Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Where in the world are Hans and Laura


So what might that be sitting in our cockpit?

It's our holding tank. And if you eventually end up as our neighbors, I assure you it's not staying there.

We finally decided to get the Knotty Cat hauled out in order to fix the leak she developed a few months ago. We're pretty sure one of the bolts that holds the port side propellor shaft in place has come loose and in order to fix it she needs to be out of the water.


At least it's empty

We also knew we'd better have the starboard bolts checked and that's when I had an 'Oh, shit' moment. I reminded Hans that we'd placed our new holding tank directly over the drive shaft when we installed it behind the starboard engine. I distinctly remember saying at the time that I hoped we'd never have to move it.

Well, guess what.

After disconnecting the hoses that pump into the tank, I covered them with Duct Tape in order to keep odors inside and not out. Peeeeeewww!

This could have been a real deal breaker for me. That's the pump out fitting at the bottom of the tank. I put Duct Tape on it also and thank God it held.

When we had our final pump out before leaving for the boat yard, I asked if we could make sure the tank was totally empty as we might need to move it. Not only did they pump it out they added some fresh water for a rinse and we were goood to go.

Let me add here, also, that we've been told we have the cleanest holding tank in the marina. I was feeling pretty smug about that and stated that we are very careful about what goes into the tank. Maybe someday I'll learn to keep my big mouth shut because this is what I discovered; holding tanks stink, and I don't care if you piss crystal clear filtered water and sh*t gold bricks, holding tanks stink!

We got the boat moved and when we found out the tank would definitely need to be out of the way I got busy and disconnected all the hoses. I immediately taped the openings to the tank and I was very relieved that the hoses themselves were super clean (I've gradually replaced them in the last couple of years) and nothing ran out of them.

Getting the tank out was a lot more trouble than I thought it would be and we had to tip it on its side a couple of times (at one point my face got crushed between the boat and the corner of the tank, ouch!). We finally got it into the cockpit and I insisted on hosing it out since I could see that there was about 2 to 3 inches of liquid sloshing around the bottom. The pump out fitting does not sit flush (I'm loving these play on words that's why I'm underlining them) to the bottom so it's never really totally empty. Like I said before, it's a damn good thing that tape stayed in place.

I grabbed a hose, ran a few inches of water along with some vinegar into the tank, and then tilted the pump out fitting downward to let the water out. Oh, Dear God, the stench! And what the hell was that sludge running out of it? Aha!!! Toilet paper. Gross disgusting semi-dissolved toilet paper of about a years vintage. Well, I hosed and hosed and hosed both the tank and our cockpit, heaving and very nearly throwing up thus almost adding to the mess because like the idiot I am, I forgot to buy a mask. And then to add insult to injury, when I hefted that sucker up on edge (it's a 32 gallon tank) it slipped and smashed down on my bare foot. I think I cried but I'm not sure because I was gagging so hard. Poor Hans felt so bad but I'd told him this was my job and to stay away. He tried to get me to stop but I knew we'd have to get that stinker back in and I wanted it clean.

And clean it is! And it's going to stay that way! I've read tons of boating blogs over the years and I must say I was always a bit disturbed when they mentioned that they don't allow toilet paper to be flushed, it get's thrown away instead. So, after pouring bleach all over the cockpit and scrubbing myself raw hoping to avoid e-coli, I informed Hans that toilet paper has no place in our tank and he agreed. I can't imagine what would have eventually happened had all that crap built up over the years and eventually compromised the pump out fitting at the bottom of the tank.

Let me tell you, if they thought our tank was clean before, they are in for a real treat now!

After the haul out. This is the starboard propeller.

A close up of where we think the leak is on the port side. It's the upper bolt and nut we believe came loose. We hope that's all it is.

So where are we while all this work is being done? The picture below is what I see when I look out our window.


The view inside looking out.


It's a good thing Wilbur isn't with us, there wouldn't be enough pillows to go around.

Pure decadence.

We are in Maine.

It's cold.

I can't begin to describe the spicy, piney smell in the air, but it sure as hell beats head odor.

I love it.


  1. Maine, with a view like that ... sounds great!

  2. Even without putting toilet paper into your tank, you might want to consider rinsing it out periodically with fresh water and then adding about a half-tank of clean water along with a measure of fabric softener and some mild detergent. Go sailing and allow the tank to mix for a couple of hours before pumping it out, Follow this with another fresh water rinse. This should help dissolve any solids build up and keep your tank fresh and clean.