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Old 17-11-2015, 03:19   #16
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Re: Airhead experiences? Don't get funny.

Ok, I have a few questions.

I understand the "used " toilet paper needs to be deposited in a separate bin.
Is this correct?.

How does one keep the Blow Flies out of the Head and the Bin?

Blow Flies for those unfamiliar are large maggot laying flies.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 17-11-2015, 04:42   #17
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Re: Airhead experiences? Don't get funny.

I have not had a problem with blow flies but I recently had a small problem with little knat like flies. A small hand full of diatomaceous earth cured the problem in less than a day. Just toss in the top of your mix. The raw sugar in the pee bottle works great and helps with the smell when dumping the urine container. I don't put TP in a separate container. A female's TP urine wipe may have to be separated simply due to the quantity. Again depends on the people. Another plus for composting / desiccating heads is you don't have to climb down out of the boat when on the hard or in the rain or snow to get to the yard facilities.
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Old 17-11-2015, 05:23   #18
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Re: Airhead experiences? Don't get funny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaslug Caravan View Post
Ok, I have a few questions.

I understand the "used " toilet paper needs to be deposited in a separate bin.
Is this correct?.

How does one keep the Blow Flies out of the Head and the Bin?

Blow Flies for those unfamiliar are large maggot laying flies.

Thanks in advance.
TP can go in. The only real downside is it uses up space in the solids container, meaning you have to empty it a little more often and it can wind up wrapped around the mixing crank but otherwise does no harm.

Not had an issue with flys but have heard a handful of diametious earth eliminates the issue if it does arise.
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Old 17-11-2015, 05:43   #19
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Re: Airhead experiences? Don't get funny.

After having a half full 30 gallon holding tanks welds let go on me ( literally) while trying to replace a hose, I spent the next two days removing the deterioting 30 year old stainless tank and hoses and cleaning 15 gallons of someone elses wastes out of the bilge. To say I got on a rant would be an understatement. I ordered a Nature's Head sight unseen, based solely on things my wife read on Women Who Sail. After three months, I ripped out the other marine head and bought a second Nature's Head. So now we have two of them in the boat, for the two of us.

I will never willingly share my living space with another holding tank.

One thing I would point out to people considering either a C-head or Nature's head is to check the height of each and be sure your legs are long enough to reach the deck. The Nature's Heads are tall. Works great for us, but might be an issue for shorter people at some point.
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Old 17-11-2015, 09:13   #20
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Re: Airhead experiences? Don't get funny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaslug Caravan View Post
Ok, I have a few questions.

I understand the "used " toilet paper needs to be deposited in a separate bin.
Is this correct?.

How does one keep the Blow Flies out of the Head and the Bin?

Blow Flies for those unfamiliar are large maggot laying flies.

Thanks in advance.
Having used one for 5 years, here are my opinions.

You CAN put toilet paper in the solids container and it WILL "compost" sort of. The biggest issue is that it adds to the bulk, meaning you will not be able to "go" as many times before you have to empty it. As a general rule, we do not put toilet paper in the AH. But in situations where trash disposal is difficult and we don't want to stink up the trash with smelly paper, we will put the really badly used paper in the AH and throw only not so bad ones in the trash. It's really up to you.

We only get those pesky flies when we don't have the screen in place. We removed it once when we had an issue with the contents being too wet and we got them within a week. (The problem turned out to be the coco coir we were using was too fine. We changed back to our original brand and it was fine.) With the screen in place, we've not had a fly problem.
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Old 17-11-2015, 09:56   #21
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Re: Airhead experiences? Don't get funny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I'm a very happy Nature's Head owner. Basically identical to Air Head. C-Head is another which is similar, although smaller holding areas.

Pros:
  • Simple.
  • Safe; no thru-hulls.
  • Self-sufficiency; can stay out forever, without worry of over-filling the holding tank.
  • Much reduced chance of leakage.
  • Cheaper; in the long run, assuming you need to pay for pump outs.
Cons:
  • Only suitable for 2 (perhaps 3) full-time crew.
  • Pricey to buy; although quality standard marine heads are close in price.
  • Intimacy with outflows; you do have to manage the urine and compost bucket.
  • Guest training; most people won't be familiar with how to use them, although the same can be said for most marine heads.

We too have a Natures head, purchased for use on our first boat. We pulled out the entire marine head system on our current boat to include the holding tank, and are installing the natures head on our new to us boat. Composting heads work very well, with no evil smells, one just has to learn how to use it correctly, its easy. What Mike has said holds true. other benefits are expanded storage area, and zero marine head issues ever. Certainly worth your consideration, and money spent imo.
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Old 17-11-2015, 10:25   #22
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Re: Airhead experiences? Don't get funny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pegu Club View Post
We too have a Natures head, purchased for use on our first boat. We pulled out the entire marine head system on our current boat to include the holding tank, and are installing the natures head on our new to us boat. Composting heads work very well, with no evil smells, one just has to learn how to use it correctly, its easy. What Mike has said holds true. other benefits are expanded storage area, and zero marine head issues ever. Certainly worth your consideration, and money spent imo.
Yes, fun to see my "pros and cons" quoted back. Thanks for adding one of the most important benefits, at least to me: the recovery of significant storage space on our smallish vessel. In the space of our old holding tank and hoses we can now store two inflatable kayaks, tools and supplies, and our drifter.

Paper: feces paper goes into the tank. Urine wipes get diverted. We get around five weeks per cycle even with the paper going in.

Flies: Only time we had a fly problem was when we left the boat for a while and for some reason the ventilation fan stopped working.
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Old 17-11-2015, 10:45   #23
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Re: Airhead experiences? Don't get funny.

Couple of Questions about dumping:

1) Where do you dump the solids? Garbage? Overboard?

2) For both liquid and solid containers - do you dump, clean and disinfect or just dump and put it back? I have heard conflicting answers and would like to know the experience and reasoning.
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Old 17-11-2015, 19:14   #24
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Re: Airhead experiences? Don't get funny.

#1. I've dumped solids on shore in the bush (away from human traffic), and into outhouses. I've yet had to bag it and dump it, but many do this. Of course, if you're off shore you can dump over the side.

#2. I use vinegar to clean the urine bottle every few weeks. We have two. The main tank has never needed cleaning after emptying. It's like emptying potting soil. The tank walls have a bit of soil on them, but it's not dirty or ugly in any way.
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Old 17-11-2015, 20:56   #25
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Re: Airhead experiences? Don't get funny.

This might be a stupid question, still I am wondering how do you know that the liquid bottle is almost full?
Do you look into it regularly?
Is there a gauge warning you?

Overfilling would result in some off the stuff standing in the pipe to the tank, no? Must be a mess to take the liquid tank of to empty it...

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Old 17-11-2015, 23:58   #26
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Re: Airhead experiences? Don't get funny.

Easy visual check with Natures Head urine tanks. Can't comment on AH or CH. I've never overfilled our bottle yet. If it happened it would back up into the main tank.

Urine tank is easy to remove on NH, with no mess.


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Old 18-11-2015, 00:31   #27
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Re: Airhead experiences? Don't get funny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
This might be a stupid question, still I am wondering how do you know that the liquid bottle is almost full?
Do you look into it regularly?
Is there a gauge warning you?

Overfilling would result in some off the stuff standing in the pipe to the tank, no? Must be a mess to take the liquid tank of to empty it...

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The tank sits on the front of the unit and is translucent so a quick glance gives you the level.

There is no hose or pipe to fill up. Obviously, if you keep using it after it's full, it could make a mess.

No big deal taking the liquids tank. It has a strap and there is a screw on lid. If you want to meet the letter of the law, take it to any shoreside toilet or urinal and dump it in.
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Old 18-11-2015, 07:43   #28
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Re: Airhead experiences? Don't get funny.

So we are considering a composting toilet to replace the conventional head on our sailboat. We are pretty sold on one of the 3 popular units (Nature's Head, C-Head or Air Head) but have not sorted out exactly which one yet.

My concern are areas that restrict the use of composting toilets. Not that we are planning to go immediately but I've heard that the marinas surrounding New York City require a traditional holding tank and composting toilets are not allowed. Is this a growing trend or just an isolated issue? Do I need to consider having a backup blackwater tank just in case the authorities come knocking?
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Old 18-11-2015, 09:03   #29
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Re: Airhead experiences? Don't get funny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailingEtoile View Post
My concern are areas that restrict the use of composting toilets. Not that we are planning to go immediately but I've heard that the marinas surrounding New York City require a traditional holding tank and composting toilets are not allowed. Is this a growing trend or just an isolated issue? Do I need to consider having a backup blackwater tank just in case the authorities come knocking?
Can you point to a source for this SE? I'm not a NY sailor, but I've not heard of this issue before. Nature's Head claims to be: " U.S Coast Guard Approved type III marine head."

http://natureshead.net/assets/files/...egulations.pdf
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Old 18-11-2015, 09:10   #30
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Re: Airhead experiences? Don't get funny.

I've overflowed the pee jug twice :<. Not fun!
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