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Old 04-06-2023, 21:44   #1
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Holding Tank & Head Plumbing Access

I have a Beneteau 31, which has a small, but functional head. I have recently needed to do some repairs/cleaning, but am not having much luck as the access point is incredibly small. Its probably six to 8 inches in diameter and barely enough for me to fit my arm through let alone see what I am doing.

This round access point is on a 3 feet wide section of fiber glass that serve as an internal bulkhead basically to hide the plumbing and holding tank. It does not appear to be structural and is relatively thin...say 1/8 or 1/4 inch.

Has anyone tried expanding their access point? It seems like a dremel tool and a new, larger access hatch would make a lot of sense. No idea why they designed it this way.

Thanks for any thoughts you can provide!!
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Old 05-06-2023, 18:27   #2
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Re: Holding Tank & Head Plumbing Access

I see you've just joined our merry band of boat owners...welcome aboard!

You might start by replacing that "paper thin" bulkhead with something thick enough (1/2" would be thick enough) to let you cut a proper access hatch in it--maybe even a couple of hatches if necessary to provide access to both ends of the tank or maybe a macerator pump or vent line--which you can trim with something like picture frame moulding if cosmetics matter, along with thin sliding panels to cover the openings. You decide where and what what size they need to be.

Just a "top of the head idea...others may have better ones.

As for why Beneteau designed it that way...boat builders rarely if ever DESIGN sanitation systems. To them sanitation systems just add cost that contribute nothing to the value of the boat. So they put them together as cheaply as possible without regard for the fact that, unlike water and fuel, sewage must be managed and count on the problems that arise from their failure to acknowledge this waiting until after the warranty has expired to make themselves known.

© 2023 Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since '87.
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors"
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Old 05-06-2023, 21:42   #3
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Re: Holding Tank & Head Plumbing Access

Thanks for the feedback, Peggie! I've read many of your posts over the last couple of years and appreciate the welcome.

Sounds like a +1 for cutting a bigger access point. I wouldn't describe it as "paper thin"...the Fiber glass is pretty solid IMO, but hard to imagine a couple of missing square feet would be structural. I like the slide door option, which also came to mind for me.

Thanks again! Anyone else expanded the access points in their head?
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Old 11-06-2023, 23:16   #4
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Location: Boat in Greece
Boat: Lagoon 400
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Re: Holding Tank & Head Plumbing Access

Our setup may be different (Lagoon400) but had similar problems if access.
We have added another small circular hatch at the place where the hoses enter the top of the tank.
Moreover, in one if the service actions, we have removed the entire cover (it is not structural).
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head, holding tank, plumbing

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