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 items stored in there and would open or close the valve. I have been wanting to have a tool created that would grab the ball valve handle and turn it the necessary 90 degrees to open or close the valve.
I was mentioning this to my friend one day when he was out sailing with me and he mentioned that I should look at the sprinkler system shut off valve keys. I decided to google these and realized that there are several different versions and lengths of these tools readily available. I had to measure the width of the thru hull valve handle and make sure the tool 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. This is especially nice now after the engine has been running for a while and I no longer have to climb into the lazarette which is open to the warmed up engine compartment. My boating life has just gotten easier with the use of this tool.
The tool that I use is pictured above. This version of the tool is 28 inches long and works out perfectly for me. There is a longer version of this tool and there are other styles out there as well.
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