Join Date: Jul 2002
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 14
Richard, I''ve not used a Vacu-Flush altho'', if we''re talking about the same head, I''ve heard cruising sailors complain about the need for frequent seat seal replacement (so the vacuum can be maintained), the initial cost and, in some cases, the need to use fresh water (more of an issue when boats with smaller tankage can''t run their watermakers and perhaps have larger crews).
As one alternative, I''d suggest you look at the Raritan PHII head. I''ve heard it praised by many users, it''s inexpensive, repair kits are widely available, it can be converted to an electric model (not my recommendation) if the crew requires it, and it''s relatively robust given its weight, size & cost. Perhaps its best feature (here comes the opinion of the guy who has to fix things...) is that you can buy an entire spare pump assembly for the cost of several repair kits. What this means is that, should the head pump fail while crew are aboard and ''in need'', putting the head back in action is a simple unbolt/rebolt affair taking a few minutes. You can carry the failed pump assembly home and rebuild it at your leisure after the boat returns to the dock. Especially if you find yourself underway for a period of time with crew that aren''t excited about using the ship''s bucket, this sure beats trying to rebuild the pump while all the little parts roll around the cockpit.
If this head is mounted athwartships, I think it has a structural weakness - like many other heads, the seat is attached with plastic hinges and can fail & come adrift in a seaway. A simple solution is to screw on small wooden cleats on the underside of the seat, one on each side, where they will rest up against the china bowl. The seat will be unable to slide and the hinges won''t feel the strain of the weight they would otherwise be carrying.