We started this weekend out dealing with a problem that has bothered me since before we even bought Sundowner. The head sink drain was always sort of sketchy in that “will it sink the boat?” sort of way. As near as I can tell, the sink was plumbed to the seacock with some old vacuum cleaner hose. To complicate matters, it also involved a strange valve that I never really figured out. Well that stuff was long gone but plumbing a sink drain on a boat is not as straight forward as it would seem.

I consulted a great many websites to see if there was a recommendation on how to handle this. I also posted to several big boating websites and the Internet just failed me. There was silence on the topic of how to properly secure a sink drain. In the end, I just did what I thought was best, as you’ll see. But before we get to all that, we had to actually install the sink. This tired old sink is beat to hell and had been siliconed on the lip which makes it almost impossible to recaulk into place.

Instead of that, I had Dani get to work with neoprene to make a washer to fit under the lip of the sink.
Sink Washer with neoprene

Once installed you can’t even see it:
Marine fresh water plumbing and filtration head sink

I actually punched holes in the sink and screwed it into the counter top. This secured it well enough that I could install the drain and FINALLY address the drain plumbing. Instead of plumbers putty, we made another neoprene gasket for the drain fitting.
Installed head sink

After that I teflon taped the fitting and put a marelon 1.5″ barb fitting on the bottom of it. Tailpipes be damned. And so with one final mighty push I shoved the 1.5″ super heavy duty below water line hose onto the barb and once again, the head sink was functional.
Marine fresh water plumbing and filtration under the sink
And yes, more hose clamps are coming, I just happened to run out of the big ones when this photo was taken, so the seacock remains closed for now.

The old faucet in the galley had been a Moen designed for normal pressurized water systems.
Old faucet system

This had to go in favor of a lower flow manual pump style spigot. Of course this left us with the problem of three big holes in the area between the sinks. I had thought about using stainless steel caps in the holes, the kind they make for granite counters which are plugged. But in the end we settled on just using a piece of starboard over the entire old mess.
Faucet holes in the galley

I cut a piece of starboard to the right size and Dani absolutely insisted on attempting to use butyl tape to seal it. The piece has a center hole drilled for the spigot and I put bolts through the place where the old standard holes were so I could use a backing plate and secure the piece in place.
Butyl tape to seal galley faucet

We were satisfied by the overall fitting.
Marine fresh water plumbing and filtration in the galley completed

The spigot is plumbed to a filter I installed under the sink.
Marine fresh water plumbing and filtration under the sink

Speaking of filters… We had been looking at the different options and I was shell shocked by the sticker prices on these marine and RV filtration “systems” being sold. A seagull water filter system costs almost 400 dollars! After some research and asking around I discovered that the filter elements in these systems aren’t rocket science. And there were cheaper alternatives if you knew what you were looking for. In the end I chose:
1 x Pentek 158620 1/2″ 3G Slim Line 10″ Blue Housing @ $11.99
2 x Pentek FloPlus-10 Filter – 10″ Carbon Block Filter @ $15.99

Ordered from Filters Fast. So much cheaper than the stuff they sell at the stores. It just took some research to see what those systems were actually using. We chose a carbon filter intended to make water taste better and remove cysts. There are more expensive filters that will actually filter out almost all bacteria, but we intend to use chlorine to purify our water. If this isn’t working for us we can easily and cheaply just upgrade to a higher end filter.

From the water filter, the plumbing runs to a Whale MKIV foot pump on the galley floor in front of the sink, and from there to the tank manifold.

Dani was a little excited at having running water in the galley
Dani getting some water

In fact she completely forgot her cup and just went right for it.
Dani drinking straight out of the faucet

After much chastisement, she used the cup…
Dani drinking out of a water cup.

So for the first time in five years aboard Sundowner, water has flown from a water tank through a faucet, into a drain and passed out to sea. After I wrapped up for the evening, I actually washed my hands in the sink. What a feeling! Now all that is left is to finish securing down the water tanks and this project is a wrap. Next up, the stove.