Macwester Malin heads refit – part two

May 12, 2016


Having purchased a Blakes Lavac Popular toilet for our Macwester Malin’s new heads, next on the cards was to specify and purchase the plumbing hardware. Shown above, the inlet fittings are 19mm and the outlet fittings 38mm that I opted for.

After seriously considering Marlon seacocks, I eventually settled on Corrosion Resistant DZR (from ASAP Supplies) in part because I wanted all of the fittings to be of the same material (the Marelon seacocks came with plastic skin fittings). This was also feasible with bronze, however bronze was a bit more expensive, without necessarily being any better.


I drilled pilot holes from the inside, and these were then used as a guide for the full-sized holes. As this is a nerve-racking process, I had the support of a friend from the club to make sure that I avoided any mishaps.


I used Sikaflex 291i and PTFE tape to install the fittings. The 19mm inlet shown above is located inside the starboard storage space below the v-berth in the forepeak. It’s position is roughly a metre to the left of the upright storage cupboard shown below. Hastily scribbled ‘open’ and ‘close’ labels are admittedly a bit sub-optimal …but will do for the moment.


The 38mm outlet is located in a thin, upright cupboard also in the forepeak, which is just fore of the bulkhead. In other words, if you were to drill a hole through the bulkhead to the right of the picture above, you would drill through to the new heads compartment (and come through the bulkhead with the paper template shown below). Cables shown in both images above are for the thruster.


Next up was to take a closer look at the plumbing installation. Although more expensive than the manual Jabsco toilets, I chose a Blakes Lavac Popular toilet on the basis that it got sterling reviews online, and has a reputation for being reliable and robust. Legend has it that the Lavac is capable of eating a tennis shoe. The cardboard template above has arrows showing the point where the outlet hose will enter the bottom of the pump and exit via the top.


I subsequently popped the pump in the holes that I had made to test that they were fit for purpose. Obviously the pump will be fitted on the opposite side of the bulkhead, and therefore the inlet and outlet will be angled as shown on the cardboard template, not as seen above.

Round about this point in time there was a pause in the installation as I had to focus on crane-in 2016, including de-winterising our Macwester Malin’s Lombardini engine, anti-fouling, and re-installing our mooring tackle.

Part three up next.



  1. Do you have any regulatory requirement to fit a holding tank?
    In France new boats must have them as standard. I have fitted one in my MW27, and get about 20% off my annual marina charges. I understand that in several European countries, even visiting boats (whatever age) must have a tank.


    • Hi Bob, thanks for your comment.

      No regulatory requirement where we are in the UK. I spent quite a bit of time considering installing a holding tank along with a fresh water supply tank, but in the end decided that it was more important to finish the job (it had been dragging on and was in danger of further slippage). The reason for the additional tank is that the tide is out more often than not where we sail. We may look at fitting tanks at the end of the season.

      Interesting that you get a discount on your marina fees. Certainly our boat (which we bought in the Netherlands) didn’t have skin fittings, so the original heads was pump-out only.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: