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Old 26-11-2018, 11:54   #1
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Remove cockpit drain inline ball valves?

My 36' sailboat has 3 aft cockpit drains. All three have their own through-hulls very close to, but just above the water line. The through-hulls do not have seacocks. The port and the starboard ones cross and have a 1.5" ball valve inline about half way between the cockpit drains and through-hulls.

I'm tempted to remove these inline ball valves. They take up some valuable space, are difficult to actuate and I con't imagine what added safety they provide. I suspect the simplification of using one piece of hose might be safer. The center drain has no valve.

Any theory why they are there?

Any reason not to remove them?
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Old 26-11-2018, 12:27   #2
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Re: remove cockpit drain inline ball valves?

If you start taking on water (due to some other mishap), will these thru-hulls now be below the water and add to the in-rush of water?
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Old 26-11-2018, 12:35   #3
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Re: remove cockpit drain inline ball valves?

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If you start taking on water (due to some other mishap), will these thru-hulls now be below the water and add to the in-rush of water?
If the cockpit floor drops below the waterline, the cockpit would flood up though its drains. I can't imagine the inline valves will save the day at that point.
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Old 26-11-2018, 14:04   #4
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Re: Remove cockpit drain inline ball valves?

Hi, MooGroc,

Some boats tend to back-flood through the cockpit drains when heeled. Perhaps that's why someone went to the trouble of installing them. I'd keep them, because I prefer dry feet while sailing.

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Old 26-11-2018, 15:52   #5
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Re: Remove cockpit drain inline ball valves?

I can only think that the cross over lines are to drain the low side when heeling. The cockpit looks pretty deep in pictures I've seen and the aft end narrows up to the transom which maybe made it difficult to put a seacock on the thru hull fitting and make the turn to the drain. The thru hull on the low side at heel, could surge water into the cockpit in a heavy sea. Closing the ball valve would alleviate that from happening. Mostly an offshore transit type occurrence. If you're racing around the marks, it would not matter.
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Old 26-11-2018, 16:10   #6
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Re: Remove cockpit drain inline ball valves?

I've never had her out in extremely bad offshore seas but I've never seen more than the occasional dribble out of the cockpit drains in 9 years.

It seems like closing a cockpit drain in heavy seas is about the worst time
to be closing it - still, that would still leave 4 open cockpit drains so maybe
there is something to that theory.
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Old 27-11-2018, 10:24   #7
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Re: Remove cockpit drain inline ball valves?

My rule of thumb is, every time you have a connection, you have a potential failure point. Having all those valves adds multiple points of failure. My advice is to chuck those valves. Simplify, and reduce failure points. If you've got water sloshing in from the cockpit drains, you have a lot more problems than those valves are going to solve. Plus, as someone pointed out, at that point, climbing around under the cockpit to close the valves is a dangerous diversion of effort.
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Old 27-11-2018, 10:29   #8
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Re: Remove cockpit drain inline ball valves?

I would remove the ball valve. As the cockpit drains are above water line, it seems to me just one more possible failure point. A straight run of high quality hose might be safer.

But check possible class or insurance requirements.
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Old 27-11-2018, 10:31   #9
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Re: Remove cockpit drain inline ball valves?

The only reason to have the floating ball valves, is if the cockpit floods on any point of sail. I had a Rhodes designed Sloop, that flooded heeled over, so installed the Perko floating balls, cured the problem.
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Old 27-11-2018, 11:13   #10
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Re: Remove cockpit drain inline ball valves?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MooGroc View Post
My 36' sailboat has 3 aft cockpit drains. All three have their own through-hulls very close to, but just above the water line. The through-hulls do not have seacocks. The port and the starboard ones cross and have a 1.5" ball valve inline about half way between the cockpit drains and through-hulls.

I'm tempted to remove these inline ball valves. They take up some valuable space, are difficult to actuate and I con't imagine what added safety they provide. I suspect the simplification of using one piece of hose might be safer. The center drain has no valve.

Any theory why they are there?

Any reason not to remove them?
Personally I would remove the inline valves and replace the thruhulls with proper seacocks so that you can still close the opening if something should happen.
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Old 27-11-2018, 11:21   #11
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Re: Remove cockpit drain inline ball valves?

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Originally Posted by MartinR View Post
I would remove the ball valve. As the cockpit drains are above water line, it seems to me just one more possible failure point. A straight run of high quality hose might be safer.

But check possible class or insurance requirements.
I agree. I would be inclined to remove them even if the thru hull was below the waterline. If you are like 99.9% of boaters, you never close any thru hulls, never mind hard to reach ones. In that case a plug tethered to the thru hull is just as good (arguably better) as a seacock. In your case, the ball valve doesn't act as a seacock. You could add check valves as close to the drain fitting as possible but make sure they don't restrict the flow out. (full flow check valve) They tend to clog so I wouldn't add the check valve unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 27-11-2018, 11:36   #12
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Re: Remove cockpit drain inline ball valves?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MooGroc View Post
My 36' sailboat has 3 aft cockpit drains. All three have their own through-hulls very close to, but just above the water line. The through-hulls do not have seacocks. The port and the starboard ones cross and have a 1.5" ball valve inline about half way between the cockpit drains and through-hulls.

I'm tempted to remove these inline ball valves. They take up some valuable space, are difficult to actuate and I con't imagine what added safety they provide. I suspect the simplification of using one piece of hose might be safer. The center drain has no valve.

Any theory why they are there?

Any reason not to remove them?
I don't see any reason for those ball valves with the outlet above the water line plus they wouldn't be handy to get to if you wanted to close them. Since the hoses cross I could imagine some seawater backflowing into the cockpit if significantly heeled with high waves on the windward side.

Those on my boat are just below the waterline with thru-hulls an seacocks...was your boat's manufacturer trying to save manufacturing costs? If this is a fairly new boat you might call the manufacturer (Morris) and ask if/why they were installed that particular way. Then again, if boat is older, maybe a previous owner installed for some reason.

Good Luck.

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Old 27-11-2018, 12:51   #13
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Re: Remove cockpit drain inline ball valves?

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Originally Posted by kmacdonald View Post
I agree. I would be inclined to remove them even if the thru hull was below the waterline. If you are like 99.9% of boaters, you never close any thru hulls, never mind hard to reach ones. In that case a plug tethered to the thru hull is just as good (arguably better) as a seacock. In your case, the ball valve doesn't act as a seacock. You could add check valves as close to the drain fitting as possible but make sure they don't restrict the flow out. (full flow check valve) They tend to clog so I wouldn't add the check valve unless absolutely necessary.
Actually, I always close all seacocks whenever I leave the boat for any length of time with the exception of the cockpit drain seacocks. It seems to me the only time one would want to close the cockpit drain seacocks is if there has been a hose failure or, perhaps, in some scenario where you have a strange setup that results in water coming though the drain when heeled. The heeling problem is not an issue for my boat.

I do have soft plugs handy for all through-hulls.
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Old 27-11-2018, 13:15   #14
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Re: Remove cockpit drain inline ball valves?

Clarification: Do you mean ball valve or ball check valve? A ball check valve has a ball in it that floats when water enters from below stopping flow into the cockpit.
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Old 27-11-2018, 13:38   #15
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Re: Remove cockpit drain inline ball valves?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Clarification: Do you mean ball valve or ball check valve? A ball check valve has a ball in it that floats when water enters from below stopping flow into the cockpit.
I mean ball valve. They have a handle for closing them.
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