Whitby Home-made Through-hulls

Warning! This information could save your boat.

Whitby did a lot of things over the years to keep the cost of the Alberg 30 affordable. Perhaps the worst thing was to make their own half-inch through-hulls. They took half of a pipe nipple and peened it over a fender washer. While this seems like a mechanically sound construction at first, a little corrosion can make this fall apart into the two pieces. Fortunately my boat was on land when it did so. I put a wrench on the engine intake valve and the pipe nipple pulled through the hull with no apparent effort. I had been that close to sinking all season.

At right, you can see such a through-hull in "good" shape and one that has fallen apart. Whitby used these for all of the half-inch intakes:

  • the engine intake
  • the head intake
  • the galley salt-water intake

This photo shows one of these through-hulls still mounted in a boat, and covered with bottom paint. If you look closely, you can see the ring around the opening where the pipe was peened over the washer. Be aware that years of bottom sanding can reduce the visibility of this, as can a buildup of paint.

If you don't know for sure that your through-hulls have been replaced with proper ones, please check them and replace if necessary.

Boatowners Mechanical And Electrical Manual book cover Boatowners Mechanical And Electrical Manual by Nigel Calder

An in-depth reference to almost every essential system found on a sailboat. Calder has well-considered strategies for everything. Granted, there are good alternatives to some of his approaches, but he won't lead you astray. This is a book you can trust. Now expanded in its second edition.

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