Wednesday, November 6, 2013

boat refits: head overhaul

On a sailing ship, the term head refers to the toilet and hails from days when sailors would go to the bow (front) of the boat to relieve themselves. (For larger ships, this could be alongside the bowsprit so they could be "christening" the figurehead!)

As most sailors acknowledge, minimizing head odors is an ongoing challenge. Ours came to a head in June when we needed to replace a crucial valve. Between us, we overhauled the head three times.

The first time I simply cleaned everything and put it back together.

It soon became apparent that the flapper valve was not working so we ordered a replacement. With one disassembly under my belt, I tackled the work with confidence and made shorter work of the task. Unfortunately, the last bolts I tightened broke the plastic cover of the pump assembly. The crack leaked. Back to no head.

The third time was the charm. Walt's hand was strong enough by now to tackle the job.

Home maintenance, boat style!

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