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Old 12-21-2014, 11:52 PM   #1
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Seacocks - When to Close Them

How many of you that have boats moored at marinas close the seacocks on your boat before you leave the boat? Are there some you leave open?
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Old 12-21-2014, 11:58 PM   #2
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Q1. I close all.
Q2. See 1 above.
It`s said sailboats close them, power boats don`t. I closed them on sailboats, and close them on powerboats. Something can fail upstream of the open seacock.
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:37 AM   #3
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Dan,
I close all of them if I'm not going to be on the boat for awhile, i.e., a couple of weeks or more. Week to week when we're going out frequently I don't close them.
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:54 AM   #4
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We keep all 12 of our seacocks closed at all times except the two for the main engines. The others we open only if we're going to be using them on a trip.
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:59 AM   #5
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We keep all 12 of our seacocks closed at all times except the two for the main engines. The others we open only if we're going to be using them on a trip.
Marin, Am I correct in assuming you close the two engine seacocks also when you leave the boat?
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:00 AM   #6
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Dan,
I close all of them if I'm not going to be on the boat for awhile, i.e., a couple of weeks or more. Week to week when we're going out frequently I don't close them.
Mike, I'm assuming yours are all closed now?
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:09 AM   #7
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Marin, Am I correct in assuming you close the two engine seacocks also when you leave the boat?
No. We leave them open all the time in case someone has to move the boat in an emergency.
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:32 AM   #8
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Mine are all closed. I have just three. The Perko (for the engine) is opened right after I check the oil before start-up.

Once a month I do exercise the handles to make sure they move easily.

Heck, even the pressure water is off unless I'm taking a shower or washing dishes. I have a hand pump at the galley to get water out of the tank without the pump.
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:35 AM   #9
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Thanks for the clarification Marin. I am working a deal on a boat and the port engine heat exchanger has to be changed out. It needs to be hauled to do the repair as that engine's seacock is frozen open. I guess it makes sense if it is never closed. It seems that there should be a routine of exercising the seacocks so that if they are needed they will work.
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:38 AM   #10
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Thanks Janice. I like the idea of a monthly exercise of the seacocks. If that regime had been followed on this boat it would not need to be hauled to do the repair.
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:12 AM   #11
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We operate the seacocks on the boat several times a year, although some get used every time we go out. Any that are getting overly stiff get adjusted and greased.
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:32 AM   #12
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The first thing I think I need to do is make an inventory of all the thru hulls. I'm thinking that those above the waterline will probably not have seacocks but that is an unknown to me. My only experience with seacock was with my Sea Ray that had two above the waterline thru hulls for the sinks and two below waterline for the head, one supply and one discharge. I kept the discharge closed all the time as I cruised in Puget Sound mostly. I would open the supply for the head when we were onboard. there were no seacocks on the sink drain thru hulls.
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Old 12-22-2014, 04:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Budds Outlet View Post
Thanks Janice. I like the idea of a monthly exercise of the seacocks. If that regime had been followed on this boat it would not need to be hauled to do the repair.
Excellent point. I always used to close all seacocks to below waterline thru-hulls - there are only 4 to close anyway on our boat - however, just last december the main engine seacock was replaced as part and parcel of a replacement of the sea-strainer as well. Unfortunately this new super-dooper seacock/strainer combo has a detent on the handle that one has to slide up to move. Previously, to avoid having to remove flooring and huddle up near a hot engine after an outing, I had a long handle extension with a knob on the end I could open and close that seacock remotely from the front hatch in the galley floor, easily removed, and away from the heat of the motor. Now I can't, and I have to remove the saloon floor and the engine room floor to reach the damn handle, so it stays open. See what I mean and why I don't close it each time any more..?



Recently I went down and worked it and found it really stiff, so made the mental note to work it more often, or it might seize up - it was close.
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Old 12-22-2014, 06:00 AM   #14
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All my sea-cocks are closed when the boat is unoccupied except the air conditioning because it is usually left on in the humidity mode. There is of course a real risk that plumbing in the AC line could break and sink the boat, but in south FL the AC needs to be left on. I suppose I reconcile the open AC valve in my mind by having insurance.
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:42 AM   #15
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My only 2, one for the main, one for the genset/washdown are always open unless I have a specific need to close them such as winterizing the systems while still in the water.
I even leave them open when I remove the screens for cleaning.
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:07 AM   #16
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If leaving for a few days I shut off the shore water supply and that's it. I exercise the valves and check connections/hoses monthly. If I was to leave for more than a week, I would probably close them just for peace of mind.
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:31 AM   #17
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> It needs to be hauled to do the repair as that engine's seacock is frozen open<

You will notice a 1/8 pipe plug on either side of the seacock.

Remove it and install a 1/8 pipe Zerk fitting .

A light grease or grease mixed with ATF can be pumped in.

If it is a better quality seacock, loosening the nut on the shaft (there should be 2, a nut and lock nut) after a bit after spraying with JB Blaster a light tap on the shaft end may solve the ha$$le with out a haul.

Good luck.

Remember to lube/operate ALL the sea cocks if you get pulled.
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:51 AM   #18
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>
Remember to lube/operate ALL the sea cocks if you get pulled.
How do you recommend lubing a sea cock with the boat hauled?
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:33 AM   #19
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How do you recommend lubing a sea cock with the boat hauled?
A friend sent this to me recently. I haven't tried it yet though.

Re: Servicing Seacocks

Here is what I do with the boat on the hard to lube the stainless ball type seacocks without having to dissemble them:

rotate the seacock handles so that the ball inside is halfway open. Put a big dab of PTFE or similar grease on the tip of a narrow dowel. Insert the dowel into the seacock from the underside carefully going all the way thru the ball. (helps to practice this without the grease on the dowel just to get the feel of going all the way thru the ball). Now scrape dowel downward on the upper outside of the ball to get the grease on top of it. Go inside boat and rotate handles to spread the grease. Then close all seacocks completely. Put some more grease on the tip of the dowel and put it into the seacock thru-hull to grease the undersides of the ball. Rotate handles again. Works for me, hope it does for you, too.
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:20 AM   #20
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Try this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Budds Outlet View Post
Thanks for the clarification Marin. I am working a deal on a boat and the port engine heat exchanger has to be changed out. It needs to be hauled to do the repair as that engine's seacock is frozen open. I guess it makes sense if it is never closed. It seems that there should be a routine of exercising the seacocks so that if they are needed they will work.
Try loosening the nut, tap gently on the end of the nut, squirt PB Blaster liberally on the thru hull shaft and nut. Wait a day and try to open the valve. If your lucky this may work. If your doing a survey, you'll be pulling the boat anyway.
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