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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-15-2006
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Head replacement: Catalina 30

have a Groco HF that stinks, in every sense.

Could use advice. Like Wilcox Head Mate because reviews seem pretty good--less spash?--and it's cheap, so I can throw it away in 30 months.

It appears...from the mediocre product websites...that hoses are the same diameter. anyone out there done this? Do the hoses attach at approximately the same place?

Also, I'm guessing the bolt pattern is not identical. Are there even bolts? This is for a Catalina 30, and I don't seem to be able to access an area to reach nuts....so perhaps they are merely screws.

If so, will the new head come with those fasteners...and if not, what would you recommend?

I'm trying, for the first time ever, to fix something with one (1) trip to the hardware store.

Merci.

Last edited by geary126; 08-15-2006 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 08-15-2006
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I have done it two times. Just a few thoughts:

1) FLush the head many times and dry bowl many times. I even poured a bit of bleach and ran it through. Any little bit helps. When you take off the hoses, they will leak so have many towels ready. Be aware, the supply line hose will probably stink worse than the sewer hose.

2) You better plan on splicing those hoses. If they have been on there for very long, getting them off takes an act of God. I typically cut (lengthwise)and try and pry a screwdriver under there... but after about 30 minutes and 30 stitches, I just cut the whole thing off. Same is true on the water supply line. Just plan on replacing it. They are not that epensive and West Marine carries them. You cannot easily (understatement) replace the sewer line on a Catalina 30. If it does not match up or you cannot stretch it, use a pastic sleeve and double hose clamp. When putting the hoses back on, I like to use dish soap as a lubricant.

3) As far as bolts and access, etc... sorry... I cannot remember. Seems unlogical it would be through bolted... but if it is, good luck getting to the back of those nuts.

4) I actually like the inexpensive little Jabsco toilets. They are cheap (like 160 bucks), and are very dependable. You can also (should the desire strike) buy a add-on to convert it to a electric head. If you do, everything matches up perfect to the pump and it is very simple. Also, by doing that, you can keep the back-up manual pump should a matchbox car find its way into your macerator.

5) My suggestion to do this right and get prompt service is to pull the head off and take it with you to West Marine. Set it up on the counter and explain to them what you are trying to do and explain that you know nothing about boating and have never been in their store before (all a little white lie, I am sure... but that is ok). The pungent smell and evacuating customers will assure you that you will receive very prompt service from at least three trained professionals, including the manager. They will have you everything you need the first time because the thought of that head coming back and setting on thier counter will be unbearable. When you leavem, ask them if they want to keep the old head... some guy on Sailnet said there was a core charge.

Remeber in boating as in life, it is not so much what you do but your approach that really counts.

Good luck. Have fun.
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Old 08-15-2006
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I'm not familiar with Wilcox, but regarding the fasteners, just about every head mfgr does not provide them. You will need to size them to the mounting flange and predrill through the base material.

Since various types of materials, such as FRP, wood or solid surface board, are used as base materials in boats, the installer must select the appropriate fastener. I would suspect a C30 would have an FRP base, therefore use pan head stainless screws.
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Crusing Dad, You Cracked Me Up Re: West Marine Visit.

Re: Plan:

So, It's Cut The Old One Wherever, Use A Short Inner Sleeve (like 3"?] With Hose Clamp, Join To New Section Of Hose With Hose Clamp, Continue New Hose To Head, Attach With Hose Clamp, No?
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Old 08-15-2006
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Yep. You may can get the thing off if you work at it hard enough. How old is your boat?

As far as the intake, just cut the crappin thing... I never could get the thing off. If you are going to spend the time on something, make it the sewer line. Also, depending on the head you choose, you might be able to make it fit. Careful you don't kink it... for obvious reasons.

They should have all the fitting to make the connections at West. Buy a bit of extra hose just in case. Buy some 45's and 90's too. They are cheap.

Remember the soap. Double clamp everything. You could also consider, since you are doing it anyway, putting in an inline deoderizer. Be a good time to do it. I am personally installing a strainer with SS basket where you add chlorine tabs and Teflon tabs. Elimintes all smells and really breaks stuff up. ANother sailor showed me the trick and they have been using it for 15 years or something... so he says anyway. But I will say, his head is awesome (smell) and it will save you countless money in head treatments. Initial costs are high for strainers, but that is it. Tabs are dirt cheap compared to tank treatments.

I did check with Catalina and the hose mfg's and tank mfg, and they seemed to think it was allright. On a manual head, I would be a little worried about the gaskets wearing with the Cl, but apparently the teflon takes care of that??????

Don't know. I am going to give it a shot.

Happy fishing.
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Old 08-15-2006
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Suggest a Raritan PHII or a Lavac as replacement. Neither will have the same footprint so you need to insure that you can accomodate them, but the PHII's hoses are in the same approximate location as your existing hose. BTW...are you SURE it is not the hose that stinks as well. This is a very common problem in older boats. If in doubt...get some new hose too as it is a whole lot easier to do this once! Standard is 1.5" for "output" and 3/4" for input!
I doubt that your present head is held by screws so you may want to consult the C30 owners group here on Sailnet to see if anyone can provide instructions for removal. One alternative for mounting your new head is to cut some STARBOARD to fit the available space and mount the new head to that with bolts & wahers...then screw the starboard down and connect the hoses.
You can view complete specs on all the heads on line to decide what fis
GrocoHF

Raritan

Lavac
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PS Did not stress enough trying to keep the sewer hose intact if possible... but it just may not be.
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Cam, did not mean the unit stinks, literally. Although it does, I'm sure. Just broken, broken, broken.

re: Catalina groups. Can't figure out why largest 30' class has such a small forum. Any alternate suggestions?
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You should consider joining Mainsheet. It is $28/year... but well worth it. It is a Catalina owners organization. You will get a monthly (or so) magazine with technical tearouts and forums just for your boat. Close group os sailors that help one another.

You C30 Technical Editor is: Max Munger. His email is techtalk@catalina30.com
You can PM me for his telephone number.

Your commodore for the C30 is Jack Gray. Email: graymatteri@comcast.net
Again, you can pm me for his telephone number.

If you cannot get the answers you need there, let me know.
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Old 08-15-2006
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I have done this job twice in the past 4 years. I forget the brand of the one that didn't last. Sorry.

I used the odor proof hose. It is difficult to dilate so that it fits over the connectors. A friend suggested that I heat the end in boiling water before attempting to make a connection. I did that and also needed to spread the opening even further by inserting a plier into the opening and stretching it in all directions. I was not careful enough about getting the hose back to round and when the job was done I had some leaks where I stretched the hose too much in one direction. I poured boiling water over the fitting while tightening the hose clamp and that worked.

My head is through bolted to a formica covered wooden box of about 5' high and open on the bottom. The floor of the head has two strips of wood bolted to the floor to which the box attaches with screws through the side. If you need to reconstruct the attachment, this is a good way to do it because you can maneuver the head as you attach the hoses then attach the head last.

Make sure you have the system vented above the waterline to prevent siphon.

Max
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