How worried should I be? Is my boat about to sink?

acubria

Member II
This is about my new to me Ericson 26-2. Today I finally decided to test and understand the mechanisms of the head (toilet) of the boat . I have the option of regular waste pump-out as well as overboard pump out via manual pump and 1 1/4" seacock. Everything was going well till I decided to open the seacock for the overboard waste pump-out. I have opened and closed it before , but it was always kind of hard for me to move the lever. Today as I was applying some force to open the plastic seacock, something broke inside and now the plastic handle, while still attached, moves freely with zero friction. I do not really know if the seacock is open or closed, but I feel that it broke when it was in "almost" in the open position. The 1 1/4" hose attached to the seacock, has a loop that goes above the waterline and it is connected to the manual pump.
Is there an easy way to know if the seacock is open or closed? If it is closed, I can live with no overboard discharge.
The season is starting and I would HATE to have to haul out the boat at this time.
I check for water leaks and did not find anything at all.
Is the boat about to sink???

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goldenstate

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
1. You should always have a plug handy that fits your through hull. Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/SEACHOICE-45...ugs&qid=1621394662&sprefix=wooden+bung&sr=8-6

2. To fix/replace your ball valve you should figure out what size it is, buy a new one, plug the through hull from the outside, remove the broken valve, install the new one. Not a huge deal.

3. Someone here will say the 90’s off your through hulls look like PVC sprinkler pipe which is not supposed to be used below the water line. You mileage may vary.
 

gabriel

Live free or die hard
i tried replacing a leaky gate valve and ended up accidentally spinning the whole fitting (thru hull and all). Had the boat been in the water I would have had a problem.
 

nquigley

Sustaining Member
To see if it's stuck in the open or closed position - perhaps put some dark-colored food coloring into the head and pump it out, with someone in the water by the overboard outlet to see if any/how much of the colorant comes out.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
To see if it's stuck in the open or closed position - perhaps put some dark-colored food coloring into the head and pump it out, with someone in the water by the overboard outlet to see if any/how much of the colorant comes out.
Toss in some of your standard fast-dissolving TP.... and give it a flush. Look over the appropriate side for visible results.
 

Gaviate

Member II
If I understand correctly, there should be a holding tank involved which should have a vent to atmosphere. This will/should break any siphoning activity and prevent an open valve from filling the tank, and the boat, which is also the reason for loop above waterline. So making the grand assumption that all else is intact and in good shape, you should not have a sinking boat.
Having lost the gatekeeper (valve) every other part of the system is assigned a new role and if not in good shape may fail with disastrous result that otherwise would have been just a nuisance.
 

Kenneth K

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
Since all of the head thru-hulls are below the waterline, if the valve is stuck open, it is now only the hose and clamps that are preventing you from taking on water. Luckily, you don't have to worry about freezing. I'd keep a small piece of rubber (like inner tube material) handy so you could remove the hose to clamp on a rubber seal if the hose started to leak. And, ensure you have a good automatic bilge pump setup.

I've read of people changing these valves while in the water. You need someone outside the boat holding a plunger against the hull, or a plug such as these, https://www.amazon.com/Forespar-Sta-Plug-Mini-Emergency Plug [150112], (or both);


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Alan Gomes

Contributing Partner
3. Someone here will say the 90’s off your through hulls look like PVC sprinkler pipe which is not supposed to be used below the water line. You mileage may vary.
When I first bought my boat, BoatUS insurance put my boat on probation, insuring it but requiring that I replace those totally inadequate PVC elbows within a certain specified time period--something I was only too happy to do. I swapped them out quickly. It's amazing to me that Ericson cheaped out on a mission critical part like that.

If it were me, I'd do a short haul and take care of the seacocks and those elbows all at the same time. The backing plates look nice and dry, so that's a good thing. If you had all the parts in advance you could do the work in the morning, splash the boat, and be sailing again in the afternoon. If your yard is flexible, maybe they could keep it in the slings while you did the work.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
If you are going to remove parts for an upgrade, better to change to the still-current Forespar "OEM" series seacocks and just buy the one with the 90 degree outlet in the top, or with a straight barbed fitting. Saves space in the boat, strong as all heck, and is a true seacock.

I did that when replacing the original 1988 Forespar/RCMarine valves that were screwed onto each thruhull.
 
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