COCKPIT DRAIN SEACOCKS
(Should I install seacocks in the cockpit drains?)
Tim Lackey, Glissando, #381,
I had the glass tubes originally on #381. Pearson used these on many models well into the 70's, at least. They are fine for coastal sailing if you have excellent hoses, but they are not as strong or resistant to sideways torque as throughbolted seacocks. For most uses, this does not pose a problem. Again, boats rarely sink because of a failure of one of these tubes; they sink because $10 worth of neglected hose fails when no one is around to do anything about it. My hoses that came with the boat crumbled when touched; a startling number of boats (of all sizes and age) feature hoses in similar condition. Stupid.
It is a huge PITA to install seacocks and run hoses beneath the cockpit on a Triton. There is not enough room, as someone mentioned earlier. It can be done if you really want to, but not without some struggle. I installed the seacocks on all underwater fittings because I anticipate offshore sailing and long term cruising in the future, and seacocks are indeed beneficial and prudent in those conditions (when one is onboard most or all of the time). Plus, the fittings are stronger to boot.
Whether you have tubes, no tubes, or seacocks, be sure that your hose is heavy wall reinforced hose meant for the use, and in good condition! It doesn't have to be wire-reinforced for this use--the fabric stuff is as strong, but doesn't bend through as tight a radius without kinking. In fact, the fabric-reinforced hose is often better since the wire helix can (and will) rust out over time, severely compromising the hose. This is why many hoses fail. 10 years would be a long life for any underwater hose, in my opinion. This is such a small cost, overall. High quality, strong, new hose and clamps don't fail if installed properly and maintained properly; failures occur because of neglect. It's a sucky job, but better than a sunk boat.