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Old 11-04-2015, 22:09   #46
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

Terra Nova- Your design sounds simple (a good thing). I also like the raised holding tank with a gravity dump. Neither would fit in my small head compartment. It really is a matter of finding the solution that works for you and your boat - there is no one right answer for all. (But there are a lot of bad answers!)

I have seen a lot of valves/hoses/seacocks blocked, or nearly so, from mineral deposits. This is a result of urine left in the exhaust hose. Recommendations to only pump enough to clear the bowl when just urinating will result in a more rapid buildup, and potentially smell. When overboard discharge is allowed the head should be pumped enough to assure flushing of the entire system. As I said earlier, proper sanitation hose will cut down on smells and vinegar will cut down on mineral deposits. I have on occasion used stronger acid to assure effective cleaning - you may not wish to be handling muriatic acid however.

Guests are a problem for all of us. Getting men to sit down to pee is an uphill struggle. I have never had a problem with feminine products, but I have no reluctance to explain the appropriate disposal either. It can be difficult to train on the proper operation of the head - best to have a written explanation. Also, many of the marine heads (particularly from the UK) do not have seat covers strong enough to sit upon - I avoid the problem by having a plywood cover hinged over the top which works well as a seat. Toilets using vacuum don't work with a broken cover so it is important to train for this as well.

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Old 12-04-2015, 02:01   #47
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

A Lavac works well on our boat and I have installed a 40L poly holding tank above the water line that empties by gravity or via a pump out from the top. A Jabsco electric macerator pumps the poo to the holding tank or the manual pump goes straight to the through hull. Have never had problems pumping manually and I have no muscles.
Replaced the pump diaphragm about 5 years ago along with all the pipes. Recently put in new through hull fittings and the whole system has always worked well with no problems. The Lavac has been in the boat since built in 1983.
The only things that go down our head have to pass through your body first. Toilet paper goes in a separate plastic bag and not down the dunny. Guests are always thoroughly briefed before head use plus there are instructions printed up.
When leaving the boat I always flush 4L of fresh water through the system to keep it smelling sweet and lovely, plus this should help cutdown on scale build up. The vinegar trick is also helpful here.
Cheers and may all your journeys smell sweet.
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Old 12-04-2015, 06:07   #48
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

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Originally Posted by mariner36bob View Post
If the OP doesn't take you up on your offer, I'd be interested in the spare parts/rebuild kit. Feel free to PM. Thanks.
Thanks Mariner, I'll let you know. It is a good head. I just don't need it anymore.
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Old 12-04-2015, 06:45   #49
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

No matter which head and holding tank you use (we have two Raritan PHII's forward and aft heads), I recommend the use of "Odor Safe" hose. When re-doing the system, it's worth it to use the best materials so that the chance of needing to get your hands into that stinky environment will be greatly reduced. I feel the same about "Y" valves, through-hulls, macerators, and deck pump-out hardware. The Odor Safe hose is notoriously stiff to work ... it helps much to have a heat gun and a little liquid dish soap handy to heat the ends up for bending and pushing onto hose barbs of the fittings.
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Old 12-04-2015, 16:00   #50
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

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Originally Posted by Ukeluthier View Post
The Raritan Marine Elegance uses only 0.6 liters per flush in the water-saving mode... that's less than manual heads and less than other electric heads except for the VacuFlush, which is far too complex and costly for my little boat. This is the main reason I chose it over a manual head, given the fact that I had room for only a 12-gallon holding tank.

It is mechanically very simple (fewer moving parts than most manual heads, I'd wager) and actually less expensive than many high-quality manual heads.
I only have one season using the VacuFlush so I'm not an expert, but my impression is that the 1 pint claim per flush is on the optimistic side. I learned the hard way that too much toilet paper and too little water can cause a clog that requires minor surgery (removing the hose and clearing duckbill valve) in the pumping unit. So, after that one experience, now I tend to err on the generous side of one pint, closer to double that amount I would guess, or flush more frequently before too much toilet paper builds up. I'm probably wasting water but I'd rather do that than have to take it apart. Maybe I'll eventually get braver enough to cut back on the water again, but not quite yet. Maybe some other, more experienced "Vacuflusher" can weigh in on how much water they think they use each flush. But I do like the lack of any odor and the way it "vanishes" the waste and it's not objectionably noisy at night, but it does go through some fresh water.
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Old 12-04-2015, 21:29   #51
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

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Peggy,
Whereon the product do you suggest lubricating on the PH-II?mnh
SuperLube teflon grease (the thick grease that comes in a tube, not any of SuperLube's liquid or sprays) is the best choice, but any good teflon or silicon grease will work.

Take the pump off the base, stick the tube nozzle into the pump and give it a healthy squirt...pump a couple of times to spread the grease all over the inside of the pump cylinder...put the pump back on the base, and you're done.

Do that every spring as part of recommissioning if you're weekend warrior and you'll be good to go all season. If you're a liveaboard, 2-3x/year will keep your toilet pumping smoothly and cut wear of the rubber parts in the pump down to almost nothing.

Btw, I saw some comments about water use in a VacuFlush further down in this thread...that toilet actually needs about as much water as any other toilet if you want to prevent problems with it. I've written a piece I call "VacuFlush 101" that explains how it works (most owners don't really know) and how to prevent 99% of problems with it. And I've also created a pdf of the trouble-shooting guide for it. Email me ( EMAIL pls, not PM) if you'd like a copy of either or both. Fwiw, I had a V/Flush on two boats and was a dealer/distributor for nearly 10 years, so I'm intimately familiar with it.
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Old 13-04-2015, 09:40   #52
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

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Originally Posted by peghall View Post
SuperLube teflon grease (the thick grease that comes in a tube, not any of SuperLube's liquid or sprays) is the best choice, but any good teflon or silicon grease will work.

Take the pump off the base, stick the tube nozzle into the pump and give it a healthy squirt...pump a couple of times to spread the grease all over the inside of the pump cylinder...put the pump back on the base, and you're done.

Do that every spring as part of recommissioning if you're weekend warrior and you'll be good to go all season. If you're a liveaboard, 2-3x/year will keep your toilet pumping smoothly and cut wear of the rubber parts in the pump down to almost nothing.

Btw, I saw some comments about water use in a VacuFlush further down in this thread...that toilet actually needs about as much water as any other toilet if you want to prevent problems with it. I've written a piece I call "VacuFlush 101" that explains how it works (most owners don't really know) and how to prevent 99% of problems with it. And I've also created a pdf of the trouble-shooting guide for it. Email me ( EMAIL pls, not PM) if you'd like a copy of either or both. Fwiw, I had a V/Flush on two boats and was a dealer/distributor for nearly 10 years, so I'm intimately familiar with it.
I'd be very interested in reading both your Vacuflush101 and your troubleshooting PDF but I don't have your email address? If you don't want to post it, would you please PM me? Thanks.
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Old 13-04-2015, 10:01   #53
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
KISS, manual.
+1 We replaced the leaking leccy one that we inherited on our current boat with a new manual Jabsco 'Twist 'n lock model, simple and effective and costing well under $200. Of course the OP will also have to install a holding tank, thru hulls, pipework and Y valve diverter so the costs will be way over the simple cost of the head alone.
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Old 13-04-2015, 10:23   #54
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

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The epitome of KISS is the Lavac head. It uses a bilge pump, and if you want electric, they work great with a Whale Gulper 320 pump. [You can keep the manual pump in line with the electric...] The ultimate trick is to plumb it so the manual or electric pump can also be used to empty the holding tank. [This requires a couple of extra Y valves...]

I have had them on 3 different boats over the last 30 years and never an issue sans a broken lid on one on the current boat (not the toilet's fault...)

I have also recommended them to many other boaters over the years and to this day we remain friends...

Both heads on my current boat have Lavacs [although I plan to replace 1 with a composting head to eliminate 1 holding tank...] and are rigged to flush with fresh or raw water as desired. [I have a watermaker...]

I have found fresh water flush is best in warmer climes, but in cooler climates, raw is fine... [I always lay up with vinegar in the lines anyway when away from the boat for any period of time...]

Last I knew, St. Brendan's Isle [the mail handling service in Florida] was also the only US rep for Lavac heads and parts.

Good luck with this important quest.
Correction to my original post above [I don't see a way to edit the original post...]:

I originally specified a "Whale Gulper 320 pump."

The correct pump is the Whale Gulper Grouper pump.

I apologize for any confusion.

Cheers!
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Old 08-09-2015, 07:50   #55
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

Well I guess it's been a while since I last logged in to CF! It's been a busy spring full of getting a new to us boat on the water, and a busy summer full of sailing and enjoy the perfume Ode de head. The recirc head is definitely going in the dumpster come haul out time. This particular model says it holds 15 gallons of waste btw.

Thanks to all for the great suggestions I really appreciate them all. I still haven't made up my mind as to what I'm going to go with. As for room and size my head is a commodious area for sure. My new to me boat is 36ft and I've seen smaller heads on many 40ft boats. I've got about 4x5ft area to work with in there. I'm thinking of having the holding tank sit on the floor and building a cover for it then having the head on top. This should allow me to keep hose runs to a minimum. Thanks to all who made excellent offers on heads I'll drop you a line to see if they are still available.

Thanks to all the experts (Peggy) and expert advice guys as always I greatly appreciate it. Sorry I've been too water logged to check back in all summer.
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:56   #56
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

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I still haven't made up my mind as to what I'm going to go with. As for room and size my head is a commodious area for sure. My new to me boat is 36ft and I've seen smaller heads on many 40ft boats. I've got about 4x5ft area to work with in there. I'm thinking of having the holding tank sit on the floor and building a cover for it then having the head on top. This should allow me to keep hose runs to a minimum. Thanks to all who made excellent offers on heads I'll drop you a line to see if they are still available.

Check this out..I think it's exactly what you're looking for: SeaLand Traveler at Defender (I use the link to it on Defender's site only 'cuz it has the best description...you might want to get a quote from our loyal member HopCar (Hopkins Carter Marine). Because it needs so little flush water, the 9 gallon tank holds upwards of 50 flushes.
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Old 08-09-2015, 16:17   #57
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

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Check this out..I think it's exactly what you're looking for: SeaLand Traveler at Defender (I use the link to it on Defender's site only 'cuz it has the best description...you might want to get a quote from our loyal member HopCar (Hopkins Carter Marine). Because it needs so little flush water, the 9 gallon tank holds upwards of 50 flushes.
The name of this thing is a bit deceptive. It's gravity flush into the tank, but then looks like it's a pump out from the tank.

Whilst the OP has to decide what he wants himself, I can't understand why anyone who has the room, and it sounds like he has the room, doesn't go for a gravity emptying below the water line system such as in this picture. To me it was a no brainer. My only regret is that I didn't install a bigger tank. But the system remains in my opinion the best out there for a cruising boat. And mine is 36 foot too.
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Old 08-09-2015, 18:54   #58
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

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The name of this thing is a bit deceptive. It's gravity flush into the tank, but then looks like it's a pump out from the tank.
Yup...it is. And I noticed that your design doesn't include any ability to pump out the tank. That may work ok for you in OZ and a lot of other places around the world too...but pumpout is the only legal way to empty a tank in all U.S. INLAND waters and all coastal waters within 3 miles of the nearest point on the whole U.S. coastline, which would include bays, sounds etc. So while it's not too hard to find tanks that can be dumped at sea using gravity here in the U.S, boats without any pumpout capability are very rare.

Plumbling the SeaLand Traveler to discharge overboard too is very easy...a y-valve and the pump of your choice in the pumpout line. Or, if the head sole (the tank sits on it) is above waterline, no pump...just the y-valve.
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Old 08-09-2015, 19:00   #59
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

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Yup...it is. And I noticed that your design doesn't include any ability to pump out the tank. That may work ok for you in OZ and a lot of other places around the world too...but pumpout is the only legal way to empty a tank in all U.S. INLAND waters and all coastal waters within 3 miles of the nearest point on the whole U.S. coastline, which would include bays, sounds etc. So while it's not too hard to find tanks that can be dumped at sea using gravity here in the U.S, boats without any pumpout capability are very rare.

Plumbling the SeaLand Traveler to discharge overboard too is very easy...a y-valve and the pump of your choice in the pumpout line. Or, if the head sole (the tank sits on it) is above waterline, no pump...just the y-valve.
On mine the 'pump' out is an inlet through the top. Most, if not all of these gravity fed discharge tanks have an inlet to pump out with.
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Old 08-09-2015, 20:07   #60
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Re: A fresh start for the head on my boat need advice

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...I can't understand why anyone who has the room...doesn't go for a gravity emptying below the water line system such as in this picture...


Not every boat designer is willing to give up valuable living space for waste storage. Many/most waste tanks are located below decks, like most fuel and water tanks. Where they are below the waterline, pumping them out is the only choice. So this is just not practical on most boats.

As far as gravity feed, I would much prefer a gravity fed holding tank (like the one in my '68 Silver Streak travel trailer) than gravity discharge, as it would eliminate daily pumping, requiring pumping only for emptying the tank periodically. The tiny 5-6-gallon holding tanks are really too small.

BTW a deck pump-out is an outlet (not inlet, even though you might rinse) that is very simple to add to a waste holding system.
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