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Explain a basic boat plumbing system.

Dec 7, 2012
51
Oday 22 Chattanooga
I am moving from the auto world to boats.

Someone explain the basics (parts, design) of a basic boat system. I would like this system to have the following:
1. Sink
2. Below deck shower
3. Toliet
4. Freshwater filter/pump into holding tank (this will not be a thru hull)

Can someone explain the parts or design of said system. I get confused on the need for pressurized vs. non. How to do that. Placement of pumps. Holding tanks, etc.
 
Dec 19, 2006
5,628
Hunter 36 Punta Gorda
Too Much

Get a book and can go on Raritan for info how holding tank with tiolet works.
 
Oct 25, 2011
572
Island Packet IP31 Lake St. Louis, Montreal
I am moving from the auto world to boats.

Someone explain the basics (parts, design) of a basic boat system. I would like this system to have the following:
1. Sink
2. Below deck shower
3. Toliet
4. Freshwater filter/pump into holding tank (this will not be a thru hull)

Can someone explain the parts or design of said system. I get confused on the need for pressurized vs. non. How to do that. Placement of pumps. Holding tanks, etc.
Pressurized water involves a pump between your water tank and the outlets (and some times and accumulator tank which is not mandatory but will reduce cycling for the pump) which maintains pressure in the water lines. Result: Open the tap and water starts to flow, just like at home.

Non pressurized wither means hand or foot pumps at each outlet or a small electic pump that is activated at the tap, i.e. click a switch.

Matt
 
Oct 26, 2005
2,057
- - Satellite Beach, FL.
Are you wanting all of this on a 22 foot boat?
I have a porta potty, hand pump and solar shower in the cockpit. Not much room for full up systems on our sized boats.
Think of it like "comfortable camping" but you're on the water where EVERYTHING is better!
 
Jun 6, 2006
6,983
currently boatless wishing Harrington Harbor North, MD
1. Sink
potable water from the storage tank and fresh water pump or sea water from a foot pump drains through a seacock to the ocean.
2. Below deck shower
potable water from the storage tank and fresh water pump is supplied to a faucet/shower head. It drains to either the bilge or a dedicated shower sump where it is pumped overboard (above the water line usually)
3. Toilet
sea water is taken through a seacock to the head (that is the nautical term for a toilet), you add your stuff and hand pump (creates a head hence the name) the stuff into a holding tank (black water). When the holding tank is full you either go to a pumpout station and get it sucked out through the pumpout port or you switch some valves and pump it out yourself with a macerator pump. Alternately you can have the head dump to sea directly. note that here are restrictions where you can dump to sea.
4. Freshwater filter/pump into holding tank (this will not be a thru hull)
The potable water storage tank supplies a filter and then a pump which plumbs to all the faucets on board. you would not pump into a holding tank with the potable water pump as that would be dumb. You already have a potable water tank and filling a black water holding tank with potable water is a waste of potable water. It either goes overboard or you use sea water.
 
May 24, 2004
6,207
CC 30 South Florida
Highly impractical to install systems designed for larger boats in a small pocket cruiser. They cost money, take up valuable space and cannot be used with comfort an efficiency. We keep a Starwind 223 on a trailer and we take 10 day trips at a distant sailing venue at least once a year. This is what we do. The boat has a very small galley which consists of a mini-sink and a one burner Kenyon butane stove. We use the sink just to store stuff we do not want rolling all over the place and next to it is the space where we store the stove. When cooking we move the stove to the cockpit. To wash dishes we use a bucket, salt water and Joy detergent (it bubbles in salt water) We do two fillings one for washing and the other for rinsing. The bucket also serves to take a shower, wash the boat or bail if needed. We do carry a sun-shower which we fill with fresh water and set next to the mast base. Get some salt water drop it over your head, soap up and then rinse with hot water from the sun-shower. We use a chemical toilet, better known as a porta-potty, when underway we set it in the middle of the cabin and at night we move it to the cockpit. A curtain in the companionway provides privacy. For drinking and cooking we use three one gallon jugs of water. We store the bottles where the water tank would have been in the cabinet below the sink and stove. Under the single companionway step we keep two ice coolers which provides our need for storing perishables. We provision every two days and are quite fond of restaurants. We take these trips to distant venues to visit different places and not to be cooked up inside the boat so we look for Marinas in which to spend most evenings. A protected tie up, hot showers and restaurants minimize the chores aboard. We did install an inboard battery charger to keep our two group 27 house bank fully charged. We leave the 150 Genoa behind and pack the working jib. We value the space to sleep in and to be able to move comfortably above all. Just do what works for you and do not pay attention to what you see in other boats. What good is a small sink in a boat if you can only wash one cup at a time with water splashing all over and you hunched over in one corner? And for that you had to install pressurized water? Besides the navigation lights, we have cabin lights,
a couple of 12V receptacles and an AM/FM/CD radio. A fishfinder serves as our depth sounder and a handheld GPS completes our electronics. We keep charts and a compass for backup. The boat has a small table that can be set up inside the cabin or in the cockpit. We store luggage and other stuff in the V-Berth when underway and then move it at night when we configure the boat for sleeping. In the large boat we like to have a space for everything aboard but in the trailerable each space is used more than once depending on the desired configuration. We have made trips with 4 adults on board and we have been comfortable.
 
Dec 7, 2012
51
Oday 22 Chattanooga
I am going to be polite as possible in responding, but please forgive me. I don't mean any offense, just want to clarify.

I wasn't asking opinions on whether or not I should. I was pretty specific in what I wanted addressed.

If you must know, I am doing a complete re-design of my boats interior and am removing an entire side bunk completely. Nothing structural, just the bunk. When I do that, it opens up the possibilities immensely. In terms of square footage gained, I have gained more than enough to have equal to; if not greator than, your typical head w/ shower below decks. True, you will not be able to stand up, but you will be able to sit quite comfy and shower down.

I get that people love being better than others and love to dispense "wise" wisdom, but all too often that just becomes a preachy "I am smarter than you, therefore only do this."
I know specifically what I want and am developing a plan to get to that.

Tankless, propane run, water heaters remove much of the concern about space. Ventilated well, propane is very safe on a boat and this is exactly what I intend to do. If you haven't seen them, you should check them out. Small and designed for RV's and small boats; they are great. I have a buddy that has one on his boat and it is amazing. While its output is smaller than a large one, it is more than capable of getting water hot.

Second, I don't want a porta potty. I don't. Again, in removing an entire side bunk; I gain more than enough of a foot print to install a manual head that is of the smaller size.



Let me say this. I have a medical condition that necessitates the desire for a hot shower. It isn't anyone's concern, but I have very specific desires. I have an advanced degree and am more than capable of parsing out what is practical and what is not. I cannot stand "well, it hasn't been done that way so it shouldn't". That isn't an argument, that is a statement of inflexibility rooted in dogma.

Finally. I apologize. I don't mean to offend anyone, but I felt the right to respond since I created the thread with very specific questions. Everyone has the right to their opinion and I am expressing mine. I want to thank the few that actually responded to my question with actual helpful responses. Thank you.
 
Sep 25, 2008
5,616
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
I saw no "preaching" in any of the prior posts; just sound advice by well-meaning and experienced boaters.

You are asking for options and information which require a broad range of discussion and frankly would require a significant amount of time to thoroughly cover. To put it bluntly, it would require a small book to cover the topics you raised. And because there are many already available, you would be best served to read one rather than ask someone else to write it for you.
 
Dec 7, 2012
51
Oday 22 Chattanooga
No, it was preaching. That you happened to agree with what they said, doesn't change that. Same as agreeing with the Preacher on Sunday doesn't change what it is.

I have a book, several. Already done quite a bit of work. I asked a few questions, didn't want a lecture. If you can't separate the two, maybe don't respond.
 
Sep 20, 2006
2,708
Hunter 33 Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
No, it was preaching. That you happened to agree with what they said, doesn't change that. Same as agreeing with the Preacher on Sunday doesn't change what it is.

I have a book, several. Already done quite a bit of work. I asked a few questions, didn't want a lecture. If you can't separate the two, maybe don't respond.
No, I don't see any preaching here. Don is right in his response.

You asked a very vague question, without a lot of background or detail, without any real specific needs. People responded with suggestions and or interpretations of what you were looking for.
 
Feb 26, 2004
21,004
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
Chatt,

Welcome again.

What I find in some forums, and with some questions like yours which "seemed" to be from a newbie rather than someone who already has done his homework, is what I call the: "Ask what time it is, and they'll tell you how to build a watch!" syndrome.

It's all well meaning.

One of the very best "How to ask a question" suggestions is right on this website, as a stick on EVERY SINGLE "topic starter" on this forum. It really is worth a read, since sometimes just giving a tad of background really helps. You can tell how i took it in my earlier reply. Sometimes going back and reading the OP you might have an "aha" moment. :)

Good luck with your new systems.
 
Jan 22, 2008
878
Fed up w/ personal attacks I'm done with SBO
Asking because I didn't see any mention of it

Have you considered that interior furniture in a fiberglass boat serves as a hull stiffening component? Fiberglass hulls without their interiors - not just the bulkheads - are incredibly flexible. After bonding in place the interior is much like a honeycomb structure adding the required stiffness. Generally speaking, hull lamination schedules take this into account. It's a big part of why fiberglass laminates - especially on smaller boats - can be thin and lightweight and still have rigidity as a full assembly.

Will the new configuration replace the integrity of the components you're removing? Interior seats and bunks are there for more than sitting.
 

Joe

.
Jun 1, 2004
6,995
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
Here ya go....... go for it. Here are some diagrams reprinted from West Marine advisor... there are many variations on these basics... for instance, most experts recommend vented loops on intake and discharge sides of toilet. Or you could put another Y valve to bypass HT, for direct discharge





No offense here dude, but an easygoing attitude works best in this forum. It's like Dr Bill says in the Big Book, "take what you will and disregard the rest."
 
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Jan 22, 2008
551
NorSea 27 Az., Doing the To-Do list
Here ya go....... go for it.



Joe,

Not sure where the graphic came from, and it looks good to a point. For me/us, and we live aboard about 50% of the time now, and full time from 1996 to late 2008, we would NEVER put that municipal water connection! One small problem and you will be calling divers in to recover your stuff. :eek:

Greg
 
Feb 26, 2004
21,004
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
Joe,

Not sure where the graphic came from, and it looks good to a point.
Greg, it ocmes directly from the link to WM Advisors I'd posted earlier.

I'd never plumb a head like that though, going through the HT all the time.
 

Joe

.
Jun 1, 2004
6,995
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
Joe,

Not sure where the graphic came from, and it looks good to a point. For me/us, and we live aboard about 50% of the time now, and full time from 1996 to late 2008, we would NEVER put that municipal water connection! One small problem and you will be calling divers in to recover your stuff. :eek:

Greg
Uh, Greg.... that would be the west marine advisor.... you might drop them a line about your concerns. As for me, forgive me Chet for voicing an opinion, I would never put a pressurized system on a small boat... what if it breaks down, how do you get the water out of the tank?

re: Stu........
I'd never plumb a head like that though, going through the HT all the time.
I totally agree, I recently replumbed my system. The Y valve is between the toilet's vented loop and the HT so I can direct discharge when outside the 3 mile limit ....but.... that would be illegal in the great lakes and most freshwater lakes without a locking device on the Y valve or through hull....
 
Jan 22, 2008
551
NorSea 27 Az., Doing the To-Do list
Greg, it ocmes directly from the link to WM Advisors I'd posted earlier.

I'd never plumb a head like that though, going through the HT all the time.
I guess you can say I'm a geezer! ;)
And I have known WM since Randy was selling line out of a back door. Have friends who worked for them over the years.

We are each the captain of our own craft, and make the decisions and live with them. So, for me, WM is in business to sell stuff. And just because they recommend something, does not mean it's all that great. JUST MY opinion!

Plumbing a city water line directly into a boat is a BAD idea! :naughty:

Greg
 
Jun 6, 2006
6,983
currently boatless wishing Harrington Harbor North, MD
So what is the problem with having a city water hookup on a boat?
When was the last time you had an issue in your house? know anybody that has had flooding? now if you don't know how to do plumbing then sure that would be something for you to avoid but I'm not seeing the problem.
 
Jan 22, 2008
7,409
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
So what is the problem with having a city water hookup on a boat?... now if you don't know how to do plumbing then sure that would be something for you to avoid but I'm not seeing the problem.
Bill if YOU don't know plumbing, you wouldn't see the problem until it springs a leak and floods your boat. It's the higher pressure of the dockside water that is higher than boat systems are designed for. Look up pressure regulators in the West book. And you shouldn't chastize other people's knowledge- it's not good forum manners.
 
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