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Old 07-08-2014, 11:11 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by jleonard View Post
No, I can actually R&R the strainer and only a little dribbles out unless the boat rocks hard to starboard.

I'll have to try that. I only imagine a deluge of water pouring in when I remove the cover. But it must be somewhere near the water line.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:15 AM   #42
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I was afraid some one would say that. It is (was) a brand new impeller and a real headache to replace. I will add it onto my short list, especially since my insurance agent recommends it. I may get one of the impeller extractor tools to assist me.
Used to be a commercial on TV, which had as the punch line "You can pay me now -- or you can pay me later." Later is liable to be a lot more expensive. Personally I would change that impeller ASAP. It is damaged. Perhaps a little, perhaps a lot. But running dry until the engine overheats pretty much guarantees that there is some damage. Just saying . . .
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:25 AM   #43
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I'm in agreement with many here -- the only time I close the seacocks is when checking the strainers. If I were to leave them closed, however, hanging the keys on them is a brilliant and no-cost solution. I do have over-temp sensors installed, but do not see any need for flow meters.

After start-up, part of my routine has always been to watch the exhaust for water -- my Cummins eject in surges, at idle, due to the riser elbow . Gives me a chance to stand on the sundeck and listen to them purr!

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Old 07-08-2014, 11:33 AM   #44
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In 12 years as a salvage guy for an assistance tower...in my area of responsibility..with thousands of inboard powered boats...out of the hundreds of dock sinkers...not one was ever due to a salt water intake system.

Even with failures...99% of the time the flow is so low that a bilge pump probably keeps up with it till discovered. Most of the time...even failure to tighten hose clamps or failure of them on the suction side of the waer pump causes slight or no issue at all. On the pressure side of the salt water pump..the boat starts sinking..then the engine quits and most often the boat stops sinking...is rescued and taken home.

Closing seacocks is like wearing a life jacket 100% of the time...the protection tends to be absolute...you just have to decide what the risk is.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:26 PM   #45
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A small thread creep....Just above our seacock is a Y with a valve and 3 inch hose into the bilge. This allows the main to be used as an emergency pump in the event of a major leak. I thought it a neat idea although I hope never to need it.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:43 AM   #46
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I never close my seacock for the enigne or the genset. I don't know anyone at my marina that does.
And as soon as I styart my engine or genny the frst thing I do is look for water out the exhaust. Just habit.

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Ditto

If I would close them, bad things are likely to happen.
Ditto X 2 -

I keep my thru-hull valve handle junctions well lubed with WD-40 or like spray on lube. I also spray penetrating lube on engine mounts and all other prime fasteners that may eventually need adjustment or removal. This is a spring and fall exercise for me. Really helps when needing to break nuts/bolts free!
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:21 AM   #47
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I never close my seacock for the enigne or the genset. I don't know anyone at my marina that does.
And as soon as I styart my engine or genny the frst thing I do is look for water out the exhaust. Just habit.

Pretty much the same procedure here. Except that on my way from the helm to the stern I look into the still open floor to the engine compartment to ensure no fluids are being flung around in there.

One of the floor hatches are open because I always check the vital fluids and take a general look around before firing up the old Lehman.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:55 AM   #48
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Non-closer when away here too. I feel like it is an admission I have not properly maintained the system downstream from the through hull if I am compelled to close the seacocks while I am away. I guess if you are not on the boat very much (and thereby not inspecting it or PM'ing very often), there could be some extra paranoia. You do need to regularly exercise the sea cocks though as part of a regular PM schedule.

Whether you have to close it to clean the strainer is a matter of where and how they are mounted: Just because one guy doesn't have to does NOT mean you don't have to! The design on that Hatt required all to have the seacock closed when cleaning and servicing. And that it be opened again to make sure the lid was seated correctly and/or to squeeze air out.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:15 AM   #49
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Whether you have to close it to clean the strainer is a matter of where and how they are mounted: Just because one guy doesn't have to does NOT mean you don't have to! The design on that Hatt required all to have the seacock closed when cleaning and servicing. And that it be opened again to make sure the lid was seated correctly and/or to squeeze air out.
100% true. When I replaced and upgraded my strainer, I did not do the final mounting of the strainer until the boat was in the water. I adjusted the height to get the top at about at the waterline, then I screwed it to the mounting board.
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:28 AM   #50
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Check exhaust hose!!!!

I didn't see where this has been mentioned in response to running with the FW seacock closed, but bligh also check the condition of your exhaust hose, especially near the riser! Admittedly, I once forgot to open the seacock too and besides changing the impeller, I had to change out the exhaust hose due to sponginess from high heat.... and my engine didn't even have a chance to overheat! A failed exhaust hose could be a source of sea water in the engine room.

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Old 07-10-2014, 11:39 AM   #51
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Used to be a commercial on TV, which had as the punch line "You can pay me now -- or you can pay me later." Later is liable to be a lot more expensive. Personally I would change that impeller ASAP. It is damaged. Perhaps a little, perhaps a lot. But running dry until the engine overheats pretty much guarantees that there is some damage. Just saying . . .
I believe that was the old Shell Oil commercial with Mr. Dirt?
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:52 AM   #52
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Know I'm dating myself again here, but wtf - why not - lol!!... and, maybe thru-hull petcocks' (seacock) design, construction, materials have improved over the decades (ya think!!)...

But, when I worked in boat repair yards during 60's the ones that sunk due to petcock thru-hull failures (I've worked on a few) were the ones that had them turned off.

Of course, back then boats with many years on them were mostly wooden. I was always instructed by professional Boatwright's in the yards to NOT keep turning thru-hull petcocks on and off; to leave on and keep the lever's junction to petcock base well lubed.

Now, I don't know (recall) if it was the seals in lever's shaft to base and other items inside the petcock that failed and leaked... or… if it was poor wood/calking condition at the thru-hull hole... so the on/off working action of the lever loosened things up... to eventually leak. However, I do recall that cause for sinking was attributed to leaking at the below waterline thru hull petcock with it turned off, not on.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:33 PM   #53
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I think it's a good thing to attach some importance to. If you forget to open you may fry your engine and if you don't close it you may sink your boat.
If one could do it a good objective analysis of the odds of forgetting to close or open and costs of the consequences of doing or not doing either would dictate what to do or not do.

I am a bit vulnerable as I don't always do it one way. Like my kayak paddle. I switch from feathered to non feathered. One day I'll try to do a brace and go straight down in the water.

I'm beginning to think Mark has it right. Do the big tag and make it a habit. And I should probably paddle my kayak w the blade set the same way all the time so what I do w it would be predictable.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:50 PM   #54
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If one could do it a good objective analysis of the odds of forgetting to close or open and costs of the consequences of doing or not doing either would dictate what to do or not do.
Well, I am pretty certain that the odds of my forgetting to do something important (regardless of keys and tags) is far, far greater than the odds of a properly maintained and periodically inspected seacock suddenly failing to the extent that the bilge pumps are overwhelmed. Heck, I sometimes have to check my driver's license just to be certain of my name and address. :-)
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:52 PM   #55
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I would hope a good boater is neither going to fry their engine (maybe impeller) or sink their boat.

When first getting underway there is multiple things to tell if a boat is pumping...lastly is the sudden notice that your engine(s) is/are running hotter than normal and you need to check things out QUICKLY.

As other's have noticed...usually the raw water circuit to many engines on 40 something footers is not so far below the waterline (top of seacock) and even with failure is no where near a line being completely off. Most of us like to think our maintenance as good enough to prevent major if not even minor failures.

Either style...neither right or wrong...seacocks on or off ...have plusses and minuses...the real truck is to just not forget something like opening them or proper maintenance/engine room checks. Fear of being one way or the other probably needs more attention to keep your boat safe...being sure of how you maintain your boat or operate your boat is pretty important.

Knowing your personality may be as important to determining which is a better way for you than the actual act.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:55 PM   #56
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Knowing your personality may be as important to determining which is a better way for you than the actual act.
This is the bottom line to this and about every issue on board and underway.
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:04 PM   #57
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I have the Aqua Alarm and it's loud enough to overcome the oil alarm and since the indicator is right at the lower helm, I can see it. I really need to extend a second LED to upper helm, but it makes so much noise, I can hear it there also. In addition every morning before engine start I drop into the engine room to:

Check Oil
Coolant
Thru hulls for leaks
Transmission Oil
Dripless shaft seal for leaks
Engine for fuel/oil/coolant/raw water leaks
Belts
Fresh water pump

Here are things I have found during these daily inspections:

Fuel leak on two injector return lines (replaced the crush washers)
Water leak in fresh water accumulator tank (tightened hose clamp)
Broken turn buckle controlling belt tension on hydraulic pump
Dog hair all over the place (the yellow lab is also known as Sir Sheds Alot.

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Old 07-10-2014, 07:01 PM   #58
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I used to always keep seacocks closed when leaving the boat with a "Do Not Operate" tag on the keychain, like Mark does. Even if I left for a few hours. Now, Im not quite so particular.

I did some tests to see how the bilge pumps handled the incoming water flow. My main bilge pump adequately handles the full flow from the boat's largest seacock, only requiring the pump to operate 20% of the time. The incoming flow was less than I expected. Now I am not quite so paranoid.

I'm not sure how long the batteries or the pump would last running like this. I expect a day or so, depending on which battery charger (if any) I had hooked up.



Regardless, of whether the seacock has been closed or opened, a good habit to get into is always check the water outlet flow immediately after starting the engine.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:09 PM   #59
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In 12 years as a salvage guy for an assistance tower...in my area of responsibility..with thousands of inboard powered boats...out of the hundreds of dock sinkers...not one was ever due to a salt water intake system.

Even with failures...99% of the time the flow is so low that a bilge pump probably keeps up with it till discovered. Most of the time...even failure to tighten hose clamps or failure of them on the suction side of the waer pump causes slight or no issue at all. On the pressure side of the salt water pump..the boat starts sinking..then the engine quits and most often the boat stops sinking...is rescued and taken home.

Closing seacocks is like wearing a life jacket 100% of the time...the protection tends to be absolute...you just have to decide what the risk is.
Actually, I don't think that is a good analogy.

Looking at your numbers, one should not close the seacock, for as the OP discovered, as many of us already had, there is more probability of a problem in closing and not opening, then there is in a failure.

A better analogy is one in which parents decide to drive their children to school instead of taking the school bus, because a child was once kidnapped from the school bus, while thousands of kids are killed or injured in auto accidents.

It makes the parent feel better, but it increases the risk. But then, it's always about the adults. Sorry, I digressed.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:09 PM   #60
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One option no one has mentioned-if you are really anal retentive and have more extra maintenance $$ than you have maintenance-seacock with electric valves. They do make them, I think the company is KZvalves. They even come with programmable controllers. I don't know the price, but I am guessing, not cheap! Program it correctly and you are set.
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