Sea Chest Envy

Sea Chest showing sea level inside and outside of boat. Look at clear plexiglass square top cover.

A Sea Chest has to be better, right?

A Sea Chest is a common item on larger vessels. It allows most all raw water intake to be centrally located for cooling engines, generators and air conditioners. Often this allows easier access to the strainers and sea cocks. So, that’s better, right?

Simplicity in Design

The Sea Chest seen in these photos is a simple fiberglass square tube riser. The opening on top includes a circular port. You can reach in to remove any debris. Debris may include jellyfish, plastic bags or flotsam.

Easy to service from inside the boat…But?

The Sea Chest does not reduce the amount of through hull valves or sea cocks. This boat has the same amount of sea cocks or through hull valves as any other boat without a Sea Chest. Above all, you should cycle all sea cocks periodically to ensure they can be closed when needed.

On boats less than 65 feet the sea chest will often take up valuable engine room real estate. In fact, we usually only see this in a handful of pleasure boats. It may be preferable to use the space for other equipment such as batteries or a work station.

Watch this video to see the location of a sea chest in a smaller 44ft trawler’s engine room. It is quite uncommon to have a sea chest in a boat this small. I know….is 44 feet really small? You should spy it about 1 minute and 12 seconds in. And this quick second video shows the exterior below the waterline of the hull. You will see the square plate strainer which is the intake for the sea chest. Don’t forget to check out the additional photos to really get the picture.

Ask Captain Chris about what’s in your engine room. 772-205-1859

Join us for a seminar Introduction to Boat Systems and learn how to keep your thru hull valves happy.

Hand drawing showing detail of how the sea chest is built into the boat’s hull.
Closer look at the line drawing with approximate sea level.
See the valves near the bottom of the Sea Chest. And look at the GIANT RED safety plug.
Some sea cock valves are labeled, port and starboard engines, air conditioner and generator.