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RE: [morganowners] Seacock Conundrum

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  • Larry Dill
    Certain impellers can survive considerable dry running without failing (I have proven this with one of the blue ones, specifically advertised as tolerant of
    Message 1 of 13 , Sep 1 7:58 AM

      Certain impellers can survive considerable dry running without failing (I have proven this with one of the blue ones, specifically advertised as tolerant of running dry. How long one might survive is a crap shoot, and probably depends upon several variables, such as age of the impeller, water temperature, rpm, etc. I think it is feasible that one of the blue nitrile ones (and now I see they offer red, but have no experience with same) might survive with the seacock closed long enough to begin overheating the engine. Others will fail almost immediately if run dry.

      I often will leave the seacock open while in the slip, if I am staying on the boat (I may be away for hours, but will return at least nightly). When I leave the boat, which may be for weeks, I always close the engine cooling seacock. I make it a habit to always listen or water flow in the exhaust immediately after staring the engine—to verify not only whether the seacock is open, but also to ensure that the impeller and system is functioning properly. If there is someone on dock, I will ask if they see water exiting the stern. If no one is available, and the sea gulls are too loud, will go to the stern and look for water flow. It is just too significant a requirement for running the engine, and my exiting the slip leads me to a ¾ mile trip in a fairly narrow river, under a drawbridge, before I will have any room to maneuver without an engine. I do all of my own work, and have never had a situation where anyone else would be starting my boat, so I don’t have to worry about someone else’s overlooking the valve. If that were a prospect, I think the suggestions from others regarding storing the key on the seacock makes a lot of sense.

      As far as leaving the seacock open, I have had zebra mussels or something nearly plug my AC intake when it was left open without being used (when in use, anything entering the through-hull usually ends up in the filter basket). If that is not a problem in your area, I tend to think that the issue is largely academic, assuming all systems open to sea water are perfectly sound. I routinely close my valves when leaving the boat for extended periods, except for the past few seasons the galley basin’s probable 32-year-old gate valve has been frozen open. (I am not superstitious, but I refuse to refer to anything on the boat as a “sink.”) Thus, my galley basin drain hose might have been more secure if it were attached directly to the through hull without any valve. Basically, I have had an open 1 ¼ hole in the boat with no means to close it, relying totally upon the integrity of the hose, and a decrepit valve, all without incident. (A long time ago, full of confidence, but lacking sufficient experience to ascertain my lack of experience, I once drove a 1956 Ford wagon over 120 miles per hour—that is all the speedometer registered—on a chip-and-seal road, going airborne at one point, all before seatbelts, all without incident, too, but the lack of failure does not mean it was a good idea.)  My point is that one can leave valves open without consequence, but it is a risk, depending entirely upon the reliability of components. Still, it really doesn’t take much to keep the water out—the PSI on our hulls in a slip is really quite low. That said, I am personally aware of one boat that sunk in her slip, because one of those plastic strainer caps for the engine cooling water leaked (probably was not threaded on properly). The bilge pump was marginally overwhelmed, so the boat very gradually set lower, increasing the psi, which increased the flow. That boat went down. That would not have happened, had the valve been closed.

      Speaking of seacocks, I am replacing that decrepit gate valve for the galley basin drain in my 415. After a little research, I found that Groco has recently started making a flanged adapter plate with NPS female thread and NPT male thread, to allow proper attachment to both the through-hull and an in-line ball valve. I think this is the cat’s meow. I have lined up the adapter, through-hull, and hose fitting (all 1 ¼) from usual sources, but found a real deal on and ordered a 1 ¼ marine rated Buck Algonquin ball valve from “Discount Marine Supplies” at “discountmarinesupplies.com” out of Elizabethtown, PA. They advertise some excellent prices. I am wondering if anyone has had any experience with this company, good or bad. They sent me what looks to be a Home Depot style “Apollo” valve (not marine rated) and I am wondering if I am about to realize once again that P.T. Barnum was talking about me.

      Larry Dill

      M-415 - Aphrodite

       


      From: morganowners@yahoogroups.com [mailto: morganowners@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Paul Koestner
      Sent: Sunday, August 29, 2010 5:16 PM
      To: morganowners@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [morganowners] Seacock Conundrum

      I'm looking for a real good reason I shouldn't just leave our raw water seacock open all the time, other than the real possibility that the boat could sink.

      I'm weighing that awful hypothetical against the actual number of real times I've felt compelled to dismantle the raw water pump to make sure the impeller is okay after, let's just say one of the authorized crewmen, forgets to open the seacock and runs the engine for a while before noting the unusually throaty exhaust note coming from under the lovely counter transom on the Morgan 34.

      Perhaps in your answer you might wish to indicate your impression as to how long is too long for a rubber impeller to be pushing air toward the heat exchanger.

      This isn't a compelling question, but if you feel the urge for a dressing-down, have at it.

      Paul
      S/V Laura Lynn

    • Paul Koestner
      My thanks to all you guys out there for all your help. A particular tip of the hat goes out to Larry, who has been giving detailed, considered responses for as
      Message 2 of 13 , Sep 3 9:13 AM
        My thanks to all you guys out there for all your help. A particular tip of the hat goes out to Larry, who has been giving detailed, considered responses for as long as I've been signed up. I can't tell you what a great resource this group has been over the years.

        Deb and I do make a habit of putting the key on a latch to the engine compartment, right next to an "Open Seacock!" sign. I have always attempted a start-up procedure that includes checks of the oil, coolant, primary fuel filter, belt tension and seacock. The brain is an amazing instrument, subject to interesting glitches. All it takes, sometimes, to interrupt the pattern is an interesting distraction. And a sign, after a time, becomes almost invisible.

        I'll continue to close the seacock before leaving the boat. It is easily accessible, and I'm getting real good at dismantling the raw water pump.

        Fair winds to all you fine captains!

        --- In morganowners@yahoogroups.com, "Larry Dill" <dillport@...> wrote:
        >
        > Certain impellers can survive considerable dry running without failing (I
        > have proven this with one of the blue ones, specifically advertised as
        > tolerant of running dry. How long one might survive is a crap shoot, and
        > probably depends upon several variables, such as age of the impeller, water
        > temperature, rpm, etc. I think it is feasible that one of the blue nitrile
        > ones (and now I see they offer red, but have no experience with same) might
        > survive with the seacock closed long enough to begin overheating the engine.
        > Others will fail almost immediately if run dry.
        >
        > I often will leave the seacock open while in the slip, if I am staying on
        > the boat (I may be away for hours, but will return at least nightly). When I
        > leave the boat, which may be for weeks, I always close the engine cooling
        > seacock. I make it a habit to always listen or water flow in the exhaust
        > immediately after staring the engine—to verify not only whether the seacock
        > is open, but also to ensure that the impeller and system is functioning
        > properly. If there is someone on dock, I will ask if they see water exiting
        > the stern. If no one is available, and the sea gulls are too loud, will go
        > to the stern and look for water flow. It is just too significant a
        > requirement for running the engine, and my exiting the slip leads me to a ¾
        > mile trip in a fairly narrow river, under a drawbridge, before I will have
        > any room to maneuver without an engine. I do all of my own work, and have
        > never had a situation where anyone else would be starting my boat, so I
        > don't have to worry about someone else's overlooking the valve. If that were
        > a prospect, I think the suggestions from others regarding storing the key on
        > the seacock makes a lot of sense.
        >
        > As far as leaving the seacock open, I have had zebra mussels or something
        > nearly plug my AC intake when it was left open without being used (when in
        > use, anything entering the through-hull usually ends up in the filter
        > basket). If that is not a problem in your area, I tend to think that the
        > issue is largely academic, assuming all systems open to sea water are
        > perfectly sound. I routinely close my valves when leaving the boat for
        > extended periods, except for the past few seasons the galley basin's
        > probable 32-year-old gate valve has been frozen open. (I am not
        > superstitious, but I refuse to refer to anything on the boat as a "sink.")
        > Thus, my galley basin drain hose might have been more secure if it were
        > attached directly to the through hull without any valve. Basically, I have
        > had an open 1 ¼ hole in the boat with no means to close it, relying totally
        > upon the integrity of the hose, and a decrepit valve, all without incident.
        > (A long time ago, full of confidence, but lacking sufficient experience to
        > ascertain my lack of experience, I once drove a 1956 Ford wagon over 120
        > miles per hour—that is all the speedometer registered—on a chip-and-seal
        > road, going airborne at one point, all before seatbelts, all without
        > incident, too, but the lack of failure does not mean it was a good idea.)
        > My point is that one can leave valves open without consequence, but it is a
        > risk, depending entirely upon the reliability of components. Still, it
        > really doesn't take much to keep the water out—the PSI on our hulls in a
        > slip is really quite low. That said, I am personally aware of one boat that
        > sunk in her slip, because one of those plastic strainer caps for the engine
        > cooling water leaked (probably was not threaded on properly). The bilge pump
        > was marginally overwhelmed, so the boat very gradually set lower, increasing
        > the psi, which increased the flow. That boat went down. That would not have
        > happened, had the valve been closed.
        >
        > Speaking of seacocks, I am replacing that decrepit gate valve for the galley
        > basin drain in my 415. After a little research, I found that Groco has
        > recently started making a flanged adapter plate with NPS female thread and
        > NPT male thread, to allow proper attachment to both the through-hull and an
        > in-line ball valve. I think this is the cat's meow. I have lined up the
        > adapter, through-hull, and hose fitting (all 1 ¼) from usual sources, but
        > found a real deal on and ordered a 1 ¼ marine rated Buck Algonquin ball
        > valve from "Discount Marine Supplies" at "discountmarinesupplies.com" out of
        > Elizabethtown, PA. They advertise some excellent prices. I am wondering if
        > anyone has had any experience with this company, good or bad. They sent me
        > what looks to be a Home Depot style "Apollo" valve (not marine rated) and I
        > am wondering if I am about to realize once again that P.T. Barnum was
        > talking about me.
        >
        > Larry Dill
        >
        > M-415 - Aphrodite
        >
        >
        >
        > _____
        >
        > From: morganowners@yahoogroups.com [mailto:morganowners@yahoogroups.com] On
        > Behalf Of Paul Koestner
        > Sent: Sunday, August 29, 2010 5:16 PM
        > To: morganowners@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [morganowners] Seacock Conundrum
        >
        > I'm looking for a real good reason I shouldn't just leave our raw water
        > seacock open all the time, other than the real possibility that the boat
        > could sink.
        >
        > I'm weighing that awful hypothetical against the actual number of real times
        > I've felt compelled to dismantle the raw water pump to make sure the
        > impeller is okay after, let's just say one of the authorized crewmen,
        > forgets to open the seacock and runs the engine for a while before noting
        > the unusually throaty exhaust note coming from under the lovely counter
        > transom on the Morgan 34.
        >
        > Perhaps in your answer you might wish to indicate your impression as to how
        > long is too long for a rubber impeller to be pushing air toward the heat
        > exchanger.
        >
        > This isn't a compelling question, but if you feel the urge for a
        > dressing-down, have at it.
        >
        > Paul
        > S/V Laura Lynn
        >
      • Richard Shapiro
        You re right about that! I have CNC business, and have gotten to the point that I use an aircraft style checklist, and won t start the machine until every box
        Message 3 of 13 , Sep 3 9:21 AM
          You're right about that!  

          I have CNC business, and have gotten to the point that I use an aircraft style checklist, and won't start the machine until every box is checked off.  Anything less, I've learned to my detriment, will, as you say, become too easy to lose in a distraction.

          Rich

          On Sep 3, 2010, at 12:13 PM, Paul Koestner wrote:

          My thanks to all you guys out there for all your help. A particular tip of the hat goes out to Larry, who has been giving detailed, considered responses for as long as I've been signed up. I can't tell you what a great resource this group has been over the years.

          Deb and I do make a habit of putting the key on a latch to the engine compartment, right next to an "Open Seacock!" sign. I have always attempted a start-up procedure that includes checks of the oil, coolant, primary fuel filter, belt tension and seacock. The brain is an amazing instrument, subject to interesting glitches. All it takes, sometimes, to interrupt the pattern is an interesting distraction. And a sign, after a time, becomes almost invisible.

          I'll continue to close the seacock before leaving the boat. It is easily accessible, and I'm getting real good at dismantling the raw water pump.

          Fair winds to all you fine captains!

          --- In morganowners@yahoogroups.com, "Larry Dill" <dillport@...> wrote:
          >
          > Certain impellers can survive considerable dry running without failing (I
          > have proven this with one of the blue ones, specifically advertised as
          > tolerant of running dry. How long one might survive is a crap shoot, and
          > probably depends upon several variables, such as age of the impeller, water
          > temperature, rpm, etc. I think it is feasible that one of the blue nitrile
          > ones (and now I see they offer red, but have no experience with same) might
          > survive with the seacock closed long enough to begin overheating the engine.
          > Others will fail almost immediately if run dry.
          > 
          > I often will leave the seacock open while in the slip, if I am staying on
          > the boat (I may be away for hours, but will return at least nightly). When I
          > leave the boat, which may be for weeks, I always close the engine cooling
          > seacock. I make it a habit to always listen or water flow in the exhaust
          > immediately after staring the engine—to verify not only whether the seacock
          > is open, but also to ensure that the impeller and system is functioning
          > properly. If there is someone on dock, I will ask if they see water exiting
          > the stern. If no one is available, and the sea gulls are too loud, will go
          > to the stern and look for water flow. It is just too significant a
          > requirement for running the engine, and my exiting the slip leads me to a ¾
          > mile trip in a fairly narrow river, under a drawbridge, before I will have
          > any room to maneuver without an engine. I do all of my own work, and have
          > never had a situation where anyone else would be starting my boat, so I
          > don't have to worry about someone else's overlooking the valve. If that were
          > a prospect, I think the suggestions from others regarding storing the key on
          > the seacock makes a lot of sense. 
          > 
          > As far as leaving the seacock open, I have had zebra mussels or something
          > nearly plug my AC intake when it was left open without being used (when in
          > use, anything entering the through-hull usually ends up in the filter
          > basket). If that is not a problem in your area, I tend to think that the
          > issue is largely academic, assuming all systems open to sea water are
          > perfectly sound. I routinely close my valves when leaving the boat for
          > extended periods, except for the past few seasons the galley basin's
          > probable 32-year-old gate valve has been frozen open. (I am not
          > superstitious, but I refuse to refer to anything on the boat as a "sink.")
          > Thus, my galley basin drain hose might have been more secure if it were
          > attached directly to the through hull without any valve. Basically, I have
          > had an open 1 ¼ hole in the boat with no means to close it, relying totally
          > upon the integrity of the hose, and a decrepit valve, all without incident.
          > (A long time ago, full of confidence, but lacking sufficient experience to
          > ascertain my lack of experience, I once drove a 1956 Ford wagon over 120
          > miles per hour—that is all the speedometer registered—on a chip-and-seal
          > road, going airborne at one point, all before seatbelts, all without
          > incident, too, but the lack of failure does not mean it was a good idea.)
          > My point is that one can leave valves open without consequence, but it is a
          > risk, depending entirely upon the reliability of components. Still, it
          > really doesn't take much to keep the water out—the PSI on our hulls in a
          > slip is really quite low. That said, I am personally aware of one boat that
          > sunk in her slip, because one of those plastic strainer caps for the engine
          > cooling water leaked (probably was not threaded on properly). The bilge pump
          > was marginally overwhelmed, so the boat very gradually set lower, increasing
          > the psi, which increased the flow. That boat went down. That would not have
          > happened, had the valve been closed.
          > 
          > Speaking of seacocks, I am replacing that decrepit gate valve for the galley
          > basin drain in my 415. After a little research, I found that Groco has
          > recently started making a flanged adapter plate with NPS female thread and
          > NPT male thread, to allow proper attachment to both the through-hull and an
          > in-line ball valve. I think this is the cat's meow. I have lined up the
          > adapter, through-hull, and hose fitting (all 1 ¼) from usual sources, but
          > found a real deal on and ordered a 1 ¼ marine rated Buck Algonquin ball
          > valve from "Discount Marine Supplies" at "discountmarinesupplies.com" out of
          > Elizabethtown, PA. They advertise some excellent prices. I am wondering if
          > anyone has had any experience with this company, good or bad. They sent me
          > what looks to be a Home Depot style "Apollo" valve (not marine rated) and I
          > am wondering if I am about to realize once again that P.T. Barnum was
          > talking about me. 
          > 
          > Larry Dill 
          > 
          > M-415 - Aphrodite
          > 
          > 
          > 
          > _____ 
          > 
          > From: morganowners@yahoogroups.com [mailto:morganowners@yahoogroups.com] On
          > Behalf Of Paul Koestner
          > Sent: Sunday, August 29, 2010 5:16 PM
          > To: morganowners@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [morganowners] Seacock Conundrum
          > 
          > I'm looking for a real good reason I shouldn't just leave our raw water
          > seacock open all the time, other than the real possibility that the boat
          > could sink.
          > 
          > I'm weighing that awful hypothetical against the actual number of real times
          > I've felt compelled to dismantle the raw water pump to make sure the
          > impeller is okay after, let's just say one of the authorized crewmen,
          > forgets to open the seacock and runs the engine for a while before noting
          > the unusually throaty exhaust note coming from under the lovely counter
          > transom on the Morgan 34.
          > 
          > Perhaps in your answer you might wish to indicate your impression as to how
          > long is too long for a rubber impeller to be pushing air toward the heat
          > exchanger.
          > 
          > This isn't a compelling question, but if you feel the urge for a
          > dressing-down, have at it.
          > 
          > Paul
          > S/V Laura Lynn
          >


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