Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Head Honcho

I'll be honest: when I first wrote up a conditional acceptance after the survey, I initially included the leaky aft head among the deficiencies to be corrected by the owners before closing. All the others were safety-related items; this one was simply because I didn't want to be the head to be my very first project as a boat owner. But then I decided that I was being a wuss: working on the head is an inescapable albeit less-than-glamorous part of cruising, and I'd best make peace with it sooner rather than later. So I deleted the head from my "punch list," and I tackled it soon after arriving in Myrtle Beach this Saturday for a week of boatwork.

I started my "headwork" in Nigel Calder's "Boatowner's Mechanical & Electrical Manual," proceeded to the Jabsco website, and from there watched a YouTube video about rebuilding my specific model of toilet. Both of the heads on Windbird are dirt-simple Jabsco 29090 manual pump toilets; there are only a few parts that can fail, mostly seals that get leaky with age or valves that get fouled with, er, "debris." Fortunately in this case it was only a leaky top piston pump seal, meaning I didn't have to dig too far into the "dirtier" parts of the head. I did have to extract the piston that moves everything along to change the seal assembly, but overall the job was pretty tame and only took five minutes once I got down to it.

I moved a carload of stuff onto the boat Saturday and spent most of Sunday organizing and doing pidly jobs, and then Dawn flew in on Monday and we've been hard at work since. Shortly after arriving I discovered that the freshwater pump assembly had quite mysteriously fallen off the engine room wall (it's attached with four screws). One of my first planned projects was to flush and clean the freshwater tanks but I wasn't going to pump out 150 gallons using the galley foot pump! I've done some thinking about how to better secure the freshwater pump and will tackle that tomorrow morning.

I'll do a couple other posts about miscellaneous boat projects but have to say I've rather enjoyed putzing around our "almost ours" boat thus far. Windbird is already feeling a lot more familiar and homelike. I'm looking forward to getting her off the dock and into a breezy anchorage for the first time...I really like the marina we're in, but South Carolina in the summertime without AC is not an ideal place to be stuck in a marina!

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