A sea chest, despite what it's moniker might suggest, is not filled with gold and silver. It is not intricately carved out of mahogany. It is not, in fact, a place to store treasures. What it is, is a box (or chest, if you will) integrated into the hull of a boat that contains water pulled from a single sea cock (ours is 1.5"). The idea is that systems that require raw water to run (in our case, the "non-essentials" like refrigeration, AC, watermaker, head...etc. our engine and generator are on their own seacocks) can be lead to the box instead of to their own respective sea cocks, thus eliminating the need for more holes in the bottom of the boat. Instead of having a thru-hull for each system or having a bunch of systems tee'd off one another, you run each system separately off the water collected in this magical chest.
"Sea chests" are very common on large work boats, less so on cruising boats. There are advantages and disadvantages, of course; the main advantage being that we have significantly less holes in our boat and the disadvantages being that they are famously tricky to clean and hose runs are a lot longer. I'm sure there are more, but those are the top from either camp as far as I can tell.
|Our sea chest is right below the galley floor and does not, unfortunately, hold treasure.|
Any of you out there have sea chests and care to share any tips/tricks/wisdom with us? We'd love to hear it!
Now if only we had somewhere to store our boo-tay...
*Before you jump on us for installing plastic isolation valves, keep in mind Scott considered bronze and went back and forth about this. Because the actual sea cock that feeds the sea chest is bronze, he decided the plastic valves would suffice (they are about $30 less a piece than their bronze brethren, fyi). From now on, however, he'll always go bronze because of the headache the back and forth has caused him.