Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-02-2018, 19:13   #106
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Alaska
Boat: 1989 Catalina 36
Posts: 236
Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by David B View Post
Love it Peggy!
For us, we prefer not to have to empty containers of urine, then containers of solids, buy more material etc, etc, and go through the whole process again. We just prefer our two electric Jabsco's each with gravity emptying holding tanks that can be emptied at a dock or at sea, and enjoy no odour, no hassle, and get on with sailing.
But - each to their own, and that's what makes life (and this forum) entertaining
I have cleaned many a bathroom in my parents' pizzeria, preteen through college. Uniformly, the men's bathroom (equipped with a toilet and urinal) smelled horrifyingly like an abattoir of urea. It was as if each occupant sprayed little parting drops on the walls and ceiling while they were at it. Ugh. 'Retraining' is right and necessary: men in general can't aim on land, I am not cool with male upright peeing in a tiny boat head on a moving vessel shared with other people. This isn't a 'men are stupid' comment. I guess I was sort of herd mentality/men pee standing up, until my husband asked "Have you ever been in a men's bathroom that didn't have pee everywhere?" Flashback to those years in the pizzeria bathrooms. Shudder.

I am an environmental engineer as well. Soil, water, and sh%t, that's what environmental engineers specialize in. Waste handling is the bedrock of civilization--the fundamental ingredient required for animals to coexist in groups. Unsurprisingly, there's more than one way to approach the problem.

Some considerations that tip our boat more towards dry systems:

1) Pump out system availability is close to nonexistent, and most pump outs are shut down in winter anyways, where I am.

2) Almost all sailing/traveling is within 3 miles of shore. (361 days out of 365, on average over two years)

3) Lots of zero discharge zones

4) The climate requires more interior storage space for safety, weather, spares, fuel.

5) The ocean doesn't need our nutrients, but the land often does.

6) I have a personal preference for minimizing waste--and adding water to waste makes the water waste as well.

7) I'm not convinced of the efficacy of salt-removal when treating pump out wastes, and I AM convinced of the efficacy of recycling sludge and municipal wood wastes as compost for local landscaping.
__________________

__________________
…being able to swim in the deep sea; and having a home that's a shell…

turtletraveling.com
Meanderthal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2018, 19:25   #107
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 6,248
Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
...I have perhaps a unique need (or it should be). I would like to be able to move it into the cockpit at night since there is no head compartment in the cabin. Thus, both size and weight are strictly limited. I would like to not have to dump it each time someone uses it day sailing. Finally, I'm not sure about training folks to use something different... but marine heads are different, so that should be possible.
I’m happy to take a crack at your needs/queries Thin, at least from a nature’s head perspective.

While it is possible to move a NH around as a single unit, it would be quite difficult. I don’t think either the NH or the AH would be very appropriate. I’m far less familiar with the CH, but I suspect it too would not meet your needs very well.

Not dumping after each use would be no issue for any of the three. I go four to six weeks, two adults, between dumps. The urine bucket gets dumped every two to three days (unless I’m drinking lots of beer ).

The only training required for a NH is to remember to open the trap door when pooping. And to close it again when done. Giving the handle a few turns is also a good idea, but is not essential.

For urination, the only thing to do is glance at the bottle to make sure there’s enough room left (it’s an easy visual thing with the NH). Other than that the only other ‘training' is that men must sit. After that there is really is no further instruction needed to use the thing. The head is designed to direct the two effluents appropriately, at least it does for adults.
__________________

__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2018, 21:43   #108
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Adelaide, South Australia, sailing in the Med.
Boat: Beneteau, Oceanis 50
Posts: 549
Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Indeed David, if you had used “advocate” we would not be having this unfortunately testy discussion. I would even accept “ardent.” Zealot is a term with many serious negative connotations, particularly these days.

I believe you did not intend it this way, and happily accept your apology. Perhaps my response was a tad strong, and for that I too apologize. I can only say yours came on the heels of a number of other insults that clearly were meant as that, and some included the same term you inadvertently used. That is my explanation, and my excuse, for jumping down your throat. Again, apologies all round…

As I said (and have said every time this topic comes up), I am happy to discuss the good, the bad and the ugly of these types of heads. My main purpose for being in this discussion is to respond to questions from interested folks, share my own experiences, and perhaps learn a few new tips.

There is no such thing as a perfect head. Heck, there’s no perfect anything when it comes to boat systems. I welcome civil and thoughtful discussion about the pros and cons of various choices. Sadly, the mention of “composting heads” seems to trigger a viscerally negative response from some — most of whom have little or no actual experience with them.

My own theory (playing pop-psychologist ) is this is because most humans have an instinctual ‘disgust’ reaction to feces — particularly human poop. It’s no doubt an evolutionary trait we’ve acquired over our genetic history. This is why most people prefer to flush-and-forget — at least those of us in developed countries. As I’m sure you know, most of the world doesn’t have that luxury.
Hi Mike,

All good, and we could really get things going by including anchors and teak decks in the discussion (on second thoughts I need to get some work done )
David B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2018, 21:47   #109
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Adelaide, South Australia, sailing in the Med.
Boat: Beneteau, Oceanis 50
Posts: 549
Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meanderthal View Post
I have cleaned many a bathroom in my parents' pizzeria, preteen through college. Uniformly, the men's bathroom (equipped with a toilet and urinal) smelled horrifyingly like an abattoir of urea. It was as if each occupant sprayed little parting drops on the walls and ceiling while they were at it. Ugh. 'Retraining' is right and necessary: men in general can't aim on land, I am not cool with male upright peeing in a tiny boat head on a moving vessel shared with other people. This isn't a 'men are stupid' comment. I guess I was sort of herd mentality/men pee standing up, until my husband asked "Have you ever been in a men's bathroom that didn't have pee everywhere?" Flashback to those years in the pizzeria bathrooms. Shudder.

I am an environmental engineer as well. Soil, water, and sh%t, that's what environmental engineers specialize in. Waste handling is the bedrock of civilization--the fundamental ingredient required for animals to coexist in groups. Unsurprisingly, there's more than one way to approach the problem.

Some considerations that tip our boat more towards dry systems:

1) Pump out system availability is close to nonexistent, and most pump outs are shut down in winter anyways, where I am.

2) Almost all sailing/traveling is within 3 miles of shore. (361 days out of 365, on average over two years)

3) Lots of zero discharge zones

4) The climate requires more interior storage space for safety, weather, spares, fuel.

5) The ocean doesn't need our nutrients, but the land often does.

6) I have a personal preference for minimizing waste--and adding water to waste makes the water waste as well.

7) I'm not convinced of the efficacy of salt-removal when treating pump out wastes, and I AM convinced of the efficacy of recycling sludge and municipal wood wastes as compost for local landscaping.
So there is a good, logical reason for someone to consider a 'composting' head. Good, balanced contribution
David B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2018, 22:26   #110
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Adelaide, South Australia, sailing in the Med.
Boat: Beneteau, Oceanis 50
Posts: 549
Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
Seems every time this discussion comes up it brings back memories of 16 years of full time living aboard with a standard Marine waste system. Makes the last 10 years of living with a composter seem ever so sweet.
Ah! but if the smell is the reason for changing, then don't forget that a properly installed and maintained flushing system does not smell!
David B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2018, 01:20   #111
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 6,428
Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Not very polite. Also not accurate in any detail. Stick to what you know.

FWIW, and whether you believe it or not is none of my interest, but my last boat had zero stink. I think it should be obvious on the face of it that very expensive boats do quite well with wet systems. Denigrating this obvious truth, is well, embarrassing for you.
That was about as politely as I could say it and yeah, on a number of these threads, she has posted false information to discredit a viable option in favor of the one she has laid claim to "head mistress" status on.

Yep, I do find it hard to believe your system has zero stink based on the fact, I've yet to come across a wet sewage system that doesn't stink.
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2018, 02:57   #112
uhu
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 20
Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by handmer View Post
One of my favourite aspects of a composting toilet is being able to use baby wipes. Oh so fresh.

BabyWipes in a composting toilet ?

? where did you find biodegradable BabyWipes ? = interested !
uhu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2018, 03:25   #113
smj
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2007
Boat: Searunner 38 catamaran
Posts: 4,188
Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by David B View Post
Ah! but if the smell is the reason for changing, then don't forget that a properly installed and maintained flushing system does not smell!


Never came across one of those!
smj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2018, 03:35   #114
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Adelaide, South Australia, sailing in the Med.
Boat: Beneteau, Oceanis 50
Posts: 549
Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
Never came across one of those!
Doesn't mean they don't exist.
Like giraffes I suppose - they're out there whether you've seen one or not
David B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2018, 05:04   #115
Senior Cruiser
 
bletso's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Louisville, KY
Boat: Globe, cutter/ketch,38
Posts: 679
Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by David B View Post
Ah! but if the smell is the reason for changing, then don't forget that a properly installed and maintained flushing system does not smell!
Perhaps some of the source of a smelly head is the pizzeria effect! Good point. Do home systems smell? Not as a rule.
That said, the main reason I switched to an NH is the holding tank capacity, availability of pump outs, and an old system. To upgrade would have cost more than the NH. After the fact I have been very favourably impressed with our desecrater/composter.
__________________
www.sailboatvigah.com Boats don't like being neglected, but then neither do significant others!
bletso is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2018, 09:14   #116
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 6,248
Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

I switched to a composter (NH) about seven years ago for these main reasons:
  1. Freedom: My cruising was essentially being limited by the size of my holding tank. I like to be away for months at a time, often anchored in small, remote spots. A composter means my head is no longer a limiting factor.

  2. Space recovery: Removing the holding tank and plumbing from the wet system freed up a significant space for storage on my smallish boat. In the place of my sewage tank I now hold two inflatable kayaks and all the gear, a drifter sail, my epoxy kit, and miscellaneous tools.

  3. Simplicity: Maintaining and repairing a composting head is far easier than a wet system (at least for me). It is different than a wet system, for sure. But there’s almost nothing to break. And the consequence of catastrophic failure is far less than a wet system.

  4. Safety: A composter means three fewer holes in my boat.
I did not switch because I was dissatisfied with my wet system. I’ve sailed with standard marine heads for most of my boat life. I’ve had some of the normal issues, all of which were fairly easy to deal with. There’s nothing wrong with a standard marine head.

I switched to a composter because — for me — it is a better head. Other people, with other needs, will come to different conclusions. And that’s just fine.
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2018, 09:56   #117
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Alaska
Boat: 1989 Catalina 36
Posts: 236
Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by bletso View Post
Perhaps some of the source of a smelly head is the pizzeria effect! Good point. Do home systems smell? Not as a rule.
That said, the main reason I switched to an NH is the holding tank capacity, availability of pump outs, and an old system. To upgrade would have cost more than the NH. After the fact I have been very favourably impressed with our desecrater/composter.
Lol, I love the idea of calling the head the 'desecrater'
__________________
…being able to swim in the deep sea; and having a home that's a shell…

turtletraveling.com
Meanderthal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2018, 10:12   #118
Senior Cruiser
 
bletso's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Louisville, KY
Boat: Globe, cutter/ketch,38
Posts: 679
Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meanderthal View Post
Lol, I love the idea of calling the head the 'desecrater'
Yeh, don't you just hate auto correct!! I caught it too late to correct.
__________________
www.sailboatvigah.com Boats don't like being neglected, but then neither do significant others!
bletso is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2018, 10:20   #119
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Alaska
Boat: 1989 Catalina 36
Posts: 236
Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by bletso View Post
Yeh, don't you just hate auto correct!! I caught it too late to correct.
I'm not so sure I think the autocorrect got it wrong 😉
__________________
…being able to swim in the deep sea; and having a home that's a shell…

turtletraveling.com
Meanderthal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2018, 10:23   #120
Senior Cruiser
 
bletso's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Louisville, KY
Boat: Globe, cutter/ketch,38
Posts: 679
Re: Composting toilets or wet sewage systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meanderthal View Post
I'm not so sure I think the autocorrect got it wrong 😉
Actually, to each his own. This kind of remark is exactly what Mike was referring to.
__________________

__________________
www.sailboatvigah.com Boats don't like being neglected, but then neither do significant others!
bletso is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
oil, posting

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Composting Toilets GMac Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 464 02-05-2013 21:57
Composting Toilets Maren Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 38 16-05-2009 10:21
Composting Toilets? markpj23 Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 34 23-09-2008 08:17



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:52.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.