Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Portlights....

The original portlights on TIH, although serviceable, were showing their age. The lip on the outside also protruded a little too much, IMHO.

They had been manufactured by a company which is now part of Pompanette LLC

Initially I had not planned to undertake this work for another year or so (remember this is a 3 year project, because I'm stuck in Miami for another three years :-(( ). However, after painting the ceiling of the forward heads' I knew it would be wise to change them now (it might have been even wiser to change them before I painted the heads).

And the Miami Boat Show is coming up, so there might be some deals to be had on new portlights. I am looking at the two portlights offered by New Found Metals;

A complete stainless steel model and this one;

It looks very interesting, more research to follow.

I have heard that the S/S model heats up in the sun and heats the airflow into the boat. Any opinion welcome.

Lavac is in.... +/- a few bits....

I haven't been goofing off, well not totally. Occasionally life and what passes for real work intrudes on my time on the boat. The goal with the forward heads was total simplicity. Easy to use, easy to clean, independent of electrical supply etc. I am looking for a nice retaining clip to hold the top of the hose against the bulkhead, but it must allow for easy cleaning around the hose.

This is known as a hospital saddle. I have not located a source yet.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Measure twice, cut once...a wise policy....

except on a boat its BS. Measure twice, cut four times, shave a bit off, and finally in desperation hammer into place. On a boat there are no right angles, just a lot of wrong ones. The holding tank is going in, whether it wants to or not.

The original location of the sonar from hell, ideal place to put a 13 gal holding tank.

Dry fit, looks good.

Cut the remaining liner to discover that the lip of the forward water tank (which may be removed later) gets in the way.

Lower the floor below the tank, simple, NOT.

Now to run the inlet and outlet hose.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Roll and Tip.......

Well, I know the theory. I've watched the video. I told people "just roll and tip". But I never actually did it,,,,,,, until now. Amazingly it works just as advertised. You roll it on, and tip (brush gently holding a dry brush at 45% in one direction only) AND you never, ever go back to touch up any blemishes. How do I know the last part is true......doh!

Still not bad for a first attempt.

I will leave the ceiling in the heads high gloss, but may use a flattening agent for ceilings in the rest of the boat.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Boating aesthetics

If left to my own devices TIH would certainly be heading along the lines of the vessel shown above (Note: I am not being critical of the boat, in fact I'm pretty impressed by the canvas work). My ideal boat would have all the hoses, wires, pumps etc. mounted in the living areas of the vessel and not in lockers, under deck boards, behind liners etc. This would make maintenance much easier. It would also make TIH a "boy boat" and pretty much guarantee that I would be cruising singlehanded.

Imagine my surprise, then, when the boss approved the mounting of the lavac pump on the interior bulkhead (that's a wall, for you landlubbers) of the forward heads.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Boating Gurus.......

"Boat Mechanical Systems Handbook" Dave Gerr

The recreational boating industry has a number of gurus, Casey, Calder, Gerr, to name but a few.

Don Casey writes great books, with many sketches, which could be understood by chimps. This is about the correct level for many workers in the marine industry.

Nigel Calder wrote the bible 'Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical manual". This should be standard issue on board all boats. At the very least you can beat your mechanic over the head with it, when he starts bull$hitting you while charging $90 an hour. Calder's other publications are also highly recommended.

Dave Gerr appears to be the sort of "mad professor" of the marine industry, the man wrote a book on propellers, for God sake. I have just bought his "Boat Mechanical Systems Handbook". From my initial reading I understand nothing. This is about normal when I read Gerr's books. On about the third or fourth reading some stuff begins to sink in. But what a resource, if you are renovating/building a boat this should be on your list.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

17 minute response from Interlux, outstanding service...

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 9:04 AM
To: Interlux Technical Service
Subject: Technical

I plan to use Interlux Brightside to paint a head compartment on a sailboat. Will it be hard wearing enough? The fiberglass hull liner is in good condition, should I use a primer? Thanks Gerry


Good Morning Gerry,
Brightside is a very hard wearing one pack product and should certainly be suitable for your application. I would recommend applying at least 1 coat of Pre-Kote prior to applying the Brightside.

Jay at Interlux Technical Service

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

When it comes to painting, about 90 percent of a good paint job is in the preparation...

I hate that statement. Paint preparation sucks. You are jammed in a small space or working overhead covered in dust, working with chemicals that cause death, cancer, impotence and hair loss in California (fortunately not in Florida where the only risks are small arms fire, drivers and getting run over by a boater on Columbus Day), and you are going to cover over all your prep work. I hate paint prep at so many levels.

At the moment I am prepping the forward heads. I plan to use Interlux Brightside on the ceiling and Interlux Perfection on the deck. If anyone have a better recommendation please, please comment.

Almost ready for painting

Old paint removed.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Electric Bilge Pumps.........

From the West Marine Adviser; "Virtually no boat has a bilge pump system which is large enough to keep up with a leak caused by hull damage. Bilge pumps are designed for small quantities of water and are not damage control pumps like the ones Coast Guard helicopters drop." Some figures to keep in mind.

Rule 2000 = 2000 GPH, allow 50% efficiency (very generous, 25% more realistic.) due to hoses etc. = 17GPM = 1000GPH.

2" hole 3' under the waterline (tru hull hose breaks off etc.) = 136GPM = 8160GPH

4" hole 3' under the waterline (ding a container/reef etc.)= 544GPM = 32,640GPH = block the hole or its swimming stations.

Figures from Calder. Worth reading P 219 of his Cruising Handbook (as well as the rest of the book). Sobering stuff.

I will look into the following system, but I'm not sure how I can incorporate it;

Fast Flow Pumps

Sunday, January 4, 2009

First layout attempt... forward Heads...

Possible variations -

Place holding tank under floor if I cannot get sufficient volume in the top locker. At the moment it looks like I can get about 10gals which was adequate on our last boat when we only had one head.

Mount macerator on top of holding tank if access is possible. This would permit a smaller diameter hose down to the thru hull.

Check out S/Y Luna for a nice refit using a Lavac Click Here

All comments welcome. You can also e-mail to whitby42 "at"

Plan for forward heads....

On my last boat I installed a Lavac with a "drop through" holding tank. This system is common on European sailboats especially in charter.

Eriu's Heads

The system worked extremely well. I would only change two elements.

1. I would surface mount the Blake pump to make it easier to service.
2. I would take the hull pumpout from the top of the tank and use a macerator pump to empty the tank at sea. I would loose the "drop through" element but I did not like having fittings on the bottom of the tank.

The Lavac is a great heads. Check it out here

The “Heads” revisited……

From my previous post on the subject you will be aware of my view of “heads”. In my opinion heads should be simple, idiot-proof and easy to maintain. The old “red bucket and chuckit” system favored by British pocket cruisers in the 70’s seemed to fit the bill. The composting head was an interesting development. Unfortunately, the composting head has been “knocked on the head” by the Admiral. So it’s back to square one.

The original Whitby’s was fitted with two manual toilets connected to a central holding tank located just aft of the galley and over the forward end of the fuel tank. The tank was heavily constructed of fiberglass with an aluminum lid. This system necessitated long hose runs and access to the tank for hose changing and inspection was difficult.

'Snakes on a plane (boat)"

There are three operation modes for any heads.

1. Direct discharge
2. Discharge of treated waste
3. Retention of untreated waste onboard

I have no problem with method 1. at sea.
I prefer method 2. where permitted by law (i.e. outside of no discharge zones).
Method 3 is the most problematic as it involves;
a. Finding a pump out station.
b. Sailing outside coastal waters (3 to 9 miles depending) to dump as per 1.

My Plan, therefore, is to have the two heads operate on different systems. The forward head should be a simple manual system with a small holding tank. The aft head may be electric (yes, I know this breaks all my rules) connected to a “Lectra San” treatment system.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Fun with CAD....

It pays to make detailed plans of your vessel before undertaking any major project. Only by this method will you ensure that any item you buy will be just an inch too big for the allotted space.

A CAD (Computer Aided Design) software package will assist in reducing the amount of fiberglass which has to sacrificed to the ubiquitous sawzall.

I use Homeplanpro;

which is both cheap and simple to use.