"Head-Mate" Seaclos Rebuild? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-31-2007 Thread Starter
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"Head-Mate" Seaclos Rebuild?

Our new-to-us boat has a Wilcox-Crittenden "Head-Mate" Seaclos head. It was pumping water in anaemically all along, but, on the trip bringing her home, it's apparently given up the ghost entirely. It pumps out kinda more or lesser okay, but now pumps no water in whatsoever. (Found a use for all those used water bottles. Put a pail over the side, and fill 'em up from that. Stow in the head .)

So, the question is: Rebuild (rebuild kit is about USD70 at West Marine) or replace? Are newer units more efficient at pumping water in and evacuating the bowl?

TIA,
Jim
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-31-2007
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Have you checked the hoses for clogs? That could be a reason for the water not coming in. I've seen barnacles close off the water intake through-hull in at least one case.

If you decide to replace the head, I would highly, highly recommend that you replace all the hoses at the same time. And I would recommend if you replace the hoses that you use Sealand OdorSafe hose for the output hoses... since it is the most resistant to odor permeation.

As for replacement versus rebuilding... if you have the budget, I would recommend going with a Lavac head, rather than just rebuilding this head. The Lavac is far more reliable a unit, and has far fewer problems, since it has far fewer moving parts.

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Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Have you checked the hoses for clogs? That could be a reason for the water not coming in. I've seen barnacles close off the water intake through-hull in at least one case.
Well, it wouldn't be barnacles. Not in freshwater . However it very well could be weeds. But, like I said, this thing was pumping anaemically, most of the time, all along--even for a little marine head. Okay, I'll have to track-down how water gets to the thing and... uh... run a snake or something down the line?

The other thing is that the pump just feels kinda... "loose." You know, not a lot of "pumping" feel to it. Even when "flushing." That's why I figured it needed a rebuild. New rings or whatever.

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If you decide to replace the head, I would highly, highly recommend that you replace all the hoses at the same time. And I would recommend if you replace the hoses that you use Sealand OdorSafe hose for the output hoses... since it is the most resistant to odor permeation.
I'll take that under advisement. Thanks.

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As for replacement versus rebuilding... if you have the budget, I would recommend going with a Lavac head, rather than just rebuilding this head. The Lavac is far more reliable a unit, and has far fewer problems, since it has far fewer moving parts.
I knew about the Lavac. Dunno if I can convince the Admiral to spend another USD300 just now. We've been spending money like it's water, lately.

Jim

Last edited by SEMIJim; 07-31-2007 at 09:38 PM.
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-31-2007
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Jim,

Did you happen to check the cover over the raw water intake for the head? I checked mine after the yard had painted my bottom and found it had been painted over and that water flow was severely restricted. Did you have her painted before you took her home? If not did the surveyor make any notes about such things? I agree with SD you could also have a blockage. Any Zebra mussels where you are or she was when you bought her?

Just a thought....
 
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Zebra mussels or fish or plastic bags are all good candidates on a fresh water boat.

On my friend's boat it wasn't paint, but paint related—they left the masking tape over the through-hulls.

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I think the surveyor would have caught a taped-off or painted-over thru-hull. He's a pretty damn thorough guy. All the other stuff, zebra mussels (the captain responsible for those should be hung from the yardarm--literally), fish, plastic bags, who-knows-what, are possibilities. So how to you go-about checking and/or clearing the problem, short of donning a diving mask and getting under the boat or hauling her out?

Thanks,
Jim
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-31-2007
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The water might warm up enough soon for you to go for a swim :-) if you dont already have a mask and snorkel, this will be a good excuse to spend some more money....Cheaper than a haul out for a quick check....

Welcome to boat ownership Captain, we feel your pain!
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Originally Posted by Whampoa View Post
The water might warm up enough soon for you to go for a swim :-)
Oh, it's already warm enough for that. Water temps in Lake St. Clair are running 75-77 F atm.

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if you dont already have a mask and snorkel, this will be a good excuse to spend some more money....Cheaper than a haul out for a quick check....
True. Will also be handy for un-fouling the prop, and perhaps the knot meter spinner. The knot meter got nailed by weeds as we were coming up the canal. My wife (was at the helm at the time) all-of-a-sudden says "Zero knots?" I took a look and replied "Weeds."

Tho the knot meter spinner is actually designed to be removed from the hull from the inside, for just this reason. The surveyor pointed out the plug that came with it, told us what it was for and how to use it. Says that if we do it right, we won't end up letting more than a pint or so of water in.

Which reminds me: I have to pick up several more emergency plugs and fasten 'em near each of the thru-hulls.

*sigh* I guess it's about time to make the "To Do" list and get it prioritized.

Thing is: If I sucked something up with the pump, an outside inspection may well fail to reveal it. So that's why I'm wondering how I can check the hose all the way back to the thru-hull.

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Welcome to boat ownership Captain, we feel your pain!


Jim
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-31-2007
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Jim,
I have the same head on my boat. I had a minor problem shortly after bringing my boat home, but the company sent me a part within a couple of days. I think it's also a lot less expensive than the price you've been quoted. Here she be: http://www.wilcoxcrittenden.com/sani...-mate.asp?bid=
There's an exploded view of the ******* in there somewhere.
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Oh, it's already warm enough for that. Water temps in Lake St. Clair are running 75-77 F atm.

True. Will also be handy for un-fouling the prop, and perhaps the knot meter spinner. The knot meter got nailed by weeds as we were coming up the canal. My wife (was at the helm at the time) all-of-a-sudden says "Zero knots?" I took a look and replied "Weeds."

Tho the knot meter spinner is actually designed to be removed from the hull from the inside, for just this reason. The surveyor pointed out the plug that came with it, told us what it was for and how to use it. Says that if we do it right, we won't end up letting more than a pint or so of water in.

Which reminds me: I have to pick up several more emergency plugs and fasten 'em near each of the thru-hulls.

*sigh* I guess it's about time to make the "To Do" list and get it prioritized.

Thing is: If I sucked something up with the pump, an outside inspection may well fail to reveal it. So that's why I'm wondering how I can check the hose all the way back to the thru-hull.



Jim
You could always remove the internal hose, and put a longer straight hose on the the seacock, then with the hose above waterline, open the seacock.... and use a long stick or wire down the hose to clear the obstruction... that would removed the need to dive on it.

BTW, if you do get the plugs, put them in a plastic bag and attach the bag to the through hull with a line. Also, drill a small hole through the thickest portion of the plug, so you can use that same line to tie the plug in place in an emergency. The reason for the plastic bag is simple—softwood plugs are designed to swell up when they get wet and help seal them into the through-hull—so, you want to keep them dry until they are used.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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