That sinking feeling….or worse yet: when it’s more than just a feeling…and it happened. YUCK, what a nightmare! Over the years we’ve seen our share of what happens to a boat when it’s sunk. It’s not pretty. The good news is, as with most things, such calamities are preventable.  Boats just don’t spontaneously sink; something made the boat to go down. This can often have as much to do with the hoses aboard the boat, not just a leaking fitting or thru hull. More than just contributing to a boat sinking, over time hoses become stiff or have flow constricted within…like nautical arteriosclerosis.

If you own a boat that’s more than 20 years old and hasn’t been surveyed recently, it’s a good idea to start looking at overall health of the hoses aboard your boat. If there are signs of rust coming from a wire-wrapped hose, it’s nearing the end of its life, if not already past. If you pinch a hose and its recovers its shape, it’s likely okay. If you don’t know if the hoses have ever been changed, then it’s good idea to outline a plan for replacing most, if not all the hoses aboard, along with hose clamps too.

Be forewarned, changing a hose in a boat can be an unpleasant job. This often requires more than just having the skills to address the task at hand, but also having the ability to do so while contorting your body in the most inconceivable and uncomfortable manner. Hoses also become very uncooperative as they get old and rigid. If you think about the place with the most unbearable access aboard your boat, there’s likely to be at least one hose there.

While walking through the yard the other day I came across some fine examples of what I’m talking about.

Calcium and other “goodies” can accumulate and constrict flow within hoses. This debris can become lodged into other mechanisms, such as pumps of impellers.


These hoses are so stiff they can’t be coiled, indicating they are no longer pliable and therefore prone to failure.

An extreme example of how steel wire, commonly used to reinforce a hose, has become so corroded, the hose has failed and is leaking.

A word of advice: don’t get “hosed”! Be sure to alert the boatyard in advance if you’re aware of some needed hose work. This type of activity can be conducted simultaneously while you’re getting your bottom painted, thus saving you time and money. And more importantly, providing you with the peace of mind that you won’t be subjected to that “sinking feeling” anytime soon.



KKMI is your one stop full service Northern California and San Francisco Bay Area boatyard providing unbeatable service, competitive prices, and outstanding workmanship. Specializing in boat bottom paint, boat hauling and storage, boat carpentry, fiberglass gelcoat and repair, rigging and much more, KKMI’s North Bay Boatyard location in Sausalito and East Bay location in Point Richmond are here to serve all of your Bay Area boating needs. For great prices and service you can trust, make KKMI your SF Bay Area and Northern California boatyard specialist and give us a call today.