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Old 11-09-2015, 15:33   #1
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Composting Head when heeling

Hi,

How do you keep the pee going into the pee area when you are heeling?

- z
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Old 11-09-2015, 15:58   #2
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Re: Composting Head when heeling

We have custom dry head. I do not have trouble with the head in heavy weather or big heel, except once and we were just overflowing it as I thought my hubby dumped it and he thought I had. Our last head was a wet head( groco K bronze) would dump the liquids as you were try to do you business:-( very shallow wide bowl. But that was in 35+ knots, beating, in confused seas, deep deep heel.
I do like to make sure the tank never gets above 3/4 full.
We are very glad we switch to dry heads.
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Old 11-09-2015, 16:14   #3
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Re: Composting Head when heeling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
We have custom dry head. I do not have trouble with the head in heavy weather or big heel, except once and we were just overflowing it as I thought my hubby dumped it and he thought I had. Our last head was a wet head( groco K bronze) would dump the liquids as you were try to do you business:-( very shallow wide bowl. But that was in 35+ knots, beating, in confused seas, deep deep heel.
I do like to make sure the tank never gets above 3/4 full.
We are very glad we switch to dry heads.
Cheers
Erika
Is that a composting head?
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Old 11-09-2015, 16:22   #4
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Re: Composting Head when heeling

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
Hi,

How do you keep the pee going into the pee area when you are heeling?

- z
I don't think I've ever actually had that problem (Natures Head) but thinking about it I'm not sure why I haven't?

edit: Extremely unhelpful I realise, sorry!
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Old 11-09-2015, 16:23   #5
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Re: Composting Head when heeling

Composting heads are dry heads. They call em composting for easier recognition I guess. But these composting heads don't compost, they desiccate, they dry the poo not break down using microbes. The "composting" head deny the microbes the much needed moisture to live and multiply.
Check out our blog, we have a page dedicated to our dry head. But it needs updating, just haven't had the time.
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Old 11-09-2015, 16:25   #6
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Re: Composting Head when heeling

Oh, PS.
Composting needs heat, our tiny heads just don't generate the heat needed to be a true composting head.
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Old 11-09-2015, 16:35   #7
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Re: Composting Head when heeling

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
How do you keep the pee going into the pee area when you are heeling?
Never been a problem for us so far with our Nature's Head. Things, ahem ... just line up rather anatomically. I even asked the feminine half of "we" about this. She just looked at me quizzically when I posed the question.

I suppose a some level of heel it could become a problem, but for our boat anyway, if we were over that far we'd have much bigger problems to deal with -- like reefing!
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Old 11-09-2015, 19:29   #8
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Re: Composting Head when heeling

Okay, forgive the rude question, but what do you do with the dessicated turds? Cache them for when you get somewhere they can be flushed? Bury them in other folks' back yards in the dark of night? I can see if you were in wilderness areas, you could easily bury them, not so much, if it is primarily civilized.

Also, for that matter, how do you deal with the urine, how large a container do you need for, say, 3 weeks? I assume you empty that ashore in a public restroom? If you have a turd cache, how big would it need to be for 3 weeks? [We are often away from facilities for that length of time.]

Ann
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Old 11-09-2015, 20:53   #9
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Re: Composting Head when heeling

It's a common question for those exploring the idea of going to a desiccating head Ann. The short answer to your question is; pretty much the same as you do with your standard head. IOW, where it can be dumped, it goes over the side. Where not allowed (or where it would be wrong ... like in anchorages that don't have good flow), the partially composted material is either held until it can be dumped, is bagged and dumped in the garbage, is fed into the local sewer system, or as in my case so far, is dumped in a wilderness anchorage on land well away from foot traffic.

The urine question is easy. It goes into the toilet or over the side. Urine is sterile (although high in nitrogen). I won't ask about your's and Jim's practices, but many of us males (and some adventurous females) make us of the "over the side" method quite frequently. In our case, we dump our fluid container approx. every three days. We carry two bottles so can last nearly a week if need be.

One more thing. You refer to "turds." Properly done, our NH's end product is a moist soil. It is not offensive at all, and not to increase the ick factor, but I can get my hands right into the bucket and not encounter anything untoward or gross. It is, in smell, feel and texture, moist soil like you would get from a garden centre.

I'm rarely so definitive about these things, but in my opinion a composting head is the best option for a couple on a smallish cruising boat. There are trade-offs for sure, but the benefits in freedom, space savings, safety, simplicity and security far outweight the negatives.
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Old 11-09-2015, 21:54   #10
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Re: Composting Head when heeling

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
It's a common question for those exploring the idea of going to a desiccating head Ann. The short answer to your question is; pretty much the same as you do with your standard head. IOW, where it can be dumped, it goes over the side. Where not allowed (or where it would be wrong ... like in anchorages that don't have good flow), the partially composted material is either held until it can be dumped, is bagged and dumped in the garbage, is fed into the local sewer system, or as in my case so far, is dumped in a wilderness anchorage on land well away from foot traffic.

The urine question is easy. It goes into the toilet or over the side. Urine is sterile (although high in nitrogen). I won't ask about your's and Jim's practices, but many of us males (and some adventurous females) make us of the "over the side" method quite frequently. In our case, we dump our fluid container approx. every three days. We carry two bottles so can last nearly a week if need be.

One more thing. You refer to "turds." Properly done, our NH's end product is a moist soil. It is not offensive at all, and not to increase the ick factor, but I can get my hands right into the bucket and not encounter anything untoward or gross. It is, in smell, feel and texture, moist soil like you would get from a garden centre.

I'm rarely so definitive about these things, but in my opinion a composting head is the best option for a couple on a smallish cruising boat. There are trade-offs for sure, but the benefits in freedom, space savings, safety, simplicity and security far outweight the negatives.
Howdy Mike,
Could you list those disadvantages as you see them?
I've considered getting that type of head, but wonder how it might work in our almost year-round heat down here.
Many decades ago I sometimes roamed in the Killarney PP, ON, and the bears, deer and moose (never actually saw one of those) just did their biz anywhere (kind of scary climbing up one of the La Cloche 'mountains' with my kids and finding fresh bear scat near the top, hoping that booger had moved on...).
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Old 12-09-2015, 06:00   #11
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Re: Composting Head when heeling

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Okay, forgive the rude question, but what do you do with the dessicated turds? Cache them for when you get somewhere they can be flushed? Bury them in other folks' back yards in the dark of night? I can see if you were in wilderness areas, you could easily bury them, not so much, if it is primarily civilized.

Also, for that matter, how do you deal with the urine, how large a container do you need for, say, 3 weeks? I assume you empty that ashore in a public restroom? If you have a turd cache, how big would it need to be for 3 weeks? [We are often away from facilities for that length of time.]

Ann
Anne, we've used composters for 2 years now. We do have a sea head for offshore. But with our air head after 3 weeks to a month if in a marina we empty it in an bag and it goes to the dumpster, They make an enzyme powder you can put I. That speeds up and kills all bacteria. But either way it's like emptying a bucket of powdery dirt. Offshore it's no different than if u dump a holding tank. We dump it, as for urine , urine is sterile we dump it overboard offshore, and we'll anywhere that has good water flow
I will say the "C" head seemed to not really dessicate , dry out and break down the poop as much as cover it really well. The Air head does a much better job of this. While not a true composter I think it's pretty close.
As for seeing while keeping were on a cat but also u need to sit to Lee.
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Old 12-09-2015, 06:21   #12
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Re: Composting Head when heeling

Ann... Today I will refer to you as Ann-Frank... (hee hee the directness caught me off guard but I enjoyed it immensely)

Mike - As alway... a wealth of helpful info for the masses...

Erika - I'm not sure if I'm impressed... or... disturbed by your intricate knowledge of the various biological processes involved here... Thinking of you as super hero microbe girl...
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Old 12-09-2015, 11:42   #13
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Re: Composting Head when heeling

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Originally Posted by Tx J View Post
Howdy Mike,
Could you list those disadvantages as you see them?
I've considered getting that type of head, but wonder how it might work in our almost year-round heat down here.
Many decades ago I sometimes roamed in the Killarney PP, ON, and the bears, deer and moose (never actually saw one of those) just did their biz anywhere (kind of scary climbing up one of the La Cloche 'mountains' with my kids and finding fresh bear scat near the top, hoping that booger had moved on...).
Ah the white mountains of La Cloche. Yes, I remember them well. Before sailing took over our lives my spouse and I spent years disappearing into northern Ontario for many multi-week canoe and later kayak trips. Later we sailed to the town of Killarney a couple of times when we were cruising out of the North Channel. Beautiful.

Disadvantages of composters... I guess the main one for full-time cruisers is that they're really only usable with crews of two -- maybe three. Our NH has no problem managing additional loads (from guests) for say up to a week, but it wouldn't work properly over the longer term like that. Of course, if you're a seasonal sailor, it's possible to manage with more crew, but for full timers I'd say the limit is two.

Dumping the main tank is a task. It's not particularly hard, but it does require some effort. You also have to become slightly more intimate with your outflows. You will have to carry and dump a bottle of urine, and you will see your turds before they get churned into the compost material. This seems to be a barrier for some people brought up with flush and ignore.

There is the up-front cost if you go with a commercial composter; NH and AH cost about $1k.

Other than that most of the negatives are really just part of learning how to properly use a new boat system. You've got to learn how to set up the compost material (usually coir or peat), and how to manage the pile through the month. Men have to sit all the time (which is probably a good thing), and guests will need some basic instruction, although this is true for standard marine heads as well.
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Old 12-09-2015, 11:54   #14
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Re: Composting Head when heeling

We have an Airhead composting toilet which CAN compost int the right conditions. That's warm climate (or using heat in the boat) and using it enough that it doesn't just dry out. The maker recommends that one purchase two solid waste tanks so the composting can "finish" for a couple weeks after you've stopped using it. You put a lid on it, have to have a place to put it (this is where having 2 heads would be better than one, so you can go back and forth between the two letting one finish at a time.) turn the crank 1x/day and it really does "finish" and ends up as..dirt.

Some harbors we've been in have a dump-station for portapotty and those are great for just emptying the solid waste whether or not it is composted. Last resort is a bag in the trash dumpster of course. We were in one marina where the European owner wasn't as uptight as your typical American is about human waste--he was like "oh, just spread it in the flowerbeds once it's composted" and while we didn't do that (we were, after all, surrounded by uptight Americans...) it probably would have been fine.

Similar, we have 2 liquid tanks since if one fills you've got to take it to the marina bathroom or somewhere to empty.

We have a marine head for use when offshore but we've never even plumbed it as we continue to use the Airhead just fine.
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Old 12-09-2015, 12:07   #15
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Re: Composting Head when heeling

If I were heeled so far that I had to worry about a pee spill while using my C-head, I'm not sure I would be able to sit on that perch or any other.
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