Great Lakes, "no discharge" rules

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Jun 2, 2004
5,802
Hunter 37-cutter, '79 41 23' 30"N 82 33' 20"W--------Huron, OH
Peggy, do you have "rule" handy? I know we can't discharge waste but what about the plumbing? My boat had the Y-valve and pump removed when I bought the boat. The overboard thru-hull is capped. Did I read somewhere that the valve can simply be wired shut? Brian and his "new" H34 sits there with a big 'ol gate valve on that thru-hull.
 
Dec 2, 1997
8,122
- - LIttle Rock
Federal law vs state law...

Federal law (33 CFR 159.7) does not require disconnecting any plumbing...only requires that all valves (y-valves AND seacocks) be secured by wire tying or removing the handles and closing the thru-hulls.

If your toilet is connected to a holding tank, acceptable methods of securing the device include --

(1) Closing each valve leading to an overboard discharge and removing the handle;

(2) Padlocking each valve leading to an overboard discharge in the closed position; or

(3) Using a non-releasable wire-tie to hold each valve leading to an overboard discharge in the closed position.


But NY and VT state laws require that--on Lake Champlain, anyway--there be no overboard discharge plumbing connected to any thru-hull. I've not heard that the same is true on Huron or any of the Great Lakes, though.


Brian and his "new" H34 sits there with a big 'ol gate valve on that thru-hull.


Which I do hope he plans to replace with a proper valve ASAP if he doesn't want to find his boat sitting on the bottom of slip one of these days!
 
Jun 2, 2004
5,802
Hunter 37-cutter, '79 41 23' 30"N 82 33' 20"W--------Huron, OH
Thanks Peggy. So nothing unique to Erie. No danger of sinking. It is sitting on the cradle in his back yard.
 
Oct 1, 2011
188
Hunter 42 Passage Huron, OH
Ed & Peggy ...Thank you so much... With mine tore down it is easier to replace stuff now if need be. So basically... replace the gate valve with a nice ball valve, then remove the handle... no problem there...easy enough to do. Thanks for the documentation....
 
Oct 1, 2011
188
Hunter 42 Passage Huron, OH
Also... yes Peggy, replacing all that ugly 1984 plumbing with new bronze and rubber, with all new clamps. I did read on a site somewhere that 4 out 0f 5 boats sink in the harbor tied up because of a thru-hull - valve - hose clamp - hose failure... and with this being our first boat....the last thing I want to see at the harbor is our mast sticking out of the water.....
 
Sep 4, 2007
737
Hunter 33.5 Elbow, Saskatchwen, Can.
Brian:

When you replace your thru valves could you let me know what size they are. This is one job that I need to do but the boat is 90 miles away. If I knew the sizes of all the valves before I replace them this would make life much easier.
Just another thing to add to the to do list..
 
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Jun 2, 2004
5,802
Hunter 37-cutter, '79 41 23' 30"N 82 33' 20"W--------Huron, OH
Not the same thing Stu. His current gate valve(large faucet-like) or soon to be ball-valve are not built like that.
 
Oct 1, 2011
188
Hunter 42 Passage Huron, OH
Don, Know what you mean, mine was 120 miles away, but bit the bullet and had it trucked to my house to do the refit. Yes, will measure everything that I replace and let you know.
 
May 24, 2004
6,790
CC 30 South Florida
Mention gate valves to a sailor today and they get a look in their faces as if the cat took a crap on the living room rug. The majority of them never had a valve failure and are just repeating what someone else said. Gate valves have lately become a source of concern because they have gotten old and have begun to fail not because of a faulty design. After all most production boats from the 70s and 80s were equipped with them and there are many still around. The ball type valve does have some design advantage and since the industry has drifted towards them, manufacturers are innovating with new materials and a production of higher quality so it does make sense if you are going to replace a valve to go with the ball types. What I do not agree with is the badgering that is directed at those that are currently using gate valves which are in good condition and working order. If you want to take real proactive action inspect and exercise your valves, inspect the hoses and replace the hose clamps. I understand a visual inspection of the ball type handle wil let you know wether it is open or closed and that it can be closed or opened faster and that the biggest plus is that it may not jam the valve open if a foreign body gets in the valve. These design features are good but there is no overwhelming evidence of real safety improvements. I'm sure someone can quote of a boat that sunk because of a failed gate valve but lets wait around another 25 years and see how the ball types fare. Ed, sorry for highjacking your thread with my rant.
 
Oct 1, 2011
188
Hunter 42 Passage Huron, OH
Benny, I have to say point well made. There is a lot to be said about stuff simply getting old and breaking. Score one for the gate valve.... as maybe it is just wore out. "IF" it were replaced with a NEW gate valve, would it in fact have another long life time if maintained.... OH BOY... here come the ball valve people. ( Please keep in mind, I am neutral and replacing with new ball valves)
 
Dec 2, 1997
8,122
- - LIttle Rock
You also need to keep in mind that "they ain't making anything like they used to" (or WHERE they used to, either!)...and that while gate valves of 30 years ago may only be suffering from age, the bad rap they're getting today may be a reflection of today's quality.
 
Oct 1, 2011
188
Hunter 42 Passage Huron, OH
Peggy, there is a statement I totally agree with... with the exception of a few things, it would seem that most everything we all come across isn't built like it was 20-30-40 years ago. You are right...."IF" you could get your hands on a gate valve, that was BRAND NEW...from 30 years ago, and install it, how long would it last....compared to the quality of today.... It is a shame things aren't the way they used to be.
 
Aug 16, 2009
5
CS Yachts 27 Port of Rochester
Peggy, there is a statement I totally agree with... with the exception of a few things, it would seem that most everything we all come across isn't built like it was 20-30-40 years ago. You are right...."IF" you could get your hands on a gate valve, that was BRAND NEW...from 30 years ago, and install it, how long would it last....compared to the quality of today.... It is a shame things aren't the way they used to be.
Very interesting conversation. I tend to think parts can last a lot longer than many popular theories too - especially for those of us in fresh water with boats hauled out 6 months of the year for winter.

You can still get quality parts. I just replaced my gate valves with Groco flange adapters and in-line ball valves, and believe me, those things are build to withstand things my old gate valves never dreamed of. In 1977 there was no ABYC code requiring seacocks to withstand a 500 lb. impact, which may be part of the reason for the heavier material (just guessing).

I didn't really believe that my old gates were failing, or in immediate danger. Rather, the best reason to do the gate valve swap out came down to the changes in installation standards over the years. My boat had old plywood backing plates which were getting soft, and no bolts to secure the hull seal. I suspect many gate valves installations are similar to what I had. I now have 1/2" G10 backing plates bedded in thickened epoxy, and heavy through-bolts ensuring that the threads won't loosen up over time and the sealant won't be flexing more than necessary. Now that WILL make a difference, as I could spin one of my through hulls with a pipe wrench, and I had many places where I could see the sealant joint was failing.

By the time you do the work to update the installation standards, the additional cost of plumbing parts is truly small compared to your labor (or the price of a yard technician! Yikes!). I wouldn't do it just for the convenient handles, but I do appreciate that convenience. What I really appreciate is knowing that my new plumbing is not going to be compromised if a battery kicks loose and smacks it.
 
Apr 5, 2009
1,617
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
When I replaced the gate values on my previous boat (1980 Catalina 25) it wasn't just because they were gate values. It’s what they were attached to. The gate valve was only attached to a 2" long galvanized pipe nipple that was bonded to the hull. One of them had started to leak so the next time I had the boat out of the water I tried to remove the gate valve to put on some thread sealant. When I turned the valve, the nipple just popped out of the hull. :eek:

Needless to say I replace all of them with proper thru-hulls and ball valves before relaunching.
 
Feb 26, 2004
21,950
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
1. The C25 guys have a special name for their thru hulls. I forget what it is now, but they agreed that they should be replaced.

got it: VOLCANOES

2. Gate valves: an intermediate thought --- What goes wrong in a gate valve is rarely the body, but rather the stem and the gate inside. If, I say if, you can find the very same valve, then you can unscrew the bonnet, take the guts out and replace the stem and gate without removing the body. Usually much easier than replacing the whole valve IF you can find a match. If not, you'll find they've put the whole valve in an inaccessible place...it's a boat! :)
 
Oct 26, 2009
1
Penn Yan cabin Cruiser Home
Thru Hull Fittings Gate valves / Ball valves

On my Hunter 27 (1979)I chose to redo all the thru hull fittings . The 2" fitting beneath the sink had a plywood backer that was delaminating ---when I put a pipe wrench to it , it disintergrated . It was an original gate valve , I think, Bronze maybe ---but had cracks all thru ----was on the trailer at the time . The stem was long ago rotted off so no chance of closing , and no way to know by looking at from outside . A ball valve here is pluggable --but don' think a broken gate valve with lose parts inside would be .So better to redo and be able to sleep at night .
 
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