BoatWorks: A Sticky Through-hull

It’s hard to make a hole smaller, but sometimes it’s just as hard to make it bigger, I thought as I stared at the through-hull fittings for my galley sink drain.

It’s hard to make a hole smaller, but sometimes it’s just as hard to make it bigger, I thought as I stared at the through-hull fittings for my galley sink drain. I had just installed a new Isotherm fridge, and now I needed to install its SP water-cooling system. This required removing the existing galley drain through-hull and seacock and replacing it with the SP through-hull, which was almost an inch wider.

Having been embedded in the hull for 30-plus years, the existing through-hull was hard to access from the inside and definitely wanted to stay put. I could have removed it easily enough by making a series of careful cuts through the bronze walls of the through-hull from the outside with a Sawzall, then knocking the pieces out from the inside. But then I’d be left with a hole that was still too small for the SP system. Since the solid fiberglass hull was almost an inch thick at the point in question, it would have taken ages to ream out the hole to the correct size.

Then inspiration struck. I measured the through-hull’s flush-fitting flange and found it was almost exactly the same size as the body of the new through-hull fitting. With the right-sized hole saw, I could drill out the entire fitting and the new one would slot right in. On the down side, with nothing for the hole saw’s pilot drill bit to bite into, it would be nearly impossible to make a neat job of it. But then I remembered the wooden bungs I keep on board to hammer into leaky seacocks. A couple of hearty blows from my ball-peen hammer drove one home, and I sawed off the protruding end flush with the through-hull.

Finding the center of the wooden plug was but a moment’s work and soon the air was filled with fiberglass dust as a hole saw chucked on to my 120V drill ate through the hull. Within a minute the through-hull (along with its seacock) was out.

Drastic jobs call for drastic measures.



Eight Bells: Bob Fisher

Bob Fisher passed away at age 85 on Monday, according to a social media post from his daughter. “He lived his whole life to the fullest and shall leave the fondest of memories not only as a husband and father, [and] as a friend to all the sailing community in the UK, but to the more


Reeves Awarded CCA’s Highest Honor

The Cruising Club of America awarded Randall Reeves the 2020 Blue Water Medal for his solo Figure-8 voyage. The Figure-8 comprises a loop around the American continents and a loop around the Antarctic, keeping the Americas to port and Antarctica to starboard. The voyage was more


Book Review: Cruising Club of America, Great Lakes Station

Reviewed by Amanda Balasubramanian As we were preparing for our first significant offshore passage in 2013, I read every book on ocean sailing I could find. However, while there were a number of helpful books full of technical information, I also longed for the personal stories more


Gear: Henri Llloyd Fremantle Gear

Henri Lloyd looked to the past for inspiration when designing its newest line of racing gear—specifically the kit worn by Dennis Conner’s Stars and Stripes campaign (also designed by Henri Lloyd) during the 1987 America’s Cup in Fremantle, Australia. The new collection, with its more

Suggested Crop

Ask Sail: When to Use a Vang Sheet

TO VANG OR NOT TO VANG Q: Last year, I bought a new, fully-battened Dacron main for my 36-footer. Unlike the old one, the new main is loose-footed. I have a mid-boom sheet arrangement and a traditional (non-rigid) vang. Is the vang really doing anything? It seems to me that more


Video: INEOS UK Advances to the Prada Cup Finals

On Saturday, in what was surely the most exciting race of the series, INEOS Team UK beat Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli to earn a spot in the Prada Cup finals. The race was extraordinarily close, seeing shifty breezes, nine lead changes in just under 30 minutes and boatspeeds topping more


VIDEO: Sailing Not just for Millionaires

Sailing and boating can come with a hefty price tag, but there are plenty of ways to get on the water without breaking the bank. In this episode of Boat Talk, SAIL's managing editor Lydia Mullan and Power & Motor Yacht's executive editor Charlie Levine share tips on getting out more


Elcano Challenge Resurrected

In late 2020, sailing legend Jimmy Cornell set off on his Elcano Challenge, a green-powered circumnavigation aboard the custom Outremer Aventura Zero. Unfortunately, shortly after setting out, the boat encountered major power-generation issues. "I took the decision to turn more