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Old 11-15-2015, 08:52 AM   #1
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Close all valves in the harbor?

I have been looking for a thread on this topic but did not find one through the search engine on this site, hence this new thread. I have bought an Ocean Marine 40 Foot "classic" Trawler built in 1978. The boat is in very good condition. During this winter I store it dry inside a large and frost-free hall. Today I have been counting the valves that run through the hull. I counted 19, almost all in service for one or the other engine or accessory. However, some of them are completely unreachable if the engines are running or have just been running as operating them needs close contact with the exhaust at the rear end of one of my Ford Lehmans. My question is, what do my fellow trawler captains do when they leave the boat in the harbor? Close all the valves or leave them open?
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:26 AM   #2
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close em

I live with in 30 minutes of my 40 MT and I keep all sea cocks closed, for piece of mind.
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Old 11-15-2015, 10:57 AM   #3
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I leave mine open all summer but when I blow out the fresh water system (that's all I do to winterize because I keep the boat in the water) I close all seacocks.
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Old 11-15-2015, 11:18 AM   #4
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This has been discussed many times on TF in the past. All the discussions will be in the archives and are readily available if one uses the right search term(s). There are lots of different practices described and why the person does what they do.

We leave all our seacocks closed except the main engines' raw water intakes. The others are opened only if we need them when we're using the boat.
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Old 11-15-2015, 03:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for your answers, it mirrors pretty much the same divide as over here in the Netherlands. The real issue is likely issues with the insurance if the boat sinks with the valves open.

The only way to operate the unreachable sea cocks is to make them powered, who has a tip for a reliable brand? And does anyone have a link to former discussions on the topic?

Thanks.
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Old 11-15-2015, 05:12 PM   #6
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BTW, as a safety precaution, when I close any seacocks I close them all so I don't forget to reopen one or two.


I also hand big "DO NOT START" red and black hang tags on the shifters so I remember to open all the seacocks before starting anything.
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Old 11-17-2015, 10:56 AM   #7
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Still wondering how you could have 19 valves, might want to revisit that first and eliminate those that are not necessary...?
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:46 PM   #8
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Still wondering how you could have 19 valves, might want to revisit that first and eliminate those that are not necessary...?
I have valves on my 3 sink drains, pump out and 1 OEM bilge pump that are above the water line. He may be counting those as well.
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Old 11-17-2015, 04:27 PM   #9
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Yes, it surprised me too. 3 are blind, (one is sort of a drain next to the keel), 3 for the rear bathroom, 3 for the front bathroom, 1 for the kitchen, 1 for the boiler (in case of high pressure), 2 for the engines, 2 for the bilge pumps, 3 for the generator (don't know yet how that works) and the speed sensor. Anyhow, I figured that for the unreachable ones I will fit new ball valves and operate them with a hitch, I guess that counts as remotely controlled as well. For the rest I will follow the advise of those who close the valves. Fear is a strong motivator!
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Old 11-18-2015, 08:40 AM   #10
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The Eagle has two thru hulls below the water line for the engins, all the others are filled in. There are 7 above the water line that are open most of the time, 3 bilge, 3 sinks/showers and 1 for the sanitation system. The eagle had 9 below the water line. Now I sleep better at night with no thru hulls open below the water line.
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Old 11-18-2015, 10:38 AM   #11
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If you want a remote operated seacock, look at the Groco E-Valve GROCO MARINE PRODUCTS
I've never used one but it looks well designed. It also has a wireless control which should simplify installation.
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Old 11-18-2015, 01:48 PM   #12
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personally I think you are safe with them open provided they are in good working order along with the hoses that are attached. Nothing beats simple and a good ball valve is as simple as it gets.
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Old 11-21-2015, 01:10 AM   #13
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Hummmmm.
I can recall my DI in the Army shouting at the top of his frustrated lungs, that in 20 years of service I took the cake for being out of step in all organized Army games!! So to here on open or closed valves. Damn if I were a nervous sailor I would lose sleep as it is, I never worry over closing valves. Now I don't have that many, Sea water in, Head out,all others are above the water line.
Had I a rig with several valves under the water line, once there were checked for hose, connectors and not visually impaired, I'd leave them open, as I have on past boats owned.

Then to, I don't carry any boat insurance outside of 'Hit the Other guy liability and pollution' ($500 bucks a year)




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Old 11-21-2015, 06:16 AM   #14
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I close all thru hull valves when not at the boat, except the air conditioning thru hull. I fresh water flush the engines so they must be closed. One advantage of closing thru hulls is they get excercised and aren't stuck when needed.
I try and remember to excercise the sanitation thru hull once a year - it never gets used and is usually verry hard to move.

I attached angle brackets to the handles of all the sea cocks so I can use a boat pole to open/close them. Otherwise I couldn't get to them.
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Old 11-21-2015, 06:55 AM   #15
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A tapered sea cock in good condition (lubricated) can easily be push pull cable operated.

AS most folks dont bother constant close/open, using the best quality marine hose , and changing it out every so often might make sense.

IF the seacock or ...gasp.. gate valve is THAT hard to reach , how new do you think that hose is?
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:06 AM   #16
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I keep my hoses and fittings in good shape, and leave the seacocks open. Stroke each a few times a year.

Never seen a hose in good shape slide off a fitting with a boat in harbor.
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Old 11-21-2015, 02:27 PM   #17
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I consider it a serious deficiency if all seacocks are not readily (instantly) accessible. I recently surveyed a brand new powerboat with 16 below the waterline throughulls but I could find no interior access to five of them.
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Old 11-22-2015, 08:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
A tapered sea cock in good condition (lubricated) can easily be push pull cable operated.

AS most folks dont bother constant close/open, using the best quality marine hose , and changing it out every so often might make sense.

IF the seacock or ...gasp.. gate valve is THAT hard to reach , how new do you think that hose is?
You make an excellent observation. If the valves are hidden, so is the condition of the hose!

Personally I close all 3 (main engine cooling, AC cooling, generator cooling) below waterline seacocks when I leave the boat for more than a couple hours. Actually I never leave the generator valve open unless I am using the Gen. I don't leave the AC running (when it does work!) while I am not aboard. I had to help salvage two boats when I was a kid that had them left open and they failed at night when no one was around. I saw the devastation on the owners faces when the insurance companies would only haul them out, and didn't pay for repairs. I won't let that happen to me because of open valves,hoses, strainers that failed! I do have 11 thruhull discharges above the waterline but since they are ABOVE I don't really worry about them. (And none of them have valves)

As several people have mentioned, exercising the valves does wonders to ensure their ease of use. Never exercising the valves makes shipyards VERY happy for the repair work.
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:37 PM   #19
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Looked at the hoses as well, all wired PVC. They look good without blemishes, no clue how to find hidden threats here though. Guess I will make it a 2016-2017 task to replace at least some of them.

Got some good tips here, thanks!
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:20 PM   #20
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Hans Rovers
If you cant reach them or see them, how will you trust them to be in safe condition?
I would be using my winter lay-up to consolidate as much as possible to reduce the number of thru hulls, possibly installing a seachest or a very large intake and strainer with an efficient distribution manifold, so that all intake water can be closed off with one valve, or each line isolated in an easily reached, well labeled situation.
Don't be afraid to modify systems for the better, just because you bought it that way doesn't mean it is kosher or safe.
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