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Replacing the Forward Head Sea Cock and Through Hull

My, what a task this has been! Our forward head, the larger and more more useful one aboard, has been unusable since we left Petersburg and could not be repaired with the boat in the water. The head empties into a holding tank and the holding tank can be emptied overboard through a sea cock and through hull. In Petersburg, the handle on the sea cock broke with the valve closed, rendering the head unusable.

Task one was to empty the holding tank and attached hoses of as much effluent as possible. We hired a mobile pump-out service to empty and rinse the holding tank. Task two was to remove the old sea cock and through hull. With confined space and old caulk, it was a miserable task to complete. We used heavy-duty garbage bags to catch any effluent that escaped the hoses as I cut them. Removing the old sea cock and through hull were arduous, but predictable, exercises. We replaced all hose, installed a new through hull and sea cock, and opened the disgustingly plugged holding tank vent hose. I used a drill to get through the ........ whatever it was.

We were extremely fortunate to be in town for the annual Passport Owners of America Sail-in to Westpoint Marina. We've never seen more than two Passports at one time and here there were many!

Bill and Liddy Schmidt's Wind Witch with new teak decks. Installed in Mexico, they were beautiful and much less expensive than work done here. Bill (AKA Billy Mañana on the Passport List Serve) has been enormously helpful through the years.

John Baudendistal's Passport 42 was the first we've ever seen. She's lovely above and below decks and has LOTS of storage room. She's obviously not a Robert Perry design as are the other Passports.

Dinner for the gathering was provided by this taco wagon. Great idea! It was great food, inexpensive, and required no prep work.

Some of the POA crew. Our friend, Michael Morazadeh, is in the blue shirt in the left background.

At the same facility as the marina was a fairly new salt facility. They flood the pans with sea water and let the sun do the rest. I was fascinated, never having seen such a place.

Cayenne, the Morazadeh Passport, has sailed on many Pacific Cup races. Michael has provided enormous help to us through the years and is the brains behind the list serve.

The old through hull as is would be seen from outside the boat. Note the "ears" on the inside that allowed us to hold the through hull while I rotated the sea cock.

Obvious how I removed it! Initially, I just wailed on it with a hammer, but ended by unscrewing it with a large pipe wrench. Common wisdom is to pound it out, but I'd try to unscrew it first since the deformed section made it difficult to exit the hole.

All our new hose: while and clean. We taped down the seat to prevent damage as we worked.

"Before". This is the old sea cock with no bolted attachment to the hull. If something fell on the sea cock, it could easily break off, flooding the boat. The broken handle fit on the upper side of the sea cock. The black hose is exhaust hose. The two green bonding wires and single black wire are held to the sea cock via a hose clamp. Not much room to work!

The prepared sea cock location. The circular wooden backer block has several coats of epoxy on it and has been sanded smooth. I also over-drilled the holes for the mounting screws and filled the holes with epoxy. I re-drilled the needed screw holes when the epoxy had cured so that no water could penetrate the screw holes and destroy the backer block. The sea cock flange is outlined on the backer block. With everything removed, it appear spacious.

The new bronze sea cock. The flange has three mounting holes and a small tapped (threaded) hole for mounting bonding wires. The handle turns a stainless steel ball in Teflon seals.

The new sea cock with the through hull screwed into place. We had to remove about 1 inch of through hull to allow the two to mate properly with our hull thickness: The distance between the "mushroom" and the flange is the thickness of our hull.

The through hull and sea cock are mounted! The threaded hole in the sea cock will hold a hose barb with NPT (National Pipe, Taper) threads on the other. That's anchor chain in the bottom of the compartment. The through hull is caulked with 3M 4200, and some is smeared on the threads as they attach to the sea cock. It's a solid, watertight installation.

Te through hull mounted and caulked in place outside the hull. The through hull is screwed into the base of the sea cock and the sea cock is screwed onto the backer block. I've fitted the hose barb and have used a thread sealant on the threads (the Green Stuff, and that's its brand name). The black hose is, alas, exhaust hose but it's the only hose with sufficient diameter to fit our holding tank fitting.

The entire system: the holding tank is at upper left, the new sea cock at right, and the hose to the sea cock can be seen between. I've also connected the green bonding wires to the sea cock flange. I fabricated a new wire (large black wire) to mount our portable zinc.



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