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Motorized ball valves

Bob S

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Sep 27, 2007
1,687
Beneteau 393 New Bedford, MA
Playing on the internet I saw a Vetus motorized ball valve which would make life a lot easier. My engine thru hull is under the aft birth and a pain to open and shut. Anyone ever used one? Good or bad idea? I haven’t searched pricing yet.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,080
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
When I think about tools to make my life easier I get a warm fuzzy feeling. It seems like it is only money, and I can’t take that with me.

But before I reach for the Amazon button, am I missing something?

When I crawl down into the bowels of my boat, lift mattresses and open hatches to reach in to the abyss and open the valve, I carry my flashlight.

I shine light on all that is hidden. I look at the hull, any cracks or water hiding? Is the hose tight? Are the clamps shiny or rusted and need to be replaced? Is the valve still bronze colored or is there pink color showing due to galvanic corrosion?

The electric driven valve solves one problem but the need for regular inspection to keep my boat floating is still there.

Your boat your choice.
 
Jan 4, 2006
3,899
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
From the description “aluminum casing, stainless ball”, it sounds like a bad combination.
On further digging, I see the valve body is SS (Ball valve made of stainless steel (AISI 316) and it's the motor housing that is aluminum. Sounds good if you've got an unlimited supply of money. Be sure you've got a manual ball valve upstream if something decides to go south with the motorized valve.
 
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Feb 21, 2013
3,774
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
.............My engine thru hull is under the aft birth and a pain to open and shut. Anyone ever used one? Good or bad idea?................
A motorized stainless steel seacock is an interesting idea. I prefer bronze seacocks of the configurations below. As a former oil refiner engineer I like manual valves for process line-ups and in this application no control valves that would introduce pressure drop and restrict flow and risk failure, and most importantly not in the closed position. I also like to put my hands on the seacock lever to verify valve position. I would also specify bronze vs stainless steel in marine application to mitigate the risk of crevice corrosion, which occurs when there is a localized breakdown of the protective passive layer on an exposed surface corrosion. If I did not install a motorized valve in marine plumbing I would also install manual isolation valves for maintainability.

However, I plan to install a potable water electric ball valve with isolation and bypass valves for maintainability to segregate a diesel water heater from an electric water heater when the diesel heater is off.

You might these articles helpful: Know how: Thru-hulls and Seacocks - Sail Magazine & Seacock & Thru-Hull Primer - Marine How To

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Bob S

.
Sep 27, 2007
1,687
Beneteau 393 New Bedford, MA

Bob S

.
Sep 27, 2007
1,687
Beneteau 393 New Bedford, MA
Jan 19, 2010
948
Catalina 34 Casco Bay
Another reason I love my C-34... The valve is under the head sink. The ignition key hangs just above it. Grab the key, open the valve. leave the key, close the valve... It IS just that simple...Thank you Frank Butler...
 

Tom J

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Sep 30, 2008
1,990
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
Another reason I love my C-34... The valve is under the head sink. The ignition key hangs just above it. Grab the key, open the valve. leave the key, close the valve... It IS just that simple...Thank you Frank Butler...
:plus:My raw water valve is behind a small hatch just aft of the galley. Easy to close at the end of the day, and then to open before engine start. Come to think about it, all my through hull valves are easy to get to. I guess Catalina felt a valve hard to get to would not get used much.
 
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Sep 25, 2008
6,312
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
Another reason I love my C-34... The valve is under the head sink. The ignition key hangs just above it. Grab the key, open the valve. leave the key, close the valve... It IS just that simple...Thank you Frank Butler...
May be mistaken but I believe there are other boats which have seacocks under sinks too.;)
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,935
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
I've used many motorized valves in refinery settings. Very nice. And there is a 100% chance that it will fail within 5-10 years, so you will need a work around. If it fails closed, that means no engine. You need a possition indicator and/or a flow indicator, because you won't know it failed closed until the engine overheats and impeller fails. Yes, most can be hand cranked open, but that normally requires a lot of cranking and good access.

Not feeling it, not for a sea cock.
 

Bob S

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Sep 27, 2007
1,687
Beneteau 393 New Bedford, MA
Wouldn't it be a lot cheaper and simpler to install a deck access plate as below in the side of the bunk?
I wish, the thru hull is in the middle of the aft birth. There is no other access other than removing all the bedding to gain access. I didn’t think this was a good idea but seeing it’s starting to be available from marine suppliers I figured I’d ask. I always liked exercising my thru hulls and lube them at the beginning of each season. I still think the majority of boats out there leave them open all the time. We forum users represent a small segment of the boating community. We are the DIY‘ers and tend to know everything about our boats. If not we learn when something goes wrong. Often we have a better understanding than our boatyards.
 
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