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Yesterday was one of those extra special boat-work days that really highlights the glamour of the cruising lifestyle. That’s sarcasm in case you can’t tell. Among other things, Rebecca and I swapped all of the hoses connected to the head and holding tank so that the new owners, whoever they turn out to be, won’t have to deal with that nasty job for some time to come. We actually had no idea how bad the hoses were but the image below shows just how restricted they had become.

Urine reacts with salt water to create stone-like deposits.

In more positive news, we had another couple register for our Real Sailing Adventure, a couple from Canada. Interestingly, we never had even one charter group from Canada when we were working out of St. Thomas. Friends of ours did but we did not.

We are also currently working with the sellers of two separate Amels. Hopefully one of those boats will turn out to fit our plan perfectly, and we’ll have it tied up shortly. I wrote on Facebook that I only hope that the people selling whatever boat we buy have done half the stuff to prep it for sale that we are doing!

If you have a few moments, check out these spectacular images from Patagonia. Amazing, and for us, inspirational!


  1. A necessary evil. Nastiest job on the boat!

    My Captain calls it “Adventures in Marine Sanitation”

    Good luck with your future plans and I love following your blog. Thanks for sharing the good along with the bad. It’s real life and everyone has their share of both. “This too shall pass.” You guys do it with style!

  2. Changing out the permeated, stinking hoses on Gimme Shelter was our first job when we bought her. The Y-valve and hand-pump had also gotten brittle and had to be changed as well. Terrible job. I’m sure the new owners will thank you for the effort.

  3. Yes– Nasty job.. But gotta keep the the Black water hoses clear!!

  4. How would you rate the problems of a composting head to changing out the hoses?

  5. Grin…guess you couldn’t wait till winter time and let everything freeze – and smell a lot better …

  6. I wish you could have endured the “teething” problems of the composting head as I believe they are far superior to the standard marine system. We have had very few problems with the composting heads, nothing compared to the labor and nastiness of working on the standard marine systems. Plus, two less thruhulls per head:-)

    • Sorry AJ, I’m not sold. And I don’t think more time would have changed my opinion. If it works for you, that’s great. I know others who like them too. They are not the holy grail that proponents make them out to be though.

  7. I’m curious how long those lines took to get that bad? Had you already replaced them when you bought the boat or were they the ones that came with the boat? We just replaced our lines in preparation for our departure, and I’d like to have an idea of how long they’ll last. Thanks.

  8. I understand your feelings Mike but I don’t think you have enough experience with them to pass judgement. Of course my opinion only.

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