Thursday, January 26, 2012

Our new boat, and a new blog URL

Friends,
We have closed on the the "new" boat. We are not going to name her Living Light as our Monk 36 has been (that truly felt like the name for our Monk but not our new boat). Thus, we will no longer be updating this blog. Should you want to follow us or stay up to date with our plans and time on the water with our new boat, please come visit us at our new blog! The address is:


Come visit us there. We have already begun posting there about our 275 mile trip up the Tennessee River to bring her to Island Cove Marina in Chattanooga!!!

Now....someone come on and come buy our beloved "Living Light." She is a special boat!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ok, REALLY expanding the fleet now!

Earlier this fall we posted about putting our Monk on the market and possibly getting a larger boat. The ended up falling apart due to various factors. Well, time sometimes has a way of bringing things back to you that are just meant to be. We are proud to introduce our "new" member to the family and our "new" boat, a 1987 Bayliner 4550 Pilothouse. We closed on her earlier this week. She is currently in Iuka, MS at Aqua Yacht Harbor Marina. Iuka is basically at the start of the Tennessee-Tom Bigbee Waterway near MM 216 of the TN River. We will cruise her up the TN River to Chattanooga sometime this next month. She has a few things we will do to her- exterior needs a good buff and wax, exterior brightwork will be totally redone, we'll most likely put in some new corian countertops and replace some of the interior soft goods to suit our tastes and then also a little bit of mechanical upgrades. She is, however, already pretty well good to go and a very comfortable boat.
Some basic specs:
Twin 220hp Hino diesels (4GPH @ hull speed).
3 stateroom/2 head layout with one head having a separate stand up shower, the other a shower/tub combo.
Full beam width salon with tons of seating, wet bar, and full galley.
Galley has a 3 burner stove, an oven, and...drum roll...a trash compactor. I am ridiculously excited about the trash compactor (anyone who spends a lot of time aboard with a family can relate!).
Her interior is also fit with a washer/dryer and a central vacuum- pretty much all the comforts of home.
She has two helm stations with the lower one being an absolutely awesome raised pilothouse complete with radar, 10" Garmin GPS, autopilot, VHF, hailer, etc.
Her flybridge has a full helm up top, seating for around 12-15 and storage for her 2003 10' RIB dinghy and 2003 15hp outboard, all lowered by her davit winch.
Water access is very easy via a nice cockpit off the salon.
We absolutely love, and I mean LOVE our Monk 36 but we simply need more space since I use it as our floating office for my yacht brokerage firm, as well as our summer home for the family. We are looking forward to being able to stretch out a little more with our new pilothouse!
Some pictures....


The lower helm/pilothouse:

View from pilothouse during sea trial (in the rain- LOVE the all weather protection!!):

View from pilothouse:

Cockpit off of the main salon:

Main salon:

Galley:



Having closed on and now owning our "new" boat, our beloved Monk 36, "Living Light," is very much for sale. If you or anyone you know is in the market for a lovingly restored classic trawler look no further. Obviously if you are reading this you can scroll through our blog to see how much we love her. You can also visit yachtworld to see the 110 pictures and full specs we have of her online by clicking HERE.

We will miss our Monk but hope to find her a loving and caring new caretaker soon. Stay tuned for our continued adventures aboard our new pilothouse which we have decided to name "Watermark," after my yacht brokerage firm, Watermark Marine Group.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Expanding the fleet!

We are happy to announce a new addition to our family! While we have not yet found a pilothouse like we have been hunting for, that search has not delayed us in expanding our fleet. :)
Today we purchased a very nice Boston Whaler 17' Dauntless. This is their dual console boat (i.e. bowrider style!) and not their traditional center console. The kids love being on the water and many times last summer said how much fun itwould be to be able to go tubing, kneeboarding, and see if they can learn to wake board. We were going to hide the purchase from them until Christmas but I could notcontain myself and had to reveal her to the family today. Needless to say, they were VERY excited when they saw me pulling into the driveway with the boat in tow. One of our very good friends from our time on Lake Lanier has the exact same model boat so we were very familiar with it and extremely pleased to have her in the family and look forward to many good times aboard her with the kids. A few pictures....



Our son Caleb could not resist giving her a good cleaning and spending some time bonding with her. You can't beat being able to be barefoot and in shorts in the middle of December!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A video and an update

Hello friends! Some of you may be curious what is going on with our Monk and plans for a larger boat, etc. So far everything is pretty much on hold. :) As much as we could use the additional space, reality is that we do love our Monk and she is set up great for us and she is 100% reliable. We had the 45' pilothouse under contract but after fully inspecting her, we determined she needed way too much work. We are fine with doing a full refit on a boat and actually enjoy it (obviously!) but it just did not make sense on that particular boat. So....we are back to square one and that is ok because we are very happy with "square one." We are keeping an eye out for a larger boat but we are in no rush at all and would be completely happy keeping Living Light- she is certainly a peaceful vessel and a boat we enjoy and there are certainly worse things in life to have to deal with than a slightly smallish boat! For many, if not most, people, a 36 footer is a large vessel and compared to our sailboat friends, we are living in a palatial mansion aboard Living Light.

Although our season is not yet fully over for 2011, I could not resist putting together our annual video of our time aboard our boat this past year. I set the slideshow to one of our favorite artists, Andy McKee. If you have never heard of him go to youtube and type in his name. He is an incredible artist. The song in our video is entitled "For My Father." A fitting song not only for it's peaceful tune, but really, my dad is the one who taught me the love of being on the water so a very fitting song. We were blessed to have him come along for some of our trips this season so he even makes some cameo appearances for us!
Without further delay, our 2011 season video aboard Living Light. Enjoy!

We hope you all had a wonderful, wonderful Thanksgiving and here is to a joyous Christmas and holiday season for all and a wonderful 2012 just around the corner!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Living Light for sale (???) and a new venture....

Well, I have some real mixed emotions making this post! If you have been following our blog regarding our beloved "Living Light," you know that well...we love her. :) Seriously, no other boat has so captivated and called to me and made me feel so very happy just being aboard her. Maybe it is her beautiful exterior lines. Maybe it is her charming teak filled interior? Maybe it is the quiet little chug chug chug of her Perkins diesel. Maybe it is the view from the lower helm of her proud foredeck projecting out to cut through the waves and lead us on our way. Maybe it is something that is indescribable. I don't know. I do know though she has a special place in our hearts.
Saying all that, there is also "reality." Reality is that she is not a giant vessel of palatial size. With 2 young children, a medium sized dog, and my wife and I aboard for 4-5 days at time...well...she can start to get "cozy." Ok- crowded may be a better word for it. Particularly in the summers, we spend a lot of time aboard. I have started a new business venture in Chattanooga (started my own yacht brokerage firm after several years working with a firm out of FL!) so we will be up there even more as we move forward.

Given all of that, and combined with the fact my wife and the kids have said we should get a bigger boat, we are purchasing a 45' pilothouse and have placed our beloved trawler on the market. As you know if you have read through or followed our blog, we have completed a comprehensive and extensive refit on Living Light. She is thus in tip top shape and ready to cruise. We are hoping we can find a good home for her and a home that will feel the same sense of stewardship we have felt for her. Part of me is sure I will miss the feel of cruising aboard her as I feel like we were just getting to know each other. In a world of cookie cutter boats it is a pure joy to be aboard a classic trawler that even those aboard $500,000 yachts still give her sincere compliments for her beauty.
So, without further delay, Living Light is officially on the market. I have over 100 pictures of her online via her ad on yachtworld that you can view here:
All her refit work was done professionally, fully documented, and available for inspection. Our refit work line item summary alone is 3 pages long.
If you, or anyone you know, is looking for a classic, beautiful, and high quality trawler but don't want to deal with the typical "old boat issues" please get in touch or let them know about Living Light.

Also, since I already mentioned it....as many of you may know, in addition to my commercial real estate firm that I own in Atlanta, I have been a yacht broker with Frank Gordon Yachts out of Ft. Lauderdale for the last few years (and was actually his top producing yacht broker for the last 2 years). The other week though I formed my own yacht brokerage firm which I am extremely excited about, Watermark Marine Group. Based on our plans and vision for Watermark, we think it will help create a new way of doing business on the water. I invite you to come visit our new website and look around at www.WatermarkMarineGroup.com. As well, we have a facebook page we are building that if you are so inclined, we would be thrilled if you took a moment to visit and join by clicking "LIKE" at the top of that page. www.facebook.com/WatermarkYachts
The larger pilothouse vessel we are buying will help us with Watermark in that it will be easier to entertain clients, hold closings aboard, etc. as our boat, among other things, acts as my floating office.

So...mixed emotions but if you are in the market or know anyone in the market for a wonderful and happy trawler that shows as new, let us know. We may ask for character references since we love her so much! :)


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Potential fire avoided!

It's been a little bit since I updated the blog and I know you are terribly curious what we are up to so.....
Last weekend we had a fun time on the boat. However, I noticed when I went to unplug our shore power chord from the boat that it was pretty darn hot to the touch. As soon as I unplugged I noticed the smell of burning rubber...NOT good! I looked at the end that plugs into the boat and I found it was turning black and beginning to melt:


Definitely not good! We have reworked most all the systems at this point but the shore power connection was area I had not really looked at. Originally, Living Light did not have air conditioning and nor did she have an electric cooktop (she was equipped with a propane galley). The previous owner had installed the 2 new HVAC units and as outlined earlier in my blog, we added the new cooktop when we redid the galley this winter. Add all of that to the electric hot water heater and you have a lot of power usage. Most boats the size of Living Light would be equipped with twin 30 amp shore power or possibly single 50 amp shore power. We simply were running too much off of a single 30 amp service. Not only that but we discovered that our main breaker on the boat was a 50 amp, not 30 amp, which it seems that is why we were never tripping breakers! Basically...a fire waiting to happen which is scary to say the least. As we looked through those issues it was also discovered that the wiring between the 8 KW generator and the panel was undersized so we had an issue there as well. Luckily none of these issues are something money can't fix, right? :)
This week the marina converted Living Light from single 30 amp shore power to a single 50 amp service. This will give us plenty of capacity and will eliminate the fire hazard. As well, we re-wired the service between the generator and the panel from 8 gauge to 6 gauge wire so that we can use the generator without concern. I am very grateful we discovered the issues before they were a real problem and Living Light is better for it. Bit by bit, she really is more like a new boat than old!
Here is a picture of what my Friday night looked like....running the wiring for the generator connection:
'

Speaking of last weekend earlier, we finally got our teak/holly patterned carpet installed on the swim platform. The real teak platform has gaps between the boards that the kids and dog both kept getting their feet caught in. So to make it safer/easier for them we had Eddie Bell, "The Rug Pilot" make us up a custom carpet for the platform. It came out pretty nice I think:

I also could not resist taking some "glamor shots" of Living Light anchored out last weekend:



And last weekend was capped off with a beautiful sunset:

The big news for this week, beyond the major electrical work and changes, is that we moved our trawler to a new dock. We really liked our slip on Freedom Dock at Island Cove Marina but the roof was too low for our mast to fit under it by about 3 inches! Thus, every time we wanted to go out we had to lower and raise the mast...irritating and at times unsafe (i.e. if coming in at night I had to lower our light which is on the mast!). Our new slip is one dock over, has a great view out towards the main channel, and best of all...the roof is 2 feet taller so no more having to lower the mast! Our new dock neighbors are super nice (I've got a couple of boats listed for sale on the dock so I know some of them already). One slip has been partially filled in and tables and chairs set out for socializing. One of the liveaboards had just come back from a river cruise through Germany and the Czech Republic so they did a great slideshow of their trip so it made for a very fun evening talking about traveling with some new friends over a glass of wine.


ALSO!!! Since we converted Living Light to 50 amp shore power service, we now need to buy a 50 amp shore power chord! As my boating friends know, brand new ones are amazingly expensive (like $600-700!!) so if you have a used one laying around you don't need or know someone who does, email me via Anthony (at) BoatsAreFun (dot) com. The marina is loaning me one until I find one of my own so I need to get one in the next couple of weeks!!!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A letter to our trawler, Living Light

This week, Thursday actually, will be our 12 month anniversary from when we purchased our Monk 36. I have learned a lot, she has taught us a lot, and she has made me a profoundly better boater. On top of that, she has been a true blessing to our family in more ways than I could count. She has taught me more about piloting a boat than any other boat before (even though she is smaller than our most recent previous boat), taught me more about boat systems, and has proven to be an instrument of change for the good in our lives on multiple levels.

So...I decided to write her a letter. I thought

you all might appreciate it and perhaps identify with some of it. I will probably edit it some more this week as I refine my thoughts, etc. but here is the first draft:

Dear Living Light,

We "knew" you for several years before you really came into our lives. We admired you from afar but never got to really spend time with you except that one chance afternoon with your previous owner where he gave me the tour of your cabin and staterooms well before we were ever looking to bring you to our family. I thought you were pretty back then but as you know, you were in a bit of disarray.

And so it came to be that a year ago you officially came into our lives. I know the few weeks prior to your previous keeper signing you over to us I poked and prodded you all over and crawled all around on you but I think you know it was only to see where you might be sick and need

ing attention and help. It was all with the best intent though. Over the past year you have grown into a proud, happy, and wonderful trawler...the trawler you were meant to be. You are a strong and kind vessel and have brought us much joy. It has been an honor to work on you and help reveal your inner self that lay hidden for quite some time. I fear had we not met that you would have suffered more years in a state of confusion, incompleteness, and general neglect. Instead, you are now much loved, much appreciated, and a focal point in our family. I know our children tend to bounce around on you here and there but you take it without complaining and keep them safe and sound in their newly configured stateroom with bunk beds all their own and you help weave dreams of far away places, of hope, adventure, of time together and connection to the natural world as they lay peacefully in their berth after a long and active day with you on the water in the hot summer sun, safe in your protective arms and mom and dad near. As well, yo

u provide my wife and I with a gentle place to sit around our little kerosene lamp at the teak table on the aft flybridge deck...a place we can sit, regroup, connect, laugh, share our lives, and grow close together under the stars on a quiet night. You do this for us every weekend it seems and more.

We hope to have many trips with you ahead and have several planned in the coming weeks and months already but I will never forget the first trip we took with you down the river with just dad and my son....3 generations of men together on your longest trip in probably 15 years as we went to get you looking pretty and to have the new topside paint applied to your exterior. It was a magical time for us all. My slight apprehension as to how you would perform quickly faded as I saw you run solid and true the entire 250 mile round trip

journey. I know that my son, my dad, and myself will always cherish that first trip together...running through our first locks with you, cruising new waters, talking, keeping watch as we slowly and efficiently cruised the river...you gave to us a priceless and irreplaceable memory. I know that you will do this and more for us in the future.

It has been an honor to be the steward of your care these last 12 months. Overseeing your new fiberglass decks, your painting, testing all your mechanicals, working on your electrical and plumbing systems and making improvements where needed to assure your long term health and functionality...doing all of this was an honor. I have appreciated your patience as I learned what was needed for each step along the way and to make sure each part of you was of the highest quality and best workmanship. One of the unforeseen gifts of you coming into our lives as well was the time my son and I spent together over the winter working on your refit and make over. Such glorious times we had together, he at 8 years old, the perfect age to help dad with big important tasks, learning how to use tools, and able to fit into spac

es that I literally cannot. As you know, he, like all of us in our family, are very close, yet you drew us all closer together and for that I am so very grateful. Had you been a brand new boat we would have missed out on those opportunities.

We truly appreciate and love you like no other boat before you. When we were looking the other way you came to us and beckoned to our heart and we are so very glad. You are not the fastest boat, nor are you the youngest, yet you receive more compliments and praises than just about any other vessel in the entire marina and I hope you know that. Even the boaters that do not know what or who you are, tell us you are their favorite boat to see on the water. You, my lovely trawler, in my book, are a class act, a wonderful friend, a trusted part of our family, and if nothing else, you have honestly taught me what it truly means to love a boat, to have the lines of a vessel call to you, to pull at your heart, capture your imagina

tion, cause you to dream big dreams, and to feel a resonance within your spirit. May every boater learn what it is like to feel such connection with their home on the water.


With much thanks,

The Eyl's

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Painting and a dark night

This past weekend was a "man weekend" I guess. Tarne and Sarah stayed home and just Caleb and I went up to the boat for a working trip. We had big plans for the weekend to tackle one of the "to do" list items that I had been wanting to address for a long time. Yes...what could be more fun on a weekend of 95 degree temperatures than degreasing and painting the bilge?! :)

Caleb really loves doing these projects with me and dives right into them which is a great help on a practical level but also a lot of fun and a good way for us to spend one on one time together doing something we both really seem to enjoy. He is so helpful and truly seems to have fun doing boat projects. Painting a bilge is not exactly high on the glamour or excitement list but he sure enjoyed helping!

Here he is climbing into the engine room to scrape up the old paint that was peeling so that the new paint would adhere well.


And hard at work!

The forward bilge is not exactly easy to enter due to the holding tank being located there but he does fit in there easier than I do!

Some pictures of our handiwork....


I still have some more sections to paint but already just being able to see those two areas done is great! Degreasing and cleaning was a pain but the new paint will help keep things easier to clean and keep clean. Nothing like cleaning off 30 years of dirt and grime from a bilge to help you see the value of cleaning up a mess as soon as it happens. Now if we develop a leak or something we will be able to identify it immediately and address the issue.

After all of that was done Saturday evening it was time to relax....nice steak dinner...a cold drink...not a bad way to end our day. About 11 p.m. just as we were about to go to bed though we hear a big crash and bang and poof- all the lights on the dock go dark and we have no power. It seems someone had been drinking too much and subsequently decided to drive their truck when they should not have. He fell off one of the roads in the marina that is just above our dock parking lot. In falling down the embankment he also took out our transformer and he ploughed the nose of his truck into the pavement below and then ran off. The police ended up catching him. Luckily no one was hurt or killed and we got to watch him attempted his sobriety tests which was probably not so entertaining for him. It was a good moment to talk to Caleb about the consequences of our actions, being responsible, obeying the law, etc. as we watched them handcuff him and put him in the police cruiser.
Here is the driver just starting his failed testing:

Luckily power came back on around 5 a.m. It was so hot at night we ran the generator for an hour or two at the dock to power up the air conditioning. We felt bad for the family renting the cabins right next to our dock as they lost power and there is also a very nice couple with a beautiful Defever 49 Raised Pilothouse staying on our dock as transients for the next week or two and it's not fun loosing dock power in the middle of the night when it is roasting out both day and night! Just as I was getting up at 5 a.m. to turn our generator back on (didn't want to sleep with it on all night even though it is diesel!), the power turned back on. I was up anyway so I stayed up for a bit more to catch a beautiful sunrise.


To finish up the day today Caleb and I moved our wifi router to a better location. I had mounted it in the forward stateroom storage locker/closet but it did not seem to want to transmit much at that location so we moved it out of there into an out of the way place still in the forward stateroom and it seemed to work great there so we will see how that goes.

The big question lately is when and where to go cruising. We are leaning towards homeschooling again this fall which would substantially free up our schedule but then Caleb will also probably be doing fall baseball again so we shall see. It is so hot right now on the river cruising would require the generator running pretty much non stop to fight off the heat. We are thinking a trip up to Lake Tellico maybe soon and then this fall probably hitting the AGLCA rendezvous down in Alabama so stay tuned...more local cruising and boat projects until then!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July

What a GREAT 4th of July!!! We had SUCH a good time aboard our trawler. We are still on the boat as I type this and have been here since Thursday which has been really fun. The new aft head installation has been great and makes the boat much more comfortable. Speaking of comfort, I finally got our new bimini top for the flybridge and installed it before the weekend. I had gotten quotes from a local firm to build a custom top for $1,500 which included fixing the bent frame. We fixed the frame with the help of a dock neighbor and ended up calling Overton's and ordered a new Sunbrella bimini that is not available online for a total cost of about $400-$450 which included the frame repair. Talk about a cost savings. Our comfort level has gone WAY up since we got the new bimini as we can sit in the shade at the flybridge helm which is nothing short of fabulous.
Here is a shot of the new top as we were are underway:


The kids have developed a new favorite boating activity which is sort of like tubing but behind the trawler. :) Basically- we either tow the tender or the kayak and let them ride in it (when it is not busy of course). To say the kids enjoy it would be huge understatement. We usually only do it when we are coming to or from the local cove we anchor in just around the bend from the marina:


Saturday we took some time out to go see the Chattanooga Aquarium and bought a family membership. Cost for a family of 4 to attend one day is about $80+ but you can get an annual pass good for the entire family for only $115 so in less tan 2 visits you pay have done better than breaking even. I made a friend while I was there:

Downtown Chattanooga is such a fun downtown. Caleb got to play drums with a man from Ghana:

Rest of the weekend we just played around the local waters and anchored out. Monday night, the 4th were the big fireworks on the water. We anchored out at about 5 p.m. which was later than we planned as a big rain storm rolled through in the afternoon. No sooner had we anchored out though then the crowds started showing up. Here is Sarah checking things out after we had set anchor:

And Caleb decided it was a good spot to fish:

You can tell how tired he (and Sarah) are from days on the boat swimming and playing from dawn til past dark:

Sarah cannot resist making funny faces....

Sun starting to go down and more boats anchoring. We ended up being pretty much in the perfect spot directly across from the fireworks:

The kids started to get comfortable on the trunk deck waiting for the show:

As Tarne and I sat at the table on the aft bridge deck with a glass of wine and our lantern:

The neighbors across the cove decided they would put on their own little show which made for a good picture:

Fireworks start and the kids made comfy beds on the trunk deck:

AWESOME fireworks!






The show was truly amazing. It is done by a private individual that lives on the lake and not a municipal show. Thus, the height of the fireworks was slightly less than a "real" show but I kid you not, it was probably the best fireworks show I've ever seen. It went on for right at an hour and a half and it was non stop. It was basically as intense as having an hour and a half grand finale. The pictures don't do it justice at all but it was a great, great show and professionally done and never a pause the entire time.
Here is a short video of the fireworks taken from my iPhone:
video

Tuesday we went back to the aquarium for another fun day to see the butterfly house and saltwater fish. As well, we went to go see the Imax movie, "Born to Be Wild" in 3D. The kids loved it. I have an app on my iphone camera that lets you take funny pictures that the kids simply love. So we passed our few moments in line by taking some fun pictures with their huge 3D glasses on:





All in all, a great week on the boat (yes, we've been on the boat for a solid week!). We were contemplating cruising up to Lake Telico this week but forecast is very hot and 50% chance rain every day so we are going to hold off for better whether. Home to Atlanta today it looks like then back up this weekend. "Living Light" is quickly becoming our home away from home on the water.


Friday, July 1, 2011

New aft head installed!

Well, another boat project is done! I mentioned briefly in my last post that we were going to install new heads. I decided to go a step at a time and just do the aft head first, see how we like it, then do the front head and possibly add a second holding tank for the aft head. The new head arrived at the house earlier this week. I pondered whether to wait until after the 4th of July to install just in case something went wrong and we'd be left with only the forward head. After reading through the instructions, looking everything over, and talking to the Raritan tech support to answer a few questions, I decided to go for it. So, about 2:00 P.M. today I tore into the project. I finished right at about 7 or 7:30 so about a 5 hour job but that included a trip the hardware store in town, a trip the marina ship's store, as well as taking the boat over to the fuel dock to pump out the holding tank. The hardest part was dealing with a very cramped area to install the plumbing, wiring, etc.
After researching the current products on the market, we opted to go with Raritan's "Marine Elegance." This is an electric head with vacuum technology incorporated. Tearing out the old head was not hard- close off the raw water thru-hull so as to not flood the boat, remove a few bolts, loosen a few clamps, and poof- the head is sitting on the dock. Only problem was I didn't pump out the holding tank prior to starting so there was some, um, er....residual fluids in the discharge line at the point of connection. NOT pretty and definitely not pleasantly aromatic! The big change for the new head, beyond the improved technology, is converting from raw water flush (i.e. pulling water up from the body of water the boat is sitting in to flush) to fresh water flush (i.e. it ties into the fresh water system which ties into our 200 gallon water tanks. Raw water flush is not a terrible set up if you are in a freshwater system such as we are in here on the Tennessee River but if you are in salt water it can lead to some problems and can definitely mean things smell more as the little microbes in the salt water die. Isn't this a fun topic??!! Hahaha.....
Anyway, our new head is in. I tied into the vanity sink cold water service line right next to the head. We got the "smart flush" controls which lets you control how the unit works and how much water it uses. Everything mounted where the old unit and switches were at so it pretty much looks like it has always been there. Tying into the freshwater system required tying into the 3/8 PEX plumbing line and bumping it up to 1/2" line to serve the head (AKA toilet for our land friends). These fittings are readily available at the local hardware store. I had to reroute the wiring for the old head to bypass the old single push button switch and tie into the new control panel and controls. One thing is for sure- this old boat is really improving my ability to work on marine systems- a couple of years ago I would have had no idea how to do this install!
Here is a picture of our old Jabsco electric head....I have no idea how old it was? It was made of plastic whereas our new unit is all porcelain just like a real land toilet. :)

And during the tear out process. I had to remove the old teak platform that the old head sat on as the new Marine Elegance unit we bought is a "tall" model which sits right on the floor of the head.

Mounting bracket for the new head installed and ready to reroute the 12V wiring to under and inside the vanity cabinet/sink and connect the plumbing.

And finally...our new vacuum/electric head installed! It's small but a lot bigger than our old Jabsco electric head. Most marine heads are smaller than a normal household toilet but our new head is a regular household sized unit.

And our "Smart Flush Controls," mounted where the old push button control was located for the Jabsco. It ties into the control module inside the adjoining cabinet via an ethernet cable. You can choose between "normal flush," "water saver flush," "water only" (i.e. just fill the bowl with more water), or "empty only."

We will see how we like it compared to our old Jabsco's. So far it is definitely quieter and nicer. I suspect the kids will soon be insisting we replace their head with the same unit for their bathroom!

My wife and the kids are on their way up to the boat as I type this and in addition to yummy vittles and happiness, they are also bringing up our new flybridge bimini top which will hopefully fit our old frame since the old top was destroyed in the tornados that came through the southeast back in April. It's supposed to be hot this weekend so we are going to need it!

Stay tuned.....