Sea­cock’s jammed… should I re­place any­thing else while I’m at it?

Practical Boat Owner - - Ask The Experts -

QI have a Moody 31 built in 1989 and one of the in­let sea­cocks has failed in the shut po­si­tion.

This doesn’t un­duly con­cern me for the present as I’ll re­place it be­fore long with a new Maestrini DZR Ball Valve when the boat comes out of the wa­ter at the end of the sea­son.

My ques­tion is should I be re­plac­ing the skin fit­ting as well as the ball valve? I don’t know if or when they have ever been re­placed be­fore I owned the boat. MR Daniels Colch­ester COLIN BROWN REPLIES: The an­swer is short and sim­ple. Yes! You should def­i­nitely re­place the skin fit­ting – and hose tail – at the same time as the sea­cock.

If you’re fit­ting a DZR valve then you should also fit a DZR skin fit­ting and hose tail. All of th­ese fit­tings on your boat may well be orig­i­nal – in which case they’ve done very well last­ing this long.

Tak­ing the valve off a skin fit­ting with­out dis­lodg­ing the fit­ting can be a chal­lenge in the first place, and re­mov­ing the col­lar to re­seal the old skin fit­ting if it has moved in the process can also be a big chal­lenge.

The ex­tra labour in­volved in try­ing to save the old skin fit­ting may cost more (in terms of time, money and knuckle skin) than a new fit­ting which costs around £15.

To get rid of the old skin fit­ting you can care­fully cut off the flange from out­side us­ing an an­gle grinder and cold chis­els then sim­ply pull the whole as­sem­bly through into the boat.

You should also con­sider fit­ting a new hose to your new sea­cock. Un­less you’ve changed them your­self and know bet­ter, the hoses on your boat may also be orig­i­nal and they tend to stiffen and be­come brit­tle with age, mak­ing them vul­ner­a­ble to break­age as they move when you try to get them off the old sea­cock. Our main photo shows a bro­ken skin fit­ting from a Moody 33. The valve was still work­ing but the skin fit­ting had suf­fered dez­in­ci­fi­ca­tion – the pink colour of the re­main­ing metal is a give­away. You can see the salt crust­ing where the weak­ened skin fit­ting had been leak­ing. It snapped off un­der light man­ual force.

Dez­in­ci­fi­ca­tion in a failed skin fit­ting al­lowed this sea­cock to be sim­ply snapped off Qual­ity ball valves from a rep­utable sup­plier will be DZR (dez­in­ci­fi­ca­tion re­sis­tant) and marked CR (cor­ro­sion re­sis­tant)

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