Macwester Malin heads refit – part four

May 13, 2016


When I was installing the electrics on our Macwester Malin, I tested my wiring using a small 12v motorbike battery, as that ruled out wider problems [see here]. I finished off the installation of a recessed LED light strip concealed behind an acrylic and wood strip that I laminated, and attached to the underside of the cupboard to the rear of the heads compartment. That gave a pleasing light effect, without being too blingy.

When it came to finishing touches, I decided to stick with the Dutch language labels, as a nod to our Malin’s ownership heritage.


As explained previously, I did as much preparatory work as possible [outside the boat] on the sanitation hose installation. Over time I discovered that it was pretty much impossible to cut the hose at a right angle despite trying at least three different types of saw; in the end I used a Dremel to straighten up the edges. If you’re going to try this ‘at home’, it’s best to wear safety goggles as the Dremel ablates the plastic …and you probably don’t want the melted residue chemically welded to your iris.

Attaching the hoses to the Blakes Lavac Popular toilet was a really (really) tough job. The 19mm inlet hose took me a full hour using a hot air gun and wooden bungs to stretch the plastic as much as possible (the bungs being a timely tip from a fellow club member). It was truly energy-sapping. The outlet hose was also tough, but took slightly less time.

I was expecting the same issues with the skin fittings, but they both slipped on relatively easily following a five-minute blast with the hot air gun.


Installing the pump unit proved to be another struggle. Mainly because it’s situated inside a cupboard on the other side of the bulkhead. I had anticipated this challenge ahead of installation, and cunningly decided to site a recessed toilet roll holder adjacent to the pump [to the left, just out of shot above]. The hole for the toilet roll holder allowed substantially better access. That said, the installation which happened out of sight on the other side of the bulkhead from me, was really fiddly and took time, and it’s fair to say …more patience than I happened to have available on that particular day.


Installing the Lavac toilet unit was simple enough, apart from the slight complication that I had added, which was a solid wood support I fashioned to sit directly underneath the toilet. This meant that access to tighten the six bolts was challenging. However it was probably a job worth doing, to cover-off the possibility of my cake & chocolate habit getting out of hand over the coming years.

The good news is that the plumbing all worked exactly as it should; no tweaking required.


After installing the floor lighting, I created a wooden surround for the floor, leaving space for future finishing touches, including a 3mm space on the left to cover up the veneer damage caused when removing the original seating, and 18mm on the right where I intend to box-in the compression post, which will happen when I fit the door surround and door.


Finally, using a cardboard template that I made from an assortment of thin card [thank you Belhaven Brewery], I trimmed out some Treadmaster rubber flooring from a 1.7m roll that I purchase specifically for the job.

By this point I was increasingly keen to cross the finishing line, and it was a relief that things were beginning to look like they were coming together …at last.


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