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New H260 owner marine head question and Zebra mussels.

Sep 12, 2005
5
- - Columbus, OH
My husband and I just bought a 2001 H260 about a month ago. Our previous boat was a MacGregor 26S. The Hunter definitely has a few systems and things we didn't have on the Mac so we are on a steep learning curve. This is our first experience with a marine head. The Mac had no underwater thru-hulls, no seacock, etc. We keep our boat at a slip on a small lake in Ohio that has zebra mussels. I have read other posts on here about zebra mussels and no one seems to have too much trouble with them. Our Mac had no bottom paint or treatment of any kind and when we pull it at the end of the season the hull is literally carpeted with 1000s of mussels--essentially every square inch covered. The Hunter has bottom paint so I guess we're going to find out how much of a difference that makes. My question is this: Isn't my underwater thru-hull raw water intake for the marine head going to be completely blocked by zebra mussels in very short order? It's a fairly small thru-hull, can just barely get my pinkie in it. I don't believe there is any strainer anywhere in the system between the seacock or the Jabsco manual head. I feel like I need a strainer on the outside to keep the thru-hull from being blocked and I'm assuming I don't want zebra mussels in the head system either. If you do recommend an external strainer, how do I safely install that?
 
Feb 21, 2013
2,607
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Congratulations on your new sailboat!!

You will find some answers to your questions here: Microsoft Word - motor muffs with pictures ab rev4-16-04.doc

Key takeaways are:

1. Use your boat. Run the engine at least twice a week for 10 to 15 minutes. The hot water will kill the zebra mussels in your engine’s cooling systems. Keep an eye on your engine temperatures – if you notice an increase, it may mean that zebra mussels are clogging your cooling system. Immediately inspect the system inside and out, and remove any zebra mussels disposing of them in the trash.

2. Apply antifouling paints to the hull.

3. Install / inspect in-line strainers in the raw water intake to the engine.

4. Clean the bottom routinely.
 
Jan 4, 2006
3,640
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
My question is this: Isn't my underwater thru-hull raw water intake for the marine head going to be completely blocked by zebra mussels in very short order? It's a fairly small thru-hull, can just barely get my pinkie in it. I don't believe there is any strainer anywhere in the system between the seacock or the Jabsco manual head.
I have no experience with fresh water systems but I think much of what we see in salt water systems will apply.

You are correct in that there will not be a strainer in the water inlet to the Jabsco. But all is not lost as it's a pretty ugly place to be in the Jabsco system with its lack of oxygen (O2) when not in use. The lack of O2 forms an anaerobic environment which will not support most aquatic life. This is what causes the horrible stench with the first head flush after the boat hasn't been used for a few days. Dead organisms. Same applies to salt water barnacles ................... the hull may be caked with them but this usually doesn't cause head problems.

If the H-260 already has bottom paint on it, read up on what you can and can't apply for your next coat. Also be sure to ask your neighbours what they find works in your area. Different areas require different bottom paint.

CAUTION: do not ask power boaters for technical information such as bottom paint. Dumber that a sack of hammers.
 
Feb 21, 2013
2,607
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
..............My question is this: Isn't my underwater thru-hull raw water intake for the marine head going to be completely blocked by zebra mussels in very short order? ...............
You might consider converting your head from seawater to fresh water.
 
Dec 2, 1997
7,963
- - LIttle Rock
A screen on the thru-hull is definitely called for....you don't need a marine intake line and vented loop (which should be installed, but I'd bet money it wasn't) clogged up with dead sea life.
However, I'm gonna throw out a suggestion that's definitely worth considering: replace the Jabsco toilet, holding tank and all their related plumbing with a self contained system: An "MSD" portapotty.

The "MSD" designation in the model name/number means it has fittings for a pumpout line and vent line, and is designed to be permanently installed (actually just sturdier brackets than portables, so you could still take it off the boat if you absolutely have to), which means that although it's still called a PORTApotty, you don't have to carry anything including urine jugs off the boat to empty it.

A 5-6 gallon model is household height and holds 50-60 flushes...you'd need at least a 30 gal tank to hold that many from any manual or electric marine toilet and I'm not sure a "composter" can hold that much poop and organic material needed to absorb the liquid in solid waster (which, btw is about 75% water). No plumbing needed except a vent line and pumpout hose--so no new holes in the boat...and -0- maintenance needed except for rinsing out the tank--which you can do with a bucket while it's being pumped out. Total cost including the pumpout hose and vent line is about $200--a fraction of what you'd spend for toilet, tank and all the related plumbing needed. And the best part is, you have all the advantages of a toilet and holding tank without giving up a single square foot of storage space...and with three little kids, you'll need all the storage space you can find!

If this idea appeal to you, check out the Dometic/SeaLand 975 MSD SaniPotti SeaLand SaniPottie 975 MSD Scroll down that page to find details and a link to the installation instructions. (shown here on a retailer's site because it's impossible to find anything on the Dometic site any more. I think the sbo.com online store has it...check there first.)

Quite a few people here have one and love it...and I'll be glad to answer any questions they can't.

--Peggie
 
Jan 4, 2006
3,640
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
Totally uncalled for, Ralph and untrue.
Sorry Peggie, I forgot you're one of the good ones. My apologies. I should have said "75% are dumber etc. etc."

I know you're not going to believe me but truthfully, a visit to the coast of British Columbia and my marina in particular would change your mind, and quickly.

Power boats where spring commissioning consists of grinding the engine for five minutes until it starts and then promptly leaving the marina, trailing cloud of smoke.

75% (number keeps popping up) of power boaters have engines that smoke like a tramp steamer both leaving and returning.

Power boaters without a life jacket in sight and jammed to the gunnels with bodies.

Power boaters that leave the marina, full tilt with little kids riding the bow and no life jackets.

Power boaters with with no safety equipment on deck, no life lines, no throwing rings.

Power boaters with decks loaded with loose clutter as they leave the marina.

And don't get me started about getting into discussions with these jerks. The new power boater who told me he'd just come back from practicing anchoring. "Great" I said, "How much scope did you use ?" "One half inch" he tells me. And on, and on, and on. Never met (I've only met the 75%) that didn't know everything and was never wrong about anything.

You have the U.S. Coast Guard to keep your 75% in line. We have the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). No policing whatsoever. Search and Rescue only, period. We introduced the Canadian Pleasure Craft Owner's Certificate about 15 years ago. Last I heard from government figures, only about 50% of known pleasure boaters have one.

Welcome to B.C. waters where sailboats under sail ALWAYS give way to power boaters. Collision Regs be damned. Try reporting an incident to the CCG for a good laugh. "Oh sorry Mr. Canadian Coastie". "I can't give you a vessel license number, because they DON"T SHOW ONE" !

Welcome to boating in B.C. :mad: :mad: :mad:
 
Sep 12, 2005
5
- - Columbus, OH
Thanks for the replies. Peggie, I've seen your posts about the MSD porta potty before and we may go to that in the future. Figure we'll give this marine head at least a season to see how it goes. Looking at external strainers it appears the Groco RSC strainers with the hinged access door might be a good choice so we could open it and clean the thru-hull if needed (can't really clean from inside because there is a 90-degree bend. Can these strainers be installed with something like 5200? I'm thinking I shouldn't be screwing anything into the hull.
 
Dec 2, 1997
7,963
- - LIttle Rock
I'll let others tell you how to secure a strainer or "perforated" metal cover on the outside of a thru-hull that may or may not have to removed for cleaning, but I will say that 5200 is the last thing you should even consider using anywhere on a boat! No reason not to use screws if it's designed to use 'em as long as you use the type of bedding compound. And that Groco strainer looks like it might be a choice...but: is it available in the size you need? Are the holes small enough to keep the smallest z-mussles out? You may need something that has a screen. A mesh strainer can be installed INside the boat but IMO it needs to be very close to the thru-hull but still accessible to remove it for cleaning...in which case it should be above the waterline unless you only intend to clean it out while the boat's on the trailer.

I can't argue with giving the Jabsco toilet a season to see how things work out...you already have it. But do make sure it's correctly installed with a vented loop in the intake...see the drawing "Figure 1" on page 3 of the owners manual. Jabsco Manual Twist & Lock owners manual and I'm always available to answer any questions.

--Peggie
 
Sep 12, 2005
5
- - Columbus, OH
Thanks for your help, Peggie, it is much appreciated. Believe it or not our toilet does have a vented loop! I'll keep pondering a way to get a mesh screen in there somewhere.
 
Sep 12, 2005
5
- - Columbus, OH
Hey folks, so Peggie said: "I'll let others tell you how to secure a strainer or "perforated" metal cover on the outside of a thru-hull that may or may not have to removed for cleaning. A mesh strainer can be installed INside the boat but IMO it needs to be very close to the thru-hull but still accessible to remove it for cleaning." Anybody got any ideas? I've been pondering this and tried to think of some way to use something along the lines of a garden hose washer with a screen or something like that. I know that's absurd but, as Peggie said, I feel like this strainer needs to be as close as possible to if not on the outside of this 3/4 underwater thru-hull or the zebra mussels are going to render it useless in very short order. I appreciate any ideas.