Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Moving Liquids

The rebuilding of the plumbing system has officially begun. No small task, but at least all of the jobs involved are fairly straightforward and manageable without a crew of seven hearty adults.

Last week I managed to make some good progress on the rebuild of the waste system. When we got the boat, it was plumbed with the toilet connected to the holding tank and an overboard discharge. Totally illegal, and also not practical. The new system, in addition to having more options for, well, "waste-management" will have a new toilet that actually works and hose that was meant for sanitation systems (odor-resistant...very important).

Step One: Rip Out the Old Sh*%
This is a disgusting job now matter how careful you are. The holding tank was partially filled with seawater and some of that awful blue holding tank deodorizer (which doesn't work, by the way). The hoses were caked with what I can only assume was waste that didn't make it all the way to the tank, and the toilet was just plain nasty. I saved the toilet in case anyone wants it. Errr.

Here is a look at the old tank and hose setup before I started destroying things and swearing at inanimate objects:

With the tank removed from underneath the port settee, here is what we were left with. Notice the lovely (completely seized) seacock and the nasty waste hoses.Getting the through hull and seacock out of the boat was an adventure of two full days. I finally ended up grinding the flange off the outside and cutting the rest apart to get the thing out. Solid bronze, seized up with corrosion, and bonded to the hull? Bring in the power tools!

I did manage to get the beast out of there. I am keeping it on the workbench to remind me why I am not replacing any seacocks with bronze. This picture shows the hole left after the seacock came out, including the remnants of the old plywood backing plate.

Step Two: Install the New Stuff
With the seacock and the hoses out, it was time to get the hull ready for the new fittings. The flange for the new Marelon seacock was wider than the old bronze fitting, so the backing plate had to be larger. I started by cutting the hole in the hull liner to 6.5 inches in diameter and cleaning up the inside of the hull to get ready for a new backing plate, which I made out of marine plywood sealed with epoxy.

This image shows the cutout waiting for the backing block.
And this image shows the backing block in place (notice that I also painted out the locker with white Bilge Coat paint):

Since I am putting flush-mount through hulls in (why not?), I had to prepare the outer hull for the recessed flanges. This is not easy without some sort of magic tool that apparently exists but no one has.

Several hours with a Dremel grinder got me an acceptable result:

With the backing block shaped to fit the inside of the hull (several passes on the belt sander) and epoxied in place, it was time to start putting the pieces together.

First step, get the through hull fitting in place, along with the recessed bolts that will hold the seacock in place. You can see that my work on the cutout is less than perfect, but sealed well with the 3M product of choice and fared in when we get ready to paint, and this will be just fine, he says.

And here is the view from the inside. Very nice. No corrosion potential, easy to maintain, and unlikely to seize in place. I aligned the handle to run athwartships just so it would be easier to get to and open or close. The hoses will run to either side of the seacock.

This is a look at the small 3/4" seacock for the raw water intake on the head. This one isn't hidden in a locker so I made the backing block out of a piece of teak I had left over from a job on the old boat.

The toilet is bolted in and ready for the hose installation. We will be rebuilding the cabinetry in the head to actually have some storage. More on that soon.

And that's where we stand for now. I have the hose for the remainder of the install work, and the holding tank has been sanitized and cleaned. Before I reinstall the holding tank and strap it in place, I need to run a few hoses and wires for the freshwater system and some other things, but once I do that, we can button this project up and move on!


  1. G'day,

    I'm the guy who almost bought your CD27 earlier this year. Turns out I picked up CD27, hull #21 last weekend:

    I plan to run her up to Port Townsned soon and begin restoration work. I'm hoping you would like to communicate concerning resto ideas. Give me a call.

    Cheers Dan O.

  2. Dan O.

    Nice to hear from you! Drop me an email at and we can share some horror stories.

    We looked at Pam's CD 27 back when she was asking WAY too much for it. Glad someone picked it up.