HEAD for RETIREMENTJust The Three Of Us
There comes a time when key elements of a plan mature, all will coalesce toward a new departure. The wife and I are finally retired with a good range of SS and other provisions to assure our Great Loop quest. Of course getting out of the slip for an extended period of time has required ridding our 41 year marriage vault of a lot of tangible overburden. Cars, condo, farm, lots, small boats, motorcycles and heirlooms are passed on, auctioned, stored or sold.
Our children, now self sufficient adults, have been able to take an active part in the approval process of letting things go. When we return from crossing our wake of the Great Loop, the only decision desired is to either keep looping or settle into a home with a slip.
Here are the ties to be broken or close as legally possible;
1. No mortgages on land.
2. No mortgages on water.
3. Small but steady income.
4. No or low taxes.
5. No monthly payments.
Several times the date to leave has been set and life has stopped the departure to the point that 2018 was only a hundred miles including getting back to the slip. Each time there has been a moment of learning which has been factored into the coalescence.
Using Your Head
Literally using the head is a problem. In trying to use the composting commode meant for 1.5 people, it proved totally inadequate for 2 adults full time aboard. With the condo still an opportunity for sale, time has been available to delve into the improvement of the small composting head instead of moving ships's bulkheads for a larger unit. That meant cleaning out the old unit, taking it apart, studying the finer points and coming up with viable, economical and legal solutions.
|The original 10 year old system works. It is |
just being reworked for two people full time.
A mild winter here in Wilmington, NC allowed me to experiment with the unit in the work shed. The disassembly showed a design flaw that allowed the dual heater elements of 12 volts DC and of 110 volts AC to corrode the sensors controlling heat under the liquid collection/evaporation tray. Without the input of significant heat under the tray, an increasing build up of liquid effluent could cause an over accumulation. Designed to avert such a mishap, a twenty gallon tank for overflow and pump out was placed below the head when the boat was constructed and plumbed in. The unit now has a better and more robust heater/evaporater system. We have retained the overflow tank but have added excellent evaporation capability that should keep the overflow tank unfilled. Therefore, no stops for pump out.
|The dark area of the corroded sensors located just above |
the curve of the yellow wires needed to be replaced
with a different type to function with a new system.
|The two heater sets with the three 12 volt DC strips |
directly over laid on the 110 volt AC heater.
|Several areas were corroded and the |
evaporation tray needed sealing.
A new set of custom sealed heater strips was required with a new and different sensor system having a computer circuit board to monitor and control the liquid presence, accumulation, quantity, heating and energy control. The voltage utilized was changed to DC at 24 volts nominal. The use of 110 volt AC was discontinued
for safety and greater efficiency by not needing an inverter.
|An idea of how a simple computer controller could be set up.|
More time was required in gathering the parts than in the actual mechanics, albeit there is still a bit to do to integrate the system into a clean appearance. By the time we and the ALGEMAC II leave the slip for the next leg of the loop, there should definitely be a heads up, so to speak.
All puns intended.