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Original-aftwashbasin   This page deals with the gutting and modification of the aft bathroom and changing the location of the wash basin, which was for some strange reason in the bedroom, not the bathroom.

   The whole aft bathroom was gutted as part of the hot tub installation which was the only way we could get the new bath in. The dirty old manual toilet was discarded, along with the small wash basin. Next the bulkhead and door to the bathroom was removed completely. After installation of the hot tub the bulkhead was repositioned at a different angle, to allow a new wash basin to be incorporated inside the bathroom.

 

Aft-bathroom    I spent a lot of time researching toilets and waste disposal/holding methods—lovely job! I asked various cruising forums members what they used and how they liked them, and finally decided on the Raritan Elegance electric model. This has a full size seat and people who had them were happy with them.

     Along with deciding on the actual toilet(s), I was also forced to consider how best to actually dispose of the waste. The boat had a built-in holding tank of some 50 gallons amidships which, according to the previous owner, was connected to both toilets.

   So much for sellers honesty, (or surveyors expertise), because neither of the heads were connected and both discharged directly overboard, which is totally illegal anywhere inside territorial America, and so it should be. I actually had no decision to make about whether to reconnect the holding tank, because it was discovered to have more holes than a colander, so we chopped it out. (removal of holding tank)

   I did fully consider the, “one electric, one manual” concept, which means you are not totally dependent on electricity for this very necessary function. But with eight batteries, a 6.5kw generator and wind generator, I am fairly certain we will be able to keep at least one toilet operational.

   A manual toilet is just as likely to break down as a modern electric model. Two different toilets also means two sets of spare parts, so I decided to bite the bullet and have both electric. The Elegance electric toilet is extremely well made, with a powerful macerator which, (they say), will shoot the stuff along a 30 foot pipe and ten feet high if necessary. 

   Raritan also makes two Coast Guard approved waste treatment systems which don’t need holding tanks. I choose the Purasan, which uses a chlorinator to percolate chlorine into the water/waste making it legal for overboard discharge. We now have two excellent full size toilets, and don’t have to even think about emptying smelly holding tanks, etc.

macerator-sumpAft-toilet    Both toilets are piped for both sea water and fresh water flush. The fresh water flush is automatic from the shore water pressure. It can also draw fresh water from the twin tanks. Fresh water flush totally eliminates odor and keeps the bowl cleaner. Water in the Intracoastal highway in America is filthy, but when in clear ocean water the toilets can be switched to save fresh water.

     Installing these heads was the usual struggle with the 1” pipes, but mainly because I did not want any of the pipe-work showing in the bathroom. I hate to see marine heads with exposed pipes and valves, when with a bit more effort they can be enclosed in most cases.

Aft-washbasin    With the toilet in position and working, the next job was to install a new wash basin and faucets. The ‘stainless’ basins in both heads were stained and old fashioned. I had previously seen a basin in the local do-it-yourself store called a vessel bowl, which sits on top of the counter, not recessed into it. These are usually made of thick molded glass, and available in many different colours. I bought a beautiful blue and black bowl, with polished brass faucets and spout. I rebuilt the pedestal on a split level configuration and ordered two shaped pieces of blue/black granite counters, with holes to accept the taps and spout. These look beautiful and vinyl tiles have been glued to the bath side. The whole room was then re-recovered with white plastic sheet to make it clean and waterproof and a new ceiling fitted.    

   Holding tank removal.

    The old and perforated aluminum holding tank was chopped out in five hours of very messy work. It was amidships, just aft of the original mainmast, so when the main was lifted it gave more working room for the die grinder. We went through ten cut-off blades and finally wore out the die grinder itself, when it started to smoke. One consolation was I did get $50 for the aluminum from the recycle plant .

   The resulting space is about eight feet wide, three feet deep and fifteen inches front to back. I have installed hooks and we hang all our spare ropes in this space. I’m planning on installing a tube from the chain locker to bring the anchor chain aft into this hold when cruising, which will lighten the bow and add ballast amidships.

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