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Thread: Skookum Maru

  1. #911
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by chas View Post
    Tks Chris for the description of your experiments with biodiesel and kerosene. It's good to know that you can adjust the flow rates for bio-diesel within the capacity of the metering system. I particularly like the idea of adjusting on the fly as it may provide some adjustment to the burn related to current weather conditions where my only option has been a manual fan. I really should fit one of those little forced draft fans to my old stove as it has the spot for it.
    My Pacific is one of the older types as sold to fisherman of the day. I traded a couple of hours of boatwork for the first stove and removed another from an old fishboat that was being scrapped. This came with all the galvy pipe required for my install and a sweet bronze deck iron to match . Amazing what you can do with free rein and a sharp sawzall blade. The body of the first stove was joined with the top of the second and I have a spare door and metering valve if required.
    I'm looking forward to trying the weber pucks as eventually deposits from the starting platform (2 sheets of tp in my case) can build in the pot. Related to that, I find that the process of start/stop creates a build-up around the delivery pipe that I am required to clean every 4-5 burn cycles. Or 2.5-3 weeks of steady burning, whichever comes first. I calibrate the stove for the diesel available at fuel docks for my Isuzu, as it seems the places I would like to frequent don't currently allow multiple options. With this system I have we set the flow meter such that 3 on the valve is equal to 350 actual in the oven, and 425 on the door guage. Pots of water on the stove remain hot but don't boil. If i bump to 4 on the valve it will boil a pot of water over the burner in under twenty minutes but the oven gets too hot to be useful for cooking. I find that the stove can be effective down to a metering level of 1 for a strictly heating purpose and be confident that the stove will run there without issue.
    I'm not sure I could could handle the adjustments to biodiesel on Accolade given her other priorities. Requiring separate delivery and storage systems would definitely impact my striving for simplicity for cruising, a direction which is being tested in other areas.
    Skookum Maru is one lucky ship for your attentions. / Jim
    I think you will like the Weber lighter cubes a lot Jim. Way better than paper. I cut them into eighths and use a sharp stick like a BBQ skewer to place the pieces in the bottom of the burner. One eighth works great for kerosene but I'd use two for #1 or #2 diesel. Then I use a long butane grill lighter - the kind with the flexible tube - to light them. They burn for several minutes which speeds up the time that it takes for the diesel to vaporize.

    Your calibration settings seem about right where I end up with my method. And the forced draft fan is nice to have but with the tall chimney and the barometric damper I find that I don't really use it that much. I added two feet to the height of the stack last year and that made a huge difference in the draft. A question though - do you have the "super heater" widget that comes with the stoves now? If not then I highly recommend it. I think it will fit in the older stoves as well. It really helps with fuel vaporization. The old Olympic stove I had back on Savona just had the plain pot burner without the gadget and it never burned as well as the Dickinson we have now.

    We don't use the oven much but we intend to do more winter cruising so that should change. Interesting that the door gauge is that far off though. I'll have to get an oven thermometer to check it.
    As for the biodiesel, yeah the logistics of it are an issue. Unless you want to run the engine on it - which would take quite a bit of effort - then you would need separate fuel storage and a separate fuel sourcing procedure. Not simple. Skookum Maru already has a two-gallon day tank and it's easy enough to fill a jerry can every so often but even so I'm thinking I will eventually install a larger tank. There is room for a 20 gallon tank in the machinery compartment where the old Espar heater was. And the fuel pump for the Espar should work as a transfer pump from the main tank to the day tank.

    However the residue that builds up running biodiesel is not ideal. In a week of running on biodiesel it built up maybe a centimeter of crust on the bottom of the burner. So far it doesn't seem to affect operation but I do think it will require more frequent cleaning of the burner. Which isn't an issue for the little time that we would actually use the stove while cruising but would become a chore if we were living aboard. I really do like the lack of soot with kerosene or biodiesel though. Both burn more cleanly than #1 or #2 diesel. Although increasing the height of the stove pipe likely also helped as well. Before, with the shorter stack and running diesel, the aft cabin and cockpit would end up covered in soot even if the stove was burning well. Now it's completely clean.

    Anyway, stay warm!
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  2. #912
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Ok, turning back to the topic of reducing Skookum Maru's ecological footprint for a bit. My current take on the hybrid/solar propulsion system is that there actually are realistic uses for it on a cruising, displacement hull power boat. When I first started down that road I fully expected to find that limitations of solar panel efficiency or battery storage or some other component would make such a system useless but I am happy to find that the state of current technology is a bit better than I expected. At the same time, while the idea of island hopping under electric power only or of reducing emissions and fuel consumption by adding some percentage of energy from solar is very attractive, the price for such a system puts it out of reach at the moment. Certainly it's not yet to the point where it would be a viable option for most old wooden boats.

    One of the challenges in considering any change - whether it's as simple as running the stove on biodiesel or as complex and expensive as adding a hybrid/solar propulsion system - is that it's very difficult to realize any overall reduction in environmental impact. Running the engine on biodiesel, for example, is logistically difficult and more expensive than running on petrodiesel. And it likely makes no environmental difference at all once you factor in the non-sustainable energy that goes into making it and the effect of taking unused agricultural land that acts as a carbon sink - a net carbon output reduction - and changing it into energy production. Even if that energy is carbon-neutral (it's not, but let's pretend) it still results in an overall increase in carbon emissions. So it often seems like no action that we take will "pencil out" in the larger picture.

    So if everything we can do to reduce our ecological footprint - whether for a boat, a house, or our overall lives - takes time, effort and money, and if none of those actions will make any difference, then why do them at all? Earlier I answered that question as a philosophical exercise (“I act because this action is in accordance with that which I believe”) but in a slightly more pragmatic mood I might say rather that even if any action we take as individuals makes no difference to the environment, it does have a real effect on boundaries that we accept as a society. If my neighbor buys an electric car then I am just a little more likely to see electric cars as an acceptable choice. Increased adoption of electric cars by individuals may not in itself be an ultimate solution but by creating one path away from fossil fuel dependency we will open up others as well. So perhaps the answer to "why do it at all" is simply that "someone has to". Because if no one does anything, and we simply sit on our hands waiting for our governments (who are mostly beholden to corporations) or the corporations (who are mostly beholden to shareholder profits) to do it for us, we will never accomplish anything at all.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  3. #913
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Reducing reliance on fossil fuels and lowering carbon emissions is just one part of reducing the environmental impact of a cruising boat. We also need to look at waste discharge into the water. Meaning primarily black water (sewage), gray water (water from sink drains and the shower sump in our case, although larger boats might include laundry water), bilge water, and runoff water. Taking each of these in turn and leaving gray water for last as the most complicated:

    Black Water:

    Black water discharge is already regulated, and is a topic that has been so well covered elsewhere that it really doesn't need much further discussion. But I do have some thoughts on the "composting" heads aboard Skookum Maru.



    In my experience they are vastly superior to the traditional holding tank system. By eliminating flush water the volume of waste storage is cut to a small fraction of that required for a holding tank, which both extends cruising time between cleanout and frees up that space for other things. Odor control is also much better. I've never had a holding tank which did not make its presence known in subtle, malodorous ways despite all attempts at replacing hoses, using the proper chemicals or enzymes, aeration, etc. And I definitely prefer the process of emptying the separate solid and liquid waste from a composting toilet to pumping out a holding tank.

    There are, however, a few things worth noting for anyone considering a composting head aboard. First, the "composting" part of the name is not entirely accurate. There is plenty of debate on this topic but two things seem to be true: First, the solid waste will not actually compost in the toilet itself. Composting takes a considerable amount of time along with controlled conditions to create an environment where microbial action can break down the waste and pathogens into compost. Neither of which are realistically possible aboard a boat. So unless you have a place to compost the waste product yourself on land (we do not) it must be disposed of rather than reused.

    Which brings up the second point, that there are no really good disposal solutions for human solid waste outside of the municipal sewage system or some equivalent method like a septic tank. I've spoken with marinas, boating environmental groups, and various municipal agencies and no one has a better answer than to bag it and deposit it in the garbage, after which it will become landfill. And the regulations on doing that will certainly vary from place to place. Here in King County, WA it's legal to do so, at least in small quantities. Elsewhere it may not be. Of course taking waste solids out of the sewage system where they are (hopefully although not always) processed and kept out of the wider environment and putting them into landfill is not a positive step for our ecological impact. My hope is that wider adoption of composting heads will lead marinas to create better disposal systems for the waste.

    Bilge Water:

    Bilge water is also regulated of course, primarily to prevent the discharge of oil. There are products that claim to break the oil down or otherwise render it safe to discharge but with a few exceptions that are not generally practical for recreational boaters they do not actually prevent oil from entering the water. The only real solution here is to either prevent oil from getting into the bilge water in the first place, or to separate it out before pumping the water overboard.

    Keeping all the oil out of the bilge would be ideal but with the aging Detroit Diesel aboard Skookum Maru, even with a pan under the engine, it is impossible to keep all of the oil on the inside of the motor (and the leaky reduction gear seal does not help either). So far we have managed the problem with oil absorbent pads. It also helps that Skookum Maru does not leak very much, if at all. However the pads are a stopgap method at best. But there is one product on the market which separates out oil directly inline with the discharge flow, the BilgeKleen filter from Centek:

    https://www.centekmarine.com/products/bilgekleen-25gpm/



    We used one of these filters on Petrel and it worked great (at least until the engine dumped most of its oil into the bilge and clogged the filter, but that’s another story). Even with a very oily bilge it filters out all of the oil so that the overboard discharge is entirely clear. So I am planning to install one on Skookum Maru as well. Details to come when I get to that project. It does restrict the flow somewhat so some provision needs to be made for an emergency bypass or a backup pump of some sort.

    Runoff Water:

    Environmental impact from runoff water is primarily from washing the boat but I’ll include the impact of bottom paint in this category as well. The marina where Skookum Maru is moored already prohibits the use of any soap products for washing the exterior of the boat. Which isn’t much of a restriction as a simple hose-down is enough to remove salt and dust. As necessary we may spot clean with a rag and Simple Green or a similar product but that doesn’t end up in the water.

    Copper bottom paint is another environmental factor. Copper build up in harbors and marinas is toxic to marine life beyond what is desirable or necessary just for protecting the hull. Several places - notably in California and Washington, have enacted or attempted to enact regulations that limit the use of copper bottom paint in response to these problems. However it is not at all clear that the alternative “eco-friendly” biocides are any better than copper so those regulations have been modified or delayed multiple times. Confusion reigns on this topic but, regulations aside, it is ultimately our responsibility to minimize leaching of biocides into the water while still protecting the hull from damaging growth, barnacles, and ship worms.

    The primary concerns with bottom paint biocides are whether any contaminant is cumulative within the marine environment, and whether it is persistent in the environment. Copper is both cumulative, as it builds up in sediment and is absorbed by shellfish and other smaller organisms then passed up the food chain, and persistent, as it does not degrade or become diluted to the point of harmlessness but remains in the water, especially in harbors with limited circulation and outflow.

    Options for reducing the copper contamination from bottom paint include low-leach copper paints which release copper in small amounts over time. As long as the hull is not being cleaned in the water, which accelerates biocide release, the low-leach coatings have a lower impact than traditional high copper content paint. There are also bottom paints suitable for wooden boats that contain non-copper biocides, primarily zinc or ECONEA, which is a commercial brand of the pesticide tralopyril. However the long-term environmental impact of these biocides is not yet known so this is a literal case of “pick your poison”.

    Up to now we have been using Interlux ACT, an ablative copper bottom paint, and it has worked very well. At her last haulout Skookum Maru showed almost no buildup of growth on the bottom after two years in the water. It likely helps that she regularly transitions between fresh and saltwater, and that the cold water of the PNW does not promote rapid growth. However ACT is not a low-leach paint so for the next haulout I am planning to switch to another product. It’s about time to wood the bottom anyway. At the moment I am looking at Pettit Hydrocoat. From comments I’ve read it seems to do well out here in the PNW but if anyone has experience with it I’d be interested to hear.

    Gray Water:

    While so far gray water discharge is not regulated in most places, some marinas have implemented their own restrictions. When we were in South Sound last summer we found that Longbranch Marina in Filucy Bay is a no-discharge zone for both black and gray water.



    However gray water management is a complex topic on its own so I’ll tackle that in another post.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  4. #914
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Gray water management is the last piece of the waste water discharge impact discussion. While gray water discharge is not generally regulated for recreational vessels it may still be a source of nutrients that can lead to oxygen depletion, or of other contaminants that are damaging to the marine environment. However I’ll admit that my main reason for thinking about gray water management is more aesthetic than ecological. I’ve spent years draining the galley sink directly overboard but it no longer seems acceptable to drop anchor in a beautiful and deserted cove somewhere and then proceed to dump a bunch of soap and food scraps into the water.

    To some extent the impact of gray water can be minimized by using soaps that do not contain phosphates, and which use surfactants that are minimally toxic to marine life. And we have been doing that aboard Skookum Maru already. However I have been thinking about ways to reduce gray water discharge further, or ideally to eliminate it entirely. The obvious and typical approach is to install a gray water holding tank and store the waste for pump out. However there are a number of drawbacks to that option. Most significant is that we don’t have room for another large tank anywhere (especially if we might also be trying to make room for a battery bank at some point). And a small gray water tank would need to be pumped out frequently, something that I would like to avoid.

    But if we aren’t going to pump out to a shore facility, and we can’t store a large volume of it, then it has to go into the water at some point. So then the question becomes how to treat it so that it can be safely discharged in a suitable location. There is plenty of information on reusing household gray water for irrigation and similar purposes but very little on applications for recreational boats. There are a few products on the market that are designed for commercial vessels which must conform to more stringent regulations but they are expensive, complex, and require a significant power draw to operate.

    However our actual gray water production aboard Skookum Maru seems pretty light to me. We aren’t running a dishwasher, clothes washer or other appliances that produce large quantities of waste water. Our use is confined to hand dishwashing, brief showers (once I get the shower hooked up again) and similar activities. So the contaminates we are putting into the water are primarily food waste, bio waste (which may include pathogens), and soaps. I am thinking that a DIY system that deals with most of those elements would be sufficient. Better, certainly, than simply dumping raw gray water overboard.



    In this system, gray water is collected in a sump, pumped through a multi-stage filter to remove suspended solids, treated with UV light to eliminate bacteria and then stored in a holding tank until it can be discharged overboard. It doesn’t do anything to remove soap, which is a much more complex process, but based on the information I have managed to gather the actual environmental impact from non-phosphate soap is light, as it is both heavily diluted and biodegradable. If needed, additional filtering could be done with activated carbon or sand, both of which are commonly used to filter gray water. The main question I have is whether the UV purifier element is effective enough to prevent bacteria growth in the holding tank. However if that becomes a problem it could be addressed by adding chlorine to the tank and then adding a carbon filter to the overboard discharge line to remove the chlorine before pumping the waste water overboard.

    Of course this all works well enough on paper. I have no idea what real-world problems I might be missing. I welcome any suggestions, critiques, etc.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  5. #915
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Flush the toilet with the gray water.
    The gray water storage tank can be smaller.
    The soap lubricates the toilet.
    The smell of the toilet is in large part due to the marine organisms in seawater, so this reduces.
    Win, win, win.

  6. #916
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    i would try too for simplicity
    and a planter with reed beds

  7. #917
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Slacko View Post
    Flush the toilet with the gray water.
    The gray water storage tank can be smaller.
    The soap lubricates the toilet.
    The smell of the toilet is in large part due to the marine organisms in seawater, so this reduces.
    Win, win, win.
    I agree that would be ideal, except that Skookum Maru already has composting heads so there no flush water involved.


    Quote Originally Posted by coelcanth View Post
    i would try too for simplicity
    and a planter with reed beds
    I'm all for simplicity but I don't think we could reasonably incorporate a reed bed in a planter anywhere aboard the boat? Certainly not one of sufficient size to filter our gray water, as little as it may be compared to a house. Or am I misunderstanding?

    As far as the system that I am thinking about goes, I don't think it's all that complicated? All the components are readily available and not very expensive. There is room for a holding tank and the filters under the aft bunk and there is already a pump out deck fitting there left over from the old black water holding tank if we want the option to pump out. It does require a certain amount of maintenance to replace the filters every so often but that seems easy enough.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  8. #918
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    The gray water filtration system that I posted yesterday would be good enough I think. And further reading indicates that similar systems are in use both in commercial and DIY form so it seems to be a reasonable approach. But why not take it a step further and reuse the water? There have been a number of systems designed to recycle shower water, for example Shower Loop (https://showerloop.org/). All of these systems combine an activated charcoal/sand filter with UV sterilization. So by adding a carbon filter to the previous design and replacing the holding tank with a larger non-potable water tank plumbed into the fresh water system we get:



    The existing fresh water tank would continue to be used for drinking water, plumbed into a separate potable water tap at each sink. This setup would significantly reduce our water consumption, which is currently the limiting factor for time away from the dock. But would the water quality be sufficient for showering and washing dishes? This version might be a step too far but I am still intrigued. I think one would want the water to be safe for drinking even if it is not used for that purpose, but it seems UV sterilization and the carbon filter should take care of that? Available information doesn't really address this type of use so it's hard to know.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  9. #919
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Just grab the recycling system out of an old space station!

    While I believe thinking about gray water is great, I have to wonder about the impacts. I don't know - I ain't no marine biologist, nor do I play one on the WBF - but other than detergent, what's in the gray water that will have an adverse impact on the marine environment? Won't any food items get eaten?

    I know here in VT phosphorus has been banned from any soaps/detergents for many years - but dunno about other states.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  10. #920
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    So the contaminates we are putting into the water are primarily food waste, bio waste (which may include pathogens), and soaps. I am thinking that a DIY system that deals with most of those elements would be sufficient. Better, certainly, than simply dumping raw gray water overboard.
    Food waste: simply don't put it overboard. Scrape the dishes clean with a silicone scraper and put the waste in a dessicating container similar to your composting toilet. This waste can be regularly burried in the woods or disposed as biowaste if the city has waste separation. If you scrape good, the dishes look like the dog had licked them, washing is only for remaining oils and bacteria. A drop of soap or an alcohol wipe will take care of that.
    Bio waste: I don't exactly understand what you mean by that, I will asume it's skin, hair, etc. The hair you can collect with a fine sieve, goes into the same container as the food waste. Dead skin will feed the fishes just fine. Pathogens are a moot point, the water is actually already full of it. If you are concerned about it then yes, a UV light will take care of them.
    Soap: the only thing that will neutralize the surfactant qualities of any soap (even biodegradable) is a charcoal filter.
    One thing you did not mention is lotions, cremes, sunscreen and deodorant residues, a charcoal filter will catch them, but ideally you should use as little as possible.

    My proposed system for you is: fine metal mesh filter that can be cleaned manually, optional UVA light, big full flow charcoal filter, overboard discharge. It is about the best you can do on a small boat.

  11. #921
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Just grab the recycling system out of an old space station!

    While I believe thinking about gray water is great, I have to wonder about the impacts. I don't know - I ain't no marine biologist, nor do I play one on the WBF - but other than detergent, what's in the gray water that will have an adverse impact on the marine environment? Won't any food items get eaten?

    I know here in VT phosphorus has been banned from any soaps/detergents for many years - but dunno about other states.
    Not much, honestly? I agree that the tiny amount of food waste that goes overboard is not likely to be a problem. Even the soap is so diluted that I can't see it having a real effect even when you consider an anchorage full of boats. However I started thinking about some sort of gray water system when we were in Filucy Bay last summer. The marina there bans all overboard discharge. (So does the marina where we keep Skookum Maru for that matter, although they seem to turn a blind eye to the liveaboards.) As she is set up now there is no way to retain gray water aboard Skookum Maru so it would be difficult to meet the no-discharge requirement. Plus we have the room for a holding tank and the filter system so it's easy enough to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rumars View Post
    Food waste: simply don't put it overboard. Scrape the dishes clean with a silicone scraper and put the waste in a dessicating container similar to your composting toilet. This waste can be regularly burried in the woods or disposed as biowaste if the city has waste separation. If you scrape good, the dishes look like the dog had licked them, washing is only for remaining oils and bacteria. A drop of soap or an alcohol wipe will take care of that.
    Bio waste: I don't exactly understand what you mean by that, I will asume it's skin, hair, etc. The hair you can collect with a fine sieve, goes into the same container as the food waste. Dead skin will feed the fishes just fine. Pathogens are a moot point, the water is actually already full of it. If you are concerned about it then yes, a UV light will take care of them.
    Soap: the only thing that will neutralize the surfactant qualities of any soap (even biodegradable) is a charcoal filter.
    One thing you did not mention is lotions, cremes, sunscreen and deodorant residues, a charcoal filter will catch them, but ideally you should use as little as possible.

    My proposed system for you is: fine metal mesh filter that can be cleaned manually, optional UVA light, big full flow charcoal filter, overboard discharge. It is about the best you can do on a small boat.
    Thanks Rumars. I agree and I think that's pretty much what I have in mind as well. We do already retain and compost food scraps (whatever the dogs don't get first). Seattle provides municipal composting so that's easy enough. And I agree that the remaining food waste, skin, hair, pathogens, etc. are not a problem if they go directly overboard. The issue becomes that if you want to store them in a holding tank for any period then the combination of food and microbes will turn into a noxious soup of bacteria and sludge which is rather less innocuous. So the filter and UV light setup is more to prevent bacteria from growing in the tank than to remove contaiminates from the water before discharge.

    A few notes on the system as designed now:

    1. A fine mesh filter would be a useful addition to catch larger solids before they get to the multi-stage pre-filter. Easy enough.

    2. The pre-filter before the UV element is designed to remove particles that can shadow bacteria from the UV light. Filtering the water first makes the UV light more effective.

    3. The UV element kills or sterilizes any microorganisms in the water to prevent growth in the storage tank.

    4. An activated charcoal filter removes most of the remaining contaminates. Ideally what goes into the storage tank is as close to clean water as possible.

    5. Waste water can be stored in the holding tank when in a no-discharge area and then pumped overboard when in open water.

    That's the thought at least.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  12. #922
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Just a note from the lurking peanut gallery - solar power, hybrid engines and biodiesel are all fascinating stuff to follow along with. Grey water management not so much . Sorry, carry on...

  13. #923
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    With your scheme the filters will become a noxious sludge. I say if in a no discharge zone, don't discharge. Either have a big enough tank, empty it as soon as possible and radiate it with UV in between, or don't use the onboard facilities, use the marina ones.

  14. #924
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by rgthom View Post
    Just a note from the lurking peanut gallery - solar power, hybrid engines and biodiesel are all fascinating stuff to follow along with. Grey water management not so much . Sorry, carry on...
    Ha! Yeah, I figured that would be the case. I may be the only one interested in this stuff but I'm about done with it anyway. For now at least. Time to get back to some actual boat work. My to-do list is long and getting longer. The most immediate tasks are:

    - Replace the raw water pump impeller
    - Hook up the stove day tank fuel gauge and transfer pump
    - Varnish the inside of the pilothouse window frames
    - Reconfigure the hydronic heating system to use the heat exchanger loop in the diesel stove
    - Overhaul the dinghy davit
    - Refinish the dinghy

    oh, and...

    - Fix the extra bend in the stove pipe. Which doesn't need to be done but it bugs me that I didn't get it right the first time.

    That should keep me busy for a while. But first I need to finish laying track on the model train layout that I've been building with Dash. That's a long, long overdue project that I really need to finish before Christmas.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  15. #925
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Rumars View Post
    With your scheme the filters will become a noxious sludge. I say if in a no discharge zone, don't discharge. Either have a big enough tank, empty it as soon as possible and radiate it with UV in between, or don't use the onboard facilities, use the marina ones.
    Hm, yes that was my other question - whether the filters would just get clogged immediately, rendering the system useless. However I have seen several commericial filtration systems that use a similar setup so it seems feasible? Maybe no way to tell without trying it.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  16. #926
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Hm, yes that was my other question - whether the filters would just get clogged immediately, rendering the system useless. However I have seen several commericial filtration systems that use a similar setup so it seems feasible? Maybe no way to tell without trying it.
    I'm very glad I'm not the one cleaning 'em out after they've sat a while.

    I just replaced an old shower drain in the house & there was serious scrubbing afterwards!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  17. #927
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    I'm very glad I'm not the one cleaning 'em out after they've sat a while.

    I just replaced an old shower drain in the house & there was serious scrubbing afterwards!
    Hm, that does seem to be the downside. More thought needed perhaps. I have some thoughts on how to make the system easier to clean and generally less obnoxious but they need some fleshing out and perhaps a bit of experimentation. But ultimately this may be a problem that doesn't actually need a solution. It's certainly not urgent.
    - Chris

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  18. #928
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Most of the Dungeness crab around here are found in 30-60 of water. Many of the best anchorages along this coast have depths of 30-60'. Wonder if there is a connection there? / Jim

  19. #929
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by rgthom View Post
    Just a note from the lurking peanut gallery - solar power, hybrid engines and biodiesel are all fascinating stuff to follow along with. Grey water management not so much . Sorry, carry on...
    I don't think that I agree with this sentiment. The grey water issue seems at least as urgent and hopefully easier to accomplish. I have long wondered about a grey water recycling setup in the house. A tank under the basement floor and a separate pumping system to supply the filtered grey water for use in flushing the toilets. Again, hard to tell how well it might work (or not) without trying it and I am reluctant to create a problem so I have never done it.

  20. #930
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by chas View Post
    Most of the Dungeness crab around here are found in 30-60 of water. Many of the best anchorages along this coast have depths of 30-60'. Wonder if there is a connection there? / Jim
    That... seems best not to think about too closely. Especially given what Dungeness crabs eat. Rather like mushrooms that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldsub86 View Post
    I don't think that I agree with this sentiment. The grey water issue seems at least as urgent and hopefully easier to accomplish. I have long wondered about a grey water recycling setup in the house. A tank under the basement floor and a separate pumping system to supply the filtered grey water for use in flushing the toilets. Again, hard to tell how well it might work (or not) without trying it and I am reluctant to create a problem so I have never done it.
    Indeed. I, on the other hand, have never been reluctant to create a problem. Let's see... There was the time that I drilled straight into the main electrical service cable when I was putting up shelves in my girlfriend's house. The drill died a permanent death with a very loud bang. But I managed not to electrocute myself or burn down the house, and a few years later she agreed to marry me so I guess that came out ok. Then there was the time that I rebuilt the brakes on my 1966 Maserati Sebring but neglected to replace one soft line, leading to the rear brakes seizing up on the highway and nearly catching the car on fire. Fortunately there was a fire station at the next exit so I pulled into the parking lot and waited for everything to stop smoking before driving very slowly home. And of course there was the ill-fated Gig Harbor cruise on Petrel. That was a disaster from start to finish. I have plenty of other examples but perhaps I should leave off there. I am starting to think that maybe I shouldn't be allowed to have tools!
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  21. #931
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by oldsub86 View Post
    I don't think that I agree with this sentiment. The grey water issue seems at least as urgent and hopefully easier to accomplish. I have long wondered about a grey water recycling setup in the house. A tank under the basement floor and a separate pumping system to supply the filtered grey water for use in flushing the toilets. Again, hard to tell how well it might work (or not) without trying it and I am reluctant to create a problem so I have never done it.
    We have a rest area here in VT that has what they call "The Living Machine" which recycles most of the gray water. Obviously not practical for a boat, but it's quite interesting:

    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    . I am starting to think that maybe I shouldn't be allowed to have tools!
    Chris, I think you should be allowed to have all the tools you want, as long as you keep documenting your results (and thoughts) and sharing them with us I'm quite enjoying this thread and parts thereof and am looking at ways I can incorporate some of these thoughts into my water consumption/recycle/reuse here at home. We're already looking at starting a rainwater collection/storage system to augment our PUD supply and it seems that perhaps greywater treatment would be the next logical extension thereof. We're on a septic system, not city sewage, so what we do is kinds up to us. Opportunities abound!

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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    We have a rest area here in VT that has what they call "The Living Machine" which recycles most of the gray water. Obviously not practical for a boat, but it's quite interesting:

    That's pretty cool. Looks a bit energy intensive and certainly higher tech than what I can do here, but I think much of the concept is scalable, even if it's only used as primary treatment rather than complete re-use. We have an average of 52" of rainfall here so I'm thinking I can supply most of my needs via collection, but I'd sure like to enhance my post-use treatment beyond just a septic system and perhaps re-use some of it into the garden.

  24. #934
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    That's pretty cool. Looks a bit energy intensive and certainly higher tech than what I can do here, but I think much of the concept is scalable, even if it's only used as primary treatment rather than complete re-use. We have an average of 52" of rainfall here so I'm thinking I can supply most of my needs via collection, but I'd sure like to enhance my post-use treatment beyond just a septic system and perhaps re-use some of it into the garden.
    I believe it's powered by a solar array - well a grid-tied one - so I'm not sure it does 100%
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    We have a rest area here in VT that has what they call "The Living Machine" which recycles most of the gray water. Obviously not practical for a boat, but it's quite interesting:

    Very cool. I wish the video had more info on how the process actually works though. Is the processing entirely microbial until the final filter and dye stage? Do they have to aerate the aerobic tanks? So many questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    Chris, I think you should be allowed to have all the tools you want, as long as you keep documenting your results (and thoughts) and sharing them with us I'm quite enjoying this thread and parts thereof and am looking at ways I can incorporate some of these thoughts into my water consumption/recycle/reuse here at home. We're already looking at starting a rainwater collection/storage system to augment our PUD supply and it seems that perhaps greywater treatment would be the next logical extension thereof. We're on a septic system, not city sewage, so what we do is kinds up to us. Opportunities abound!
    Thanks Hugh. I spent some time looking at reed bed filtration. Very interesting but it takes a LOT of space. If you happen to be sitting on a large piece of land then sure, it might make sense. But I don't see it as a viable option for most people. Maybe some sort of algae tank system could work? And then process the algae into biofuel... But basic systems for gray water reuse seem pretty simple if you have a little room for planting. Something we might consider ourselves at some point, although we have very little room for anything in our tiny urban Seattle yard.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Very cool. I wish the video had more info on how the process actually works though. Is the processing entirely microbial until the final filter and dye stage? Do they have to aerate the aerobic tanks? So many questions!
    ...
    You can visit it yourself! Let me know when you're swinging by - it's about 75 miles from me...
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    You can visit it yourself! Let me know when you're swinging by - it's about 75 miles from me...
    #2021bucketlist
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Very cool. I wish the video had more info on how the process actually works though. Is the processing entirely microbial until the final filter and dye stage? Do they have to aerate the aerobic tanks? So many questions!



    Thanks Hugh. I spent some time looking at reed bed filtration. Very interesting but it takes a LOT of space. If you happen to be sitting on a large piece of land then sure, it might make sense. But I don't see it as a viable option for most people. Maybe some sort of algae tank system could work? And then process the algae into biofuel... But basic systems for gray water reuse seem pretty simple if you have a little room for planting. Something we might consider ourselves at some point, although we have very little room for anything in our tiny urban Seattle yard.
    We're sitting on 5 acres of very (almost too) level ground 35 miles north of Portland, Or. We've been reclaiming it from the endemic blackberries bit-by-bit and planting fruit trees, rebuilding the old farmhouse and occasionally getting to play with the boat. I shouldn't even be considering more projects beyond what we have started, but ambition, like hope, springs eternal and I keep saying, "one of these days...."

  29. #939
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    We're sitting on 5 acres of very (almost too) level ground 35 miles north of Portland, Or. We've been reclaiming it from the endemic blackberries bit-by-bit and planting fruit trees, rebuilding the old farmhouse and occasionally getting to play with the boat. I shouldn't even be considering more projects beyond what we have started, but ambition, like hope, springs eternal and I keep saying, "one of these days...."
    Sounds like paradise to me! And if not for ambition we would never get out of bed so I think it's always good to have a few more projects on the horizon.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  30. #940
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    The Living Machine video was interesting. Complicated and way beyond my full comprehension as to exactly how it works but interesting.

    My thoughts on doing some sort of grey water recycling in the house were much less complicated. I thought if I were to dig a big sump pump container into the basement floor and set it up so that the showers drained into it, that water could be used to flush toilets. I thought there would need to be some means of draining off the water if there was too much and that there would need to be a means of adding fresh water if there was not enough since the pipe system that filled the toilet tanks would not be duplicated.
    I figured most of that would be fairly easy to figure out and set up.
    However, grey water has things like soap, shampoo and other contaminants such as hair and skin particles etc so some form of filtration would be necessary. At the time that I was thinking about this, I looked for information on line and was discouraged by what I read. This water could get pretty raunchy pretty fast.
    Anything can be done if one pours enough effort, time and money into it but I started to wonder if it was worth the effort and time. My system would be so small that it wouldn't save me much in terms of water costs. Now that my sons are grown and gone, there is even less water use so less need for it.
    There were other considerations as well. One was that my good wife was not all that thrilled with the whole idea. Another was that I suspected that the local authorities might not be happy with it. I don't know if one could get a permit to do something like this and if one did it without a permit, it might well pose a problem later (especially if one wanted to sell the house). In any event, I moved on as I have lots of other projects that are in need of my time but I do think about it from time to time and still think it is a good idea.

  31. #941
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by oldsub86 View Post
    The Living Machine video was interesting. Complicated and way beyond my full comprehension as to exactly how it works but interesting.

    My thoughts on doing some sort of grey water recycling in the house were much less complicated. I thought if I were to dig a big sump pump container into the basement floor and set it up so that the showers drained into it, that water could be used to flush toilets. I thought there would need to be some means of draining off the water if there was too much and that there would need to be a means of adding fresh water if there was not enough since the pipe system that filled the toilet tanks would not be duplicated.
    I figured most of that would be fairly easy to figure out and set up.
    However, grey water has things like soap, shampoo and other contaminants such as hair and skin particles etc so some form of filtration would be necessary. At the time that I was thinking about this, I looked for information on line and was discouraged by what I read. This water could get pretty raunchy pretty fast.
    Anything can be done if one pours enough effort, time and money into it but I started to wonder if it was worth the effort and time. My system would be so small that it wouldn't save me much in terms of water costs. Now that my sons are grown and gone, there is even less water use so less need for it.
    There were other considerations as well. One was that my good wife was not all that thrilled with the whole idea. Another was that I suspected that the local authorities might not be happy with it. I don't know if one could get a permit to do something like this and if one did it without a permit, it might well pose a problem later (especially if one wanted to sell the house). In any event, I moved on as I have lots of other projects that are in need of my time but I do think about it from time to time and still think it is a good idea.
    Yes, I think it's hard to make these systems worthwhile if water is plentiful and the waste water already goes to a treatment plant. Although here in Seattle we get regular drought conditions in the summer and water is sometimes rationed for things like watering lawns and washing cars so I could see using gray water for irrigation at some point. But at the moment our "landscaping" consists of two tiny patches of scraggly grass and a couple of rosemary bushes. Not really worth the candle.

    One more thought on gray water treatment for boats however. I did actually find one system that is made for small recreational vessels - the Wavebrite filter:

    https://www.waveinternational.co.uk/wavebrite.html



    It appears to be only available in the UK and Europe as far as I can tell. And from what little information I could find on pricing it looks like the least expensive version would be $3k-$4k, which puts it beyond my budget. However the basic setup is a multistage pre-filter (which I cribbed for my own design) plus a final "filter module" which is not described in detail but which I suspect is a carbon block cartridge. There is no sterilization stage but it's also designed for direct overboard discharge rather than to a holding tank so likely it's not needed.

    The installation instructions do indicate that a grease trap is required if it is used for galley gray water, as cooking grease will clog the filters. So that is something I would want to add to the system I am contemplating. And it also includes vacuum gauges at each filter, which would be useful as well. But it does seem to validate the basic design. I don't know how bad the filters would get after a season of use. Pretty bad I expect. But as long as they are easy to change does it matter? Put a five gallon bucket underneath, drop the old filters in, install the new ones, and you are done. Seems easy enough, no?
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Final (I think) iteration on the gray water filtration system...



    After a bit more research I'm pretty sure that the Wavebrite system is a multi-stage filter combined with a UF membrane. All of which are commercially available. So that seems like a reasonable solution although it remains to be seen whether it would work in practice. Only one way to find out. But now I'm off to play with model trains for a while so this project will have to wait.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    One thing to consider, especially if you intend to recycle the filtered/sanitized greywater would be to include a circulation pump that circulates the holding tank water back through the UV filter periodically (like once daily for 15 minutes or so). Even with UV sterilization, it isn't 100% effective long term and you will still get bacterial growth (look up diesel fuel bacteria cleaning systems as an example). With periodic circulation you should have a reliable trustworthy source of recycled water should you go in that direction.
    I swear I'm half done.

  34. #944
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Bergquist View Post
    One thing to consider, especially if you intend to recycle the filtered/sanitized greywater would be to include a circulation pump that circulates the holding tank water back through the UV filter periodically (like once daily for 15 minutes or so). Even with UV sterilization, it isn't 100% effective long term and you will still get bacterial growth (look up diesel fuel bacteria cleaning systems as an example). With periodic circulation you should have a reliable trustworthy source of recycled water should you go in that direction.
    Hm, now that's a good idea. I hadn't thought of that. Seems easy enough to add a return loop to the discharge side of the holding tank to run the waste water back through the system as-needed. Ok then.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  35. #945
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Hello Chris,

    Haven't heard from you in a while so here are the obvious questions. . .

    How are you?

    How is Skookum Maru coming along?

    Stay safe, stay healthy.

    J.
    "Ships are the nearest thing to dreams that hands have ever made." Robert N. Rose

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