Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hull Fittings

These include skin fittings, sea cocks, cockpit drains, and instrument fittings.

All skin fittings should be checked, no matter what material they are made from.

Bronze can corrode and be affected by stray electrical currents which may originate from your boat, underwater cables, a marina berth or the boat next to you. Look for signs of pitting or Verde grease, (green corrosion). If found, be suspicious and take them out check them over and replace if necessary.

Check for cracks or damage on composite plastic fittings and replace if necessary. Do not over tighten these just make them nice and snug.

Re-bed them with a good marine sealant (Not Plumbers silicon leaves this stuff for the plumbers to "play with")

When re- bedding any fitting it always pays to mask off and clean around the area of the fitting and be generous with the sealer.

Always lightly tighten the fitting so that sealer squeezes out evenly and leave for 2 days to allow the sealer to cure. Then give a final tighten to snug the fitting home. This will give you a much better seal as you have allowed a thin gasket to form.

After 2 days you can also trim off any excess sealer with a Stanley knife. To protect the thread while doing this and allow you to carry out the final tighten up put a little petroleum jelly or silicon grease on the area where the nut will be.

All through hull fittings should have a ply backing plate on the inside and under the nut.

Check for leaks between the thread and the seacock,(Valve) and the hose tailpiece.(if fitted). This is a good place to use PTFE tape (thread seal tape). This gives a good seal and makes it easy to remove valves and tailpieces.

Check that all valves are operating properly. The motto is to disassemble and lubricate with silicon grease every 3-4 years. OK, the Toilet outlet valve it just replace when it stiffens up!

Under no circumstances should BRASS gate valves be used anywhere there is salt water, always use bronze, reinforced plastic (RC marine type) or 316 stainless.

All hoses and hose clips should be checked and fit double hose clamps on all underwater through hull fittings.

Of course you will all have a softwood tapered plug of the right size tied to each through hull with light nylon cord "just in case a valve or skin fitting breaks off and in does cometh the sea".

What do you mean you haven’t yet, well now lets get that done too because there is no way you can hold your hand over a hole under, lets say the sink, and at the same time reach over and find the softwood plugs which are kept in the lazaretto! These plugs can be purchased from any good chandlery and are not expensive.


The hull is the part of your boat that keeps you floating and thus quite an important one. Keeping it in good shape is essential for a good sailing experience, and the effort to achieve this depends hugely on the type of Gulet you have. In this article, I outline the different basic maintenance tasks a neat hull requires.

In order to estimate the amount of care that will have to be dedicated to the hull, it is useful to think of the different materials it can be made of and the resulting specific maintenance needs.

The first material to think about is the classic one: Wood has been used in boat building ever since people have built boats. It looks good, feels natural, but is generally heavy and requires a great deal more work than GRP. The wood itself is always protected by at least one layer of paint, epoxy resin or other finish.

If this finish is damaged under physical pressure and parts of it rub off, the damage needs to be fixed to prevent water from getting in between the protective layer and the wood. It might be necessary to sand the affected area; for large-scale repairs, you might have to strip off a larger part of the hull. Take care to roughen the surface in order to increase the adhesion of the paint.

The finish on wooden hulls normally needs to be polished once a year. Fall is a good season for that, in the course of winterizing the boat. Depending on the quality and type of paint that you use, your finish should last for 3 to 7 years.

Hulls of some Gulets are made of metals, most commonly steel or aluminum; the are durable and require less work than wooden ones, however, don’t meet some (traditionalist) sailor’s aesthetic preferences and are not the ideal material for small boats. Much like wood, steel hulls come with a finishing layer of paint. Maintenance work for steel and wooden hulls is very similar, too.

Aluminum hulls are a different story; the material is light and very easy in maintenance, but expensive. If you apply paint to an aluminum hull, than essentially for aesthetic reasons – if they are left untreated, you will save on work and the metal’s surface will oxidize over time to an elegant gray. If you choose to paint the hull, it requires similar maintenance as steel hulls.


Post a Comment