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Redundant seacocks

5 March, 2017

Old and redundant seacocks are often found left in-situ with a short length of hose in the bilge and a soft wooden bung pushed in and hose clipped. This is not a secure way to seal an old seacock.

Remember, wooden taper plugs are supposed to be temporary fixe not a permanent solution. Wood can rot, shrink and split so you need to do more than leave a short length of hose with a softwood plug in a damp bilge to secure your vessel.

Best practice is to remove the old seacock and fully repair the opening in the hull. Understandably many owners are unwilling to do this due to cost, time and the fact that they may want to reinstall the fitting at some time in the future.

If leaving the seacock in place, unscrew the hose tail and fit a proper blanking plug to the thread. These are readily available from chandleries but do make sure the cap is marine grade bronze and not brass.

If you can’t remove the hose tail or get a blanking cap you should as minimum take the hose length as high as possible so that the end is well above the water line even when heeled over and then plug the end. This way if the seacock does leak the hose end will be above sea level and will not flood the boat.