Our recent holiday on a canal boat was great I would recommend it and the company we hired from to anyone but I’m not sure I wouldn’t recommend the boat we hired. It was very narrow (douh!) the bed was unconformable but the toilet was something else. These boat are equipped with toilets that have tanks. We were assured in a week we shouldn’t need to pump it out but from the first evening it started smelling. Smelling isn’t a word that adequately describes it. We assumed this was normal and didn’t complain, well we our English (half English in my case).
It wasn’t that it just smelled in the small bathroom it stunk in our bedroom (the tank runs underneath it). By day three it was so offensive I often had to get up in the night and open the door to let in fresh air. On day four my Danish side took control and I complained (politely) to the company. Apparently there are not supposed to smell and promised to dispatch someone to take a look. As it happened we didn’t meet up with the chap until the evening due to another adventure I’ll save for a different post. He poured more chemicals into search under our bed for a leak and then recommended we pumped it out the next day.
The Chemicals hadn’t improved the smell that evening so next day we headed, very slowly to the nearest pumping station. The pumping locations was quite busy and I’m proud say I managed to moor almost flawlessly with an audience. We followed the instructions only to find the payment card they had given us didn’t work. So another phone call to the company and they dispatched someone to help us. While we waited we meet a couple of nice live aboard boaters. I’m save that for another post.
Once the tank was pumped and flushed with new chemicals added we head off with a much sweater smell. It didn’t last after a few uses the smell was back. I’m now convinced we had a small leak somewhere letting the fumes out. I didn’t bother complaining again we just ventilated and used a lot of febreze.
The strange thing was after pumping out for about a day I could smell sewage everywhere even when we left the boat. For a few hours I was worried that I had permanently damaged my sense of smell or our boat had somehow polluted the whole of Wiltshire. Only to my relief to find out every one could smell it as well. Must have be a faulty nearby sewage works.
You never realize how great having a properly functioning toilet and sewage system is until it goes wrong.