Monday, March 1, 2010

Told ya...

When I first talked about marine heads, one of my objectives was to make you familiar enough with their operation that you would be able to operate a head even if it was not a Groco (the example I used, because that was what we had at the time). Well, we've replaced one of our heads with a different brand: a Jabsco. So this provides an obvious opportunity to revisit the "operate any head" manifesto.

Here's a picture of the pump on our new Jabsco head. Look familiar? Well it is more modern looking, but the basics are still there and identifiable. In fact, there are graphics on the pump to help you understand its operation.
  • The big black handle (only about half of which is shown in the picture, at the bottom) operates the pump. Like the Groco, you stroke it up and down to move things along.
  • The flush/no flush valve, which was a hard-to-identify brass lever on the side of the Groco head, is now a big black flipper, with graphics under it to show what happens when it is positioned to the left or to the right. The graphics show that when positioned to the left, pumping will admit rinse water to the bowl, and when positioned to the right as it is in the picture, the bowl will be pumped dry.
This is actually much easier to understand than the Groco, which had no helpful graphics. But, if you knew how to operate the Groco, you'd be able to figure out this one really easily.

Nevertheless, boat etiquette allows for the asking of operational instructions. If you are on someone else's boat and have discovered you have a pressing need, do not hesitate to ask for operational instructions. Heads are all a little different, and in some (the Groco, for instance), the flush valve may not be obvious. Experienced boat owners know this, and will be happy to instruct you on the operation of their head(s), and if fact may do so unbidden. No demerits should accrue to them for doing so, nor to you for asking if they do not.
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