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Sea Cocks – sheared handle

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  • #11327
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear All,

    On my 1986 Nauticat 38 the handle on the stern waste discharge from the heads sheared off. I am naturally worried about what this might mean. I am especially concerned that the sea cocks may have become brittle and therefore possibly prone to failure.

    I understand that if you wire brush them (see before and after photos attached) and if the sea cocks appear pink then this is a sign of de-zincification. I have to say that I can not see that in the affected sea cock. Clearly at this years annual lift out I am going to have to have a look at this one, and possibly opt to replace them given their age. But this will be very expensive and not something I really want to do if it is not necessary.

    Have any other forum members had a problem with their seacocks, and what is the consensus on a boat of this age ?

    rgds

    Richard.

    #11556
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    And the second photo (before)

    #11561
    Vic Crowhurst
    Participant

    At the lift-out you should carefully detach the hose from the top of this seacock then remove it from the skin-fitting. Completely dismantle the top by unscrewing, supporting the body in a soft jawed vice and remove the spindle of the handle and the ball-valve. You will undoubtedly find a large amount of calcium salt deposited on the inner surfaces and the spindle surfaces which will need dissolving with de-scaler and polishing with fine emery cloth. This is the probable cause of the handle breaking. These handles are not very robust. This job may take 6 hours to complete so consider a renewal as a near cost effective option. When reassembling add plenty of appropriate grease. As a general maintenance add a few drops of vegetable oil into the head from time to time.

    #11564
    Piers Covill
    Keymaster

    Hi richard

    I bit the bullet and replaced all the skin fittings and seacocks on my NC43. The reasoning was thus:
    1. I never managed to find a definitive way to know what material they were made out of and therefore was never going to sleep easy until it was done
    2. they were all looking like yours.
    3. It is almost as quick to remove the whole skin fitting and seacock (bang a wooden block in from the outside, use to centre a hole saw same size as the threaded part inside, drill carefully until through the flange, bang into the boat with a hammer) as it is to struggle trying to remove a rusted seacock in a tight location.
    4. Now they are all bronze: skin fittings, seacocks and tails, with new double hose clamps etc. Parts came from Asap who were very helpful and gave me a decent discount.

    Piers

    #11585
    39Schuss
    Participant

    Hi Richard,

    There were lots of debates and reports in Yachting Monthly a few years ago about defective seacocks and how to identify reliable ones. Among their recommendations they also suggested it could be interesting to look at “plastic” ones, which are not cheaper but should last forever.

    I replaced mine with Vetus metal ones four years ago (my N33 is a 1981 model), except the one of the seawater intake, which had been replaced earlier. But I noticed that the handle was rusty and about to break, so I had a new inox one made and fitted by my boatyard. I noticed many times that the handles supplied with seacocks were of poor quality and get oxyded earlier than the seacocks themselves.

    Hope this helps,

    Regards,

    Joël Rogale

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