Why It's Time To Pay Attention To Your Boat's Hoses
Yachting Monthly|September 2021
Your boat is full of hoses for many different purposes, many of them critical to essential onboard functions, and even keeping your boat afloat. Make sure they are fit for purpose, says Dag Pike
Dag Pike

Look in the engine compartment of your boat and you will see a network of hoses of different styles and colours. It will be much the same if you lift the boards giving access to your bilges. Boats depend on hoses not only to keep them working but also to keep them afloat, and these hoses can represent one of the most vulnerable parts of the boat. Every hose in the boat should be part of your annual inspection and you also need to think about replacing them at least every 10 years. When boats sink at their moorings it will usually be a hose failure that is to blame and think yourself lucky it happened at the mooring. Out in the ocean a hose failure can be catastrophic and few owners seem to recognise that many hoses on their boats are open to the seawater outside.

Planning a regular replacement of the hoses is the best solution for reliability but how do you check your hoses on that annual refit? One of the best ways is to squeeze them. If they feel mushy, crumbly, or excessively hard, they need replacing. Then look at the connection points and if the hose is swelling out around the securing clips, it has probably reached the end of its useful life. Don’t be seduced into thinking it will last another year. If you want peace of mind, replace the hose.

Hoses are used to transport liquids around the boat and because of the many different types of liquid used, it is important to get the right type of hose for the job at hand. There is no such thing as a multipurpose hose and you need special hoses for applications such as the engine exhaust, the engine water inlets, the hot and cold domestic water supplies, the sanitation pipes, fuel, bilge pumps and hydraulics if you have them. The list goes on and a full hose replacement can be a challenging job and quite expensive because some of these specialist hoses do not come cheap. A full hose replacement is best left to a boatyard but there is no reason why you can’t replace one or two if they look a bit rough.

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