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Old 11-12-2013, 08:08   #1
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Head Y Valve Locking? What is accepted by Law Enforcement Officers?

Reading another thread about FWC officers harassing boaters in Boot Key Harbor in Marathon Florida, I'm starting to worry about the Y valve in the head of my boat.
At this time the Y Valve is almost stuck in the "to holding tank position" . To put it in the "discharge overboard" position requires a lot of efforts and grunting. So far law enforcement officers were satisfied with that and I had no problem.

But when I read that FWC officers wrote warnings for the absence of anchor light on a dinghy or even because life jackets are wet , I'm not so sure anymore.

The problem is that there is no way to put a proper lock on any branch of the Y.

The question is: if I properly lock the plate covering the hole in the settee where the Y valve and holding tank are located, would that be enough, knowing that there is no other direct access?
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:53   #2
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Re: Head Y Valve Locking? What is accepted by Law Enforcement Officers?

"... if I properly lock the plate covering the hole in the settee where the Y valve and holding tank are located, would that be enough, knowing that there is no other direct access?"

Yes
You have other options as well.

Can you lock or tie wrap the seacock handle?
Close the seacock and remove the handle?
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:06   #3
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Quote:
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"... if I properly lock the plate covering the hole in the settee where the Y valve and holding tank are located, would that be enough, knowing that there is no other direct access?" Yes You have other options as well. Can you lock or tie wrap the seacock handle? Close the seacock and remove the handle?
Not very efficient to tie wrap , can be easily undone. Noway to lock it.

No way to remove the handle
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:10   #4
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Re: Head Y Valve Locking? What is accepted by Law Enforcement Officers?

Can you check on the FWC website to see what they think you should do?
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:19   #5
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Re: Head Y Valve Locking? What is accepted by Law Enforcement Officers?

I would look again at whether a few wire ties could be combined. Put one tight around a hose and then loop a 2nd long one from that tie to a hole drilled in the y valve handle. Nothing in the rule says the securing has to withstand an attack.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:26   #6
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Re: Head Y Valve Locking? What is accepted by Law Enforcement Officers?

My feeling is they have to find something its their job security, so let them find the cheap easy stuff. We been inspected several time and giving warnings. If they want to crawl down into the bilge to inspect be my guest. Most of the time they pour dye down the toilet and flush to see if dye comes out in the water. I took out and filled in the thru hull as we never used it.

So let them check gives them somthing to do!
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:36   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
I would look again at whether a few wire ties could be combined. Put one tight around a hose and then loop a 2nd long one from that tie to a hole drilled in the y valve handle. Nothing in the rule says the securing has to withstand an attack.
I thought of this
But
Don't like to drill through the handle, that will certainly weaken it
And it's very difficult to drill under there....
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:37   #8
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Re: Head Y Valve Locking? What is accepted by Law Enforcement Officers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alecadi View Post
Not very efficient to tie wrap , can be easily undone. Noway to lock it.
That doesn't seem to be the point.

A friend of mine tie-wrapped his y-valve in the discharge position, and thus passed his USCG courtesy inspection.

Law enforcement personnel tend not to be expert plumbers. I was boarded once during my Olson 30 days. When the coastie wanted to inspect my y-valve, I explained that the boat didn't have a head. He said, "I need to inspect the y-valve anyway."

Yep.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:41   #9
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Re: Head Y Valve Locking? What is accepted by Law Enforcement Officers?

From what I remember reading a lock on the access door to the y valve is fine. I have no direct overboard discharge and have a keyed switch that runs the macerator, I keep the key on the keyring with the engine key.
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:17   #10
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Re: Head Y Valve Locking? What is accepted by Law Enforcement Officers?

You could drill a very small hole and use a small diameter wire tie or put a split ring like a key ring through the hole then wire-tie to that.

And a hole in the end of the handle isn't going to risk breakage.
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:31   #11
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Re: Head Y Valve Locking? What is accepted by Law Enforcement Officers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alecadi View Post
Not very efficient to tie wrap , can be easily undone.
The lock can be easily unlocked with a key ... this is not a point.

Coast Guard regulations require that the Y-valve must be secured in the closed position by padlock, non-resealable tie, removal of handle, or other physical barrier.

The point is to show the intent and prevent accidental valve opening and release. Your lock on the only access hatch/plate will do just fine.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:25   #12
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Re: Head Y Valve Locking? What is accepted by Law Enforcement Officers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
You could drill a very small hole and use a small diameter wire tie or put a split ring like a key ring through the hole then wire-tie to that.

And a hole in the end of the handle isn't going to risk breakage.
Excelent idea. 1/8" would do with that trick. However, I drilled a 9/32" hole very near the end, which easily fits cable ties and has no effect on handle strength, not where it counts (no one has ever broken off just the last inch!).
Though I seldom use the pump-over option, when I know I'll be in and out of legal areas (coastal) I simply leave a small pile of ties near the handle, and the knife is in my pocket.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:49   #13
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Re: Head Y Valve Locking? What is accepted by Law Enforcement Officers?

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Excelent idea. 1/8" would do with that trick. However, I drilled a 9/32" hole very near the end, which easily fits cable ties and has no effect on handle strength, not where it counts (no one has ever broken off just the last inch!).
Though I seldom use the pump-over option, when I know I'll be in and out of legal areas (coastal) I simply leave a small pile of ties near the handle, and the knife is in my pocket.
That's precisely what I did. Drilled a hole in the plastic handle near the end, and used a zip tie.
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Old 11-12-2013, 13:26   #14
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Re: Head Y Valve Locking? What is accepted by Law Enforcement Officers?

a zip tie seems the only way to secure valves like this.

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Old 11-12-2013, 14:13   #15
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Re: Head Y Valve Locking? What is accepted by Law Enforcement Officers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_W View Post
The lock can be easily unlocked with a key ... this is not a point.

Coast Guard regulations require that the Y-valve must be secured in the closed position by padlock, non-resealable tie, removal of handle, or other physical barrier.

The point is to show the intent and prevent accidental valve opening and release. Your lock on the only access hatch/plate will do just fine.
Agreed. Except for one minor point...

The regulations do not REQUIRE one of the listed methods. Those are listed as examples. There are other options. Some manufacturers build in a remote panel with dual momentary-contact rocker switches. Very hard to accidentally discharge overboard. I don't know if these have ever been challenged in court, but the boat builder's lawyers must think it's OK. I'd think a key switch on the overboard discharge macerator circuit would be even better.
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