The origin of Messing About In Sailboats

  • The original quote is from Kenneth Grahame's Wind In the Willows: "There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."

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June 09, 2011



Hmmm. After reading that I am even more convinced I don't want a boat you can poop on. Lasers for ever!


Down below, boats usually smell of salt or wood - good smells. One back-up or clog and it spoils all the fun.

Daniel Kim

Well... this is one reason I like simplifying the head design. On most boats I've worked on, I set up the head to direct discharge into the tank, then have the tank's output line go to a diverter valve. One side of the diverter valve goes to the deck pumpout fitting. The other side goes to a manual diaphragm pump, usually a Whale/Henderson Mk V, and then to the seacock and overboard.

The diverter valve is important because it protects the diaphragm pump against being damaged by the pumpout station vacuum. It also acts as a third safety between water coming in the 1.5" seacock--the first being the seacock, the second the check valves in the diaphragm pump. :-D

As for the head, if it is a HeadMate 90, be aware that WC discontinued that model about three years ago and parts are going to be harder to get as time goes by. Instead of rebuilding it, I would recommend buying a Raritan PHII or PHC LBA, which is a relatively inexpensive way to get into one of the best inexpensive manual marine heads according to Peggie Hall. This is basically the entire head except for the bowl. You re-use the bowl off your WC head. The bowl from most heads will fit the LBA unit--I know the WC HM90 bowl works, since I did this upgrade last year.

michael bogoger

Here on the West coast we are required to keep the seacock from the head closed (and in many cases, locked) in Inland waters. The Coast Guard takes a dim view of open seacocks, which can only be used three miles or more offshore.


Carol Anne Byrnes

Here is a suggested Song for Friday:



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