Ahoy, All...long timee no postee.
Well after a suitable post-divorce financial mourning period I am now back to Full Steam Ahead on finishing Diva. Just spent ten days in Trini getting my head
wrapped back around the project
and formulating an end-game plan with my contracted talent. Notwithstanding the all-too-real risk of financial ruin, I hope to float her by this time next year. Be warned, I will undoubtedly return to my old pesky self on this board.
I put off even thinking about plumbing
systems until now, as there were so many other bigger, scarier skeletons to tangle with. Having never plumbed a boat, I must admit I gave it short shrift: "Aw, hot water
heater, pump, water tanks
, faucets, what's the big deal?" Now, having spent fully four of my ten days down-island tackling the subject, I have a little more respect for its complexity.
Here's the Overview (Oh, and all Ye Minimalists out there, you need not razz me that all my complications are entirely self-inflicted. I put in my years sailing with an icebox
and porta-john and I ain't a-goin' back): (2) heads, one forward, one aft; The forward head
is a standard "wet" head, with toilet, sink, and shower-intended grated floor with a drain pan. The aft has a separate closet on port for the toilet and shower
, with the sink aft of that closet outside in the cabin
is on starboard aft-of-midships (next to engine
room); There is a bar sink starboard saloon
with cold water only; and there will be a Splendide vented combo aft Nav area (on the other side of the aft shower/w.c. bulkhad). I plan to have a freshwater shower
mounted somewhere handy to the aft deck
. There are six separate 25-gallon freshwater tanks
, 3 each port and starboard under the saloon
This is what we've sussed out thus far: there is really only one decent place to put the Isotherm
40L hot water tank, furthest forward section of center saloon bilge
; this argues to have the freshwater pump and accumulator in the center section of the saloon bilge
; flanked by the freshwater tanks, this has most of the water supply in one central place. We've built new 40-gallon blackwater holding tanks, one for each head; the aft one is built into the back of the shower/toilet closet, and the fore one is in the forepeak.
Okay, here are my TBDs. Apologies if any of these items have already been beaten to death in past threads:
1) Freshwater Tank Ganging: separate valves on the six water tanks (as the previous owners had it) was just plain goofy, and reduces tank monitoring to getting under the floorboards and opening a new valve when a tank goes dry. Given I only have 150 gallons total, and would prefer to have just a single deck
fill, is there any reason not to just gang them together as one 150-gallon tank? As I'm not going to live aboard for longer than a month here, a month there for the next several years, I don't see any point to putting in a watermaker
just yet; the maintenance
hassle would be at best a wash with the benefit. It's been recommended that I fit a couple 53-gal Plastimo
flexie tanks as reserve tanks, and I have a perfect pair of dead spaces behind the saloon settees. I could plumb them into the main tanks; only PITA might be having to run a hose down into the saloon to fill them. Thoughts?
2) Blackwater Management: my carpenter
has built two lovely fiberglass
custom tanks, roughly 40 gal ea. for the purpose. Our evil plan is to pump the head into the tanks, and then in a seaway use the old thru-hulls, which are just below water level, and see if gravity is all that's required to sluice them out. In a NDZ we could lock-off the thru-hull valve, store the poo and pump out as required. He has seen at least two boats with this exact system, and it seemed to work just fine without the help of any pump assist. If this didn't seem to work getting the solids out, it would not be a huge deal to add macerator pumps between tank and hull
. I've read many of the head-related threads here, and fully understand the "do you really want to find out the hard way?" POV. I'd love to know if anybody here has a gravity system and how it works for you.
3) Greywater Management: I need some schooling on what is legal
for US non-discharge waters. Is there an official distinction between the grey coming from showers vs. that from sinks? Just about every boat I've ever been on has had the sink(s) drain directly overboard
...but is this just a grandfathering for older production boats, of an issue too hard to enforce? For the showers, I was considering one each of the all-in-one sump kits out there (either the Whale or Rule
unit), which in a legal
seaway would simply pump overboard
. As small capacity as they are, would these legally count as "holding tanks", such that with some kind of defeat (on-off switch zip-tied to "off"?) we'd pass inspection
, with the knowledge that it means temporary non-use of the showers? Is it legal for other (sink, washer) greywater to go directly overboard at all times, or do I need a dedicated grey-water holding tank
? If so, I have precious few good-sized spaces left in her bilges to put such a tank, so it probably can't be very big. Depending on the answer to the sump-kit question above, would perhaps a 3rd one midships for the sink drains pass muster? Regardless I'd like to avoid the "straight into the bilge" solution if at all possible.
4) Deck Wash: Seasoned Cruisers, tell me what you find useful and/or necessary out there. I can see benefits of washing
down one's anchor
chain and anchor
with fresh water, but with my limited freshwater capacity that seems like an expensive luxury; is saltwater sufficient for most washdown purposes? With 50 feet of deck to clean, will I want a saltwater washdown both fore and aft?
5) Aft Deck Freshwater Shower: Do you tend to find it good to have both hot and cold here, or is cold generally all you need (in a tropical environment)?
6) Saltwater Tap in Galley
: Worth the redundant plumbing
for freshwater conservation? I assume that this
kind of grey water is legal to go straight overboard, true?
Any other considerations I'm missing? Has anyone else done a major re-plumb of their boat abroad and then had people wearing US badges scrutinize it? Can anybody quote ABYC scripture with regard to greywater?
Thanks in advance for any and all imparted wisdom.