ensuite, Internal fitout, plumbing

Ensuite Plumb In

Posted by Paul

In order to be ready to glass the vanity in I need the toilet and grey water waste pipes in and the stop valve thru hull fitted as they will be very difficult to fit once the vanity is in. I need to build the vanity around them already in. So first step was to fit through bulkhead pipes that the waste hoses will fit through. The reason for this is that the hose may at some point need to be replaced. A difficult job but not impossible if the hoses are not glued or glassed in. That was just a matter of glassing in some pvc pipe.

ensuite thru bulkhead pipesensuite thru bulkhead pipes 1

Once the top it on the access to the pipe work will be through a door on the vanity which will be tight but doable. The back of the toilet cubicle will also be removable in case I need to service the holding tanks so the hoses can be removed from either way and replaced if ever needed. It is unlikely and extremely difficult to do on the water but at least the boat wont need to be ripped apart to do it.

Next task is to fit the toilet, which is not just a case of mounting the porcelain but also the pumps and hoses. I have chosen the Lavac vacuum toilet for a number of reasons. First it uses less power and less water than a normal electric toilet. It uses a vacuum to evacuate the bowl and does not require a macerator. It is also comes with both a hand pump and electric pump, as other toilets do but in order to make this toilet work you are pumping to create a vacuum not to flush out the contents, and as such there are no moving parts. The flush of one of these toilets uses less than a liter of water, which is important to me because I will be using fresh water to flush instead of drawing salt water into the boat. Firstly bringing water into the boat introduces an element of risk of flooding the boat but also because whilst there is some debate about it, I believe that salt water toilets smell more than fresh water toilets, especially if not used for some time, and there is a very good chance that the ensuite might go weeks without being used if we dont have guests on board, if the main toilet is not occupied when nature calls and if the main toilet is working properly.

ensuite toilet areaensuite toilet area 1

So setting out the toilet in the tight space I have presents its won problems in getting the plumbing working and moving in the right direction, for example, the electric pump must be closest to the toilet then the hand pump, they both have a direction of flow and both must be fitted above the top rim of the toilet bowl. I did not know this until after I bought the toilet so now I have to rethink my fittings. I had hoped they would just sit in the same space under the flat duflex top that covers the rest of the toilet workings. All boat toilets are quite low so they need to be mounted on a base, but you need to be able to get to both ends of bolts to tighten them. I built an elevated platform from ply that gives me access to the 4 bolts. This is glassed to the ply false floor fitted to the toilet when I built the cubicle over a year ago. Then the toilet can be easily bolted and unbolted for maintenance or repair. I also made a ply base for the pump, I may have to fit it to the hull side and I do not want to screw the pump down, I want to bolt it down and I dont want screws into the hull sides in case someone (including me) accidently puts a screw all the way through. By drilling the pump mount holes into a piece of ply, inserting 4 bolts, countersunk so that it can be glued and glassed to another larger piece of ply, then once set it can be glassed to the hull side with the bolts already in place ready for the pump to be bolted down.

I also took some time to start working on the rear bunk step. Because I raised the height of the bed base to widen it to a double (at the design height it is not a double) the climb into it is a bit steep so I have halved it with a step which will double as a padded seat and under the step is a storage space that can fit a duffle bag. I had originally intended just a plain square fronted step but I miscalculated the size of the panel required and it was a little too big, and when I tried to dry fit it I forced it and it curved beautifully into place and I really liked the shape so I went with it.

Jake and I also got a bit more done to his dingy. We taped the edges under the boat to strengthen it so that I was not relying on the glue to hold it together and I also fitted a stringer ready for the hull sides to go on. But Jake has gone home so until the next school holidays I am not sure I will do much more to it. It is Jakes boat and I think he should work on it through its various stages.

So over the next couple of weeks I hope to finish the ensuite plumbing and glassing in the vanity unit which will even the 2 hulls out again and hopefully make a start on vacuum bagging the panels I will need to make the rest of the furniture. Then in Feb hopefully I can make a start on the saloon furniture, as this will really change the look of the interior and give the inside of the boat a more finished look.

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