The Voyages of s/v Lucky Bird

21 August 2019 | Straits Marina, Mackinaw City
06 August 2019 | Village of Brockport
30 July 2019
27 July 2019
21 June 2019 | Wickford Cove Marina
20 May 2019 | Antlantic Yacht Basin
13 May 2019 | Homer Smith Marina, final Salty Dawg Destination
21 April 2019 | Frenchtown, St. Thomas V.I. Easter Celebration
20 April 2019 | Brewers Bay, St. Thomas VI
11 April 2019 | Nanny Cay Marine, Tortola, BVI
28 March 2019 | Green Cay Marina, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
25 March 2019
24 February 2019 | Jolly Harbor Marina, Antigua

A Peculiar Problem in the Forward Head

06 March 2019
Robert & Alice Smith
So.....I installed a wash down pump and teed the pump input off the forward head sea cock. The installation went perfectly, (not a usual outcome), and we use the wash down system every time we haul anchor. It has really reduced the amount of stuff that wound up in the anchor locker. But....

Since installing the new wash down system the forward head isn't working. It won't pump water. I pump the Jabsco handle up and down to no avail, nothing but air.

The sea cock is below the water line. The tee is below the water line. The wash down pump draws water perfectly but the head pump doesn't.

The head input hose goes from the tee, up behind the head cabinetry and back down to the head. I really don't want to start cutting holes inside the cabinets to determine the hose path. If there's an anti-siphon valve hidden behind the cabinets I'll be really pixxed, who would do that? If it's just a loop that goes above the healed water line then it seems to me if the hose was full of water it could siphon.

I seemed to remember reading somewhere that you can push water through an anti-siphon valve but you can't pull water. That seems also to make sense. So I'm in a quandary.

Here's my lame duck thinking. When I turn on the wash down pump and pull the trigger on the hose nozzle, the pump pulls water from wherever it can get it. From the sea cock and maybe from water in the hose that loops up and down to the head, clearing out any water in the hose above the waterline. The head input hose would then essentially be empty except for the water from the tee to the waterline, right? So, the Jabsco pump and it's O-ring would have to create sufficient vacuum to draw the water up the hose, over the loop and then to the head. It just isn't happening.

Now, before the wash down pump, the head worked but I recall having to pump the handle several times to get the water flowing. I know I have the right hose because I connected the head input hose to the output of the wash down pump, ran the pump and the head pump worked perfectly, lots of water.


Here's my brilliant idea. I'm going to insert a check valve in the head input hose as close to the tee as I can. This will serve to keep the wash down pump from sucking the head input hose dry. I'll try this and see what happens. If it works, I'll then be concerned about siphoning and will close the sea cock when sailing and when away from the boat. If it doesn't work, I'm open to your thoughts. Just like many of the V-bloggers I watch, they are always looking for comments on their projects. I know my reader base is incredibly small and my help expectations are quite low. But, one never knows, right?

I'll post the results of my check valve experiment.
Vessel Name: Lucky Bird
Vessel Make/Model: 1990 Moody 425 cc
Hailing Port: Kenosha, WI
Crew: Robert & Alice Smith
Alice and I have spent considerable time together on the water; cruising and racing on the waters of New England, the Caribbean and Lake Michigan.

Sailing is our passion and together we've been fortunate to experience the thrills, the camaraderie and the enjoyment boating provides. [...]

We seek the freedom, excitement and challenges of voyaging.

Lucky Bird's Photos - Main
This is our second journey south to the Caribbean. This time we've chosen to exit Lake Michigan and proceed south through the in-land waterway system to Mobile. We'll start around Labor Day and take our time exploring the history of middle America.
207 Photos
Created 28 July 2017
30 Photos
Created 12 July 2013
101 Photos
Created 17 July 2012
Bob and Alice return to Lucky Bird after spending the summer in Addison.
31 Photos
Created 4 December 2010
Heading into the Windward Islands and further south
108 Photos
Created 22 February 2010
121 Photos
Created 11 June 2009