Seacock Thru-Hull Caution
Regarding your DIY Inspection and Maintenance (May 2018) letter from the Beneteau Oceanis 38 owner. We, too, own an Oceanis 38, built in 2014 in Marion, South Carolina. We purchased our yacht from a Beneteau dealer in Texas in December, 2016. We were the first owners, our yacht having resided in the water two years unsold. Just before our first haul out, I noticed corrosion on the raw-water intake through-hull for our AC unit. It turns out that all six seacocks on our yacht were in imminent danger of failure.
We have since replaced all through hull fittings with pure brass. My question is: “Does PS or do other Beneteau owners have information on other inferior materials issues that we should look for?” My wife and I are planning on an extensive cruise on our yacht. We don’t want to experience a catastrophic failure that can be avoided.
Jim and Cathy Tyree
Corpus Christi, Texas
Romance, Beneteau Oceanis 38
We contacted Beneteau regarding the through-hull materials and have not yet heard back. Based on our research, it is clear that other Beneteau owners have had similar experiences. There is a thread “Thru-hull Replacement Experience” in the Beneteau owners group (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/beneteau-owners) that describes the measures that others have taken. In some cases, you will not only need to replace the through hulls with marine grade through hulls, you will also want to add a backing plate to reinforce the area where the through hull is installed. The recent article on air conditioning featured an illustrated guide to making your own backing plate out of FRP (see “Plumbing Your AC for Longer Life,” see Practical Sailor June 2018 online). PS Contributor, Rod Collins, at Compass Marine, has also posted an illustrated guide to correcting poor through hull-installations. Capt. Frank Lanier, the marine surveyor who wrote the report in the April issue, reminded us that he has encountered similar problems with through-hull corrosion on a variety of brands of boats, and that common offenders are often owners who unwittingly use hardware-variety brass fittings instead of silicone bronze.