momentum, and heads

Okay. Easing back into life in a tiny box. My summer of house-sitting has softened me up; it’s time to whip myself back into shape.
No monumental amount of work done on the boat this week. After cleaning out the interior, disconnecting the engine, and getting the stove to work, i’ve lost a little forward way. Still, i managed a few tasks on the ol’ girl.

i completely sounded the hull with my trusty hammer, and found a few suspect areas. A good-sized swath of the stb deadwood had seen some knocks, and while any dmagae into the airex core had been repaired, the filling and fairing of some of the left-over divots and dents had been pretty lack-lustre. Instead of proper compound, much of the fairing was done in ‘glass mishmash, then sanded somewhat smooth. The mash must have gone on a little dry, or perhaps in a hurry, as many patches of it have separated. Repairs higher up, along and just below the waterline, where done with a proper fairing West compound, and all look okay. i suppose this ws done because the repairs would otherwise be obvious through the bootstripe and topside paint. No major deal to repair the patches lower down, although i’ll first be faced with the odious task of sanding off a great deal of bottom paint… yuek.
i pulled out the head yesterday. The head is a decent Groco HF, with the old-style pump and desireable bronze base. The pump has undergone some surgery in the past, with plenty of gobbed-on epoxy patches. Luckily enough, new-style HF pump assemblies are still available. The plumbing behind, beside, and under the head is an interesting affair. It’s all of decent-looking 1 1/2″ heavy sanitation hose, and doesn’t reek, but the system is a little bizzare. In addition to the normal two seacocks, there are two additional three-way valves and a large diaphram pump. A tiny holding tank forward is plumbed in as well.
Now, i’m about convinced that a cedar bucket is the best way to go, but seeing as a) i already have two through-hulls and seacocks in place, and b) i already have 90% of the head parts, i guess i’ll go with the Groco. However, i am certianly planning to rid myself of that holding tank, and all of the associated tomfoolery. Yeah, yeah, there’s a number of countries that require them, but hell, it’s just one guy’s poop. Yeah, yeah, there’s the cumulative effect of many piles of “one guy’s poop”, but let’s get real: Victoria, BC, pumps it’s municipal sewage directly into the ocean through an offshore 30″ pipe, and every US vessel i’ve ever worked/sailed on regularly does “tank transfers” (pumping the holding tank to sea) rather than pay for pump-outs. About the only time i can appreciate having a holding tank is when in a crowded anchoarge with poor marine flushing, but frankly, who wants to go to such places? On a 32’ boat with voyaging aspirations, there’s no room for anything unneccesary, which, in my opinion, includes a holding tank. i firmly intend to use the same space for an additional freshwater tank, register the boat in Canada (where the rules are a little more realistic), and damn the bureaucrats.
The best plumbing is two simple, direct vented loops; one in, one out. i’m seriously looking at doing as much of the head plumbing in rigid line as i can; plastic if i can figure out which type won’t smell, or metal pipe. i’ve wrestled with too much stiff, cracking, clogged, stinky hose for one lifetime.


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