E29 - Head Redesign - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Boat Builders Row > Ericson
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  #1  
Old 02-16-2008
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E29 - Head Redesign

I own a 1971 Ericson 29 that, overall, I am very happy with. There is one area of the design I am less than thrilled with.

The miniscule head is to starboard while a hard to reach storage closet is to port. Behind this to port is a shelf and part of a seat that runs behind the closet. The head is tiny, I am 6 foot 2 and it is hard to reach. I have to contort myself to reach the storage closet and the bench behind is never used. There is nowhere for legs. I am sure it is meant to allow another berth but not much use in my typical day sailing.

Please comment on my plan.
- Move the head to port, this is the big part. Cut out the bench and then install bulkheads to section off that entire area to make a full size head. Room for the potti and possible a small sink. Definitely room for a small storage closet for potti related gear.
- What was the head now becomes a storage area. Would make it an open front with shelves on which would be tupperware containers that can slide out and be removed. Labels on the front of each to know what is in each.

I lost a questionable berth but gain a much more comfortable head and better storage. With this I still have berths for 4. I am rewiring the boat now also so want to do this all at once.

Thanks.
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2001 Beneteau Oceanis 361
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2008
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I'm looking at a E29 too, and I like the boat alot, but agree that the head is tiny and the design is frustrating. I'm curious to see how this proceeds. Good luck- and put up lots of pictures!
Thanks!
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2009
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I finally got started on this project and so far going well. I ripped out the port forward bulkhead and the cabinets. The bulkhead was really rotten along the hull. If this is meant to provide any structural support it was not. Very happy to be replacing that. I resealed the windows which I think was the source of the leak so that problem should not come back.

We also got the 2 new bulkheads templated and cut out and wonder of wonders they fit! The forward bulkhead was pretty easy as the old one, even as rotten as it was, served as the template. For the new aft bulkhead we used the "tick stick" method described by Don Casey in This Old Boat. It worked very well allowing us to get a carboard template cut that was close enough we could trim it to fit in the boat. Then just transfer to plywood and cut.

Next I will seal the edges of the bulkheads with epoxy and then install those. After that build a shelf for the porta potty and finish things up nice.

I did not think to get any before pictures. I will see about getting during pictures and will definitely post an after picture.
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2001 Beneteau Oceanis 361
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Old 03-23-2009
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Are you tapping in the bulkheads with fiberglass and epoxy ? Please take pictures as you move along.
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  #5  
Old 03-23-2009
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Freesail, wherever possible I will be using the existing tracks originally provided in the boat. The forward bulkhead will be bolted into these tracks like the original. The new aft bulkhead will be bolted in at the bottom where the cabinet was bolted into the sole track. Otherwise I will use epoxy and tape to tab the bulkheads in.

Except for where the aft bulkhead butts up against the compression post I will be putting a thin layer of weatherstripping to isolate bulkhead from hull. The forward bulkhead had this, even inside the tracks, so will repeat this. I have also read many times this is important to not create a hard spot in the hull.

My hope is that when done I will have a much more comfortable head and a stronger boat overall. The forward bulkhead will now not be rotten and the aft bulkhead will be new and provide added support.
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2001 Beneteau Oceanis 361
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  #6  
Old 03-28-2009
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Status

OK, asked for images and I think I promised a few so here they are to show current status. As noted last Sunday was spent "gutting" the area and cutting new bulkheads. With a friend this took about 6 hours total.

The hardest part was taking out all the screws and then cutting out the bench where the head will now be. Cutting out the bench was surprising in how difficult it was. The seats themselves are balsa cored and had some really thick glass. A tough seat and I hope indicative of the overall build quality of a 70s era Ericson. Below you can see the old and new forward bulkhead as well as the interior ready for rebuild.

I thought cutting the new bulkheads to fit would be the hardest part but it was not. The forward one was pretty easy since I had most of the old one to use as a pattern. I was surprised just how much of it was rotten away! Definite need for replacement. I believe it was caused by a leaking portlight which I have resealed, I hope. The new forward one was also pretty easy using Don Casey's method. Now on to putting it all back together. Today I will be sealing the edges of the new bulkheads with epoxy and letting that cure.

I have to mention that this is the first project like this for me, I do not go into this with much experience. Taking out the old bulkheads and committing to the project was a little nerve wracking but helped. Once out I knew I had no choice but to figure out how to put it back together.
Attached Thumbnails
E29 - Head Redesign-boat-project-001.jpg   E29 - Head Redesign-boat-project-002.jpg  
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  #7  
Old 04-04-2009
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New Bulkheads In

OK, finished the next phase of this project today. I installed the new forward and aft bulkheads. This was after I had epoxied the edges of the panels to keep water out. I also decided to paint the forward bulkhead while it was out and I realized too late this was a small error .

This bulkhead is bolted in and I used the existing bolt positions in the track. At the bottom I thought it would be a good idea to glass it in but realized I now can't since it is painted. I used exterior latex paint and really doubt this is a good surface to epoxy to. I will now just have to bolt it in like the rest.

Forward panel is pretty much just set in place but snug enough with the foam strips around its edges so it does not move. This pleased me that it fit so nicely. I think it looks better than I thought it would too. I thought maybe it would be a really big flat space but it is not bad. Once I get it varnished and I have a picture I plan to hang there I think it will look good.

Tomorrow I think glass in the forward panel and start building the bench the potti will sit on and try to get some more of the electrical done. Oh yeah, also finishing up the project of completely rewiring the boat.
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E29 - Head Redesign-boat-project-006.jpg  
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  #8  
Old 04-15-2009
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Didn't get to glassing in as quickly as I hoped. Had half an hour Monday so got a small section glassed in. Tonight and Tomorrow tied up with kid events so will finish glassing in this weekend and hopefully getting the new head finished.

On a positive note tested out the new electrical system I installed and it worked. Once I remembered to hook up the main ground cable!
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  #9  
Old 05-15-2009
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Been a while since I updated so figured I would post one quick. Over the last couple of weeks got the new aft bulkhead glassed in and the new bench for the head built. Structurally everything is done so just finish work. Need to remove the old head and hoses and get the new porta potti bolted down and plumbed in.

With the new space created I think I am very happy with it. First the new head is going to be much more comfortable as a dedicated space. I think the salon area is nicer too with the new bulkhead and that weird port bench fixed. The head will be better too being a closed fresh water system. I will like having 2 throughhulls closed up and the stinky head smell should be gone, a major complaint of the admiral. I figure even if I decide I don't like the porta potti and go back to a "real" head I can install a fresh water tank and have it pull from that. The porta potti should work nice though. Adds 5 gallons to my overall holding capacity and each flush should be much smaller so overall capacity is greatly improved. I never filled my holding tank before anyway.

This weekend hope to get the old head out, new head installed and some more finish work done. Getting my decks faired where I replaced rotted core is my primary task though.
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2001 Beneteau Oceanis 361
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  #10  
Old 06-01-2009
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Done

Got everything I had to done. Electrical system replaced, decks repaired, new head built and miscellaneous other little stuff. Still some little cleanup but nothing I can't do while the boat is on the mooring since she is getting splashed today. Missed last season getting this stuff done, hope I remember how to sail.
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Get out there!

Saco Bay, Maine
2001 Beneteau Oceanis 361
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