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Tool to open/close a Thru Hull - shut off valve key

I am one of those boaters that always close all of my thru-hulls when I leave my boat.  Why chance having a potential disaster happen.  The thru-hull could fail, or a hose could fail even if the hoses are all double clamped, which mine are. I feel safer knowing that all of the “holes” in my boat are closed.

My engine thru-hull is located in a lazarette storage compartment and is very difficult to get to for opening and closing, but I always keep it closed at the end of the day or even when we are sleeping on the boat.  In the past, I would climb into the lazarette storage area after removing some of the stored items and would open or close the valve.  I have wanted to have a tool created to grab the ball valve handle and turn it the necessary 90 degrees to open or close the valve.

I mentioned this to my friend one day when he was out sailing with me, and he suggested that I look at the sprinkler system shut off valve keys.  I decided to google these and realized several different versions and lengths of these tools are readily available.  I had to measure the width of the thru-hull valve handle and make sure the device would fit over the handle.  I found my sprinkler tool/key at my local Lowe’s store (Orbit Curb Key Tool).

Now I can open/close my thru-hull valve from my cockpit easily and quickly.  What a great solution to a problem that many folks must-have.

This tool saves me time by not having to remove items out of the lazarette to make room for me to climb into it, and I no longer have to climb into this storage compartment and contort my body to reach the thru-hull handle.  Now, after the engine has been running for a while, I no longer have to climb into a warm lazarette, which gets heated by the boat engine.  My boating life has just gotten more comfortable with the use of this tool.

The tool that I use is pictured above. This version of the device is 28 inches long and works out perfectly for me.  There is a version of this tool with a longer handle, and there are other styles out there.

I hope this helps solve the problem and inconvenience that I was having with my thru-hull for others.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

All the best,

Steve Charlebois – owner Sea Dog Boating Solutions, LLC

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