I spent all this week working on installing the new Lavac toilet and the associated Y-valves and holding tank. Not to mention all the hoses to connect everything together. Didn’t have to deal with any of that with our AirHead composter. However, it’s done now and we have quite a bit more room in the head as a result. Of course there’s less room under the v-berth were the tank now lives and less room in the various lockers in the head where the hoses, valves and pump now live, but that’s just room for “stuff”. The room we’ve added in the head is for us. It now may actually be feasible and not too uncomfortable to rig a shower on board.
I doubt that you can see it in this photo, but there really is more footroom in the head now.
Although the hose I mentioned in my last installment was head and shoulders above any other sanitation hose for flexibility, the installation was still not without its issues. I opted for a behind-the-wall pump so that the only thing you see is the socket where the handle goes. This makes for a nice neat installation and keeps the hoses hidden away. I also opted for the same style of Y-valve so that all you see is the valve actuator (handle). The only drawback with this system is that the hose connections for the pump are at least an inch to an inch and a half further back from the inside wall than are the ones for the valves. If I had a ton of room to install everything, this would not be a big deal as you just separate the two items far enough that the hose can bend to accommodate both. But we don’t have a ton of room. I couldn’t put the pump and the first Y-valve more than 6 inches or so apart and still be able to have enough room to hook the other 2 hose connections up. So, compromise #1 was that one of the Y-valves (the one that directs the pumped flow to either the holding tank or the thru-hull) ends up inside a cabinet, supported by short lengths of hose. You just have to reach in and blindly turn the handle. It’ll be okay but it’s certainly not ideal. Maybe I’ll change it someday (yeah, right).
The second snafu was that I ran out of my beloved Raritan Sani/Flex hose before I was done. At almost $12.00/foot, I guess I was just a little too conservative in my need estimate. I spent one day knocking around Guaymas looking for some hose to finish the job. I ended up buying some wire-reinforced black hose meant for fuel and oil. The hose was downright easy to find compared to the 1-1/2″ hose fittings I needed. Nobody seemed to have anything like that. Before I could actually install the black hose, I got to worrying about odor-permeation. I didn’t really want to put this hose in if it was going to start stinking right away. So, I bit the bullet and went to Star Marine to get some of the standard white plastic sanitary hose that’s been being used on boats for years. Now, just because it’s been being used for years does not mean it’s good. It’s almost guaranteed to start allowing odors to escape by the time it’s a year old or so. But it’s what was available down here so it’s what I used. If it gets too stanky too soon, I can always try out the black hose until I can get more Sani/Flex. Anyway, I got the hose and ultimately got a few hose fittings as well. There’s this little plumbing shop in San Carlos, off the beaten path, that had 2 elbows and 2 couplers. I bought them all. I had visions of buying a half dozen of each so I could add them to my spares but I guess I’ll have to wait until Home Depot opens on November 1st for that to happen.
Besides trying to find all the parts and trying to wrestle hoses in confined spaces, the worst part of the job was emptying out the V-berth so that I could install the holding tank. This is what the salon looked like before I started.
Now the v-berth was just as packed as the salon but with mostly bigger stuff (cockpit cushions, duffel bags, a sleeping bag, lines, oars, etc, etc. All that had to go somewhere before I could move the mattress enough to install the holding tank. On the day I went to the plumbing store, I set aside the rest of the day to do nothing except straighten up the boat and open up the v-berth. I approached the job methodically and patiently and, lo and behold, a few hours later the v-berth was empty and the salon was actually more or less straightened up. The last thing I did that afternoon was to epoxy some padeyes onto the inside of the hull to tie hold-downs to to keep the holding tank in place.
As of this afternoon, it’s done. DONE! I did have to install a vent on the holding tank so we could fill it without blowing it up and empty it without collapsing it. Plus, there might be a few gases being produced in the tank. The vent needs to exit the boat high enough so that it doesn’t take on water, even when heeled over.
Got to make sure that the vent line is high enough so that it’s never submerged, lest we fill our holding tank with seawater while heeled hard over. Consequently, I ran an extra length of hose way up high inside.
As you may remember, I banned Lulu from Siempre Sabado during this job because she’d be confined to the outside, even if it started raining, which it did occasionally. So what was she doing during this time? Sitting around watching soap operas on YouTube? Playing Mah Jong with “the girls” at the club? Lounging around reading romance novels? Nope, none of the above. She spent the week doing a deep clean on Chamisa. She likes doing that sort of thing and it seemed like the right thing to do considering we’ve been allowed to squat here for months now. Today, she was finally allowed back aboard Siempre Sabado.
We spent today getting the engine room ready to receive the engine. We’re going to try to get the yard guys to hoist it up tomorrow because, right now there’s no boat on our port side and they’ll be able to get the loader close enough to us to do the job. Once the engine is back in the boat, it’ll take me about a day to get it all hooked back up, aligned, stern tube reinstalled, new prop installed, etc. Then we just need to get our gudgeons back from Luis and we can hang the rudder again. We also have to caulk the outside of the caprails which we’ll probably do tomorrow. Couple of other little jobs but we should easily make our self-imposed arbitrary goal of “back in the water by November 1st”.
On the food front, yesterday we were planning on finishing the shrimp we got from Alejandro the other day. But, in the meantime, he came along and sold us a kilo of fresh Dorado filets ($120 pesos; $4.28/lb delivered!).
I broiled the Dorado with just salt and pepper for seasoning. Lulu mad a green salad and fried potatoes to go with. The potatoes were at least as good as the fish. Fried up with onions, garlic and red pepper flakes, they were so good they could make you wet your pants.
There were no leftovers.