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Posts posted by DDW

  1. Crossed the border yesterday and got my very first Bull Rail Slime and splinters that evening at Van Isle marina. Green and brown stains on the dock lines, a few splinters. Good to be back again! Anchored in Nanaimo tonight, so no more bull rails until probably Lund. Headed for Alaska on the trawler, fortunately I had a little fuel left from last year so the fill up was only $1250....:o. Still, the new main for the sailboat was well over an order of magnitude higher than that.

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  2. I don't think a pretty hard 90 would be an issue. If you look at the bowl exit from the Lavac, it is about 1" ID so anything that gets to the pump and elbows has to go through that first. Of course sweeps are best to the extent there is room. The inlet is just water and since it sticks straight out the back a 90 is almost always necessary unless you can go straight through the wall. I would go with the Raritan in a heat beat over the Shields or Trident PVC stuff - so much easier to work with, even if it does have wires. I'm not sure what is going on behind your cabinets, I'd scooch the pump left against the wall and up to the woodwork and try to make the outlet work somehow, maybe it ducks into that black hole. With the surface mount pump, you probably want the handle upright, which means the exit is either 45 deg left or right. If you mount it 45 degrees left, the inlet will be 45 degrees right, pointing at the bowl outlet maybe, and the pump outlet hose can run up the corner. Also keep in mind that the bowl outlet is on the base, which can be rotated 90 degrees putting the outlet pointing left if it makes anything work better. But no choice of 45 deg. only 90.

    The pump may have those dimensions but won't look that bad as all the corners are rounded and softened. The only access you may need is the front cover, 1/4 twist off, and it is only about 3" diameter. If you have to rebuild the pump, you pull it off the wall and take it to the cockpit or dock.

    I have never (keeping my fingers crossed) had to open the pump for blockage or anything else. Sometimes things get a little backed up in the inlet or exit valve and the pump lever appears to lock. I've been able to either just leave it for awhile and then pump, or apply firm pressure on the handle for a few minutes and it extrudes - whatever is in there - through and frees up again. 

  3. Have been up there more than once, never in a Catalina 22, but I can see absolutely no reason why you wouldn't. One time, there was a small open rowboat (16' maybe?) with a lug sail rig, youngish but not young couple, headed that direction and well along the route. Another time a couple of young Irishmen on a 19' open centerboarder with little experience, also headed that way. 

  4. 6 hours ago, KramN said:

    What are the clear sections of line ? I've never seen anything like this before. It looks like a heat form-able semi rigid material.

    That is clear PVC water pipe, PVC is fairly easily heat bent. That clear stuff (sourced from McMaster) happens to heat bend particularly nicely. The problem with using it is the OD of 1 1/4" standard water pipe is about 1.61", too big for 1.5" hose. So I turned the ends down to 1.5 to get the hose on. If you are starting with schedule 80, there is still plenty of wall. If I know exactly what I want I just turn the ends, if less sure I turn a whole length down. 

    To heat bend it, I stick a spring of the right OD inside, heat it until it gets rubbery with a heat gun (be patient, it takes awhile to heat soak), bend it to what I want and hold it there (gloved hands!) while it cools, then pull the spring out. I got pretty good at it, and it can make plumbing much neater. Here is some more done for the aft head, note the Henderson pump mounted sidways, how I learned not to do that! It had since been righted. The two Y valves steer the pump inlet and outlet so it can be used to pump directly overboard, into the holding tank, or used to pump the holding tank overboard. That is my own combination vent loop/tank vent  towards the top. 



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  5. You can remove the cover of the pump (which has the inlet and outlet) and mount it at any 45 deg rotation. Of course you can also mount it askew on the bulkhead at any orientation, the the handle motion might get confusing. You might want to buy a Henderson Mark V pump from a local chandler who will let you return it and hold it up various places. A big consideration is how the hose is going to lead in and out of where ever it comes from / goes to. 

    You MUST mount the pump as shown, outlet at the top or within 45 deg of the top due to the way the valves work. It'll work sideways - though poorly - and won't really work if the outlet is at all down. If you use the Raritan effluent hose it is relatively flexible which helps with routing. 

    The outlet vent loop doesn't need to be very high, but above the waterline at any heel angle. If you remove the duck valve and replace it with a hose that goes high to daylight it will prevent siphon while not spilling anything. The amount of water left in the downslope of both the inlet and outlet are what determines the level in the bowl after a cycle. You can lift the lid (breaking the inlet suction) and pump to eliminate that, but the outlet will come back no matter what you do. 

    Hard to tell from the pictures (don't you have a CAD model? :) ), but it looks to me like once the old head is gone, the pump could be placed just above the hoses currently coming through that wall, the outlet run something like you suggest. Ideally you'd like the outlet vent loop inboard so that it doesn't have to be veery high to accommodate heel, but boats are a compromise best case. The outlet could also be turned 90 deg through the wall with hard pipe if you didn't want hose running all over the place. 

    Does the sink always drain? If so, I'd put a T in it above the seacock and use that for inlet as I did. Loop it up under the counter, inboard, then run to the head. 

  6. I think Peggie Hall recommends running a lot more water through it than the minimum required to clear the bowl. The fossilized deposits in the vacuum accumulator probably don't inhibit the function until they become extreme - still you like to think of your deposit being whisked away never to be seen again, and it wasn't the case.

  7. I've carried a spare set of lid gaskets and a couple of rebuild kits for the Henderson for 13 years now. I did rebuild the aft head pump in 2018, actually I could have just cleaned the crusty calcium deposits out of it and put it back together but since it was apart I put in the new parts. That is the only maintenance I've done. I have 6 Henderson pumps on board: aft head, forward head, forward head pumpout, and bilge pump (which is a double). Still have the remaining rebuild kit. Those pumps are very reliable. 

    I set up the aft head with two Y valves, so that the one pump can be used for flushing and pumpout. This has worked quite well, though it complicates the plumbing. Too complicated to do that on the forward head due to space constraints, hence the extra Henderson pump for pumpout - can also be used as a down below bilge pump in an emergency.


  8. I'd differ with her on that. The design of the Lavac is unique, and uniquely simple. There are no sliding or rotating seals anywhere. There are almost no metal components (only fasteners and the pump handle) and none in contact with effluent. The toilet has one moving part (the lid), a new pump is available for <$140 complete, the service kit which includes every moving and wearing part (all three of them) is <$50. The rebuild, should it ever be necessary, takes about 15 minutes. No other head comes close to its simplicity. The Raritan manual heads are moon rocket complicated by comparison. 

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  9. There are instructions with the Lavac, but they are not as adamant as they should be about the necessity of following them.

    In your drawing, the pump will be WAY too high to operate well. I would put it directly behind the seat and a few inches above if you have access. On my aft one, it is behind the seat and just high enough for the installed handle to clear the seat when open. Surprisingly, it is not in the way at all when you sit. However it would be better lower, which would require removing the handle from the socket when opening the lid. Not a big deal but a small deal. You might be able to put it under the counter, outboard of the sink with the handle running sideways, or surface mount on the wall on the other side. Possibly surface mount to the left on the wall behind the toilet, handle above where the hoses are shown and alongside the bowl (that might be best actually). In all those locations, surface mount might be better, the flush mount pump requires access from the back to unclog or service. Very rarely needed, but if so MUCH easier to deal with surface mounted than inside that cabinetry. the vented inlet loop only needs to be as high as just under the counter top - though inboard as far as possible it best to keep it above the waterline at all heel angles. Right up under the counter in by the sink bowl is where I might try. 

    When the pump is that high, it operates with more effort because of the suction of the column of water. But maybe more important is that when you finish flushing, that length of hose from the bottom of the bowl to the pump will be full of water, and over the next hour will all be back in the bowl since the valves in the pump are never perfect. 

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  10. Also plan the loop for the flush water intake. It wants to loop about 6 inches above the bowl rim. That affects two things: the amount of water left in the bowl at the end of a cycle, and how hard you have to pump to get the flush water flowing. They work very nicely when well installed, can be cranky if compromises are made. On my aft head, the pump is higher above the bowl than ideal, makes it harder to pump and leaves the water higher after a cycle. Originally we installed the pump sideways (inlet/outlet horizontal) as it made the plumbing easier, bad mistake. Vertical or at least within 45 deg. Forward one the pump is just a few inches above, even though it is mounted at 45 deg it has always worked easier than the aft. 

  11. On a Lavac,  the pump evacuates the bowl, rinse water is drawn in by that suction provided the lid seals. The intake is a simple pipe near the top of the bowl led to seawater somewhere. So water can be introduced anyway you like. They way mine are plumbed, the intake is tee'd from the sink drain below the waterline (but just above the seacock). Since this is normally flooded if the seacock is open, it is flushed with seawater. However I want to flush with fresh (which I do at the end of each trip) I close the seacock and run fresh water in the sink, pumping it out with the Lavac, which flushes the whole system with fresh water. In fact since the sink is higher than the Lavac bowl and intake loop, if I fill the sink it will drain into the bowl by itself (with the seacock closed). 

    This installation also eliminates a thru hull for the head intake. 

    If you install a Lavac, be aware that the orientation of the pump (vertical in/out) and height of pump (just a few inches above the bowl rim) are critical to its performance. Learned this from the differences between forward and aft head installations. 

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  12. 6 hours ago, accnick said:

    Just add a little more water to the bowl by lifting the foot pedal with the top of your foot before flushing solids. Everything gone one in one flush, with only one cycle of the vacuum pump.


    On a Vacuflush, out of site is not out of mind. That just means it made it to the vacuum generation tank, not the holding tank. I flushed a lot of water through mine routinely, and probably 20 gallons or more through it before I took it apart, and the impaction still present in the vacuum tank was appalling and disgusting. The design of that tank does not encourage thorough emptying, there are baffles and corners that trap shit so to speak and the pickup is not at the lowest point. 

    On a macerator like the Marine Elegance, this stuff is ground up and shot through a 1" hose at pretty good speed. A short run to the holding tank means there is only about a pint of volume in the whole system that isn't in the holding tank. Make that flow downhill and there is none. 

  13. 6 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

    Yeah except you can't see when the turds depart the bowl and they don't always cooperate IME.

    Friend of mine fitted his with a translucent perspex seat top to address this problem. Some visitors find it disgusting, others (like myself) find it funny and a good solution.

    I have clear PVC piping going into and out of the pump. You can watch your dinner go through it on the way out. 

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  14. I've got two Lavacs on the sailboat, they have been nearly flawless for over a decade. I did rebuild the pump on the main cabin one a couple of years ago as it seemed to be pumping a little less efficiently. There has been zero maintenance other than that. You do have to train guests a little, mainly to pump enough strokes. 

    The trawler came to me with a Vacuflush. It can leak water, effluent,  and vacuum, makes enough noise when flushed to wake the dead, and the vacuum generator takes up quite a lot of space. Not that easy to service and parts aren't real cheap either. Used it for two seasons, then removed it and gave it away. I followed the common advice in the trawler world and replaced it with a Raritan Marine Elegance which is a macerating head. This freed up a full locker of space where the vacuum generator was, can (and should) be plumbed with 1" hose rather than 1.5". While not exactly silent, it is quieter than the Vacuflush and worked without issues on last year's cruise. I am quite happy with the change. A Vacuflush can be made to use less water, but that loads up the vacuum generator with fossilized poop, which I was able to mine when I removed it. The Vacuflush experts say to run a fair amount of water through it if you don't want to do that. The Marine Elegance can be had with a switchable fresh/salt input, if that is of use (depends on your pumpout situation). If pumping out, the macerating head pretty much liquifies everything on its way to the tank, so pumpouts are more complete and less dramatic. 

    So, my vote is for the Lavac in a manual head, and the Marine Elegance in an electric. No way I would install a Vacuflush in anything. 

  15. 4 hours ago, Jules said:

    I used to bring pizza to work, wrapped in foil.  About 30 minutes before lunch, I'd put it over a quartz floodlight that had a cage the perfect distance from the glass.  It cooked deep dish pizza to perfection.

    When I need to cure epoxy I bring home a deep dish pizza, wrap it around the epoxy to keep it warm. Works much better than an incandescent bulb and once the epoxy it done you can eat it for breakfast. 

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  16. 2 hours ago, bgytr said:

    Stupid.  Oven bulbs?  You gonna put a cfl or led in an oven?

    Moronic.  Wadya save switching all the bulbs in your house to non incandescent, maybe 6 bux a year?

    But we are environmentally friendly!  

    Not so much the electricity, but the replacement costs. I have something like 140 can lights in the ceiling of my house, some of them 22' up. Halogen bulbs were lasting about 1000 - 1500 hours, had to replace them all the time. Replaced them all with LED about 6-7 years ago, haven't replaced one since. Well worth it. 

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  17. But, car makers typically are targeting say a minimum of a few hundred thousand production for any particular model. And many parts shared between models. "Production" cruising sailboats on the other hand are hoping for a few hundred, a smashing success. Thus "production" boats aren't even built in the numbers that prototypes for testing are built in the automotive world. 

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  18. Yacht design has always been a very faddish business. Like a herd of sheep, it takes twists and turns, but pretty much in sync. 

    Even if you design an odd custom, you will get pushback from every quarter, towards the middle. I'd like to see a much wider variety of designs on the market - but probably not going to happen, too much risk. 

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