No, this is not some kind of elevated train, you folks in Chicago. A street el is a standard pipe elbow, but with one difference: one side is male and one side is female. You'd use one of these in order to eliminate a fitting, and to shorten up the completed assembly. They are not as common as the common umm.. el. But in a good hardware store you can usually find one. Possibly even in the size you need.
But now it becomes difficult: I needed a stainless steel street el, in order to hook up the water discharge from our new stainless steel exhaust manifold.
Where to go to find one?
I love living in Ballard! Before it becomes completely gentrified, you can find just about anything marine-related you want (except not swaged wires or LeFiell mast fittings any more - University Swaging is now gone).
If you haven't tried it, you need to: Ballard Hardware. It's kind of like a regular hardware store, except they know marine stuff, and its on steroids. Two examples:
Example 1: The previous owner of Eolian set up a snubber for the anchor chain - a length of 3/4" line attached to the hull where the bobstay attaches, with a 3/8" chain grab hook on the other end to hook on the anchor chain. When you hook it up and let out the rode until the snubber is taking the strain, the chain hangs slack at the bowsprit, a wonderful thing for peace and quiet at nite when your are trying to sleep down below at anchor in a blow.
But I digress.
The grab hook the original owner installed was galvanized, and was, by the time we took over caring for Eolian, severely corroded. I looked high and low, trying to find a stainless version of the grab hook. And then on a whim, I tried Ballard Hardware. Sure they had one. $15. If West Marine sold them (and they don't), it would be for $65.95. Wow. I was an immediate convert.
Example 2: Not being a slow learner, when I needed that stainless street elbow, I went straight to Ballard Hardware. "Sure, no problem, " said the counter man. And he took me back to the rabbit warren (yeah, it's still there, even tho there is a fancy new front end). "What alloy do you want?"
Not only was I going to be able to get a street el, in the size that I wanted, in stainless, but I was presented with a choice of alloys!
Yeah. Ballard Hardware.