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Head seacock open or closed??-gctid342927

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    Head seacock open or closed??-gctid342927

    While out and about, should the seacock to the head be left open or closed? In the event that a seal in the toilet failed while underway (with the seacock open), seems like a recipe for disaster.

    #2
    leedub wrote:
    While out and about, should the seacock to the head be left open or closed? In the event that a seal in the toilet failed while underway (with the seacock open), seems like a recipe for disaster.
    Close it if you feel it could be a problem. Peace of mind is important. Mine is left open. Never heard anything different and never had a problem.

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      #3
      leedub wrote:
      While out and about, should the seacock to the head be left open or closed? In the event that a seal in the toilet failed while underway (with the seacock open), seems like a recipe for disaster.
      I seldom close seacocks. I do exercise them 2x a year, and I do inspect the hoses and clamps regulalry, but I don't close them when running or when the boat is vacated.

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        #4
        whiskywizard wrote:
        I seldom close seacocks. I do exercise them 2x a year, and I do inspect the hoses and clamps regulalry, but I don't close them when running or when the boat is vacated.
        Pretty much the same for me. I check things over from time to time but I dont really close them unless there is a reason.:livid:

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          #5
          I shut them each time the boat is vacant. However, I do leave it open when I am underway.
          Tony, Cape Cod, MA
          Vice Commodore Bourne Yacht Club
          1994 Carver 390 Cockpit Motor Yacht
          454 Merc Cruisers inboards
          "HOLODECK"
          2014 10' hard bottomed Dink powered by 3.3HP Mariner 2 stroke
          www.bourneyachtclub.com

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            #6
            leedub wrote:
            While out and about, should the seacock to the head be left open or closed? In the event that a seal in the toilet failed while underway (with the seacock open), seems like a recipe for disaster.
            http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/sinking/

            This from BoatUS covers problems underway and at the dock which cause boats to sink. It says 50% of sinking are due to 'underwater fittings' at the dock.

            Underwater Fittings

            In 50% of the dockside sinking claims, water found its way into the bilge through leaks at underwater fittings. The majority of the leaks were at stuffing boxes (12), followed by outdrive or shift bellows (11), failed hoses or hose clamps (eight), sea strainers (four), and drain plugs (four).

            There were two sinkings each from air conditioning fittings, gate valves, transducers, mounting bolts, and mufflers. One boat went to the bottom as a result of a leaking speedometer impeller. It is certainly possible that more than one fitting had been leaking.

            Falls to 18% for 'leaks at thru hulls' when underway. I leave mine open underway, closed when vacated. Dean

            Leaks at Thru-hulls:

            Any hole below the waterline has the potential to quickly sink a boat. In the BoatUS study, leaking thru-hulls included stuffing boxes, a bait well discharge, washdown fitting (softened by spilled fuel), knotmeter plug, bow thruster hose, broken scupper, and a failed head discharge. Unlike boats at a dock, which tend to sink as a result of relatively slow leaks at thru-hull fittings, these failures tended to be sudden, with many gallons of water pouring through the hole every minute. A 35' sailboat being en route from Maine to Maryland, for example, almost sank when a thru-hull knotmeter impeller, which hadn't been secured properly, popped out. The boat had motored many miles before the delivery skipper noticed that the boat seemed sluggish and finally checked below. He managed to save the boat, but water came within inches of sending it to the bottom.

            Prevention: Any "opening" in the hull, whether it's protected by a seacock or stuffing box, needs to be inspected periodically. The same is true for openings that are slightly above the waterline. Seacocks and gate valves should be operable. Seacocks that are "frozen" open or shut should be taken apart and lubricated. Clamps (stainless steel) on hoses should be snug and free of rust. Two clamps are better than one. Hoses at thru-hulls should be the reinforced type, which is usually a heavy black hose. Lighter, unreinforced PVC hoses can (and do) rupture and crack. Check the entire length of the hose, as excessive heat from the engine or chemicals (bilge cleaners, battery acid, spilled fuel, etc.) can cause isolated failures. Replace hoses that are suspect--mushy, hard, and/or cracked. And, should all else fail, it's a good idea to tie a soft wood plug at every thru-hull.

            Stuffing boxes, where the engine shaft exits the hull, are supposed to leak slightly underway but not when the boat is at rest. Check not only for leaks, but to make sure the packing material is firmly in place. Once the packing material is gone, water can pour into the boat. While less prone to failure, the stuffing box for the rudder should also be checked periodically.

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              #7
              tonyiiiafl wrote:
              I shut them each time the boat is vacant. However, I do leave it open when I am underway.
              Same here. Keep them open Friday to Sunday and close them when we are ready to leave to go home. I have left the head seacock open for extended periods of time because it is a pain to get to to on our boat. The A/C is much easier to get to and that is closed every time.

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                #8
                head intakes are diferent from most thru-hulls as they can sink boats if not properly vented and looped. On my 3988, I never close them, but on a sailboat that heels over I certainly do when underway upwind if it is a low freeboard type boat
                www.boatyardgm.com
                www.pacificyachtimports.net
                2002 Carver Voyager 57
                "Making Waves"
                3988 250 Hinos
                "The Dark Side"
                Alameda, California

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                  #9
                  I'm with the camp that closes all seacocks when I'm not on the boat.

                  The prime reason is to eliminate any possibility of water entering the boat due to component failure on the "boat" side of the valves. The other is to keep the valves functioning. All too often you hear stories of someone trying to close a seacock in an emergency only to find it stuck in the open position due to lack of use.

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                    #10
                    NeilW wrote:
                    head intakes are diferent from most thru-hulls as they can sink boats if not properly vented and looped. On my 3988, I never close them, but on a sailboat that heels over I certainly do when underway upwind if it is a low freeboard type boat
                    I just (just) changed out the manual pump assembly on my Jabsco manual head for the updated version with the locking handle to prevent this - cause you never know...
                    ________________
                    1989 Bayliner 3270

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                      #11
                      Nikko wrote:
                      I just (just) changed out the manual pump assembly on my Jabsco manual head for the updated version with the locking handle to prevent this - cause you never know...
                      From what I understand, the locking handle only prevents the poo from surging up from the waste tank... nothing to do with raw water intake. The poo blocker is a great upgrade though!

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                        #12
                        I work them a few times each year, but leave them in the open position at all times.

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                          #13
                          SwampNut wrote:
                          I work them a few times each year, but leave them in the open position at all times.
                          Me also...

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                            #14
                            Same here. I leave them open. It's too much of a PITA to constantly get into the engine bay to close them.
                            2003 Bayliner 305 - SOLD!
                            Twin 5.7L, Carb'd, 445 hours
                            Bravo II drives
                            Closed-cooling

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                              #15
                              Close them when leaving the boat.

                              That way I'm actually looking in the bulge regularly and checking the hoses at least briefly.

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