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Old 05-07-2011, 09:05 AM   #1
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Closing Thru Hulls

We are 2 couples that just took delivery of a new trawler (a Fathom) and in the orientation briefing it was reccommended that we close all the thru hulls after every trip.* There are 6; engine raw water in, generator in and out, reverse cycle heat/ac in, black water out and gray water out

On a new boat this seems like overkill to me.* I can understand opening and closing them periodically to make sure they function, but not everytime you leave the boat.* With two different owners there is*also the chance that one of them will start something with a closed thru hull (engine, generator or heat/ac)

I would appreciate comments on the plusses and minuses of always closing thru hulls?
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:18 AM   #2
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

The valves for the thru-hulls should be closed when the boat isn't occupied.* (The black-water valve should normally be "locked down" anyway.)

It is just a matter of routine of always going through the closing and opening routines.* One gets into "trouble" if valves are closed on a random basis.
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:29 AM   #3
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

Quote:
dekedekay wrote:
We are 2 couples that just took delivery of a new trawler and in the orientation briefing, it was reccommended that we close all the thru hulls after every trip.....* On a new boat this seems like overkill to me.*** With two different owners there is*also the chance that one of them will start something with a closed thru hull (engine, generator or heat/ac)
I agree, but understand why the reccomendation was made. (liability) I know people who do shut all thru hulls off after each outing and those who don't. Count me among those who don't.
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:53 AM   #4
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

I leave mine open all the time unless I need to shut it for maintenance, etc.

*
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:59 AM   #5
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

No problem , leave the sea cocks open BUT install new high quality hose to above the boats water line .

IF the boat is brand new , just check the hose is US not china and all sea cocks are bolted with at least 3/8 bronze , no SS below the water.

Exercising the S-C once a month is fine as is pulling the pipe plug , installing a Zerk fitting , greasing with water proof grease and reinstalling the plugs , one a year.

Your pre purchase surveyor should have screamed if ball valves were stuck in or sea cocks were not not bolted properly.
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:59 AM   #6
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

It a good practice but I don't.
Having said that, down at the dock a hose probably just slipped off of one.
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Old 05-07-2011, 12:35 PM   #7
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

Once in a while I get lazy but usually when we come home all seacocks are closed.
When we are out and about, cruising, anchoring, then no , they are left open.

Over the years the working of them has tipped me to a stiffening valve that needs attention. I've helped a few people with frozen seacocks, that got frozen because they never operated them.
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Old 05-07-2011, 03:40 PM   #8
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

all my below waterline valves are turned off when the boat is unoccupied. I have 3 - engine, toilet, waste outlet(regularly shut off)
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Old 05-07-2011, 05:49 PM   #9
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

Quote:
dekedekay wrote:
We are 2 couples that just took delivery of a new trawler (a Fathom) and in the orientation briefing it was reccommended that we close all the thru hulls after every trip.* There are 6; engine raw water in, generator in and out, reverse cycle heat/ac in, black water out and gray water out

On a new boat this seems like overkill to me.* I can understand opening and closing them periodically to make sure they function, but not everytime you leave the boat.* With two different owners there is*also the chance that one of them will start something with a closed thru hull (engine, generator or heat/ac)

I would appreciate comments on the plusses and minuses of always closing thru hulls?
*
I had all the through hull except for the two engines filled in, and when at the dock the engine through hulls are closed.* We have only 7 though hulls above the water line and 5 of them are for bilge pumps and two are for sinks and/washer.* If a hose through hull does fail and you leave the boat unoccupied that insurance company may not cover damage as you did not take due diligence to protect the boat.* Read your policy and/or ask what your insurance company says.* *
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:18 PM   #10
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

Quote:
Phil Fill wrote:I had all the through hull except for the two engines filled in...***
Phil Fill:* Did you glass them in or just decommissioned?**

We have 6 that we have opened and should have 8 if I listened to the various manufacturer's about sharing thu-hulls.* As previously*said, IMHO, *if your*hose and clamps are in good condition I don't see the issue?*
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:46 PM   #11
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

I always close the two I have when off the vessel, even to go ashore temporarily.* Now wouldn't I feel foolish if not doing so sank the boat when I was gone?* When on board, not so much.
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:58 PM   #12
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

Glassed over.* Next time we pull I am having 3 above the water glassed over.* Being a live a*board I sleep better knowing all the through hulls below the water are closed.*

*

I also fill the water tanks as I know several boats almost sink while people on board because a domestic water hose broke.
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:56 PM   #13
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

4th boat.* Never closed a through hull.* Definitely one of those things where there are those that do and those that don't.*
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Old 05-08-2011, 12:34 AM   #14
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

Inspection on a periodic basis is required. Closing? not so much.
If you have a new boat, it should have come to you after a survey. The survey report should tell you whether the thru hulls are bronze, with bronze fastenings, or if not, what you will need to change. It should also tell you if the hoses are proper quality hoses, and the method of attaching the hoses to the thru hulls is proper. If all of that checks out, you should close all of the thru hulls once, so you know where to find them in a crisis. Each of the owners should know this independently. Then, back to periodic inspections to be sure there are no issues.
In 17 years ownership of this boat, I have had two high bilge water incidents. one was a failed fitting just above the thru hull, the valve on the fwd head discharge cracked around the outside of the ball. This is located in an awkward spot under the galley floor, so possibly a PO had worked it a lot and damaged it, or maybe it was faulty from when it was installed. I won't ever know. It did provide a stream of water that would have come in whether it was in the closed position or open. The second was failed packing on the port rudder shaft, where no thru hull valve could have saved me.
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:20 AM   #15
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

Quote:
superdiver wrote:
.. the more you know the more scared you are....
******** It's called "analysis- paralysis" and has resulted in discouraging many otherwise competent people from participating in this wonderful pursuit.
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Old 05-08-2011, 01:14 PM   #16
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

I have reduced my thru-hulls to three - loo, deck-wash and engine. I always close them when leaving the boat unattended, but leave them open when we are out in her as we would then hear the bilge warning and pump. I attached a short extension the the handle of the engine seacock, then a long extension rod to the end of that with a swivel arrangement, as the engine seacock is in a cow of a place right beside the starboard side of the (hot) engine. This means I can reach it with a short hop down the steps from the galley floor hatch, and then, from a position well in front of and away from the (hot) engine, I can open and close it easily and with comfort. The toilet and deck wash seacocks are easily reached. In essence it is good practice, especially re insurance status, as Phil/fill mentioned, but in practice maybe a bit anal, but keeping the number down and making access easy is the key to a happy merging of both safety and convenience issues.
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:37 PM   #17
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

Walt says "It's called "analysis- paralysis" and has resulted in discouraging many otherwise competent people from participating in this wonderful pursuit."

I used to love to fly in airplanes. Then I took up hang gliders and then ultralight flying and now, knowing a lot about what can go wrong up there I just like flying a lot. The last time I flew in an airplane it went so fast before take off I was actually uncomfortable. The buildings and such were fly'in by so fast I knew if anything should happen I'd be dead for sure. I've done some gutsy things in my life but now I find myself gravitating toward more secure places*** ....like twin engine boats.
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Old 05-08-2011, 05:46 PM   #18
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

Most of mine stay open all the time. When I got the boat, I replaced every piece of hose coming from a seacock with new, wire reinforced hose and double clamped them with GOOD SS hose clamps. In inspect them when I exercise the valves and sleep well.

One tip you might think about. I have wrapped the handle of every seacock with a strip of retroflective tape from 3M, like you use on life jackets etc. If I ever have to go looking in the dark, they are VERY visible with a flashlight.
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Old 05-08-2011, 07:33 PM   #19
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

*Cleaning thru hull fittings of Barnacles.

**There are three ways of doing this, A. B. & C two of which, that is B & C *have an element of risk while the boat is in the water.

*A ) Boat out of water.

*No perceived risk.

Haul your boat on hard.

Open all of your through hull fittings ,then using a 14" *long partially threaded Carriage bolt of the appropriate diameter,obtain this from a hardware store.

Gently probe through the mushroom and thru hull fitting from under the boat , the threads on the rod will act like a file to remove the debris.

B) Boat in the water.*

There is a perceived diving risk.

*You will need to dive on your boat or hire a professional diver.*

*You will need to know exactly where each through hull fitting is located , proceed with the same instructions as given in A).

*Warning**Do not push hose off thru hull fitting .

** * * * * * * * Do not be to aggressive have a person stationed inside hull.*

C) Boat in the water.

*There is a very real risk , do not do this unless you are extremely mechanically competent.

*Tools and equipment

*Large standard screw driver or socket driver.

2 Spare *replacement hose clamps to fit .

Old hand towel.

Balsa plug to fit.

14" long threaded rod of appropriate diameter.

*Instructions for two persons.

*1) By gently rocking thru hull leaver from side to side, shut off *through hull completely.

2) *Remove Hose clamps and hose using Screw driver or socket driver.

3) *Place threaded bolt in thru *hull.

4 ) Place *folded old hand towel over thru hull and around threaded rod to form a water tight seal, hold *rod and towel *tightly in place.

5) Open thru hull.

6 ) Gently work threaded bolt up and down to remove debris.

*Reverse this procedure*

7) Remove threaded bolt holding towel still in place

8) Shut off thru hull .

9) *Replace hose with new hose clamps.

10 ) Re open thru hull for intended use.

*Read this twice again.

*




*
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:18 PM   #20
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RE: Closing Thru Hulls

Quote:
Keith wrote:
Most of mine stay open all the time. When I got the boat, I replaced every piece of hose coming from a seacock with new, wire reinforced hose and double clamped them with GOOD SS hose clamps. In inspect them when I exercise the valves and sleep well.

One tip you might think about. I have wrapped the handle of every seacock with a strip of retroflective tape from 3M, like you use on life jackets etc. If I ever have to go looking in the dark, they are VERY visible with a flashlight.
*Keith,

Thats a GREAT idea. Chances are if you are having to locate a handle to stop a leak it won't be under the best conditions!
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