Thanksgiving on a Sailboat

Thanksgiving on a Sailboat

When you own a sailboat, your life and priorities change.  Celebrating the holiday is much different than at home.  For me, I am most thankful that Joe has finished changing out both toilets (“heads” in boat-speak)

Let’s face it, replacing the boat toilet and permeated hose is the grossest job to do on a sailboat.  Luckily, Joe is up for the challenge, and just finished changing out the hoses and toilet in the forward head.  What a guy!

FullSizeRender(17)Previously, he changed out the aft master head, hoses, macerater, and vented loop.  So, by finishing the forward head, he will have replaced most of the sanitation system on the boat.

So, what do you do with the old toilets?  You wait for recycle day here in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and you place them out in front of your sister’s house with other old boat items.

This is actually a brilliant idea- to recycle unwanted items.  Your old junk is treasure to someone else.  So both heads were placed outside at the curb and bets were placed as to whether someone would take them or not.  Sure enough, the thrones went home with someone, much to my surprise and amusement.

Head 101:  For all my non-sailing friends, there are basically two types of toilets on a boat- manual and electric.  Manual toilets have a hand pump or lever for flushing.  You literally have to pump to fill the bowl, pump to flush and pump to empty the bowl.  Electric heads, you push a button, or a series of buttons to control the water level and flush.  My boat has electric toilets for convenience.

Some heads use seawater for flushing and others use fresh water.  Most offshore sailboats use seawater heads, because fresh water comes at a premium, and my sailboat is no different.

There is actually a debate among sailors over the use of toilet paper- some flush and some do not, instead throwing the used toilet paper away in trash bags.   (Do I hear a collective “eeewWW?”)  The reason behind doing this is that toilet paper clogs the hoses.  For me, I fall into the flush camp, but use paper sparingly.

I could go into other topics such as composting heads, vacumn flush heads, etc., but I won’t today.    After all, it is Thanksgiving here in the US, and many of us are cooking for the feast or sitting down to eat dinner and give thanks.  Wouldn’t want to gross you out.

Anyway,  I am thankful for the new heads on my boat and for the adventure we are on.  What are you thankful for?  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!

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