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Old 18-09-2019, 15:28   #1
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Seacock removal device without lifting the boat.

In the Sept/Oct edition of Good Old Boat Magazine, I wrote a review of a product I had never seen before, from England. It is a really neat invention to enable seacocks to be removed from their hull fitting, without lifting the boat, and hardly getting your hands wet either.
The pictures show what it’s like. A 3.75” diameter flexible mushroom shaped rubber stopper which can be quickly pushed straight through a seacock, then it opens and is pressed against the hull by water pressure, thus sealing the opening. The seacock can then be unscrewed for service or replacement.
I’ve now used it a couple of times on sticking seacocks, freed them up, then screwed them back on the hull fitting, then just pulled the stopper out of the assembly, closed the valve and replaced the pipe. You can’t do that using traditional wooden plugs, at least not without getting a lot of water in the boat, because the plug is wider than the seacock. The alternative is to lift the boat.
This is a fabulous little device, which might just be the difference between floating and sinking, if a seacock actually fails.
Since I was also made in England, I decided to import a few of these and see if there would be any interest by members. I can sell them for $19.95 including shipping. Payment by check, cash or Paypal.
E-mail me at hughes-roger@hotmail.com
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Old 18-09-2019, 17:26   #2
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Re: Seacock removal device without lifting the boat.

Interesting device. I've changed one in the water. It was messy but boat didn't sink.

Not to be too picky, but that is not a seacock on the picture, but a ball valve mounted on a thruhull. Not sure if this could be used on a proper marine seacock, especially one bolted to the hull as frequently recommended (none of mine are bolted)
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Old 18-09-2019, 18:55   #3
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Re: Seacock removal device without lifting the boat.

What is the minimum size valve this will fit through? I am down to one last 1" valve (only cuz that pesky engine demands saltwater!). Will it fit through a 1" valve?
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Old 18-09-2019, 19:26   #4
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Re: Seacock removal device without lifting the boat.

Interesting device, but you cannot remove the through hull fitting.


I used to prepare a new through hull, dive w/tanks and a "Plumber's Helper" i.e. plunger. The plunger would be held firmly over the fitting. I would have a helper inside the boat who would remove the valve, through hull keeper and I would dive and remove the outer ring, then quickly insert the new fitting that was coated with an appropriate sealant. My helper inside the boat would screw on the inner keeper and wrench it down. Then he would attach the valve.


The only water entering the boat would be the small amount when the diver removed the plunger long enough to remove the old fitting and insert the new fitting.


Not recommended in cold water without a wet suit.
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Old 18-09-2019, 19:54   #5
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Re: Seacock removal device without lifting the boat.

That may be OK with a proper sea cock that is bolted down, but it scares me.

A ball valve like you show doesn't have any mechanism to keep the thru-hull from turning when you wrench the valve. It could break the watertight seal of the thru-hull if removing or tightening the valve also turns the thru-hull piece. Same predicament if you tried Oldcal46skipper's plunger approach.

I'd rather wait until it's hauled for general below waterline maintenance. This is the kind of job that can usually be done during scheduled maintenance, anyway.
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Old 20-09-2019, 06:29   #6
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Re: Seacock removal device without lifting the boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanibel sailor View Post
Not to be too picky, but that is not a seacock on the picture, but a ball valve mounted on a thruhull. Not sure if this could be used on a proper marine seacock, especially one bolted to the hull as frequently recommended (none of mine are bolted)
Standard set up for a European yacht, remember we do parallel threads on through hulls and seacocks rather than the US practice of tapered. Therefore seacock likely held on with PTFE tape over quite a long thread area.

They come in a pack with two different sizes in the UK and that is quite a good price compared to the UK chandlers price:

https://www.force4.co.uk/force-4-sea...l?sqr=seacock&

I think we paid less, but not much. Its a get out of jail card that could be really useful when you need something right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGN View Post
What is the minimum size valve this will fit through? I am down to one last 1" valve (only cuz that pesky engine demands saltwater!). Will it fit through a 1" valve?
Yes the smaller one will (19 - 32mm).

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Old 20-09-2019, 08:16   #7
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Re: Seacock removal device without lifting the boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
That may be OK with a proper sea cock that is bolted down, but it scares me.

A ball valve like you show doesn't have any mechanism to keep the thru-hull from turning when you wrench the valve. It could break the watertight seal of the thru-hull if removing or tightening the valve also turns the thru-hull piece. Same predicament if you tried Oldcal46skipper's plunger approach.

I'd rather wait until it's hauled for general below waterline maintenance. This is the kind of job that can usually be done during scheduled maintenance, anyway.
thats what i was thinking. then you have water leaking in between the outer walls of the thruhull and the small space between it and the boat hull. how do you even stop that leak? it looks handy if the seacock comes off relatively easily but i dont think i'd use it unless the boat yard was open and ready to do a quick haul out in case the thru hull breaks free.
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Old 20-09-2019, 08:24   #8
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Re: Seacock removal device without lifting the boat.

Every US seacock I have seen has straight threads for the thruhull. Otherwise, there would be no interference fit and seal unless the hull thickness could be specified beforehand and threads cut accordingly. Tapered threads at inboard end, but that is irrelevant. One ball-valve-direct-onto-a-thruhull problem is that most (if not all) have tapered threads which do not seal well with the straight thruhull threads. Thruhull needs straight threads so the nut advances fully.
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Old 20-09-2019, 08:58   #9
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Re: Seacock removal device without lifting the boat.

Email bounced back.
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Old 20-09-2019, 12:13   #10
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Re: Seacock removal device without lifting the boat.

Jolly roger replies to all.



Sanibel sailor:
You obviously can’t remove a bolted through seacock without lifting the boat. Just as you can’t remove a through-hull fitting, but you can remove a ball-valve and service/replace it, which is what I did and am now working my way through all ten stiff valves on my old boat. It can’t be done using a tapered wood plug, without floods.
Most boats I’ve ever messed with, even new boats, didn’t have “proper” seacocks anyway, but cheaper ball valves on through hulls. It’s not surprising when you compare prices, and there is nothing wrong with the valve/through-hull setup, provided they are properly bedded and locked with an inside nut.

PGN:
I used the 3¾” stopper on my 1” inch valves and it works fine. That’s why I’m only selling the larger size instead of the twin kit.

SailfastTri.
My through-hull fittings have nuts on the inside and the through-hull appears to be threaded into the glassfibre hull anyway. It never moved when I unscrewed the valve. Having a large plug pressing on the outside of the boat also enables you to mess with the inside of the through hull fitting, recaulking, tightening, etc.

Pete7:
The through hull fittings on my American built boat are parallel threaded.
The kits are also available here in the US, at between $55.00 and $69.00 for the two stoppers. I’m only selling the larger stopper for $19.95 because that fits 1” to 2” valves, and I know how stingy sailboaters are, because I’m one myself.

It’s a great safety device, and like most safety devices, we hope we never need it, but I was glad of it when I had it. They said the same about the wheel, it kept falling off the axle.

Anyone who is interested can read the whole story on my website,
JR.
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Old 21-09-2019, 07:37   #11
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Re: Seacock removal device without lifting the boat.

I’ve just discovered an error in my e-mail. This should read Hughes_roger@hotmail.com. An underscore, not a dash. No wonder none of the 1260 members, (who are hopefully clamoring to buy a Sea Stopper), couldn’t get through. “What’a mistake’a to make’a” (From Allo Allo).
JR
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Old 21-09-2019, 08:02   #12
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Re: Seacock removal device without lifting the boat.

Yep, computers do what we tell them, and unfortunately... not what we want. ;^)
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Old 21-09-2019, 08:35   #13
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Re: Seacock removal device without lifting the boat.

You can find great information and video at Seabung

The picture of the pack of two shows a cone in front of the packaging. This is used on top of the valve to reduce water influx as the valve is opened. See https://www.batliv.se/2015/07/13/article9420/
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Old 21-09-2019, 09:13   #14
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Re: Seacock removal device without lifting the boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanibel sailor View Post
One ball-valve-direct-onto-a-thruhull problem is that most (if not all) have tapered threads which do not seal well with the straight thruhull threads. Thruhull needs straight threads so the nut advances fully.
Agreed, thankfully we don't have tapered thread ball valves in European yachts unless someone has fitted one whilst abroad without realising.

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Old 21-09-2019, 10:23   #15
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Re: Seacock removal device without lifting the boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by themylers View Post
You can find great information and video at Seabung

The picture of the pack of two shows a cone in front of the packaging. This is used on top of the valve to reduce water influx as the valve is opened. See https://www.batliv.se/2015/07/13/article9420/
The manufacturers told me the cone was devised for the Scandinavian market, “Who wanted a belt and braces product.” That’s why it’s not part of the actual packaging, but separate in a jiffy bag. It is made of soft rubber and I found it didn’t stay in place very well, because the taper was not right for all holes. You definitely don’t want something which might pop out accidentally, so I decided not to offer it. The larger stopper works just fine on it’s own. Anyway, it's not meant to be left in except on a temporary basis, while you repair/replace whatever makes a permanent seal. The same for the wooden plugs.
After a bit of local test marketing, it was apparent that the twin kit is much too expensive for most people, at around $55.00. This is mainly due to importing a large proportion of fresh air in the packaging. I do have a few of the twin kits however, which I can offer at $45.00 plus shipping.
Since the larger stopper works on 1” up to 2” valves, I thought this was good value at $19.95.
Somebody also suggested this slogan. “You won’t need a Sea Stopper until you need it—then it will be too late, glug, glug glug.”
JR
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