We have been having problems with the owner's side head
in our 2002 Belize 43
Maestro ever since we bought it in August. What we have gathered from the manual and PO are that the boat was manufactured with no pump out for the owner's side head
...only a tank with discharge to the sea. That was no problem for the PO, who berthed very near the ocean, where discharge is legal
. We are too far from the sea for that option, and our marina enforces installation
of a heavy-duty plastic loop fastener to prevent use of the overboard
The PO kindly installed a pump out for this head before we picked it up, but we fear that well-intentioned effort resulted in an untenable set-up that has resulted in a very stinky situation. We have bought and carefully read Peggy Hall's book on boat odor
, flushed the system with two gallons of vinegar, pumped the tank empty, flushed with fresh water
, opened the through-hull discharge to completely empty the hose (before the fastener went on), tightened leaking connections at the hull
and clamp to hull
discharge, but we still have stink, despite the fact that we have not used the head at all since we flushed the lines, etc.
The problem seems to be both the set-up and permeated hoses. The set-up violates several of the Headmistress's rules. The tank is located about 8 feet above where the hose leaves the head. We guess that the original discharge hose went straight from the bottom of the tank to a through-hull discharge about 5 feet below and worked well with a gravity feed. To install a new pump-out, a y was installed about 3 feet below the tank, with one hose leading (another 3 feet) to the hull discharge and the other snaking down 2 feet, 4 feet across the space behind the head, then back up for 5 feet at a vertical angle to a pump out. The hose from the y valve to the hull discharge seems to be permeable (using Hall's wet rag test). Other clues...the bad smell was temporarily eliminated when the vinegar was flushed and when I wrapped the hose from the y to the through-hull discharge in heavy masking tape.
I think the current
set-up is doomed to stink by the fact that waste will always sit in both of the hoses coming off the y, because the hose coming off the tank is at the bottom of the tank and the tank is far above all hoses. Not to mention the very long and looping pump out hose. Options we are considering include:
1. Replace permeated hoses, install a hose leaving tank from top of tank straight and at an upward slope to the pump out, install valve at tank to hose from bottom of tank to through-hull discharge to shut off flow into hose. Maybe also install a second vent on side of the tank facing the wind
to increase air flow.
2. Rip it all out and install composting toilet.
Somewhat relevant is that the available pump out in our marina involves backing into a slip not much larger than boat, so is not much fun.
We would love to hear what set-up others have for a pump out of the owner's head tank, enthusiasm for composting toilets, and any other suggestions. I only wish there was a crinkled nose emoji suitable for stinky head posts!