Date: 8 September 2018. Routine Maintenance
of Hose Clamps.
Aboard Seaweed I have a routine
schedule of maintenance. One item focuses on hose clamps. Every
three months I check all hose clamps on the boat. This time there
were a couple of issues, since resolved. Here is what I found out,
along with the remedies taken.
The worst of the matter was a
cracked hose clamp:
Because I regularly check every clamp
on the boat this one was discovered before it broke. It is far
easier to replace an item before an Ut-Oh moment than to wait for a
disaster. Definition of disaster: finding out your water tank is
empty because a hose clamp broke.
Organizing my hose clamp stash has evolved over the years. I now
keep three bundles of clamps available. They are sorted by size.
Small clamps are for water hoses -- up to about 1" in diameter.
Mediums are up to approximately 3" while Large are above 4".
The hose clamps are stowed aft,
starboard side on a bulkhead in the bilge.
Hose clamps do require attention.
I always buy or acquire all stainless clamps. I have found many
hose clamps thrown away when folks replace plumbing. If the clamp is
good/passes the stainless test I bring it home. There is no need to
spend perfectly good money when so many are around for free.
That said, all hose clamps must be
periodically checked. Sometimes a previously okay clamp starts to go
bad. Even stainless hose clamps can begin to rust. Rust indicates a
breakdown in the metal. The strength is gone at that point. I get
rid of it immediately.
Replacements are always available
in my Stash of Stuff.
MAGNET sticks to the clamp it is immediately replaced. No ifs, ands or buts
Usually it is the screw that first
becomes magnetic. Because all of the hose clamps on my stuffing box
were installed at the same time I replaced the four when one
attracted my small magnet.
A magnet should not
stick to good quality stainless steel.
A stuffing box is not a box at all. It is cylindrical.
There are two types of stuffing boxes.
The standard stuffing box is simply a reinforced rubber
tube. The dripless version has bellows and uses a high-tech carbon
keep the seawater out. Standard stuffing boxes use packing (waxy
stuff) that you wrap around the shaft. It keeps the water out and the
Standard Stuffing Box:
PSS Dripless STUFFING BOX:
directly forward of the stuffing box.
Please note the zincs
just forward of the stuffing box. They are there so that when
I need more I have them ready. The primary reason I keep them
on my shaft is to prevent a disaster!
coupling at the transmission break the shaft would naturally
slide aft. That could allow a lot of seawater into my Seaweed.
Those two zincs will stop the shaft from going backwards.
Whenever one of a pair of items is nearing the end of its useful
life, I replace both. It is my firm belief that items wear out at
about the same rate of speed. Thus if one hose clamp on my stuffing
box is starting to fail, the others will do so shortly.
All are removed and replaced.
I removed and replaced each clamp one at a time. I
did not take off all four and then put them back on.
You have probably noted that my
hose clamps are installed back to front. In other words, each pair
is installed facing the opposite direction. There are two schools of
thought on this. The newest is that installation makes no difference
I am old school. I
was taught to always place hose clamps in opposing directions. That
is the way I do it to this day.
When a connection
is to a thru-hull,
you must use two hose clamps.
There are three types of hose clamps. There is
BAD, BETTER and best.
Gauging Stainless for Quality:
The next time you go to a boat show, look at Garhauer sailboat
hardware. Examine the look and feel of their gear. That's what you
want. That look. It is difficult to describe however once you've
seen The Best, you will recognize it again and again.
No, I do not own any Garhauer
gear nor stock in the company.
When I walk down a dock I can generally spot a boat
with Garhauer hardware aboard her. There is a look that is
instantaneously recognizable once you've examined their
craftsmanship up close and personal.
BETTER hose clamps:
Click the picture for a full-sized version.
#1 hose clamp: If you look carefully you can see there
are no holes in the hose clamp. Failure is more likely with this
type of clamp.
#2 hose clamp: There are notches/holes in the strap part.
Those allow a good hold when tightening down the clamp.
always prefer to use
a hose clamp with the notches.
It is better/more sturdy.
Every three months I examine each hose clamp aboard Seaweed. That
way I can pick up problems before they turn into catastrophes.
When the engine is
running there is vibration. That can loosen ever so slightly my hose
clamps. By going around Seaweed and tightening the clamps I prevent
I am able to spot when something is
going wrong early too. This hose clamp was replaced:
When I find a problem, I solve it. If
it is something that was installed as a pair such as with my
stuffing box all hose clamps are replaced. When one is going bad it
is inevitable that age-mates are also in the process of failing.
The same is true when it comes to the twin engine boats I have
worked on. If one engine has a problem the second will usually develop the
same issue very shortly. It is best to do preventative repairs
before a breakdown. Always fix both sides.
Should the second part be okay,
you will have a spare for your Parts Inventory.
Side Note on Spare
Parts: Unless you're off to remote locales
every place with mail service can get your necessary part to you in
two or three days. Don't worry about having everything Today or
right from the get-go. Eventually you will have all that "old
timers" deem needed prior to departure. I still have not reached
My waterline could be higher but
I've got stuff. There are a lot of hose clamps aboard Seaweed:
I am having fun without all
the spare parts and gear the Experts say is necessary. Don't worry
about it if you're like me. It is a good life out here.
The post office has made a
positive impact on our lives afloat. Mail order is no longer an
interminable six-week wait until the parcel arrives. We are truly
Life is not just about tightening
and replacing hose clamps. It's about beautiful horizons.
My friend Cheryl took a mini-vacation down to Key
West last week. This ↑ is what
I confess that I do get a sense of
satisfaction when a job is completed. Nonetheless, I'd much rather
relax in the cockpit watching the wildlife. I can also be found at
the dinette writing. Mostly this past week I've been in my bunk
Amazon keeps putting
Betty Neels books on sale. Fellows probably won't care for that
author. For me they are candy. That means the eBooks are sweet
romances (no sex, drugs or swearing) with nice people who find
happiness. I like them.
This is my original Kindle circa 2014. I don't know
how I ever survived without one.
Currently I am nursing my Paperwhite along. She is getting finicky
Amazon has this crazy idea that
folks only read for 30 minutes per day. That's the estimate they use
when determining battery longevity and such. I can't complain
though. I use my Kindle far more than average. The
is an amazing invention.
But I digress...
I have gathered quite a good collection of items as spares. This was
not an overnight acquisition of everything needed accompanied by a
purchasing splurge. For those that
can afford to do so all at once, that's wonderful. For the rest of
us though, a bit at a time is a-okay.
You don't have to
have everything and know it all first. Being capable of learning is
all that is required for success. After all, I'm doing it so you can
Thanks for reading..
How often do you check your hose clamps?
And, do you still have items yet to acquire for your spare parts
inventory? What are you wanting?
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In the Bilges,
Fixing a 24-hour Clock ~
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