Plumbing on A Sailboat – How to Get it Right Every time

One of the hardest things to get right on a boat is the plumbing. Many people who design and work on the water manifold and other plumbing areas of a boat don’t realize what is truly needed to ensure longevity and workability. Most advice people get with regards to plumbing DIY on boats is to make sure there are no leaks, or that it only works. While this sort of advice is right, it cannot be really quantified when you are performing plumbing for a boat where weight and dispersion come into account. Most plumbing hacks for a boat ensure any issues, there are too many cases where there are massive flaws in the design or the installation process. These flaws can cause problems with reliability and the durability of the plumbing job.

Raw-Water Manifold Plumbing

When covering the topic of raw-water plumbing, it is essential to understand what it means. This sort of water supplies refers to the seawater that is discharged or supplied to the various components of the engine, generator, watermaker, or even the air conditioning system on deck. It also refers to water use areas like in drains, shower, and sink that are on board. If the installation or durability of the system is not rock solid, it can result in flooding and can become a massive issue.

The Role of Hoses

The selection of equipment that is used for raw-water should be certified. This is the central part of any DIY or professional sailboat job. They need to be marked with the right rating that is required for the type of raw water like the marine wet exhaust hoses. When selecting a hose that is used for the engine water supply or discharge, they are usually extremely durable. These hoses can be used for other parts of the sailboat as well that needs raw-water plumbing. Beware of hoses that are made of PVC and is sometimes sold for raw water use. These are not designed to handle the seawater and is a mere gimmick to sell a product that is substandard at best.

The same goes with silicone hoses that might seem suitable but won’t last in the long run. While silicone has its unique abilities to be able to absorb any movement and vibration and is used in many engine systems, it carries the risk of being crushed and form kinks. The best thing to use in the place to silicone is EPDM hoses. The best hoses to use are made of bronze. There are way too many options, and alloys of bronze that are best suited for boats and they would work well. However, be sure that you check for its ability to handle seawater, as not all the alloys are suitable for saltwater. Whatever happens, do not use brass as it is the worst and can cause dezincification. After you have ensured you have the right hoses and the installation is complete, do a step-on test to ensure that it is robust and will be able to last a good beating.

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