am more concerned about water in the boat. Heck a 3/4 hole can sink your boat. I will be sticking to bronze for sure.
Yeah, pretty cheap insurance was my thinking. And re the spartans, things that are built to last rock.
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Old 20-11-2013, 13:06   #14
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Re: Seacocks... MARELON or BRONZE

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I disagree. You buy a kia because its cheap. The plastic marelon fittings are not cheap. Size for size there about the same price. Now as far as brand names. Well I did not ask is graco better than Spartan. I asked has any one benefited from the plastic marelon seacock. The manufacture of marelon says they are maintance free (will operate smoothly and crossion free) Well is that in real world sailing conditions. I also know that most modern production boats are being equiped with marelon fittings. Hmmm. :-) As to whats my boat worth... WELL its my familys home (PRICLESS).
They are not maintenance free nor do they claim to be. They say "relatively maintenance free". Read it here: Valve Maintenance

I have a lot of experience with these and I can guarantee you that they require more than a few cycles to keep them working properly.
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Old 20-11-2013, 13:18   #15
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I have a lot of experience with these and I can guarantee you that they require more than a few cycles to keep them working properly.[/QUOTE]

So I guess the only benefit is theres no electrolysis.
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