After an exhaustive amount of research I feel like we’ve made a lot of progress on the head. The last couple weeks have been non stop designing and removing the old system. Here is a little glimpse of what my recliner looks like on any given day. We are always researching the next move and I try to make sure that we are moving forward in the best possible way before actually ordering any supplies or making changes to the boat.
So here is the deal: the way the boat was set up did not comply with USCG regulations and it also had two four foot lengths of hose that were perfectly horizontal. This means that at any given time, eight full feet of sewage would just be hanging out in the hose. Stagnant. Slowly seeping into the rubber. Slowly smelling the whole place up! No good. Also, our holding tank was very corroded and we have decided to scrap it. All three seacocks were no seacocks at all, they were in line ball valves that were unsupported and highly corroded, and all the hose was cracked and clogged with a good 1/2 inch ring of calcium deposits. Here’s a few pictures so you know where we started from:
So where does that leave us? Well, no where – we have to replace everything! The only thing we have to start from are three holes in the boat and as it turns out that wasn’t so bad a place to start from. I sure didn’t want to add another hole and it provided me with the necessary constraints to start drawing diagrams (you can see the drawings in the first photo above). After a full two weeks of diagram drawing, reading, re-drawing, and thinking I had a decent plan and decided to send it over to my Dad on S/V Skylark to see what he thought. Turns out my ideas were pretty similar to the set up they have which I was happy to hear. He gave me some invaluable tips and pointers that allowed me to come up with this final diagram:
To make the above seem a little bit simpler: you have a small hole in the boat at the bottom – this feeds the toilet for flushing. Then the toilet expels its contents into a hose that goes up to the top in a vented loop – this is necessary so the boat doesnt flood. After that loop you get to choose where the waste goes: to the tank, or straight overboard. Thats pretty much it in a nutshell. We did add one cool feature – there is a little drawing of a pump in the cabinet above the toilet – this pump was a gift from my dad long before we even owned the boat and it certainly has come in handy! With it, we will be able to pump out the holding tank ourselves, not having to rely on a pump out station (nor pay for one). This set up makes us 100% self sufficient and 100% in compliance with all of the laws regarding waste disposal.
Today we gutted and cleaned the head in preparation for the installation of the new equipment: