“Watsonizing” – Heads Up!

We have never owned a boat that did not require “watsonizing” to some degree. Our previous Kindred Spirits have been in varying conditions, but always needed an overhaul on something major or a lot of tender loving care. This newest Kindred Spirit, our Kadey Krogen 39, is certainly in the best shape of any boat we have ever owned, and yet…….. there still seemed to be a lot for Al to do. I breathed a sigh of relief. Boat projects meant that he would be happily puttering and watsonizing all winter long. He needed that.

Al’s first major project on the Kadey Krogen was the head and all of its components. We knew some work was needed to “freshen” the head, but we weren’t sure just how much would be involved. The final solution was a total overhaul – new everything.  The VacuFlush toilet and the Purasan waste treatment system were just not going to work for us. We thought that the VacuFlush toilet was too complicated and too prone to problems. Repairs and maintenance were going to cost more in dollars and aggravation than installing a new toilet would. Although the Purasan treatment system advertises that it can sanitatize “black water” for discharge into “rivers, lakes and ocean,” we weren’t comfortable with that option in light of no-discharge zones. We applaud the efforts here in the Northeast to provide free pumpouts and traveling pumpout boats to keep our waters clean. So, in the final analysis, Al removed everything – the toilet, the waste pipes, and the holding tank. And then he scrubbed, sanitized and repainted the bilge area. We do not like odors. 

The next phase was replacing everything he removed. After researching assorted holding tanks’ dimensions and capacities, Al built a cardboard prototype to see how large a holding tank he could fit down there. Winner? A 42-gallon would fit!

His cardboard prototypes we’re built at home and then brought to the boat. Under the shrink wrap into the cockpit and then down to the opening in the floor outside the head.
And then he muscled the prototype box down into the bilge area where the future real tank would be installed.

Before installing any new components for the sanitation system, the entire bilge region was cleaned and painted.

So shiny and clean you almost need sunglasses!
There sits the new holding tank and new toilet waste pipes. It is such a deep hole that Al added the step to make it easier to go “down under.”
Forward of the holding tank, is a 250 gallon fresh water tank can be seen on the left side of the photo.
The new shelf opposite the holding tank has plenty of space for storing spare parts as well as providing access to the shower sump pump.

Now for the actual head. It’s not the biggest head we have ever had, but it will suffice.

We changed the towel bar holder to the three-bar swinging version. The shower has nice folding doors so there is no need for a curtain. The VacuFlush toilet was replaced with an electrical  Dometic MasterFlush, the same model that we installed on the Mariner Orient. 
Inside the shower. Although it is smaller than the Mariner’s, it has a nice shelf for assorted necessary shower items. I have not yet decided how I feel about the teak floor grate, but we will give it a try this year.
Al installed a new Thermostatic Shower Faucet Mixing Valve. We also changed the sprayer to one that has a lever which makes it very easy to control the flow and save precious water. Even with 250 gallons, we don’t like to waste it. Just a habit from the old 50 gallon sailboat days.
The sink with a medicine cabinet above and all sorts of controls and switches on the face of it. I still have to learn what each does!
At the risk of TMI, we do not put toilet paper into our system. This little swinging lid waste basket will work well under the sink. The toilet paper holder on the inside of the door will be replaced with a stainless one .

This is not the most glamorous blog post, but I think all of us in boating would agree that the head and sanitation system cannot be ignored or underestimated. The only things left are the new towels and rug that I purchased.

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