Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik ZKG

Use This Sailing Safety Tool in a Flooding Emergency!

by John Jamieson on 25 Jan 2013
Make a simple seacock diagram. Divide the hull into thirds lengthwise to represent the forward cabin, main cabin, and cockpit/stern area. Place a dotted line down the middle to represent the centreline. .. .
The average sailing boat could have eight to twelve holes drilled below the waterline. These 'through-hulls' are used for heads, sink and shower drains, cockpit scupper drains, engine intake, instrument transducers, shaft exits and the rudder post. Each could be the source of a catastrophic ingress of water if they are not maintained. If the worst does happen, knowing precisely where they are and how to fix the problem quickly could save your boat.

Follow these easy steps to make sure your through-hulls do their job for peace-of-mind at the dock, at anchor, or when you're underway.

How to Avoid the Danger of Flooding
Most through-hulls are covered by a valve--called seacocks--with a handle that can be opened to allow sea water into the boat or shut to keep sea water out. Seacocks are the most important components beneath the waterline and need attention and care to prevent flooding. Check every handle on every seacock on every through-hull. Surveyors report time and again that they find frozen sea-cock handles on most every boat they inspect. You must be able to close any seacock with minimum effort.

Move the handle from open position (parallel to the hose) to closed position (perpendicular to the hose) and back to open. This exercises the seacock handle to keep corrosion at bay, and the handle lubricated. Open frozen seacock handles with a light tap from a hammer or mallet.

Examine the hoses at the top of each seacock. Replace hardened or cracked hoses right away. They are the number one cause of through-hull failure. Inspect the stainless clamps on each seacock hose. Replace rusted or corroded clamps. Double-clamp hoses on each side of a device or fitting. This adds extra security and peace-of-mind.

Insure that a tapered wooden plug gets lashed to the base of the seacock with easy-to-break twine. If a seacock hose fails, you can drive the plug into the seacock hole with a hammer or mallet as a temporary repair.

Mount a hammer or mallet nearby in brackets in a conspicuous location in the main cabin. Paint the handle day-glow orange or red. Add reflective tape strips to make it visible to a flashlight on the blackest night. Brief your sailing crew or partner. Instant accessibility could make a difference in keeping your boat afloat.

Inspect, clean, and lubricate every seacock once a year when you haul your boat. This gives you the perfect opportunity to find and fix problems. That way, you will have peace-of-mind that all of your through-hulls are in great shape for another sailing season.

Make a Simple Seacock Diagram
Make a Seacock Diagram for your boat (see illustration). You need to do this just once. If you add additional through hulls in the future, update your diagram. Post the completed diagram in the cabin so that all hands can see it.

Make another copy and insert it into your ship's papers notebook or briefcase. Spend a few minutes to go over the diagram with your crew so that they can locate any seacock aboard your boat within seconds.

1. Attach a piece of paper to a clipboard. Draw an outline of a hull (see illustration). Divide the diagram lengthwise into thirds as shown. These represent the forward cabin, main cabin, and cockpit/stern area. Make a dotted line down the center of the diagram from bow to stern to represent your boat's centreline. Strap a rubber band near the bottom of the clipboard to hold your diagram in place. Grab a pencil.

2. Start in the forward third of your boat (forward of the main cabin). Remove lockers, lids, or access covers to locate each seacock.

3. Plot small circles onto the diagram to indicate each seacock. Label each circle (head, shower, washdown hose, etc …) Note the dotted line down the centreline of the diagram. Seacocks should be plotted to the left, right, or along the centreline for faster access. Color code if desired (see illustration).

4. Include bilge cover plates. These can be difficult to locate in trying conditions because fine joinery work can make seams almost invisible.

5. Move to the midships section (main cabin); then to the aft section (cockpit and stern). Repeat the process. Print a second copy of the insert. Transfer your rough sketch onto the new insert so that it's neat and legible. Post it where all hands can see it day or night.

Note that not all through-hulls are covered by sea cocks. Include these locations on your diagram: shaft exit (where the propeller shaft exits the hull), rudder post location, fuel and water vents.

Use these easy sailing tips to keep your boat's 'gates to the sea' working to perfection--wherever in the world you choose to cruise!

John Jamieson (Captain John) with 25+ years of experience shows you the no-nonsense cruising skills you need for safer sailing worldwide. Visit his website at www.skippertips.com. Sign up for the Free, highly popular weekly 'Captain John's Sailing Tip-of-the-Week'. Discover how you can gain instant access to hundreds of sailing articles, videos, and e-Books!

T Clewring - GenericNorth Technology - Southern SparsColligo Marine 660x82

Related Articles

Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep
D-Marin Farr 40 Zadar Regatta – Overall report
Enfant Terrible and Plenty have been doing battle on the Farr 40 International Circuit for several years now. Enfant Terrible and Plenty have been doing battle on the Farr 40 International Circuit for several years now. Those two top-notch programs have resumed their rivalry this week in the waters off this historic city along the Dalmatian coast.
Posted on 23 Sep
Impressive tow-in freestyle show on the water in Cold Hawaii
The second day of the netIP Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup proved to be yet another lay day for the main competitio The second day of the netIP Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup proved to be yet another lay day for the main competition as expected with light winds and small waves.
Posted on 21 Sep
Brookes and Gatehouse Videos with Knut Frostad
Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos with Knut Frostad, the legendary Volvo Ocean Race sailor and former CEO. See him talk about sailing in general, the B&G product choices and placement he made for his own boat, and then why he loves his Outremer 5X.
Posted on 8 Sep
Soft Padeyes – light, strong and versatile
Several types of soft padeyes are now available and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel pa Several types of soft padeyes are now available on the market and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel padeyes. They all capitalise on the incredible strength to weight ratio and abrasion resistance of Dyneema® which offers a reliable, robust, flexible and safe termination.
Posted on 6 Sep
The hurricanes headed for Hawaii and Florida
The National Weather Service has upgraded a tropical storm headed for Florida to hurricane status. The National Weather Service has upgraded a tropical storm headed for Florida to hurricane status. The first of two hurricanes headed toward Hawaii lost strength and was downgraded to a tropical storm. Meanwhile, in Florida, a tropical storm gained in strength and is now designated as a hurricane.
Posted on 4 Sep
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Kids Polarised Sunglasses from Barz Optics
Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Each pair are supplied with a neoprene case and sunglass retainer.
Posted on 4 Aug
Reducing weight aloft with composite backstays
Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Every kilogram you take out of the rig is roughly equivalent to 4kg added to the bottom of your keel!
Posted on 26 Jul
Free $US3,000 Carbon Vang with SouthernFurl boom orders in July
Southern Spars is giving a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July Southern Spars is giving away a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with all of their SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July. Carbon gas vangs make a great addition to the furling boom package, though if you’d prefer to keep your existing one, Southern Spars will offer you a 5% discount on the price of your boom instead.
Posted on 29 Jun