Head... And Shit.
This came in the mail.
As you can see, it is the world's #1 toilet. Because Kenutu has a macerator (aka poop grinder) and a holding tank (aka sewage bin), it will be our #1 AND #2 toilet.
When Frank The Surveyor inspected Kenutu, he let us know that the head wasn't working and we'd need a head rebuild kit. I figured that would be low on the list of things to repair, but the captain had other plans. Alas, the head was what got our attention first.
We got some silicone sealant and some nuts and bolts and set out to tackle this shit. Literally.
Taking the old head off required some interesting contortionism, disregard for the concept of personal space, and the delusion that there aren't spiders on boats. Our recommendation would be to see if you or your first mate can squeeze into the box that the toilet came in and hold a wrench in their non-dominant hand while wearing a glove and resisting opposing forces. It's really that easy.
Once we settled into the fact that this wasn't a difficult endeavor as much as it was annoying, we found our zen and slowly got all the nuts off the bolts. At one point, I dropped the wrench into the dark abyss under the floor, the only 13mm wrench that fit and that we had, and heard it slide into places unknown. We went on a hunt lifting up floor boards near the pullman berth and caught a glimpse of it toward the bow. The fearless gloved hand snaked it out and we were back in business.
After we got the bolts free, we had to close the valve that brings saltwater into the toilet for flushing. You know, so the boat wouldn't fill with water when we took the hose attached to the old toilet off. We loosened the hose clamps, used a screw driver to unsung the tube, exhaled a sigh of relief when we weren't sprayed with water, and braced ourselves for the next hose.
The poop hose. Sure, pee goes through it, but poop. Come on.
The poop hose is white and says FOR SANITATION ONLY. We loosened the clamps, wriggled the hose, and crossed our fingers that we wouldn't get spackled with the old shit of other people.
There wasn't poop as we know it in the mouth of the white tube, but there was lots of plastic shards and gray, clumpy, poop smelling stuff. I now understand why superheroes wear gloves because I was fearless in the face of whatever that stuff was with those gloves on. We shook the tube out into a bucket (okay, it was a pan but it's all we had), I cleaned the ends off so we'd have a clean surface when we attached it to the new toilet, and then it was time for more contortioning.
About this contortioning. At one point I was laying with my right arm in a 5" hole holding a wrench against a fiberglass surface with my face in the Captain's crotch while he worked a ratchet whose range came inches from my face. It was so ridiculous I couldn't stop giggling and the Captain said, "Yeah, you really couldn't do this with one of your buddies." I also found myself with my left arm in the magical hole of blindness while my legs ran up the wall and my ribs on a ledge in the recessed floor at one point. In general, I felt grateful to be flexible, because this job required it.
Before we got into position to put in the new toilet, we patched some holes we wouldn't need with white silicone and marked and drilled new holes. Per the instructions, we put a bead of silicone along the base of the toilet. Then put the bolts into place and used them to align the toilet as we lowered it to the floor. It was surprisingly easy. And then came the bolting into place. See contortioning above.
Once it was all installed, we cracked a beer and congratulated ourselves on such good head. And that night we peed and peed and peed, whenever we felt like it. Bliss... at least until we have to empty the holding tank.
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