Two water tanks (approx. 65 gals / 245 liters each) are located under the port and starboard main saloon settees. Tank levels are on the iPad via WilhelmSK or through the Venus Console available on any device on the WiFi network. Port water tank is on the top. Starboard is the bottom.
Water tank fills are located on each side deck. The wire reinforced fill tube goes down into the aft end of the tanks. When using this method use an inline carbon filter or add a few tablespoons of baking soda EVERY FILL-UP, particularly if the water is heavily chlorinated. Chlorine causes problems when exposed to aluminum.
Typically a hose is attached to a quick connect located on the forward edge just inside the lazarette. Turn off the freshwater pump. Under sink make sure water maker setting is on “sink” position. Flip fill switch to the “on” position. This will open a motorized valve and turn on the “open/hose fill” indicator light. Turn on hose if it isn’t already. Stop filling when the tank level reaches 89% on the Venus or 99% on the N2K network. It takes several minutes for the Victron gauge to respond. A reading of 93% is completely full. Note the gauge still reads 10-13% when empty.
The tanks are controlled by manual quarter-turn ball valves mounted on the forward end of each tank. Valves are accessed in the forward storage area under each settee. In normal operation one valve should be on and one off. As the tank in use runs out you can switch to the other tank by reversing BOTH valves. Start by closing the empty tank and then open the other. If both valves are left open, water can and will run from the windward tank to the leeward tank increasing the heel angle. Furthermore there is the possibility that air will be sucked from the higher tank, making it impossible to obtain water from the lower tank. Alternating tanks also gives warning about your water usage. After initial filling or after switching from one tank to the other, eliminate the air in the plumbing (hot and cold sides) by opening each faucet until there is a steady flow of water. The water pressure pump may run and not shut off unless this is done.
The potable water tanks should be flushed with hot (if possible) water to remove residue and potable antifreeze. Fill each tank with water mixed with one cup bleach to sanitise the tank. Let sit for several hours. Drain tank into bilge for removal by bilge pump and arid bilge.
IF CONTAMINATED BY ALGAE Clean out tanks though access ports in tops of tanks. Access to tank and clean-out ports requires removal of screws on berth flats and lee-cloths. Add one cup of chlorine bleach per tank, fill with water Let sit for 6-12 hours and flush the solution through the system. Periodically clean sediment strainer. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
The hot water tank is located in the aft cabin, under the bed on the centerline. It requires little maintenance other than winterising. Water can be heated by two means:
The head sinks, icebox, and showers drain into two sumps located in the bilge in the main cabin and forward stateroom. These sumps contain a float switch and centrifugal pump to evacuate them. The toggles on the main panel are manual on switches (not circuit breakers) which will activate the sump pumps should the float switch not activate the pump when desired. The pumps are separately protected by fuses located in the distribution area under the aft berth.
Because of the nature of the drain water which they handle, the pumps and switches are vulnerable to accumulations of soap scum, hair, and other greasy materials. Occasionally the sumps will require cleaning out. The frequency will vary according to you and your crew’s habits. The tops to the sump tanks are easily removed and access to the inside is obtained. Household cleaners will take care of the build up inside. (X-14 Soap Scum Remover works well). When leaving your boat for a prolonged period or after a weekend aboard, run several gallons of fresh water through the drains to help clear the sumps and finish off with a cup of bleach to prevent bacteria growth, mold and odours.
Are located in both heads. All plumbing hardware is household type and should not present a problem to operate.
The cockpit shower is recessed in two holes covered by plastic caps in the port coaming. One housing contains a telephone-style shower head on a retracting hose. The other contains a mixer faucet with hot and cold water. To turn on the water pull the mixer faucet out to turn on the flow (the button on the shower head must be pressed as well).
Hot and cold mixing is accomplished by turning the mixer handle clockwise or counter clockwise. To turn the faucet off, push in the mixer handle all the way and at the same time release the hose pressure with the shower head button. If you do not release the hose pressure the handle will not remain in a recessed position.
A charcoal/kdf water filter with a replaceable element is installed inline on the cold water line going to the drinking faucet at the galley sink. Only this drinking faucet is filtered at the tap. There is a valve for in just after the cold water valve under the sink.
Change water filter elements at least once every 4 months, or whenever flow is reduced.
In the lazaret is a sediment, charcoal, UV light filter that all freshwater passes through.
A foot-operated water pump is mounted in the galley sole. This pump supplies fresh water to the galley sink faucet, when operating the fresh water pressure pump is not desired. The galley sink faucet must be full on in the cold position for water to flow. A twist of the foot releases and returns the pump to the recessed position.
We are equipped with six bilge pumps.
The manual pumps are rarely used so you should check the operation of each at least once a month. Simply fill the bilge with several gallons of water and pump each. (This is a good practice whenever cleaning the bilge.)
The electric bilge pumps are located in the keel sump and are activated by water sensor switches. The pumps are directly wired to a fuse located under the aft cabin berth. The toggle on the main panel is a manual bypass switch (not a circuit breaker) which will activate the pump should the float switch not activate the pump when desired. Trash can accumulate in the bilge and may be sucked up into the pump body. If the pump runs and does not evacuate the bilge or the flow is reduced, the pump can be removed from its mounting plate by depressing the two small locking tabs at the base of the pump. Check for debris, clean and replace by snapping back into position. See the pump manufacturers instructions. Keep the bilge clean to prevent clogging and also to reduce unpleasant “bilge odour.”
NEVER put paper towels, wet wipes, floss, tampons/feminine pads, condoms, cotton swabs, cigarette butts, candy wrappers or other foreign items down a marine head! You will jam the toilet.
If it hasn’t passed through your body, it doesn’t go down the toilet. We are extreme types so that means toilet tissue as well! A maximum of 10 squares are allowed per flush. A little white waste bin is located next to the toilet for anything extra.
Cleaning is recommended every SIX MONTHS or if red light and warning for low electrode amps are always on during treatment cycle.
Note the Electroscan, pump and macerator are still 12v. There is a 24v to 13.2v converter behind the sink. We were having issues with low voltage and low amps. After converting the house bank to 24v the dedicated converter resolved our issues. All components should should eventually be switched to 24v versions.
Currently Toilet Removed
Excessive use of flushing water will increase the need for pump-outs. Conservative use of flushing water is essential. Everyone on board should be instructed in good marine toilet habits. Your toilet will love you and your holding tank will go many miles further between pump-outs. WARNING: Resistance on the toilet pump handle almost always indicates a full holding tank, (or a closed discharge valve) DO NOT FORCE!!!! Investigate first. Undue force can rupture holding tank cleanout plates or blow off waste hoses.
When leaving the boat for more than a day, we suggest pumping out the holding tanks, flush thoroughly with fresh water, and add some deodorising chemical. Wastes left to “cook” over a period of time will cause an offensive odour in the boat which may be difficult or near impossible to get rid of.
In addition to the Electroscan in the main head this SAGA 43 has one complete waste systems which is designed to be legal in any location. Waste may be held in the holding tank until a dockside pump out station is reached; or waste in holding tanks may be evacuated overboard by on-board electric macerator pumps, where legal; or waste may be discharged directly overboard from the toilets, where legal.
The forward toilet discharge hose is connected to a Y-valve which can be selected to either divert waste into the holding tank or discharge it directly overboard through a seacock (in which case the overboard discharge seacock must also be open). The Y-valve is conveniently located near the toilet and is clearly marked. In some jurisdictions, this valve may be illegal unless secured in the tank position. In such a case you may drill a small hole through the longer end of the valve handle (with the handle in the tank position) and into the fiberglass moulding directly beneath. Insert a #8 machine screw (1 1/2” long) through the handle and secure with a nyloc nut on the back side. In addition you may be required to secure the overboard discharge seacock in some fashion (don’t drill a hole as above, the sea is out there!).
The holding tank is typically equipped with a macerator pump to discharge overboard the waste that has accumulated in the holding tank. This can be done when sailing where it is legal to do so. The pump discharges waste through its own seacock after chopping up solid waste into fine particles.
The holding tank has a deck fitting for use at a dockside facility. The dockside facility will have an adapter fitting which screws into the deck plate to adapt their suction hose. Your dock attendant will be able to assist you. It is a good idea to flush plenty of fresh water through the toilet or into the deck plate to help rinse out the tank. Add some commercial tank chemical afterwards. Your olfactory senses will appreciate it too. Never leave the boat with waste in the holding tanks.