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Old 22-02-2018, 12:43   #211
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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...As for the 25% using them, that really doesn't surprise me. Talking to other cruisers it doesn't come up that much but when I do mention it, I'm surprised how many times I hear "yeah, that's what I'm using".
Yes Ö Iím often surprised when people make a claim about how many (or few) "real cruisers" use composting heads based on their conversations with fellow boaters. Maybe Iím strange, but itís just not a topic that commonly comes up in my experience.

In the times Iíve been in close quarters with fellow boaters for any length of time (marinas, yacht clubs, extended anchorage stays), I mostly have no idea what kinds of heads most people have on board. Itís just not a topic that comes up much in my experience. Sails, engines, rigging, anchors, even galley and storage Ö but I donít run into a lot of people talking about their head choices.

Sure, it does happen sometimes. And Iím not shy about talking about our composter (as you can probably tell ), but it just seems like an odd topic of conversation.

This is why I ran the poll ó to try and get some sense of the actual number. And yes, the poll is far from perfect, but it is better than relying on anecdote or personal perception.
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Old 22-02-2018, 13:06   #212
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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Yes, I was speaking from personal experience -with my wet heads on 2 boats and now a composter. I understand that a properly installed wet head can be trouble free, though, with all the hoses, tank, valves etc. a bit more complicated. I'm sure your head is odor-free (why would anyone doubt you?), but I just haven't come across one yet. I live in Brazil and perhaps the installations here are not up to par (I suspect it is the case).

Both options work. One just has to know what one is getting into before going ahead with the purchase and installation. For those considering a composter, ask questions here. There are a number of users on CF who can set you straight on the pros and cons.

Now, let's all have a group hug and go back to our respective heads for a moment of comtemplation and perhaps a crossword puzzle...
Yes, one other point of yours I forgot to cover was 'talk to people who actually have experience'. Totally agree again, and of course that means those with a decent flushing toilet system that works well, and doesn't smell - along with those who use composting toilets and are happy or otherwise with them.

This discussion certainly brings out some heat doesn't it. I guess when someone has made a decision, and another questions or criticises that decision, that gets a lot of people going.

For me, ignorance is the issue, when someone gets on their composting toilet hobby-horse and claims all wet systems stink or sink boats, or are the worst thing for the planet (better tell that to all the fish in the sea), and so on, and so on.

On the other side of course there are the composting detractors - for me (and obviously many), I just cannot see the point in the majority of situations, especially when someone has converted for invalid reasons (such as just mentioned above). But you have given your perspective, and some of the reasons are very valid - freedom from discharge/pump-out station issues is a VERY big one, in YOUR situation.

So again, thank you - your contribution is refreshing
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Old 22-02-2018, 13:17   #213
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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Yes Ö Iím often surprised when people make a claim about how many (or few) "real cruisers" use composting heads based on their conversations with fellow boaters. Maybe Iím strange, but itís just not a topic that commonly comes up in my experience.

In the times Iíve been in close quarters with fellow boaters for any length of time (marinas, yacht clubs, extended anchorage stays), I mostly have no idea what kinds of heads most people have on board. Itís just not a topic that comes up much in my experience. Sails, engines, rigging, anchors, even galley and storage Ö but I donít run into a lot of people talking about their head choices.

Sure, it does happen sometimes. And Iím not shy about talking about our composter (as you can probably tell ), but it just seems like an odd topic of conversation.

This is why I ran the poll ó to try and get some sense of the actual number. And yes, the poll is far from perfect, but it is better than relying on anecdote or personal perception.
Good point Mike - I have never had a conversation re heads other than one in Corfu, where an owner of a Jeaneau 57 next to us (just purchased - he was cleaning and 'making his') asked me if we had the same Jabsco 'Quiet Flush' (one of the biggest jokes in the industry - obviously a misguided comedian was once employed by said company in naming that ), and when we advised in the affirmative, he asked if it was slow. We showed him how well ours worked, then went to look at his. I advised him someone must have been putting hair, wet-wipes etc down there, and the macerating impellor was probably wrapped up in the stuff.

Simple and quick job - flush well (with a bit of disinfectant is a good idea), then undo the four screws holding the pump on the side, remove, clean what-ever was wrapped around the impellor, then replace, and he would be a happy boy.

I will look out for opportunities to raise the subject in future however .
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Old 22-02-2018, 13:22   #214
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

I must say this thread is almost as much fun as the electric propulsion one😀

FWIW, we will put composters on our new cat, so add us to the survey results.


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Old 22-02-2018, 13:24   #215
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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Speaking of misinformation. Wet heads sink more boats than any other cause? Really? Does anyone have any hard data on this?

That ONE extra seacock is such a huge danger? -more so than the sink drain in the head, or the sink drain in the galley? Do people never turn their seacocks off when they leave the boat? Is one more seacock of the many others to shut off that big of a deal? Am I the only one who has a seawater faucet in the galley, and is using the same thru-hull to feed it and the head so eliminating a wet head would save ZERO thru-hulls? How is a turned-off seacock such a safety concern? Do people not understand how a siphon break works or how to install one?

I am always surprised at how few boats that I am on which actually have the wet heads plumbed properly. Many lack a siphon break between the pump and the bowl so it is impossible for a siphon to overfill the bowl and flood the boat if the head is left switched to "wet pump."

The popular YouTube sailing channel Wicked Salty just lost a boat which sank at its mooring this past fall, but it wasn't a head siphon as many people suspected, They said in their latest video that the head sink drain hose fell off at the sink, and the hose end dropped below the water line.

So are people going to also remove their sink in the head when they remove their wet heads? Are they just going to give up on washing hands and simply walk away from any of the benefits of modern plumbing on their boats?


Interesting info - thanks. We don't have syphon-breaks on ours, but part of standard procedure before setting sail. is all seacocks (except cooling in, of course) go off. One of the things on my dream list is motorised seacocks operated from a central panel - nice, quite easy to install, but not a cheap option to say the least.
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Old 22-02-2018, 13:26   #216
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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There are many items and systems on a boat which, when used or installed incorrectly, can sink the boat.

I feel that sinks are just as dangerous or even more so than the wet head system. I've seen some pretty awful kludges between the bottom of sink bowls and the thru-hull, cobbled adapters and assorted connections which could all fail below the waterline. Add to that fact that many boats have hot (really hot) water going down those sinks at times, and the danger is real.

Think about that the next time you pour off boiling water after cooking noodles or similar down your sink what that is doing to your sink drain system below. How many people use exhaust hose rated for below waterline use on their galley sinks? How many are just using PVC hose? Ever see any PVC hose rated for 100C? It doesn't need to actually burst right then, just get soft enough to partially tear/cut at the hose clamp which might be a little too tightly fastened. Then it's just a matter of time before the stub rips & falls off the last half of an inch of the tailpiece going into the seacock.
Interesting point!
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Old 22-02-2018, 13:29   #217
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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Properly installing a wet head also removes the risk of an improperly installed wet head.
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Old 22-02-2018, 14:26   #218
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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...Iím often surprised when people make a claim about how many (or few) "real cruisers" use .....
That line of reasoning always gets me. If you cruise a few days year, then it is real, for you, as though cruising more or farther is somehow better. I've cruised farther and I've day sailed, and the one that is better is the one I enjoy. Period.

Cruising full-time or farther is not magically more legitimate. It's just different.
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Old 22-02-2018, 14:30   #219
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Interestingly, I've never had a boat with vented loops. In many (most?) multihulls, the bilge is shallow and the rim of the bowl is comfortably above the waterline. In one I swear they jacked the head up a few inches to make it true, which was probably a good call. That boat had a lot of good safety features, including many sealed bulkheads (PDQ 32).

This must be true in many smaller boats.
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Old 22-02-2018, 14:34   #220
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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That line of reasoning always gets me. If you cruise a few days year, then it is real, for you, as though cruising more or farther is somehow better. I've cruised farther and I've day sailed, and the one that is better is the one I enjoy. Period.

Cruising full-time or farther is not magically more legitimate. It's just different.
Doing the type of cruising you want is part of the freedom of sailing or motoring.

There is a lot of difference between short few day cruises and long distance cruising when it comes to equipment, durability and self-sufficiency. Since this is a thread nominally about equipment, I'd say how you use it is relevant.
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Old 22-02-2018, 14:53   #221
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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Doing the type of cruising you want is part of the freedom of sailing or motoring.



There is a lot of difference between short few day cruises and long distance cruising when it comes to equipment, durability and self-sufficiency. Since this is a thread nominally about equipment, I'd say how you use it is relevant.


Absolutely, and thatís why I love the composter. Durable, less maintenance and makes you more self-sufficient........at least thatís my opinion
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Old 22-02-2018, 15:18   #222
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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Actually I do all of our maintenance myself, and we sail the Med every year - have been for 7 years now. Love it, and the modern conveniences on board such as flushing toilets.

Money - well, we worked hard for 40 years, and finally took the plunge (we became somewhat more focussed on the fragility of life, when my wife was diagnosed with cancer, and resolved when she got the 'all clear' to bring our dream to reality).

We cruise on a very tight budget, and while in many ways it would be nice to pay someone else to do all of the maintenance, the cost is very hard to justify, so where we can, we do it all ourselves. Also, it keeps one's hand in, as we all recognise, cruisers must be as self-sufficient as possible. As we age, we accept that to keep onboard, we will have to use outside help more and more but so far (we are in our mid sixties), all is well.
Well said...
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Old 22-02-2018, 15:30   #223
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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Well, it's been quite an interesting time here today - what a great discussion this would be around a campfire on a beach with a group of cruisers coming together for the evening
Imagine how much fun we would have had if we had some cocktails or a puff of weed.......No, wait. That's a different post. Sorry
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Old 22-02-2018, 15:47   #224
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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Imagine how much fun we would have had if we had some cocktails or a puff of weed.......No, wait. That's a different post. Sorry
Much more funÖ But if weíre going to be drinking beer I want to be on Davidís boat. My composter bucket would fill up too fast
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Old 22-02-2018, 15:58   #225
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Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

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Well said...
Thanks
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