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Old 09-27-2012, 08:03 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Arctic Traveller View Post
when we do our weekly "Welcome aboard" briefing. I've taken to telling our guests that if they flush anything down the toilet that they didn't already eat or drink, or small amounts of toilet paper,
Capt. Jeff, that is exactly what I tell guests on Moonstruck. One time the head quit pumping. We had to hold up in Hampton, VA. I disassembled the head, and found a facial pad for removing make up wrapped around the impeller. No spare, and none local. So, I spend a day finding new seals and putting the broken impeller back together with epoxy. Hoping this would get us the 565 miles to Hilton Head.

The lady apologized, and showed me the box where it said they were flushable. I reminded her of my original instructions. Then told her if the repair did not hold, it will be a bucket for the rest of the trip. She looked horrified. I was too. It held.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:24 PM   #62
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Obviously, thinking out of the box has its advantages. So does thinking outside the boat.
That thingy would fit perfectly inside the hand railing on my bow pulpit! Best of all if we were pushing into a head sea we wouldn't need TP.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:26 PM   #63
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This is quickly becoming an interesting thread.

Reading the posts I would be lead to assume that the engineers at all of the marine sanitation outfits just have it wrong, and that all of us with commercial purchased marine systems are just barely getting by with our marginal equipment.

Oh, and that we're not "real boaters".

Some of us sound like we are legends in our own minds.
Sorry if anything rang true...or didn't...

But it cracks me up how some (not you) boaters complain all day long about head issues and when I come up with what I think is a better idea (and believe me I know it's only my opinion)...a lot of little minds say that I'm a hack even though they are complaining about or touting "high priced", high tech engineered solutions to marine sanitation....that I think are way behind the times or over engineered with high failure rates that involve way more repair time than necessary.

So if I shoot back at my hecklers...I think it's only fair....like I said if people don't like the banter (as some take posts way too seriously) than just ignore.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:45 PM   #64
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Sorry if anything rang true...or didn't...

But it cracks me up how some (not you) boaters complain all day long about head issues and when I come up with what I think is a better idea (and believe me I know it's only my opinion)...a lot of little minds say that I'm a hack even though they are complaining about or touting "high priced", high tech engineered solutions to marine sanitation....that I think are way behind the times or over engineered with high failure rates that involve way more repair time than necessary.

So if I shoot back at my hecklers...I think it's only fair....like I said if people don't like the banter (as some take posts way too seriously) than just ignore.

You have a great sense of humor, and I'm glad you seem to put up with mine.

While I do not necessarily agree with all of your "out of the box" suggestions, I actually think about each of them and consider them on their merits with an unbiased mind. Some have been really good ideas.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:10 PM   #65
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Obviously, thinking out of the box has its advantages. So does thinking outside the boat.
Interestingly enough, this is exactly what was done on WWII PT boats, albeit in much cruder fashion. The Elco boats had two heads, one in the forepeak and one in the office's quarters in the middle of the boat. But on patrol the deck crew did not like to go below decks and screw up their night vision and at speed using the forepeak head could get your arms and legs broken if not kill you outright. So a toilet seat was screwed to a pair of planks that were slid out over the stern to use. The toilet paper roll was hung on the smoke generator output pipe with a bucket over it to keep it dry. When interviewing PT vets and asking what the scariest thing about serving on a PT was, most of them said "Going to the bathroom."

The narrowboats we have hired in England all had gravity toilets. The toilet sat directly over the holding tank so when the pedal was stepped on the sealing ball in the bottom rotated and the "stuff" dropped straight into the tank. The tanks, which seemed to hold some 30 or 40 gallons, were pumped out at boatyards we passed during our cruises. With just two of us on board we would only have to have the tank pumped once a week or so. Very simple setup, very reliable, and no smell in the boat.

But.... it's probably not very practical to put a holding tank directly under the toilet on the typical cruiser like our GB.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:54 PM   #66
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How much and does it come with installation hardware?I think I can wing it without instructions.


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Old 09-28-2012, 06:54 AM   #67
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Interestingly enough, this is exactly what was done on WWII PT boats, .......

snip......

The narrowboats we have hired in England all had gravity toilets. The toilet sat directly over the holding tank so when the pedal was stepped on the sealing ball in the bottom rotated and the "stuff" dropped straight into the tank. The tanks, which seemed to hold some 30 or 40 gallons, were pumped out at boatyards we passed during our cruises. With just two of us on board we would only have to have the tank pumped once a week or so. Very simple setup, very reliable, and no smell in the boat.

But.... it's probably not very practical to put a holding tank directly under the toilet on the typical cruiser like our GB.
Actually the holding tank doesn't have to be right under as I did with mine...the angle of the plumbing just has to be enough for gravity to work. Mine works great.

That's my complaint about boat design...it could be done very easily in my mind in the design phase for cruising boats, and more "weekender boats" too if they gave up on the "sleeps 8" on a 30 foot boat...
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:04 AM   #68
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You have a great sense of humor, and I'm glad you seem to put up with mine.

While I do not necessarily agree with all of your "out of the box" suggestions, I actually think about each of them and consider them on their merits with an unbiased mind. Some have been really good ideas.
Thanks...I often see people get all wound up about posts on the internet and there was nothing really said to offend...just stated something plainly and if face to face with a chuckle would have wound up a good laugh over a beer.

Also....some of us live and breath boats...and are fully immersed (no pun I hope) all the time...I've spent much of my adult life afloat on boats from 30 feet to 400. I have nowhere the tech knowledge that some guys have on here...but much of it isn't necessary to know what you like, what works, and how to wire/plumb/bolt up the average small cruiser and be well within safety and practical guidelines.

And that's why I'm here..... to get info and give info that the boating books and mags don't give because it would be model specific or stuff they just would never recommend because it would piss off an advertiser.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:40 AM   #69
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Interestingly enough, this is exactly what was done on WWII PT boats, albeit in much cruder fashion..... When interviewing PT vets and asking what the scariest thing about serving on a PT was, most of them said "Going to the bathroom.

That's some fascinating trivia food, Marin. I've never been aboard a PT underway, but I can imagine a scary scenario aboard McCale's boat at full throttle. Those details (like the one about having the tissue under a bucket) are what makes a good short story.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:59 AM   #70
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Actually the holding tank doesn't have to be right under as I did with mine...the angle of the plumbing just has to be enough for gravity to work. Mine works great.

That's my complaint about boat design...it could be done very easily in my mind in the design phase for cruising boats, and more "weekender boats" too if they gave up on the "sleeps 8" on a 30 foot boat...
Was looking at a boat that had the head at salon level and was considering the possibility of a gravity feed head. From your experience, what would you guess the number of significant (#2) flushes a 40 gallon holding tank could hold with your system?

Ted
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:45 AM   #71
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Was looking at a boat that had the head at salon level and was considering the possibility of a gravity feed head. From your experience, what would you guess the number of significant (#2) flushes a 40 gallon holding tank could hold with your system?

Ted
Maybe 15 oz for #2 and half or less for #1. So I would guess the average between the two be over 100 flushes or for 2 people for around 10 days to 2 weeks easy.

If you are really trying to conserve water...you could double that and if you were short on fresh water...a soda bottle full of salt water set next to the bowl would last most or all day.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:29 AM   #72
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Obviously, thinking out of the box has its advantages. So does thinking outside the boat.
Don't you mean "tinkling" outside the boat?
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:01 PM   #73
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That's some fascinating trivia food, Marin. I've never been aboard a PT underway, but I can imagine a scary scenario aboard McCale's boat at full throttle. Those details (like the one about having the tissue under a bucket) are what makes a good short story.
I learned this from a number of PT vets I interviewed in the process of gathering material for the book I've been working on The "toilet" is incorporated into the story along with a lot of other things I learned from the guys.

Since most PT missions were carried out at night, the biggest fear of many of the crew was being bounced off the toilet seat when the boat was underway at speed. The engines were unmuffled at any speed over idle so with six huge exhaust ports roaring away a few feet below the fellow on the seat, the noise of the water, the darkness, and the fact that all the other crewmen on deck were focused on looking for enemy ships and planes meant that anyone going into the water would be unnoticed for quite some time even if they yelled as they went in. And the odds of finding him in the dark after the crew realized he was gone were pretty much zero.

There was a short, knotted rope tied to the smoke generator that the person on the toilet seat held onto when he was slid back into the "dump" position. Needless to say, he held onto it with a death grip.
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:12 PM   #74
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There was a short, knotted rope tied to the smoke generator that the person on the toilet seat held onto when he was slid back into the "dump" position. Needless to say, he held onto it with a death grip.:)

Sounds like the perfect scenario to facilitate quality releases for the entire crew.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:03 PM   #75
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Ok, I promised an update, so here's what happened. After I received the replacement motor and discharge tube I had high hopes of finally, (after 6 years) having a reliable head. In years past, I have had several conversations with dealers and even with the factory regarding what I consider a design defect in the discharge tube. No one would admit that there was ever a problem, and they all said I was the only one to see the issue, but strangely several years later they engineered a solution in the form of a newly designed discharge tube. I spent a couple years trying to get one, but had little luck until this month. Finally, I thought the problem is solved. So, I installed the new motor (the 3rd one) and tube, a job better left to your imagination due to the difficulty of access. After putting it all back together, it worked just great, but only ONCE!. It then refused to flush again just like it did when the old tube was clogged.

Well, after taking it apart AGAIN, I discovered a manufacturing defect in the new tube! The newly designed cross-over was plugged from the factory due to a core shift when it was molded. About an hour with a Dremmel tool, razor knife and a punch and it was open like it should have been. I called Thetford to discuss the problem, and guess what? They had never heard of that happening before, big surprise. The offered to ship a replacement, but we were due to depart the next day, so I fixed the original one.
Finally, I'm happy to report that all is working well for now. Actually, the first time I flushed it it scared me because it was suddenly silent. I thought the motor was defective, but while putting it back together I thought the motor might have been incorrectly oriented from the beginning, so I reoriented it to a better position, and suddenly the operation is truly silent.

So, a year from now, hopefully I will have a different opinion of Tecma, due to the redesigned discharge tube. Time will tell..........Arctic Traveller
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:54 AM   #76
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Another Tecma update

Well, after 6 months of use, I'm very happy to report that the Tecma is still working fine, and has not refused to flush even once. Clearly, the newly designed discharge tube solved the problem I'm quite happy with the thing now, I just wish I didn't have to suffer for 6 years before the factory finally designed a solution. And, it's still truly silent..........Arctic Traveller
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:22 AM   #77
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Great...fantastic...good to hear Arctic. Just pleased we weren't all holding our breath...
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:39 AM   #78
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Good to hear as we been looking at replacing our Jabsco which does not handle #2 very well. Might buy one at the January Boat Show.
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:34 PM   #79
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Good to hear as we been looking at replacing our Jabsco which does not handle #2 very well.
Mine handles #2 just fine. It's #3 that gives me fits!
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:18 PM   #80
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2015 update

Back when I started this thread I suspected I would never be happy with our Tecma head due to what I considered a design defect. Once Tecma finally addressed this defect and sent me a new discharge tube I had much higher hopes it would fix the problem. So, here we are several years and many charter miles later and I'm happy to say that I have had 100% reliability since installing the new tube (at least after I opened up the tube that was closed off by a core shift) The head is now reliable enough I'm considering changing our forward head over too. This issue is finally put to bed. .............Arctic Traveller
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