Seacocks (was Re: lightning strike - direct hit)

How to free up a bronze seacock with tapered valve-shaft? What has always
worked for me in the past is to loose both of those nuts and than give the
shaft a stout whack with a reasonably heavy hammer. Back the nuts off far
enough to protect the threads at the end of the axle bolt so they don’t get
dinged-over. If there is still some grease in the joint, after retightening
this is usually enough to do the trick. If it still drips, sometimes a leaky
tapered bronze seacock can be made good by dissassembling & using valve
grinding compound to relap the mating surfaces, sometimes not – all depends
on how badly scored or damaged it is.

I think in this case I would haul her first, in case the seacock to hull
bond has been compromised by the lightning strike, corrosion, whatever . .
… Necessary anyhow if you need to try relapping the valve. A good dollop of
grease is needed when it is reassembled. I wonder if the heat generated by
the lightning strike might have vaporized the grease in the valve? Probably
best to haul, dissassemble, inspect and then decide.

We hauled Itchen yesterday in preparation for a run later this month from
the Chesapeake (Solomons) to Penobscot Bay – will replace zincs, repaint
the bottom, and free up one seized seacock that I feel nervous about
whacking too hard while still in the water! I was appalled to find the
MaxProp zinc and one of the rudder gudgeon zincs entirely wasted away,
though all had been replaced in late November. She’s been in the water in a
marina slip since then and I wonder if stray currents from nearby boats
might be a factor. No damage to the prop, fortunately.


S/V Ithchen BCC #73

----- Original Message -----
From: “pelenur” < >
To: < >
Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2004 10:35 PM
Subject: [bcc] lightning strike - direct hit

My 1988 BCC #86 “Patience” was apparently hit by lightning while moored
the other day.
The bonding system has to be very good, because there was very little
damage. The mast-
mounted metal whip VHF antenna is missing, a charred piece is all I found.
Strangely, the
VHF radio still works, as do all the electrical devices, GPS, alternator,
except the radar. The
radar, a vintage, beautiful Raytheon RL10 seems to be mortally wounded. It
lights up but a
high pitch alarm sounds continously and targets are not detected. I assume
the radome
has crossed over to the afterlife.

The other strange side effect is that 2 seacocks are seized. They where
old and kinda
drippy already, but they where greased and used to move easily. Now I
can’t turn them,
even after loosening the “packing” nuts…I assume they got zapped. They
still weep, which
makes me a little nervous. If I can’t figure out how to un-seize them and
“pack” them
properly, I am going to have to haul out and replace…lots of $$$$$. I
need the boat in
complete seaworthiness condition for an offshore passage to Nova Scotia.

If anyone has experience servicing these bronze seacocks (I forget the
brand right now),
let me know. They are all bronze and have 2 nuts that hold the pieces
together (2nd one is
just for locking the first one)


Julian ( )

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