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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was leaning toward a new Lavac popular with a manual pump for my Scampi 30, but at $388 plus another $150 for the pump, that's pretty pricy. We're going to do mostly day sails, evening club races and maybe a very occasional overnight.

Also, I'm not sure there is room to mount a separate pump in the small enclosed area.

Could someone recommend a less expensive option that would still work reliably?

Thanks very much...
 

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I have a Lavac Popular and yes, the bulkhead mounted pump might be a little problematic in some installations. But the dependability of the unit, its ease of use and "the ride" have been great.

With the exception of the W-C and perhaps the Raritan models, I have rarely seen a head I thought was anything but cheap and prone to failure.
 

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If you already have an existing head, you can often retrofit the PHC or PHII base to the bowl, according to Peggie Hall. This would save you a considerable amount in both cost (since you're not buying a whole toilet) and in shipping (since the bowl is the largest and heaviest part). She says that the PHC or PHII base will work with most bowls that have four bolts.
 

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The PHII's have been around for years, you can still get parts for older models. Hence why when my old head went south, I paid the slight extra for a PHII. You will get what you pay for when it comes to a "head!" I also went with the house sized bowl too. another $50 or so!

Marty
 

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I think we can all agree that research will reveal that quality pays off and that a "bargain head" is an oxymoron.

I always find it curious that some lovely new boats have crappy crappers in them. I can sew a torn sail, but dissembling a badly built head can ruin my whole day. I mean, where are you supposed to puke?
 

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Forget the price.
Reliabilty is well worth the extra
We have Had Lavacs on 2 boats, total 14 years sailing about 4 months full time each year. They are the least trouble.
That said, go over the side as much as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah I have decided to spend the extra bucks to get a good one, after doing some reading in past threads and also based on your responses.

From reading the manuals online, it seems like the simplicity of the Lavac is hard to beat. The other seems less simple, but then again some manuals make things sound more complicated then they are. The side mounted pump of the other is very appealing, but the simplicity fo the Lavac trumps it. If I can find a good place to mount the pump for the Lavac I'll go that route.

Must it be mounted above the toilet? I'll have a very simple plumbing job. Water comes in, water goes to the tank. In RI we have to get an inspection that proves its impossible to discharge over the side (and they make us display a sticker) and I am not planning long trips anyhow. So Ill probably remove the through hull for discharge and glass it up. Some day. But for now, two hoses should do it...
 

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After years of complaints from the Admiral and daughter, I bought a Raritan Elegance electric head. No review yet; I'm still awaiting delivery. The Elegance is a new line at Raritan, but I trust the company to put out a good product. I'll let you know soon enough!

After a nice discussion with a helpful fellow at Raritan Engineering, he persuaded me to buy this one instead of the PHEII that I originally thought I would buy to replace my old Jabsco manual head. He said although Raritan's been making the PH heads for years, it is noisy when operating with an electric pump. The Elegance has a remote raw water pump that can be installed elsewhere to minimize noise. He also said he would not buy an electric head that was merely a manual design with an electric motor bolted on, like the PHEII.
 

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For manual heads, the Lavac and the Raritan PHC/PHII are basically the top rated by Peggie Hall, diva of marine head systems. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'll spend a lot of time this weekend scraping, but also measuring windows, vents, GPS mounting location and head area. Then I'll spend a good chunk of time this week researching and placing orders. If I'm lucky I'll be able to get to useful work next weekend.

So many projects, so little time... :(
 

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I've mentioned this before, but for what it's worth, the deal was sealed in 2006 when we bought our current boat the second my wife saw the Lavac (I had no idea she could recognize one). She said "Oh, yeah, the head you can flush a pair of jeans down. I like this boat."
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well the bad news is that for the Lavac, there is nowhere to mount the pump. But the good news is that it is virtually the same size as whats there now, and there is plenty of room behind it to build up a back wall with some recessed shelving to the left and the pump mounted to the right. That should actually be quite easy.

The head is port side forward, so the right side is less deep then the left side. I'll have room to run the hose up for a vent loop and mount the pump to the right, and make some recessed storage cubbies to the left.

There are two sea cocks right below the head. I'll have to decide if they stay or go. I guess for now they stay. I'll keep using the inlet, although I would prefer to share with the engine water inlet. I'll seal up the outlet and hopefully it won't sink my boat someday ;)

At least the planning is moving along!
 

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Phii

In the 4 years I have had it I am very happy. Has a great reputation & for your use would be fine. I've heard pretty much all good about the Lavac & the attraction to me on the Lavac would be less water use, fill tank slower. Just like with anything else, maintenance, maintenance. Give it about an hour every spring, new joker valve (for the standard units like PHII), grease etc.
 

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I just bought a Raritan PHII from Sailnet. It was about $270 with freight and tax, had it the next day. Try pricing them here, if you have problems with Sailnet's site go to marine.com( same company), it has a better search engine.
 

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I just wanted to put is my two cents about the raritan PHII, I'm just installing a service kit in ours. Now that I have it all apart I can say that it is well designed, simple to maintain or repair, and ours seems to have lasted very well. Ours is older than 15 years and I'm only putting the new kit in so I don;t have to worry about it when we're offshore. I would highly recommend it.
 
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