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Old 15-04-2015, 11:33   #16
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

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I wonder if the folks that make the composting units have considered designing one smaller similar to the portapoty used on many sailboats. I know one of the composting unit is basically designed around a five gallon pail. That is the combined volume of the clean water tank and the waste water tank in those little units.
I wish there was a small one too as my head (boat head!) is too narrow to fit any of the 3 composting heads available.

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It would be difficult to do, as part of the way these toilets work is to allow airflow to the fecal matter so it will desiccate (which is actually what they do, rather than compost, per se.)
We can still provide air flow thru the vent pipe, but is there a volume limitation in the composting tank/chamber?
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Old 15-04-2015, 12:07   #17
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

"why not have one of each?"
So you want the complications of TWO entirely different cranky ordure systems, huh?


Actually one of each is a great idea, you can use the traditional one during the second and third months, after the desiccating toilet has become full and the sewage hasn't had a proper 90 days or more to turn into compost yet. There are no composting toilets on boats, only "desiccating" toilets. There are real composting toilets on land, they're set up so the waste moves down a conveyor or other means and takes 3-6 months before it actually EXITS as fully composted waste.
But letting the ordure dry out in a bucket, without any real composting taking place? Nah, that's just dishonest marketing hype.
If you want a real solution, install two Incinolets.
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Old 15-04-2015, 12:43   #18
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

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"why not have one of each?"
So you want the complications of TWO entirely different cranky ordure systems, huh?


Actually one of each is a great idea, you can use the traditional one during the second and third months, after the desiccating toilet has become full and the sewage hasn't had a proper 90 days or more to turn into compost yet. There are no composting toilets on boats, only "desiccating" toilets. There are real composting toilets on land, they're set up so the waste moves down a conveyor or other means and takes 3-6 months before it actually EXITS as fully composted waste.
But letting the ordure dry out in a bucket, without any real composting taking place? Nah, that's just dishonest marketing hype.
If you want a real solution, install two Incinolets.
You are confusing govt regulation definitions with reality.

It most definetly composts. Does it reach the full govt regulated 3-6 months, no but within 2-3 weeks, the composting process has converted it to something that looks and smells like a rich garden soil. There is nothing that looks or smells like the original deposits.

The govt regulations are just ultra conservative and allows for use in vegitable gardens. Even your household units don't allow for 3-6months of composting.

If you are a full time liveaboard, the most recent deposits will still be present but certainly no worse than the maintenance and repairs on a sess-pool system which months later is still odifferous and unpleasant to deal with.

If you are part time or can work it out so that you empty after being away for a few days, the minor downside is largely addressed. If it really bothers you, the c-head is a nice option as you can switch 5gal buckets and let the used one finish composting while using the second one.
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Old 15-04-2015, 12:51   #19
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

It isn't just government regulations. If you use the toilet today, and need to empty the bucket out on Monday...Is that compost? Hell no, that's sewage less than a week old. Unless you let the full bucket sit and age before you take it out to dump it, you are still handling a mix of aged and fresh raw sewage, no matter how you define it.


"Compost" has had the biomatter heat up and FULLY decompose into soil, with any and all possible pathogens destroyed. If you can do that shipboard in 30 days, while still depositing fresh ordure daily, you've probably got the heat turned up too high in the sauna as well.
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Old 15-04-2015, 13:00   #20
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

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It isn't just government regulations. If you use the toilet today, and need to empty the bucket out on Monday...Is that compost? Hell no, that's sewage less than a week old. Unless you let the full bucket sit and age before you take it out to dump it, you are still handling a mix of aged and fresh raw sewage, no matter how you define it.


"Compost" has had the biomatter heat up and FULLY decompose into soil, with any and all possible pathogens destroyed. If you can do that shipboard in 30 days, while still depositing fresh ordure daily, you've probably got the heat turned up too high in the sauna as well.
Do you think your sesspool system fully decomposes the waste?
Do you think all possible pathogens are destoryed?

Composting is a process. The key aspect is that it is areobic as opposed to sesspool systems that are anareobic. Aerboic decomposition is largely free of unpleasent odors. In addition, it has the advantage of drastically reducing the weight and space requirements. You are hung up on a govt regulation defining the end product as safe for uses most cruisers have no interest in (ie: putting it in their garden)

I don't know of any manufacture of any toilet system claiming zero possible pathogen contact. Even a toilet like incinolet can't offer that because if it breaks down, you still have to deal with poo. If that is your ultimate goal, I suggest...not sure what to suggest because life is too messy for you to survive.
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Old 15-04-2015, 15:19   #21
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

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I wish there was a small one too as my head (boat head!) is too narrow to fit any of the 3 composting heads available.



We can still provide air flow thru the vent pipe, but is there a volume limitation in the composting tank/chamber?
The C-Heads footprint is only 13.25" wide. That's narrower than most people.
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Old 15-04-2015, 15:25   #22
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

We have both and last year that proved to be a God send. Our 3 year old Raritan PH II became completely inoperable due to a buildup of calcium. Our Airhead saved our cruise.

The standard head has had some problem every year we've cruised (4). The Airhead has been odor and trouble free for the same amount of time. I just learned that you can even plumb the urine jug into your holding tank and I'm about to do that.

If I had it to do overstating I'd install two Airheads. Frequent pump outs would be a thing of the past!

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Old 15-04-2015, 15:45   #23
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

Might as well chime in here... Have lived and used a standard marine head for years on two boats. Three years ago converted to a Nature's Head (although C-head and Air Head seem just as good). First year we left all the plumbing and holding tank in place just in case the composter didn't work as advertised. The following season we ripped all the old plumbing and tank out, and permanently sealed off a couple of holes in the boat .

Going composter is, without a doubt, one of the best upgrades that we've made. Others have mentioned some of the benefits. For us, it's the freedom to cruise without the worry of an overflowing tank, let alone the unspeakable problems involved when something goes wrong.

Personally, I can't see any advantage to having both systems on board b/c I don't see any advantage to a standard marine head over a composter -- with one major caveat. They are designed to work well with full-time crews of one or two. You could probably push it to three, but beyond that a single composting head would probably be overwhelmed. A larger crew size (4 to 6) would be a good reason to have two composting heads on board.

BTW, I removed a Skipper II head when I installed our NH. It's not quite on the same level as Canibul's Baby Blake, but it's a pretty darn good head. I'd sell it for a good price if you want to manage and pay for shipping from northern Ontario.
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Old 15-04-2015, 15:51   #24
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
It isn't just government regulations. If you use the toilet today, and need to empty the bucket out on Monday...Is that compost? Hell no, that's sewage less than a week old. Unless you let the full bucket sit and age before you take it out to dump it, you are still handling a mix of aged and fresh raw sewage, no matter how you define it.


"Compost" has had the biomatter heat up and FULLY decompose into soil, with any and all possible pathogens destroyed. If you can do that shipboard in 30 days, while still depositing fresh ordure daily, you've probably got the heat turned up too high in the sauna as well.
The C-Head comes with a separate special composting bucket that will hold about a months worth of content for 2 people for storage until you can dispose of it in a compost site on land. The head is not meant to complete the composting process, just begin it.
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Old 15-04-2015, 16:14   #25
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Might as well chime in here... Have lived and used a standard marine head for years on two boats. Three years ago converted to a Nature's Head (although C-head and Air Head seem just as good). First year we left all the plumbing and holding tank in place just in case the composter didn't work as advertised. The following season we ripped all the old plumbing and tank out, and permanently sealed off a couple of holes in the boat .

Going composter is, without a doubt, one of the best upgrades that we've made. Others have mentioned some of the benefits. For us, it's the freedom to cruise without the worry of an overflowing tank, let alone the unspeakable problems involved when something goes wrong.

Personally, I can't see any advantage to having both systems on board b/c I don't see any advantage to a standard marine head over a composter -- with one major caveat. They are designed to work well with full-time crews of one or two. You could probably push it to three, but beyond that a single composting head would probably be overwhelmed. A larger crew size (4 to 6) would be a good reason to have two composting heads on board.

BTW, I removed a Skipper II head when I installed our NH. It's not quite on the same level as Canibul's Baby Blake, but it's a pretty darn good head. I'd sell it for a good price if you want to manage and pay for shipping from northern Ontario.
I remember a review of heads done by Practical Sailor back in the 80's that rated the Skipper the most reliable head made due to the really large pump. Pretty much impossible to plug up. IMHO the Skipper & the Baby Blake are the 2 best manual heads ever made. I don't think it's a coincidence that owners of the 2 best heads ever made have both switched to composting heads. I believe they are the future of marine sanitation & probably the future of all toilets on land as well. It's widely predicted that a lack of fresh water will be a massive problem in the future, it already is in many places. The amount of water that could be saved by using composting toilets on land would be immense.
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Old 15-04-2015, 17:20   #26
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

We have a Natures Head & a Raritan manual for 2 1/2 years of full time cruising with no plans to go to a 2nd composter. While the composter is odor and malfunction free can be problematic to use at sea in windy or rough seas particularly on port tack ( head on port side). In marina usually only for urine and empty into marina toilet as needed or emergencies. When 2 people used composter every day for #2 only got about 3 weeks before needed emptying. Since majority of time spent where ok to dump overboard Raritan only gets 2 uses per day and maintenance is much less for it and changing of compost,
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Old 15-04-2015, 18:56   #27
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

I have both. I use the composting one most. It has NO odour, the other has a lingering smell for a little while after use. The C.Unit doesn't need emptying much either where we used to have to remember to dump the other one before returning to harbour.
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Old 15-04-2015, 19:47   #28
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
" There are no composting toilets on boats, only "desiccating" toilets. There are real composting toilets on land, they're set up so the waste moves down a conveyor or other means and takes 3-6 months before it actually EXITS as fully composted waste.
But letting the ordure dry out in a bucket, without any real composting taking place? Nah, that's just dishonest marketing hype.
If you want a real solution, install two Incinolets.
.

I'm pretty sure one 5 gal pail for one (maybe 2) person will compost, you have to add ashes, grass, leaves, etc. periodically, then when its full you cap it, move it out and start an new empty one and when it's full the first is done composting. At least that's what I've read.
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Old 15-04-2015, 19:51   #29
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

I see on Youtube that you can use composting bags to empty your composting toilet. When in port just throw the sealed bag into a trash container.
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Old 15-04-2015, 19:51   #30
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

I have seen some say they vent and others say they haven't hooked up any vent and still don't get any bad smells. Not that hooking something would be that difficult however I kinda hate the idea if using a hole saw on my cabin top if I don't have to. Where are you all on the vent issue?
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