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Thread: Stuck Thru Hull

  1. #1
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    Stuck Thru Hull

    H Respected Sailors
    Marelon thru hull ten years old worked hard last year and last month. The thru hull was frozen yesterday and splash is next Thursday. Ugh... Friend found Marelube grease on a query and I bought a 4oz tub for $15 at West. Wow. Priced like gold. We used a childs medicine injector with 6inches of pvc hose then a small long brush to spread the grease on the outside of the ball. Broke the handle free and it moved back and forth very well. Opened thru hull half way and greased the inside of it with the 6 inches of hose and the injector. The valve works like new! All done in the backyard boatyard. A real save. Dimensions in the area of the thu hull are really tight so valve change would have been a pain. Applied to other thru hulls and big improvement. Nice material hope it does not wash away.
    Best Regards
    Pat O'Connell
    1981 E28+ Univesal 5411

  2. #2
    Contributing Partner alcodiesel's Avatar
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    Nice fix. Thanks, Pat.
    Bill McLean,
    1976 E27 #879
    Norfolk, VA

  3. #3
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    Stuck Thu Hull

    Hi Bill Thanks. I think it will work out to be a good save. The Catalina Direct Website does a marelube demo that looks too good to be true. My experience out of the water indicates its true.
    We have changed out three of the factory marelon valves with bronze. Head big one with marelon ten years ago. I am disappointed that West does not stock much marelon anymore. Plastics engineer buddy said that this monster marelon thru hull is bulletproof as long as I keep it lubed. No way for anything to fall on it.
    Had a bad marelon experience on 81 delivery cruise. Factory had the small sw intake marelon thru hull bar tight to the vibrating engine. 5 miles off Plymouth MA the thru hull broke off. Limped into harbor for a short haul and replaced with bronze very quick. Factory was terrific on the warantee. Paid all and quick.
    Best Regards
    Pat
    1981 E28+ Universal 5411

  4. #4
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Cool

    About 99% of the 80's Ericson's and Olson's will have the Marelon valves screwed onto Marelon thru hulls. That was the newest technology, coming out of the 70's. Invented (or at least marketed/patented) by RC Marine out of Australia in the 70's, these were a good choice.
    The material, wonderful as it was, was also just slightly hydroscopic and the cast ball inside expands a thousandth or so with water absorption. This binds, and without lubing it regularly, it binds enough to cause the handle to break off when forced hard.

    In the 90's, the new owner of the product and patent, Forespar, designed a totally new Marelon sea-cock, rebuildable from inside, with the ability to increase of decrease the force on the ball with four fasteners. (The old design can also have the pressure on the ball changed by Carefully (!) turning the huge nut that holds the whole thing together... a local boat builder told me about this many years ago.

    When we changed out all of the EY-installed "valves on thru hulls" in our boat for the new series, we had some original that would hardly turn at all.

    While even the newer design can still bind if not lubed, it's also easy to slightly (!) back off the four securing screws just a gnat's eyelash once every few years.

    Bronze is still a great choice, IF (!!) you can be sure you actually have real bronze.... but then there's stray current to worry about in many marinas. In our area, there seem to be increasing # of large boats that are almost small "super yachts" tied up, and these boats often have huge amounts of power flowing into them from multiple cables. And... complaints from other boats up to a hundred feet away about metal wastage.

    And then, there was (is?) the Not-Really-Bronze scandal with Benetau a decade ago or so -- they were using less expensive types of metal thru hulls and then cautioning their owners, very quietly, to change them out regularly. Yikes. The UK boating press raised quite a stink about it and the builder may have changed their specs back. (?)

    It's great to see a positive report on this new product. Real world experience is the best guidance.
    Thanks for the thread.

    Loren
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 05-14-2017 at 10:59 AM.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Universal M25XP
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  5. #5
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    Stuck Thru Hull

    Hi Loren Thanks! That little bit of marelon history explains a lot.
    Best Regards
    Pat
    1981 E28+ Universal 5411

  6. #6
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    Marelon Thru Hull Stuck

    Hi Respected Owners... Unfortunately the battle is not over. Good launch yesterday but the valve is frozen (again) closed. Working fine on the hard WED??? There is a devil in the details that I still need to discover. Fortunately worst case scenario would be using the dockside pump out.
    Best Regards Pat 1981 E28+ Universal 5411

  7. #7
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    Marelon thru hull

    Hi Respected Sailors OK.. Now thull starts hard but runs smooth?? Must be something in it. I'm thinking that stuff that lines the head exhaust hoses. That gets hard and partculate, Not that you wanted to know :<{))) Regards Pat

  8. #8
    1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
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    I had Marelon thru hulls on a previous smaller boat, and found that even with lubricating them, they seemed to swell and would be hard to operate. I was always gentle with them, worked them often to ensure they worked but never found them easy.
    Frank

  9. #9
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Question

    We have a bottle of cheap cooking oil in the head, and pour a tablespoon (very approx) in and slowly flush it thru regularly. Everything works better. Might be good for those valves too.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Universal M25XP
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  10. #10
    1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
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    Loren,

    Is there any problem with cooking oil, baby oil or similar oils degrading any of the seals or O-rings in the head? I know there is a "head lube" that one can buy in the chandlery, but I don't know what it's made of and I do know it's pricey.

    Frank

  11. #11
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    Thanks respected sailors. I went to query "head doctor" as there used to be website run by a lady that was very knowledgeable about marine heads. Could not find what I wanted but was amazed with the search results :<{((( This is my third big head repair year in 36 years. I replaced the head and probably dislodged debris into the valve area? The 28+ is a wonderful high value cruising boat. They have put 34 feet of features into 28.5ft. Just no room to work in the head. I would like to go to bronze but don't have the dimensions to do it unless maybe I take out the sink thru hull. Ugh.. Next year. BTW the marelon has been a lot easier to replace than bronze because you can hacksaw off the mushroom and pull the valve back into the boat. Pat

  12. #12
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    We have the problem here with the superyacht draining the grid, Sometimes they are plugged into three or four electrical posts. A Westport 120 came in and tied up to the guest dock right across from me. My crudded up zinc "Fish" cleaned up completely after he plugged in. This boat was brand new. No bronze for me.

    Forespar notes that the marlon seacocks must be opened and closed periodically at intervals of not more than once every six months. I open and close mine at least once a month winter and summer and I have not had a problem with sticking.
    Bob Morrison
    1987 E-34 Hull #15
    "Terra Nova"

  13. #13
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Langer View Post
    Loren,

    Is there any problem with cooking oil, baby oil or similar oils degrading any of the seals or O-rings in the head? I know there is a "head lube" that one can buy in the chandlery, but I don't know what it's made of and I do know it's pricey.

    Frank
    Not sure if there is a definitive answer to that one. (So many different types of oils.)
    Our lube procedure worked fine for over a decade, however.
    i.e. we have not found proof of any degradation.

    Loren
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Universal M25XP
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  14. #14
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    Oh, I forgot to add, I'm replacing the two 1 1/2" seacocks for the head. Ericson, in it's wisdom, placed a schedule 40 1 1/2 90 bend before the seacock in the compartment. I needed to rotate the 90 degree head on the top of the "monster" seacock. I contacted a Forespar engineer about doing it and he said "Be sure you count the turns you back off the four screws and tighten them exactly the same amount".
    Bob Morrison
    1987 E-34 Hull #15
    "Terra Nova"

  15. #15
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    http://www.forespar.com/OEM-Valves.shtml

    Note that the newer version of their valve will let you orient the hose connection at 90 degrees from the thru hull. We liked that when we re-plumbed all this stuff in the crowded confines under the head counter.

    Loren
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Universal M25XP
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

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