Seacocks and Drain Hose

Quoted from a letter from Dick Wilke (10/16/98)

"I wanted to drop you a note before we head south, to tell you about an alarming discovery I made after launching IOLANTHE this spring. I was lubricating the seacocks with a grease gun with flexible hose, after temporarily installing 1/8" grease fittings. In doing so, I checked the hoses, and found cracks developing in the port cockpit drain hose. In trying to remove it, I pulled on the copper or red brass fabricated fitting which also serves as the sink and scupper drain. I was amazed to see it crack open!

Our boat was kept on a mooring on Long Island Sound for the first 5 years, and I suspect that the constant presence of salt spray took it’s toll of this fitting. Fortunately, one of our club members has a hardware and plumbing shop nearby, and opened it for me on a Sunday morning so I could rummage through his stock of bronze plumbing fittings and copper pipe, and assemble enough parts to make a replacement fitting. I used two propane torches at once to heat the fittings and sweat them together, starting with the large tee and working outward. I was later able to get some hose at an industrial hose distributor. I also replaced the scupper drain hoses at the same time. I mention this because our members may want to check these fittings for possible deterioration, because their failure at sea could present a serious problem. Incidentally, Cruising World magazine had a good article several months ago on various metals and their suitability for marine applications.