Date: 20 October 2014. Head Hints (and engine
When going to the store is a
problem and the brands I want are impossible to find, solutions must
be considered. Those of us living on boats do a bit of thinking dirt dwellers probably don't
consider. For me, that manifests itself when it comes to shopping
for and stowing quantities toilet paper.
That's one reason friends with cars are
such a treat. I might buy a six pack of I.B.C. diet root beer if I
have a way to get it home easily. George (Pat's husband) has brought
me back to the boat from stores more than one time. Their beautiful
dogs, Asti and Monti (two Australian shepherds) are friends with my
Asti is the blue-eyed girl at the front. Her brother
Monti is behind her.
After being dropped off at the
boat however I need a place to store the toilet paper. The
requirements are twofold:
Easily accessible, and in a place
where it cannot get wet. (not in my bilge)
Out of the way too. Basically, I
wanted my T.P. put away, and near where it is needed.
Sure, Charmin is light weight,
however toilet paper is bulky. Also, I have a compulsion to keep my
home neat and tidy. That means things have to be stored properly.
[Definition of properly: where it cannot move when the boat rocks.]
But I also had another
consideration. Originally the bowl of the head was below the waterline. I
feared that a hose leak might allow water to flood Seaweed so wanted
to raise the head higher. After much consideration a friend, Tom
McArthur, created the neatest wooden box for me.
Built several years ago, it is
still working well and is sturdy. I like it a lot. Thanks Tom!
The wooden box is attached to both
the platform it sits upon and the bulkhead on the right. Lots of
stainless screws, bolts and nuts are involved. It's secure and
stable. The Lavac (brand of head) is through bolted too.
The observant may notice a few things so here's what
Raid bait tray for roaches
is along the hull at the back. I don't have any and
attribute that to the fact that I keep the trays around.
Also I took an old glass spice shaker, filled it
with cotton then added some liquid potpourri oil. (It's
usually standing up -- oops!) This works like those fancy
aroma gizmos they sell at department stores. Those
usually have a couple of bamboo sticks in them to diffuse the
Advice: Skewers sold in the dollar
stores are made from bamboo and work well. Also, if you're
aboard a boat you'll want to make sure your lid is stainless
so it won't rust.
I've got a second one in my clothes
locker with a cotton aroma. It's not overpowering with the
shaker lid and the cotton keeps the liquid well absorbed so
even if it tips over (unlikely) nothing will come
In the picture above I have a pair of old shoes next to my 12-volt (automobile)
vacuum. Those sneakers will be donated to the local thrift
store shortly as I found a couple of Sperry's on eBay for
cheap and goodness knows two pairs of deck shoes will suffice.
Besides, my daughter objects to me wearing the same brand as
her toddler. To my defense, I do wear a size 3.5 and there
are not a lot of options in that size that seem appropriate
This wooden box was a boat project completed many
years ago and we used what was on hand to create the
locker. I had the long piano hinge in my stash. The
stainless latch too came from ship's stores. On a boat
things move and making sure they don't is critical for
safety -- thus the latch.
The only "problem" I had upon completion
was opening it and keeping it so for filling. That's why I
added the round eye-bolt to the bottom right corner. I can
attach a line to that and tie it open when needed. [I did not
want the door to flop down because if it opened unexpectedly
the door could be broken and stuff could more easily come
What is best however is what is
inside my locker. It's the exact height of toilet paper rolls on
edge and, well, take a peek:
Tom knew that the weight of the
head would be atop this wooden box so he reinforced it with a
support down the middle. It's exactly right. I can take my Charmin
and squeeze the rolls, fitting three across on each side. The locker
fits a lot of toilet paper and I love it.
The unintended consequence of
crushing your rolls is that they won't spin properly. Therefore I
took a short piece of white hose that is nearly the diameter of the
center and now I've solved that problem. The hose allows dispensing
Additionally, I took a piece of
white oak (a leftover from another project) and drilled holes in
each end. A bit of twine, a couple of knots and two eye-bolts
attached to the medicine locker later... voila: one rail for both my
toilet paper and a towel for drying my hands at the sink in the
It's not fancy, but it works.
It's the "little things" like
storage and added safety that make my Seaweed special. By raising
the head above the waterline I have eliminated one source of
flooding. Specifically, with the help of a fellow boater my home is
Tom McArthur was certainly was a
gem to make that locker for me. He's got five wonderful kids. You
can tell a lot about a man by his family and his are great. Plus Tom
owns a Bristol 24 sailboat.
Status of the
engine swap, circa October 2014:
Dennis is a new friend who has made this engine
fiasco much less stress-filled than I thought possible. He owns Yanmar Tractor
Parts and has shipped me a Kubota 18hp
diesel. Originally intended for a tractor, the motor is small, light weight and the perfect horsepower
for my Seaweed.
Also required before
installing in the boat were both a bell-housing and flex plate
for the transmission. These must be manufactured and were not
available "on the shelf" so to speak. Approximately six weeks
ago the components were ordered. The latest email says in part
"We are unable to ship on the date promise 10/16/14 due to
inventory being incorrect. Our new ship date is scheduled for
It's a boat, and stuff
always takes longer than anticipated.
Thank goodness that not all
businesses are like that. For instance, when Yanmar Tractor
Parts said they'd ship out my engine, they did so. Indeed,
that occurred on the same date as promised. I appreciate a
company that does what it says, when it says it will do so. If
you've a Yanmar, check 'em out.
Yanmar Tractor Parts: http://yanmartractorparts.net
Truly, I am blessed. But
most of all, I look forward to having the diesel from Yanmar
Tractor Parts installed in Seaweed. Let the cruising begin!
Life is wonderful afloat and I
intend to enjoy it. Fellow boaters have helped make my experience
better and I certainly appreciate the efforts of others on my behalf
in that regard.
I'd love to hear where you store your rolls of toilet
Are you cruising domestically where your brands are available with
About Douglas Pollard, Sr. ~
Previous Post ...
... Next Post
Renting versus Selling