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Old 15-04-2012, 05:28   #16
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Re: Holding tanks

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Originally Posted by Hillbillylad View Post
WOW !!!
How the hell do you get from owning a portable toilet to dumping it in your precious anchorage. I've never read such an arrogant statement.


Don't be concerned that the comments above condemn portable toilets. When you read back among the posts you will notice that it was suggested that a portable toilet could be used to appear compliant with regulations, but not for actual use. Using the portable toilet as a sham was the concern and this was how "you get from owning a portable toilet to dumping in in your precious anchorage". Certainly, portable toilets are a fine choice for many and no arrogance was intended.
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Old 15-04-2012, 06:28   #17
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Re: Holding tanks

I don't know how much things have changed since my circumnav in 1986/1991, but no countries/islands that I visited had pump-out facilities. Whatever you install, I'd be sure to retain the option of direct overside discharge.
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Old 15-04-2012, 06:57   #18
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Re: Holding tanks

I put in my own holding tank, with an overboard discharge option. It cost about $300, as I recall, and took a weekend's work. It also took about a dozen trips to Lowes for that fitting/hose clamp/whatever I didn't think about when I designed the system. It works fine.
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Old 15-04-2012, 06:58   #19
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Re: Holding tanks

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Originally Posted by holmek View Post
I don't know how much things have changed since my circumnav in 1986/1991, but no countries/islands that I visited had pump-out facilities. Whatever you install, I'd be sure to retain the option of direct overside discharge.
I strongly agree with this wise suggestion. We should be careful to retain the idea that the natural recycling of organic wastes is not at odds with proper stewardship of the environment. At the same time we realize that the real risk is communicating pathogens in high density population areas. A cruiser must keep all the plumbing options available and they can still stay in compliance with local regulations.
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Old 15-04-2012, 07:38   #20
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Re: Holding tanks

Agreed that a bladder tank is not ideal. I have never read anywhere that they aren't ABYC compliant. Your example sounds like it could have been how the bladder was installed, not that there was a bladder.

I could generalize from my experience that you can get away with most anything because my pre purchase survey noted I had a holding tank with no details and my insurance company was fine with that. The survey did not note that the holding tank was so poorly installed that I ripped it out after my first trip. Just one of the fun problems with the installation was the vent on the side of the tank and the vent line going down before up. Nearly empty tank, went sailing and heeled the boat slopping waste into the vent line. Next use of the head pumped this out onto the deck.

California gov website with tips on how to install holding tanks including bladders:

Installation Tips


John

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astral Blue View Post
Bladder tanks have their intended purpose and provide a viable water storage solution in many ways a rigid tank cannot achieve in a practical or cost effective manner. However, the purpose and scope of a holding tank is different from a potable water reservoir; and properly venting it serves multiple functions. The vents not only help maintain an aerobic environment, they facilitate the displacement of air when contents are added and vise versa. The port designated for the discharge of waste sits at the bottom, allowing the majority of the contents to be evacuated during the pump-out process.

Given what holding tanks require, the properties of a bladder tank fall short of it being practical for this purpose. I'm sure there are people out there that have been able to use bladder tanks successfully for this purpose. I have no doubt this is possible, as it is possible to sail a bathtub across the Pacific Ocean. But given the options available, I would best assume a bladder tank falls short of what is ideal.



Many insurance companies (mine included) are VERY picky about potential problems associated with improperly designed waste management systems. Hagerty Insurance denied coverage to an acquaintance who owns a 38 foot Chris Craft Constellation because his holding tank was not ABYC compliant. He inserted a bladder into a fiberglass tank that was previously breached. It was vented as well, but posed various concerns regarding the proper containment of waste.

Please place yourself in the shoes of the insurance underwriter. Would you stand confidently behind a policy you have underwritten for a boat that has a waste containment system susceptible to compromises in its ability to properly contain waste?
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Old 15-04-2012, 07:55   #21
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Re: Holding tanks

I recently installed a new holding tank in my Hunter. I put it just under the vanity top, with the bottom just above the water line. Just open a valve and it drains out when appropriate and legal.

The biggest problem for me was just getting at fittings, etc. in a small space. The rest was fairly straight forward.

The necessary size will depend on how many uses you need it to hold before you are able to dump it.
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Old 15-04-2012, 15:39   #22
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Re: Holding tanks

Please place yourself in the shoes of the insurance underwriter. Would you stand confidently behind a policy you have underwritten for a boat that has a waste containment system susceptible to compromises in its ability to properly contain waste?

The only thing that should matter to an insurance is company is what puts the vessel at risk of sinking or catching fire. A holding tank can't sink a boat...but methane is flammable, which is the reason why USCG regs REQUIRE that all waste tanks--black water and gray--be vented to the outside of the boat...to eliminate a fire hazard. An insurance company would also take issue with any sanitation plumbing connected to any below waterline thru-hull, 'cuz that can sink the boat if it's not compliant with standards. However, the tank itself is--or should be be anyway--of little interest to an insurance underwriter, 'cuz although a bilge full of sewage is a highly unpleasant occurrence, it isn't an insurable risk.
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Old 15-04-2012, 15:43   #23
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Re: Holding tanks

They didn't ship the Vegamatic I ordered with the tank. I wonder why?

Different company! Although maybe Ronco Plastics should start including the other Ronco's "pocket fisherman" with every order!
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Old 15-04-2012, 15:48   #24
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Re: Holding tanks

Things have changed a bit, they tell me. Turkey's waters are all NDZ--and they enforce it from the air, watching the water for telltale clouds in the water around boats! But last I heard, there isn't single pumpout in the whole country...you have to up anchor and go outside whatever their equivilant of our "3 mile limit" is and dump the tank.

And Greece isn't much different.
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Old 15-04-2012, 16:41   #25
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Re: Holding tanks

Over board discharge is fine for passage but I dont think enough boats have systems for pumping their own tanks. If a country has no provision for pump out, you need to be able pump your tank away from the anchorage. Direct discharge into a harbor because you worry about not being able to find pump out is unexceptable.
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Old 15-04-2012, 16:59   #26
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Re: Holding tanks

To sum it up. Holding tanks are mandatory.
If your not cruising where pump out is easily accesiable then you need a pump (manual or electric) to pump your tank. This has no bearing on what laws any country might have. Why everyone is just concerned with what can be done to appear compliant is very disturbing. Where ever we are I don't want your sewage near me. Building a quality head system is constantly skimped on and complained about. Would you throw your sh*t out the window at home to not buy plumbing?
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Old 15-04-2012, 18:51   #27
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Re: Holding tanks

Back to the original discussion on bladder holding tanks.

Ours had a bladder installed from factory. It lasted almost 25 years with no issues at least thats what the PO said. Well anyway one night a couple years ago, about 0130 in morning, a very faint but unmistakable odor woke me up. After waking my wife we proceded to tear our vee berth cabin apart where the bladder was mounted, but could not find a leak. We finished our couple week trip and when we got back to port I tore the cabin apart looking for the leak. After taking the bladder out and filling with water I was amazed how small a leak can cause such a odor.

I made my own 35 gallon fiberglass/epoxy tank <provious post> after making several patterns in the same space the bladder took which was only 12 gallons (lots of wasted space due to square shape). We can go quite a while before having to pump out.

As others have said on other post if you go this far, replace everything, hoses. fittings, head and if this leaks on any wood replace it or cover with epoxy. You only want to do this job once.
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Old 15-04-2012, 19:04   #28
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Re: Holding tanks

Thanks Gulfstar37, 'and I should add that the potential for leaks are not isolated to the bladder tanks. I had a too tightened, ..over tightened hose clamp on a plastic hose barb at the vent leading from or holding tank. My over exuberance in tightening the connection caused the very failure that I feared!
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Old 15-04-2012, 19:35   #29
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Re: Holding tanks

We will just stick with our LectroScan and back up holding tank for those times we can't discharge directly from the unit ! we just feel better about useing SOME thing that try's to keep things clean !! maybe we are oldfashion, but we cruised for over 4 yrs with a bucket, and our first overboard discharge head was a wonder to us !LOL and believe me I Hate to see turds in a Nice anchorage !!
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Old 19-04-2012, 18:34   #30
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Re: Holding tanks

I have just been reviewing a long thread on composting toilets on Sailnet. The consensus seems to be that virtually everyone who has gone that way is "happy as a pig in s**t," to coin an apt phrase. I was skeptical at first as well, but these things seem to really work well -- no mess, no maintenance, and NO ODOR, in spite of what you may think.

Commercial units made by Airhead, Natures Head and so on are ridiculously expensive considering what they are, but you can build your own with a little ingenuity and the basic element, a seat that separates urine from the other stuff from ecovita for $125.

The only down-side I came across is what to do with the container of peatmoss and the other stuff, when it is full but the latest addition is still a bit fresh. The simplest answer is to just have two such containers, and let the full one sit, well ventilated just as before, until it is done. This might be as long as a month or three. Once done, the remains are basically dirt and be disposed of appropriately.

There were some who just could not handle the idea of dealing with it -- the fact that they are "full of it," literally, up to about the navel, seems to escape them.

In any event, it's not the best solution for all s*ituations, but seems to be gaining traction.
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