BOAT ENGINE THRU HULL OPENING AND CLOSING – USING A TOOL TO OPEN/CLOSE THE THRU HULL
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