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Old    Timmy! (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       06-13-2014, 7:48 AM Reply   
Was having a discussion with some friends and was just curious about the probability of a wakeboard boat sinking due to a bad ballast pump or fresh water intake hose coming off and having no way to shutoff the water flow. I know some boats don't come with, or didn't used to come with, shutoff valves between the thru-hull and the ballast pump or a shutoff valve between the freshwater intake and the engine. I haven't seen many stories on here about boats sinking due to a bad pump, shutoff valve or freshwater intake coming off but figured the experts on here would have all kinds of horror stories.

Whaddya think?

P.S. - Not interested in sailboats, fishing boats, runabouts, go fast boats, etc. Just wakeboarding style boats.
Old    Charlie Zulu (Pad1Tai)      Join Date: Jan 2013       06-13-2014, 7:52 AM Reply   
I had a hose leaker... It was faster to jump in the water and stuff a rag in the thru hull fitting than it was to get to the S/O valve... Keep a couple of corks in your glove box..
Old    Timmy! (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       06-14-2014, 7:25 AM Reply   
The thru-hulls on my boat all have grates on them so a rag or a cork wouldn't help much.
Old    Brian (Ewok01)      Join Date: Apr 2013       06-14-2014, 10:01 AM Reply   
Good question and timing Timmyb. My boat has shutoffs on the ballast thru hulls but not on the raw water inlet for engine cooling. I'm thinking about adding one there too and this post got me curious, how many boats out there come from the factory with a shutoff on the raw water intake?
Old    Brett Yates (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       06-14-2014, 10:13 AM Reply   
I don't know how many have sunk but I think think all thruhulls should have a shutoff. It isn't like it is a huge investment in money. Why not have the option to do it. I know there are some brands that don't even put them on their main water intake. If I was buying a boat that didn't have one I would add it. the truth is most of these boats are trailered and I would guess most sinking due to a bad thruhull/hose would happen to a boat that is moored in the water. Unless you are going to shut the shutoff valves everytime the boat is moored it really wouldn't matter much. still it would be nice insurance

Last edited by polarbill; 06-14-2014 at 10:19 AM.
Old    Joe (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       06-14-2014, 4:47 PM Reply   
I think you need to draw the line somewhere, before you think you need a shutoff valve under your shutoff valve....

this is why we have bilge pumps.

I think you are much better off having a really high GPH bilge pump with a backup, or some sort of redundant pump system. This way you are covered in the event there is any breach in the hull.... shaft seal goes....cooling water intake hose breaks..... forget your drain plug..... Adding shutoff valves can only protect in a select few circumstances(where the breach is somewhere in-line above the valve) and will require you to identify the problem (WHICH OF MY 4 VALVES NEEDS TO BE SHUT!?)...where you could just have your bad ass massive bilge system on a floater switch

but, if you want shut off valves, then, go for it... but why not just throw a few spare hose clamps, a screwdriver, and some duct tape in your boat instead... since a leaking hose or torn junction is the only thing having a shutoff valve would help with.... in my eyes at least.)
Old    Surf Addict (Desi) (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       06-15-2014, 9:29 AM Reply   
I haven't heard of any myself, but I don't think a shut off valve on anything going through the hull is a bad idea. I also second the having not only a high flow bilge pump, but also having one that isn't wired in, such as a Tsunami used for filling your sacks over the side so you can drain water wherever it ends up. It's also good to have a spare in case your ballast pump goes out, otherwise you're stuck letting gravity syphon it out, or worse yet, not be able to fill your sacks and ride that day.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-26-2014, 6:04 AM Reply   
The proper installation for any intake should be brass intake with a brass nipple and ball shutoff valve with stainless handle. Run whatever you want from that point but you now have a professional industry standard below water intake that will not fail and can be shut off. Any other setup is just a manufacture's cost savings measure and that does not vary from wake, fish or sail boats.

There are an lot of boats including mine that have no shutoff on the intake - it does now. I have spent a lot of time on the water and have been down that broken intake road 3 times. I carry a couple right sized wood plugs especially on my off-shore boat where there are not many 2nd chances. In the garage I also have a set of spare hoses and an impeller because these things seem to go on 3-days holiday weekends with a boat full of visitors.

In respect to backup pumps, I always add a second pump but I can almost guarantee that you will have a tough time keeping up with the water free flowing in from a larger broken hose unless you have a large pump with a large intake and outflow.

Timmy - the grate is not an issue, the cork or plug can be inserted from the inside of the boat.

Most hoses break at the fitting connection. You can typically cut it off and reattach to solve the immediate problem. Remember this in not a permanent fix because when it breaks the next failure is typically not far behind so swap it out.
Old    August (augie_09)      Join Date: Mar 2011       06-26-2014, 8:20 AM Reply   
Friend had his break off. He stuffed a shirt in hole from engine bay and was able to get back to boat ramp and on trailer, no problem.

My rear ballasts have no shut off, but I have high compression tape to wrap around hose in emergency and a rubber plug that expands when locked down just in case

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