Plastic vs. powder coated head

To the editor: A couple of comments about the recent piece by Peter Stoops on recoating a head (Powder coating tames the head, Issue #191). It is nice to know more about powder coating, a process I have been curious about, and I can think of many applications, but I would wish to challenge its use on a head for a number of reasons.           

Firstly, I would suggest that on his vessel, he make an executive decision to have every male, no matter how unmanly they may feel, sit down for all deliveries. Splatter is real even if aim is excellent. His powder coating will last much, much longer. Look at the bottom of fire hydrants. (An alternative is for those males in need of standing, to clean the toilet after every airborne delivery.)

Secondly, unless you are into flushing trench coats, a practical choice of heads is a well-designed plastic toilet. I suspect he left out the price of the powder coating because of the degree of difference between that process and a brand new Raritan PHII, a toilet we have been using for eight years of live-aboard use.

Finally, I mention the amount of time spent by Stoops in his efforts. Raritan, for example, makes a pump assembly holding all parts likely to go bad. Once every year or two, seals start to leak and it takes just a short period to swap out assemblies and put the other away to rebuild at some quiet moment when there is time and interest (or send to Raritan).

In closing, I wish to thank Stoops for keeping his toilet assembly going. They are fast becoming works of historical interest and admiration and it is good to hear they are still around. I just do not want to live with one.

—Dick Stevenson is a liveaboard voyager on his boat Alchemy and is currently in Barcelona, Spain.

Peter Stoops responds: I hear you about sitting down, but so far I just haven’t gotten there. A rinse with the spray hose when necessary seems enough to clean the area, and to thus thwart my rehabilitation to the sitting position. And, so far, the head in question — a Wilcox — has lasted very well mechanically since we installed it in 1999. The powder coating seems to be hanging in there too, after two years — though I’ll report on that if it fails!

By Ocean Navigator