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Cockpit scupper thru hulls

I realize that I may stir up a hornets nest so sting me if you wish. The Morgan 348's "torpedo tube" arrangement for the cockpit scupper drains (and shower and icebox drains) does not meet current ABYC standards on two counts. PVC is not approved for use for below the waterline plumbing, and below the waterline thru hulls are required to have (readily accessible) seacocks. The torpedo thru hull openings are below the 20 degrees heal definition of waterline, so they are below the waterline without seacocks and plumbed with an unacceptable material. Furthermore, the PVC adhesion to the hull is risky because of PVC's poor ability to adhere to adhesives, and because mechanical fastening is required for thru hulls below the waterline. I find sailing offshore less relaxing with large holes in the hull below waterline without seacocks. Also I try follow ABYC standards because their aim is to prevent sinking and fire. I am in the process of removing them, scarfing in hull repairs, and installing readily accessible seacocks appropriately plumbed.

After stinging me, would anyone offer any of their experiences with the same?

Best,

John F
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
John

We have always thought as you do about the torpedo tubes. When we had the hull refinished we inquired about having it removed. We were shocked by the number the yard gave us to do the job. If we were going to do more offshore work we would bite the bullet and get the tube removed.

Jim
 
John

We have always thought as you do about the torpedo tubes. When we had the hull refinished we inquired about having it removed. We were shocked by the number the yard gave us to do the job. If we were going to do more offshore work we would bite the bullet and get the tube removed.

Jim
Hi Jim,
Yes yard rates are incredibly high and only the wealthy can afford to have anything substantial done. I do all of my own work. It is getting harder and harder to find do it yourself yards. Glassing in the holes is actually quite simple and easy, except for how miserable it is to grind fiberglass in a Tyvek suit. Just grind a 12 to one scarf circumferentially, back the hole with plastic covered sheet material, and layer on fiberglass in epoxy. Fair with thickened epoxy, and paint.
John
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
John

That sounds so easy on paper (computer). Having spent a month last spring in a tyvek suit repairing some major keel damage, I have no desire to relive that experience.

Jim
 
I did not cross the hoses. Rookie mistake. It's on my to do list. I just pretend I have an open transom when things get wet
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
I replaced the PVC torpedo tube with a fiberglass tube well glassed to the hull. the manifold is still PVC and is attached to the new glass torpedo tube with well clamped hoses. Yes, there is a hole in the side of the boat, but it is so well glassed in, I have no concerns about it. Maybe someday I will alter the manifold.
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
The torpedo tubes are unique and not how I would do it today. With that in mind, nearly every system in the boat, as installed, doesn't meet ABYC standards today. I am certainly not striping Eliana to a bare hull and starting from scratch with everything.

Are there any examples of actual issues arising with the factory design?
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Warren

That's a good thought! In the past I've heard of weeping leaks around mish mash where the PVC meets the hull, but never a failure of the tube. These boats have sailed a lot of miles and there is a great system of communication with this board, If a tube has failed before we most likely would have heard.

Jim
 
The problem that needed to be solved originated with OYRA on the West coast. The requirement was for all thru-hull's to have a sea cock or a soft wooden plug.
 
The problem that needed to be solved originated with OYRA on the West coast. The requirement was for all thru-hull's to have a sea cock or a soft wooden plug.
The problem with a plug in this case is that the torpedo is in the way on the inside, and the hole is not round. One of the newer rubber type plugs might work from the outside, but I wouldn't want to have to hang over the side on a dark stormy night trying to place it. The simple fix is to install a couple of proper thru hulls with seacocks and plumb them with approved hose, and repair the large holes in the hull. Everyone has their own risk tolerances and I understand that it is a personal decision. As far as my risk tolerance, I don't feel comfortable with those large holes below waterline without a means of closing them. They are of such a size that you might have just enough time to deploy and board your life raft and activate you epirb before she goes down.
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
John - this is a good point/question, and I'm glad you brought it up for discussion. Thanks. No stinging intended :)

I was going to say the same thing Warren said: it seems like there are multiple ways our boats (as originally built) did not meet ABYC standards. It seems that different owners have applied their own sensibilities/priorities and done improvements (or not) to various components. If I was buying a brand new boat, I would insist everything be ABYC compliant. But with a 40-year old boat I don't think that's necessarily reasonable.

For personal safety: With a 40-year old boat that had over 500 hulls made (that's around 20,000 boat-years!), I would first look for any examples of significant failures of the torpedo tubes, that might endanger the boat or crew. Lots of people (our boat included) had tiny seeps that have been plugged with various epoxies/adhesives, etc. But I haven't heard of any examples where they have caused any ship-threatening failures. If anyone knows of any, please let us know.

For racing standards: It's understandable that OYRA would have those standards. Personally, because I think it's very unlikely to cause a significant failure, I would take along soft wooden or rubber plugs that could be applied from the outside. It does seem very undesirable to hang over the edge or get in the water to apply the plugs, especially in serious seas, but if it was ship threatening, I would do it. We also have the hoists & gear for getting a person out of the water if need be. In fact, I think I might find some plugs like these and take them along for good luck anyway, even though we have no intention of ocean racing. And John, you're right, if it was a total failure things would need to happen very fast, maybe too fast.

Not to haggle details, but the OYRA specs say this:
A boat's through-hull openings below the waterline shall be equipped with sea cocks or valves, except for integral deck scuppers, speed transducers, depth finder transducers and the like; however a means of closing such openings shall be provided.

Could not the argument be made that the tubes are part of 'integral deck scuppers'? And plugs applied from the outside would be a means of closing them?

Everyone has their own opinions and I think a reasonable person might also choose to remove/re-work the tubes, as some on this forum have done. I forgot to look at & take pictures of Terry Thatchers torpedo tube modifications when he let us invade his boat looking at ideas.

If anyone has pictures of their tube modifications, please post them.

Cheers,
-Mark
 
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Warren Holybee

Active Member
John - this is a good point/question, and I'm glad you brought it up for discussion. Thanks. No stinging intended :)

I was going to say the same thing Warren said: it seems like there are multiple ways our boats (as originally built) did not meet ABYC standards. It seems that different owners have applied their own sensibilities/priorities and done improvements (or not) to various components. If I was buying a brand new boat, I would insist everything be ABYC compliant. But with a 40-year old boat I don't think that's necessarily reasonable.

For personal safety: With a 40-year old boat that had over 500 hulls made (that's around 20,000 boat-years!), I would first look for any examples of significant failures of the torpedo tubes, that might endanger the boat or crew. Lots of people (our boat included) had tiny seeps that have been plugged with various epoxies/adhesives, etc. But I haven't heard of any examples where they have caused any ship-threatening failures. If anyone knows of any, please let us know.

For racing standards: It's understandable that OYRA would have those standards. Personally, because I think it's very unlikely to cause a significant failure, I would take along soft wooden or rubber plugs that could be applied from the outside. It does seem very undesirable to hang over the edge or get in the water to apply the plugs, especially in serious seas, but if it was ship threatening, I would do it. We also have the hoists & gear for getting a person out of the water if need be. In fact, I think I might find some plugs like these and take them along for good luck anyway, even though we have no intention of ocean racing. And John, you're right, if it was a total failure things would need to happen very fast, maybe too fast.

Not to haggle details, but the OYRA specs say this:
A boat's through-hull openings below the waterline shall be equipped with sea cocks or valves, except for integral deck scuppers, speed transducers, depth finder transducers and the like; however a means of closing such openings shall be provided.

Could not the argument be made that the tubes are part of 'integral deck scuppers'? And plugs applied from the outside would be a means of closing them?

Everyone has their own opinions and I think a reasonable person might also choose to remove/re-work the tubes, as some on this forum have done. I forgot to look at & take pictures of Terry Thatchers torpedo tube modifications when he let us invade his boat looking at ideas.

If anyone has pictures of their tube modifications, please post them.

Cheers,
-Mark
FWIW, Eliana passed inspection for the Pacific Cup, which has the same OYRA rule, which is taken from US Sailing SER. We discussed the construction of the tubes, but no means of closing them. I do carry the forespar foam plugs that are large enough to fit them.

It is certainly not unreasonable to rework the tubes. Ultimately, I will rework them just to keep water out of the cockpit while sailing in rough water. I am very annoyed by my feet getting wet.
 
I posted photos during the installation of the new fiberglass tubes. https://www.morgan38.org/morgan38/index.php?threads/torpedo-tube-rebuild.15691/
Hi Terry,

I had viewed your nice work previously while researching this topic. Nice job! I have been pondering why Morgan (and not Brewer, I am told) did the torpedo in the first place. I pondered perhaps it was an attempt to bring the drain point to the centerline to keep water from flooding the leeward cockpit when heeled but apparently it is not effective in that regard, and the same could be accomplished by simply looping the hoses to that point in the centerline. Why did you decide to keep the torpedo and not convert to conventionally plumbed scuppers with hose and seacocks?

Best,

John
 
FWIW, Eliana passed inspection for the Pacific Cup, which has the same OYRA rule, which is taken from US Sailing SER. We discussed the construction of the tubes, but no means of closing them. I do carry the forespar foam plugs that are large enough to fit them.

It is certainly not unreasonable to rework the tubes. Ultimately, I will rework them just to keep water out of the cockpit while sailing in rough water. I am very annoyed by my feet getting wet.
Hi Warren,

Do you think crossing the hoses in my case might help keep the cockpit drier? It would raise the leeward scuppers thru hull out of the water when heeled, but I suspect that any water retained in that hose would empty into the cockpit as the boat heels and lifts that thru hull above waterline. Those foam plugs are a smart idea, glad you carry them, and hopefully other owners will.

Best,

John
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Hi Terry,

I had viewed your nice work previously while researching this topic. Nice job! I have been pondering why Morgan (and not Brewer, I am told) did the torpedo in the first place. I pondered perhaps it was an attempt to bring the drain point to the centerline to keep water from flooding the leeward cockpit when heeled but apparently it is not effective in that regard, and the same could be accomplished by simply looping the hoses to that point in the centerline. Why did you decide to keep the torpedo and not convert to conventionally plumbed scuppers with hose and seacocks?

Best,

John
Its not just the cockpit scuppers, but also the deck scuppers, and if not otherwise modified the bilge pump and shower drain.

The tube and manifold is an interesting, and not really a bad solution. The construction details are problematic.

If changing it, you will at least need to deal with the deck scuppers. The torpedo tube is quite large, to account for the possibility that all four might be draining a single leeward through hull drain.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
To answer John Flanzer: As Warren says, the torpedo tube takes water from the deck, the cockpit, the shower, and my manual bilge pump (altho I think in another post, Warren said the bilge pump outlet must be moved to pass offshore racing standards). That is a lot of through hulls or alot of hoses. I always thought the tubes were a good idea, just badly implemented. You will see in my photos that the cockpit drains are tied directly into my new tube with glassed in tubes. I had not thought about the fact that when heeled, the tubes are below the water. They are above my static water line. I also carry the big orange forspare plugs aboard, but not necessarily for the tubes. If I suffer damage that causes the tubes to break or be dislodged, there will be a hole in the boat in any case. Finally, it was a hell of a job to replace the tubes. Little room to work under there. My yard did a good job, from what I can see, but it was not cheap. The impetus was leakage around the tube/hull interface which I cured with 5200, but I never trusted the joint after it began to leak. It is hard to find anything that sticks well to PVC.
 
I just removed my torpedo tube and found that water had infiltrated the hull core on both sides. I am still chasing the extent on the starboard side. The holes in the hull for the torpedo are through the cored part of the hull, and the hull where they penetrated was not completely made solid (isolated from the foam core). The hull's outer laminate delaminated from the wet core. Exploratory drill holes resulting in water pouring out. The hull becomes solid about 10 inches below the tubes. The water infiltrated down and along the top edge of the solid hull (bottom of the core). I have attached some photos. It is statistically improbable that my 384 alone has this problem. The torpedo tube was a bad idea poorly implemented. The worthless surveyor with his moisture meter completely missed this problem. You probably should at least check your hulls for this problem whether or not you decide to remove your torpedo. Morning Star was torpedoed! I will let you know the extent once exploration is completed.
 

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Warren Holybee

Active Member
Good information to know. I believe the drawings (which are not with me right now) have that area solid. I wonder if Morgan made a layup change in later models?

I am hauled out right now. Not in a position with time or money to open a can of worms. But tapping around the area sounds solid. A few inches above it turns quite hollow sounding.

I will add it to a little long list of projects when i get back to California later this year.
 
John,
What is the bracket and the zinc's purpose? Could you post a wider picture of these?
Warren,
Just drill a couple of small holes, they patch up
 
John,

I am not sure what you mean by the bracket and zincs. The is a refrigeration cooling plate in one of the photos. The hull needs to be opened until all of the wet core and delamination is removed, then rebuilt. No holes to patch.
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
To what end will i drill holes? I'm currently in Panama, and fixing anything i find can't happen, so its rather pointless to worry about it. I'll drill the holes when i get to California.
 
Agree with you Warren. As long as you are above freezing temperatures you don't have to worry about freeze damage to the hull if there is water in the core. In my opinion, even a well core hull has a lot of strength (but much less) so in your case I don't see the urgency of finding out. I am note a glass man, I am a retired wooden boat builder that did only plank on frame built boats. Just enjoy your trip!
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
John - thank you for sharing that.
Terry - I'm guessing they might have seen similar when they re-worked your tubes at Rocky Pointe. Do you remember anything about them going thru the cored portion of the hull? And/or water in the core?
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
There was no issue with core damage. I did not carefully inspect the holes in the hull when they did their work, so I can't comment perfectly accurately. But If there was coring, it was glassed over round the actual hole in the hull. That is, the PVC pipe where it exited touched fiberglass, not core material. On my 382, I believe the hole was part of the original layup, with glass over any core. Maybe on some boats they cut through the hull (which would expose the core) without being careful to seal any core exposed by a four inch hole. One of my reasons for replacing the PVC is because it was just tabbed to the inside hull with some sort of resin slurry. As you know polyester and epoxy resins will not adhere well to PVC. I was getting leaks around the pipe, through the interface between the pipe and the resin. I dealt with those leaks before the trip across the Pacific by very carefully filling the gaps between the hull and the pipe (on the outside) with 5200. But I considered that a temporary fix--which lasted 10,000 miles, however. I believe some of our boats are put together better than others. Don't know why. For instance. I have spent decades crashing into pretty big waves. (E.g., powering out of Juan de Fuca Straits against 25 knots of wind, with typical nasty short steep waves. Or coming home from Hawaii, when for three the boat was covered in water every 15 seconds or so from waves crashing against the port bow.) And all my bulkhead tabbing remains very solid. Others have had tabbing problems.
 
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