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post #1 of 8 Old 06-01-2009 Thread Starter
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New Manual Head

Has anyone had any experience with, or even seen the new Thetford ComfortMate manual head? We are refitting the head in our Pearson 303, and I was about to pull the trigger on Raritan PHC when I saw an ad for the ComfortMate. We were going to get a Lavac, but don't have a good place to mount the pump behind a bulkhead (and I didn't want to do the surface mount). I already know the reputation of the Raritan, but am very interested in the new Thetford. The ComfortMate is supposed to be very miserly with the water, which is important to us because we have a smallish holding tank. Here is a link to the manufacturer site: ComfortMate Manual Flush
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-05-2009 Thread Starter
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No thoughts from anyone?
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-06-2009
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Get this one instead:

Skipper
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-06-2009 Thread Starter
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Get this one instead:

Skipper
At that price, I should get two.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-06-2009
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At that price, I should get two.
Buy a Skipper head. Well worth the money.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-04-2010 Thread Starter
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All - I just wanted to update this thread with a post I made over on anything-sailing to let everyone know the project is complete and recommend an inexpensive tool that made installing the odorsafe hose a piece of cake.

At long last, we finally have a checkmark in the project complete column. This weekend we finished attaching the final hoses for the new head. The only original parts left in the system are the thru-hull for the overboard discharge and the deck pump-out fitting. We were going to replace the deck fitting, but the original from the factory is held in place with epoxy, so we decided it wasn't worth the effort to grind it out. We installed a Raritan PHII Compact throne, all new SealLand OderSafe hose (both waste and vent), new holding tank and TWO new vents. The water intake for the head is plumbed into the sink drain so we can easily use fresh water to flush. We decided to bypass the overboard pump-out as it is highly unlikely we will ever have this boat in a place where we can use it (our sailing grounds are all NDZ), but I did install a diverter valve so that if plans change or a subsequent owner wants to add that capability it will only require adding a couple hoses. We unfortunately had to use a bladder holding per the original design, as there was no feasible option for installing a rigid tank without MAJOR modifications, but I'm confident it will serve our purposes for the next few years. While this upgrade won't make the boat move any faster, it will certainly come in handy when the crew has to make a fast movement. Thanks for all the input and suggestions from members here and on AS while we worked through this process.

For anyone who has worked with OdorSafe hose, you know that it is very difficult to bend around curves and to get onto the fittings. We found that it is best to do the work on a warm day, and to allow the hose to sit in the sun for a bit before trying to install. We also changed some hose runs to avoid tight curves. We found that installing the hose on the fittings was VERY easy with the assistance of a $10 tool. Specifically, we purchased a small tailpipe expander at the auto store. Prior to installing the hose on a fitting, I would stretch out the end of the hose slightly with the fitting. Installing on the fittings couldn't have been easier, and we didn't need to use any lubricants or boiling water as has been mentioned in other places on the web. Before we did the first fitting, I made sure that the hose would eventually shrink back to its original size so we wouldn't have any surprise leaks. Turns out that about five minutes after putting the hose on the fitting it is next to impossible to remove it, even before putting on the hose clamps. If anyone has plans to work with this type of hose, I highly recommend that you get yourself a cheap tailpipe expander like this:

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post #7 of 8 Old 05-04-2010
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Nice reccomendation. Never thought of that.

I typically use a heat gun to heat it up and stick it on. I have also wrapped the end with a towel and poured hot water over it, whcih works too. But your idea certianly has merit.

Now we have to come up with a trick for getting it off a barbed fitting when it has been there for a while....

Brian

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post #8 of 8 Old 05-04-2010 Thread Starter
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Now we have to come up with a trick for getting it off a barbed fitting when it has been there for a while....

Brian
Yeah, tell me about it. I installed one of the hoses after using the tool and it went on like butter. About ten minutes later (prior to installing the clamp) I realized that I wanted to remove the hose and make a change. By then it was already locked in place! Lesson - if you use the tailpipe expander, it will make installation very easy, but be sure the hose is exactly what and where you want it before you put it on, as you will be cutting it if you want to get it back off the barbed fittings!
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