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Cockpit drains and stopcocks...

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:51 am
by Telo
When leaving the boat, do you close them all, close some, or just leave them open?

Re: Cockpit drains and stopcocks...

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:26 am
by Arghiro
Mine are always left open, otherwise I forget & nasty things happen to the bog & engine & the cockpit fills with rainwater. There was a Centaur that san at her moorings in Conway due to rainwater (sitting on top of sea water) freezing & pushing (err, pulling?)the hoses off the spigots.

Re: Cockpit drains and stopcocks...

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:32 pm
by DaveS
Well I always make a point of leaving the bog sea cocks shut, because the pipes are short and below the water line and if a syphon got set up it could easily fill the boat. While it shouldn't sink, I really don't want it full of sea water! The sink sea cocks get turned off if I remember, but I'm less worried about them. The engine sea cock gets left open because it's such a pain to get at and turn (not a good excuse, I know... ) and the cockpit drains are left open as a deliberate choice.

Re: Cockpit drains and stopcocks...

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:34 pm
by Nick
.
All shut. No seacocks on the cockpit drains.

Re: Cockpit drains and stopcocks...

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:51 pm
by Telo
There was a thread about this a couple of years ago, but it was Arghiro's post on another thread about the Westerley Centaur that prompted my query. TBH, I never used to bother, but after the earlier thread we now religiously shut the two heads stopcocks, the sink's, the engine's, and the valve of one of the two cockpit drains. My reasoning, faulty as it probably is, was that closing five out of six valves reduces the chances of water ingress, but still lets out surplus water from the cockpit. The remaining open valve is also in a bloody awkward position that is difficult to get at.

I'm grateful to Arghiro for clarifying the circumstances of the Centaur's sinking; that makes me think I should start also closing the remaining cockpit valve. Hmmm....

Re: Cockpit drains and stopcocks...

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:07 pm
by sahona
I never shut anything - - shock horror! I do, however, dangle an extra anode over the side to try and cut down/divert the nasty currents that may be leaking from other peoples boats. ( my skin-fittings/engine are NOT grounded to anything)
I can't get to most of the seacocks - not an age thing - I just can't reach them, neither* could the previous owners, so they're seized*. (* whatever happened to I before E except after C by the way?)
I never used to shut the cockpit drains when I had a cockpit either*, too much rain in Scotland, and I was working, so boat visits were less frequent.
Some continental boats have the drains moulded in, so possibly we should just saw off the knobbly bits, wrap a coat of glass and resin round our pipes and forget about them............

Re: Cockpit drains and stopcocks...

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:23 pm
by Orla
When not on Orla all seacocks below the water line are closed except cockpit drains.
We always shut the engine seacock when we are satisfied we wont need it. Sometimes leave it open when at anchor in strong winds.

Re: Cockpit drains and stopcocks...

Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:32 pm
by Arghiro
I have to add that my mooring dries, so the risk of fresh water sitting on top of sea water & freezing is nominal - it didn't even happen last winter when there were sheets of ice floating in the river & there was ice INSIDE the cabin.

Re: Cockpit drains and stopcocks...

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:54 am
by ubergeekian
All five seacocks (engine, two sinks, bog in, bog out) shut. No seacocks for the cockpit drains, and I can't imagine any circumstance when I'd want to close them, so why introduce another point of failure?

Re: Cockpit drains and stopcocks...

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:31 pm
by aquaplane
ubergeekian wrote:All five seacocks (engine, two sinks, bog in, bog out) shut. No seacocks for the cockpit drains, and I can't imagine any circumstance when I'd want to close them, so why introduce another point of failure?


That's my feeling too, but Westerly's seemed to like having deep cockpits and then running the drains to exit below the waterline, so they have seackocks on them.

Bog x 2, galley sink and engine inlet all get closed when we leave the boat. The 2 cockpit drains get closed and opened every time the engine seacock is opened or closed. I'm thinking of only leaving one open though, half the chance of the boat sinking, if the right one fails.

Re: Cockpit drains and stopcocks...

Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:16 am
by ubergeekian
aquaplane wrote:
ubergeekian wrote:All five seacocks (engine, two sinks, bog in, bog out) shut. No seacocks for the cockpit drains, and I can't imagine any circumstance when I'd want to close them, so why introduce another point of failure?


That's my feeling too, but Westerly's seemed to like having deep cockpits and then running the drains to exit below the waterline, so they have seackocks on them.


I'm pretty sure my cockpit drain skin fittings are below water level too. Memo to self: check.

I'm thinking of only leaving one open though, half the chance of the boat sinking, if the right one fails.


It all depends what fails. The impression I get is that the most likely thing to go is a skin fitting (in which case seacocks won't help), followed by the seacocks themselves (in which case seacocks make things worse) with hose failure a very, very long way behind in third place. It would be interesting to see some statistics on this, though I suspect that failures are so rare that the sample size would be too low to be meaningful.

Re: Cockpit drains and stopcocks...

Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:32 am
by marisca
Closed my cockpit drains in Tobermory for the WHYW Class 8 party - but then we don't normally have that many on board. Some water came in via the rudder tube and was worryingly slow in clearing once the drains were reopened. Investigation later showed the drains, usually invisible under the cockpit grating, were blocked by detritus which seemed to be a mixture of hair, leaves and mud. Doesn't make sense 'cos she lives on a swinging mooring and I haven't got that much hair to lose. One cleared to a swirling vortex, the other, despite the application of the dinghy pump, remains awfy slow - must remember to take a sink plunger next time.

Oh, and I try to remember to close the other 6 seacocks every time I leave the boat.

Re: Cockpit drains and stopcocks...

Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:00 pm
by ash
All the stop cocks, heads in and out, seawater to sink, sink drain, engine cooling are closed when we leave the boat for more a few hours.

The cockpit drains don't have cocks but the outlets are above the waterline when the boat is stopped and level.

The cockpit drains have approx 1 1/2" hoses which run almost horizontally, and the leeward one will be under the water line when heeled.

When I was working on replacing the engine and exhaust, I found that the cockpit drain hoses were only single clipped and that the clips were not very tight. It was only the rigidity of the hoses which were keeping then in place, and it would have been very easy to dislodge then in the stern locker.

Ash

Re: Cockpit drains and stopcocks...

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:30 am
by SteveN
I close all seacocks, 11 of them, when leaving the boat between visits.
However, I only twigged recently that the bleed/feed pipe from the stern tube joins the sea water inlet after the seacock, so all this time a failure of one of the many bits of near 30 year old hose on the engine would have let the sea in. I realized this when trying to drain the entire ocean into a bucket during an impeller change afloat.
So I've since added the 12th. cock/valve to the stern tube feed.

This is our first boat with (4) cockpit drains that exit below the waterline so I asked for advice from my insurance underwriter.
I was told that should the boat sink and it was subsequently found that any cock was open then I was effectively uninsured.
So I asked what about damage or sinking due to rainwater if I closed the cockpit drain cocks? No, not covered either, as there should be a means of draining the cockpit..
I now have a Y valve on the lowest cockpit drain that diverts rain water overboard above the waterline.

All this, yet the weakest point anyway is probably the ancient log fitting which is just a bit of old plastic and an O ring or two..

Re: Cockpit drains and stopcocks...

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:58 pm
by Arghiro
So I asked what about damage or sinking due to rainwater if I closed the cockpit drain cocks? No, not covered either, as there should be a means of draining the cockpit..


I suggest you change you insurance coy, they seem far too eager to avoid paying claims. Lots of boats don't have self draining cockpits - especially older wooden ones. I mean it must be a really dangerous situation as some of them must be over 60-70 years old without sinking. :roll:

I'd check to see if you have cover if you are not on the boat, and if you are on it, cos you should have saved it!