Mark & Debbie Mueller
From the outside of the boat while sitting in your dinghy you may be able to use a grease gun and put grease on the exterior of the valve then operate it from the inside to provide some lubrication. This procedure helped on the forward head of our A54. When we bought the boat the aft head valve was hard to rotate and became more difficult over time. I had a small socket welded to a handle that I found at a hardware store in Ft. Lauderdale, see photo. This allowed me to get a ratchet wrench with an extension on the valve to help rotate the handle. Eventually even this procedure no longer worked which resulted in the replacement of this valve earlier this year. A link to the valve I used which has the proper threads and includes a grease fitting to lube the valve occasionally is listed below; 1 ¼” BSPP thread. What I found upon removal of the valve was a sliver of wood that had wedged between the valve ball and the side of the valve. The sliver of wood looked very similar to the wood that the tank support platform. The bore of the valve had very little residue of any kind on it.
On a boat project scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most difficult this was a 10+. The workspace is extremely limited with 98% of the job being done with your left hand and head and left shoulder being jammed into the space behind the head as much as possible. My wife did take some very unflattering pictures of me working on this project which I am not going to include. I did leave the head installed so I had a place to rest my upper body while trying to work back in this incredibly cramped poorly engineered space. If you are faced with replacing the aft holding tank valve on an A54 sail the boat to an Amel service center somewhere in the world and pay them to do it – this final statement is not meant to be humorous.
Brass Ring A54