Head/Garage Bulkhead Replacement Project

This project is one that was not on the list of "had to be done", and it turned out to be the second most difficult. The most difficult was the Chain Plate Replacement Project. I did not realize the extent of this until I actually started.

There is a bulkhead between the after head and the garage (old crews quarters). A previous owner had put some nice pieces of plywood over the bulkhead on each side, with some trim work, that looked very nice. I had noticed that one area of the added plywood in the head was a bit rotten. I was planning to replace the counter top in the head, replace the shelving, and install a new faucet, install a foot pump for the fresh water system and then line all of the bulkheads with Structoglas. This is a fiberglass sheeting that has a very nice finish and is fairly easy to work with. Since I was going to be doing all of this removal of old and adding the new, I thought that I would replace the added plywood. Wow, was I in for a big surprise. When I removed the add on plywood, the bulkhead was completely rotten. In fact it was is such bad shape that I was able to vacuum out the rotten bulkhead. Oh by the way this is (was) a structural bulkhead

My work was cut out for me on this project. To be able to remove the complete bulkhead, I would have to remove all of the plumbing for the holding tank and the holding tank itself. This was no small effort as the holding tank is a custom built 50 gallon stainless steel unit that I designed and fabricated, and then had welded. I also would have to remove the work bench in the garage and the tool boxes on the bench. In the end I was able to just remove half of the work bench and one tool box. Once all of this was done, I could start the rebuild process.

The good news was that since I had to remove the Lavac Toilet, the SeaLand electric pump for the toilet, the Henderson pump to empty the holding tank, and the holding tank, I would rebuild them. I ordered enough spares to rebuild the pumps and the toilet, and to rebuild them again in the future. The Lavac Toilet is a vacuum toilet, so I got another set of gaskets, seat and top. I also decided to put a Tankminder in the holding tank. This is a device that will warn you with a visual signal that the holding tank is about 3/4 full. This device is definitely a good news/bad news device. It is good to know that your holding tank is getting full and you need to start looking for a pump out station, or pull up anchor and head off shore. The down side is that since I installed the holding tank in 1994, I have never had a leak in the tank. Cutting a hole in the holding tank, for this device, on one level did not seem to be smart. After three days of measuring, and measuring, and measuring, I finally got the nerve to cut the hole. The installation of the device went off without a problem, and so far no leaks! The first group of pictures will show the damaged areas and some of the removal.

Garage Side just below holding tank showing rot

Garage Side lower bulkhead at holding tank

Garage Side lower bulkhead removed

Garage Side outboard at holding tank showing rot

Garage Side with missing bulkhead and other rot

Garage Side upper showing rot

Garage Side Workbench support and head counter top rot

Garage View upper bulkhead removed

Garage View of head counter bulkhead removed

Head Hull with wood removed

Head counter sink showing hull

Head/Garage bulkhead from Head #1

Head/Garage bulkhead from Head #2

Under Head counter, needing cleaning

This next group of pictures shows the preparation for the installation of the new bulkhead, new head counter and preparation of the Structoglas installation. It will also show some pictures of the installation of the new bulkhead and the new head counter.

Head from garage chainplate preparing for new counter

New counter installation

Head from garage under counter with new shelf and paint

Under head counter with new shelf

Head, under counter after repaint

New foot pump under counter

Under head counter showing mount for head pump

Head from garage showing new area for bulkhead

Head from garage preparation for new bulkhead

New bulkhead, garage lower,no fiberglass

New bulkhead, garage bottom

New bulkhead, garage center

New bulkhead, garage upper, no fiberglass

New bulkhead, garage top

New bulkhead, head top, no fibreglass

New Bulkhead, head top

New Bulkhead and head counter, no fibreglass

New bulkhead and head counter

Head new counter installation

Port Installation in head #1

Port Installation in head #2

Area over door to garage, structoglas prep.

Inside head bulkhead, structoglas prep.

Inside head bulkhead/garage door, structorglas prep.

The remainder of the pictures show putting the head and the garage back together, and a few pictures of the finished product

Head showing chainplate backing plates and wiring

Holding tank back in

Garage bench back in

Garage bench support

Finished head counter

Finished shower deck

Finished head toilet