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  • October 08, 2012 3:37 PM
    Message # 1098327
    Deleted user
    I just bought a westsail 32 and I would like advice in eliminating seacocks. I feel that there are to many tru-hulls below the water line and would like to move them above the water line, things like cockpit drains, galley sink and head sink to name a few.  I would connect the galley sink to one of the cockpit drains and head sink could be connected to the toiled seacock  Has anyone done anything like this?
  • October 08, 2012 5:49 PM
    Reply # 1098392 on 1098327
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One common modification is to move the cockpit drains to just above the water line .  This really opened up my engine room. 

    The hull is very thick in this area. 

    I've also changed the depth sounder to an internal sensor that "shines" through the hull. 

    On Pygmalion W32 #567 there used to be the toilet drain and sea water intake for the galley sink within a foot of each other on the port side - both are now sealed over.


  • October 29, 2012 6:26 PM
    Reply # 1117019 on 1098327
    Deleted user
    As for the galley sink drain, I would  keep it going straight out, under water,with it's own thru hull and sea cock . The reason for this is you need to clean this tube now and then .  Also what I did was to cut out the sinks strainer, and then got a removable strainer,  so I can clean it the from inside . I use a rubber tube with a cloth attached to the end, somewhat like cleaning a riffle barrel . I'm with you about not having to
     many thru hulls. When I first got my W28  I needed to Install a new head . The guy who installed it talked me into keeping a raw water thru hull to the head  I used this for a little while in tell I couldn't stand the dead sea water smell anymore and converted to fresh water for the head . The way I use the head now, is I pump the holding tank out thru its own thru hull, or empty by deck. So I still have the old thru hull that lets you pump the head straight out (from the bowl)  and the old intake so that's two that can go. Another thing I would like is to get ball valves .
  • October 30, 2012 6:59 AM
    Reply # 1117439 on 1098327
    Here's another approach.   When I bought Tarwathie, the sink in the head drained to the toilet bowl, and the galley sink drained to the bilge.

    The head sink solution is fine.  The amount of water used in the sink is small compared to water used for flushing.  Thus, it does not add significantly to the holding tank's storage.

    We found that draining the galley sink to the bilge, is nasty.  Kitchen grease gathered in the bilge and made it foul and smelly.  However it did have the advantage it still drains, and no water backs up when sailing on starboard tack.  We have a deep sink and sea level is only 1 or 2 inches below the sink bottom with no heel.

    I assume that you all know that Westsails are designed to sail west, and that when circumnavigating east-to-west, most of the journey is done on on port tack.  On port tack, the sink drain works fine.  I always figured that the galley sink drain and the positioning of the pilot berths is what makes the design optimized for "west sail" 

    I converted the galley sink to use it's own seacock under the sink, but I routed the drain through a foot pump.  The foot pump prevents sea water from backing up, even under sail, and it drains the sink effectively in all conditions.   The Whale Gusher foot pump needs to be cleaned out every year or two.  I think I got the tip to use the foot pump here on the WOA forum.

    I still have the plumbing to drain the galley sink to the bilge.  I can use that as a backup in case I ever need to close that sea cock.

  • October 30, 2012 8:57 AM
    Reply # 1117529 on 1098327
    Deleted user
    One additional point on the above waterline thruhulls.

    When heeled 15 to 20 deg some of the above waterline holes become below. At amidship this is pretty high (near deck level)

    The previous owner of Imagine had the bulge pump go out about 6" above the water line at about the "companion way".  On one long trip it was under for long enough that allot of water came back past a check valve enough to making me think we were sinking ( we had the auto bulge pump off = cycling on the motion with the float)

    I have move the thruhull to back, behind the tangs, and up 3" (total of 9" above the std waterline) I have had no issues after the relocation. The stern stays in and out of the water so not as likely to flood backup the hose.   I do have checks on all but my cockpit drains which are in the stock position Yea I know I would like them above but they seam to be the least of my issues. Also I had a grand illusion of using a small radiator with a fan and pump (A liquid AC unit for where the water was cool down 10')   using  the two cockpit drains for tubing routing (pickup and return) with the radiator in the companionway removable when not used. This is on My never built list.

    If you want to check your potential location use a laser level on centerline and tilt it 10, 15, 20 deg, To look where the water line will be, these are angles you may be on for days on a long trip. 

    Just a thought.

    Last modified: October 30, 2012 9:04 AM | Deleted user
  • October 31, 2012 6:59 AM
    Reply # 1119630 on 1098327

    A little unconventional, but I will be getting a composting head.  -2 thru hulls for me.  I have 5 thru hulls total.  2 cockpit drains (1 1/2"), galley drain (1 1/2"), head sink drain (3/4"), and raw water cooling inlet (3/4").  My transducer is the "shoot thru the hull" type.


  • October 31, 2012 11:27 AM
    Reply # 1119789 on 1098327
    Deleted user
    Tyler, I don't want to get off the thread to much, but since you mentioned a composting head as a way to remove some thru-hulls I thought I'd offer a few thoughts about them.

    We and Duke on Amable bought composting heads at the boat show this year.  After a cruise for a little over a month we have a slightly different opinion of them. We think they are probably better than a holding tank for weekenders/vacations, but have reservations about them for full time cruising. With two people we found we had to dump the urine tank about every three days and the composting side at three-four weeks. Julie doesn't think this is a big deal and she is the one who takes care of it, but I find it to be a little inconvenient.  It takes at least a month for it to fully compost so what you're dealing with isn't completely composted. We found with the small holding tank we have, we had to pump out every three-four days with constant use, so a composting head does make more sense in waters where a holding tank is required. But once out of the US no one uses a holding tank, they just pump overboard, something not talked about in the magazines. In the real world of PPM it really doesn't make a difference. Also we haven't been able to get it to be odor free, but that is probably us, as there is a little learning curve

    For us the jury is still out. We are glade to have less thru-hulls, plumbing and the extra room without the holding tank.  I also like the fact that they are not mechanical.  There is nothing worse than have to tear the head apart every few weeks as happened to us at the end our last long cruise, in the tropical heat. But for full time cruising we're still not sure. We are going to use the composting head this winter and for a short cruise this summer. Then make a decision about re-installing the holding tank system before leaving this fall for Mexico, if we're not happy with the Airhead.

    Obviously this just our opinion so far.  To be fair Duke who replaced his Lavac with an Airhead is absolutely pleased with his and has had no problems.

  • November 01, 2012 12:30 PM
    Reply # 1120588 on 1098327
    Deleted user


    As Jim pointed out in his post 31 October 2012, I am very happy with my Airhead composting toilet.  I removed two thru-hulls by installing the Airhead.  I also removed the sink drain and seawater thur-hulls in the galley.  I now have 1 for the raw water for the motor and 1 transducer, (speed,temp,depth-sounder, I wanted speed through the water.)  My galley sink drains through a Whale Mark V, into 1 1/2" multiplex hose, to a 1 1/2' PVC pipe with a ball valve, (This is where the keys to the motor hang and when I start the motor the valve is closed) connected to a tee fitting on the cockpit drain.  (No back flashing when I am heeled over.)  I am rebuilding the cabinets in the head and when I put the sink and shower in they will drain to a multiple port shower sump and be pumped to the stern above waterline drain.  Don't know if this is the proper way to do things but it worked for my September, October cruise we just did.  If you want more info on the Airhead composting toilet, email me at


  • November 01, 2012 6:49 PM
    Reply # 1120778 on 1098327
    Deleted user
    Interesting post, I was wondering what would be the lowest number of seacocks would be, I am planning on two for the raw water intake( redundancy ) and that's it. Maybe one for the galley drain but am hoping to plumb that to the shower drain if there aren't two many bends.

  • November 01, 2012 9:30 PM
    Reply # 1120853 on 1098327
    For what it's worth... I have three below the waterline on Solstice .
    Two for the head and one for the raw water intake for the engine. The galley sink is pumped overboard with an electric diaphragm pump. The only down side to it is if you try to pull something through the sink strainer that shouldn't fit it can be a chore to unplug it.

     If you use your imagination on what could end up in the sink...  never mind!

    The shower drain is plumbed to the sink pump and works well, although it seldom gets used.
    The depth sounder hole was plugged  last haul out ( thanks Dave) so that's one less to worry about too! The head sink hasn't had a drain or water to it for years so I think it will come out and just have more counter space.

    As far as heads go I installed a Tecma electric macerator toilet a while ago and love it! Push the button and what ever is in it is gone... I don't know if you could plug it if you tried! I flush it with fresh water before leaving the boat for any length of time and it always smells good when we get back.

    Sorta got off track there!


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