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Old 05-05-2015, 11:36   #1
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msd law and florida

I just got a 29' sailboat which has a direct discharge type head. The valve to discharge is in the off position with the handle removed. Is this legal for right now? I am docked and not currently using the head. I am looking at different head types and had a question if porta potties are 'legal' for use with the the required regulations. I found the below:

Florida Marine Sanitation Devices

Florida law requires any vessels 26 feet or more in length, with an enclosed cabin with sleeping facilities, to be equipped with a toilet if on Florida state waters.

Every houseboat must be equipped with at least one permanently installed toilet properly attached to a U.S. Coast Guard-certified Type III MSD.
On vessels other than a houseboat, the toilet may be either a portable device or a permanently installed toilet properly attached to a U.S. Coast Guard-certified MSD.

So since my boat is over 26', I am required to have a head. Since its not a houseboat, it doesn't have to permenantly installed, right? So a portable toilet would be legal in Florida?

Thanks for all your help, just a tad bit confused.
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:13   #2
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Re: msd law and florida

No confusing to me you are on a boat so according to the regs you posted
Quote: On vessels other than a houseboat, the toilet may be either a portable device or a permanently installed toilet properly attached to a U.S. Coast Guard-certified MSD. End quote and a porta pottie is a portable toilet
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:25   #3
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Re: msd law and florida

Carry a bucket to keep the poo nazis happy. Removing the handle for the discharge should be fine. You can use the head 3 miles offshore, IIRC.
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:38   #4
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Re: msd law and florida

Actually its 12 miles by marpol rules
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Old 05-05-2015, 13:47   #5
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Re: msd law and florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by BurningDaylight View Post
So a portable toilet would be legal in Florida?
Yes, it is.
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Old 05-05-2015, 13:50   #6
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Re: msd law and florida

Thanks everyone, just wanted to be sure so I won't get a fine. Thanks!
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Old 05-05-2015, 13:55   #7
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Re: msd law and florida

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Actually its 12 miles by marpol rules
The MARPOL regulations apply to ships greater than 200 tons, or which are certified to carry more than 10 persons. Since our recreational boats are not, in general, certified in that way, I don't believe those rules apply.

More importantly, the U.S. is not a party to MARPOL Annex IV, the one about overboard discharge. So if you stick to the coastal waters around the United States, the only rules you have to worry about are USCG rules, and the limit is three miles.
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Old 05-05-2015, 14:36   #8
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Re: msd law and florida

Well I just found this and 3 miles isn't exactly correct depends on where in Florida you cruise this site says the following quote for Florida Clean Vessel Act Boater FAQ | Florida Clean Marina Program | Florida DEP
What are the coastal boundaries for waters in Florida?
Coastal boundary limits are nine nautical miles on the Gulf and three miles on the Atlantic Ocean.
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Old 05-05-2015, 15:16   #9
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Re: msd law and florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Carry a bucket to keep the poo nazis happy. Removing the handle for the discharge should be fine. You can use the head 3 miles offshore, IIRC.
A poo bucket is not considered a Coast Guard approved MSD. Once it is used, it is considered a container same as a tank. I guess it can also be considered as a portable potty. You would be better off with a legitimate store bought porta potty and not have to worry about explaining it to the authorities.
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Old 05-05-2015, 17:23   #10
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Re: msd law and florida

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A poo bucket is not considered a Coast Guard approved MSD. Once it is used, it is considered a container same as a tank. I guess it can also be considered as a portable potty. You would be better off with a legitimate store bought porta potty and not have to worry about explaining it to the authorities.
You can pee or poop in a bucket if you want to but you can't legally dump it overboard so a porta pottie is a much better choice.

Oddly, while pooping in a bucked and dumping it overboard is illegal, pooping directly into the water without the intermediate bucket is not illegal.

However, the OP quoted Florida law which requires him to have a toilet on board. Using it is optional.
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Old 05-05-2015, 20:09   #11
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Re: msd law and florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
Well I just found this and 3 miles isn't exactly correct depends on where in Florida you cruise this site says the following quote for Florida Clean Vessel Act Boater FAQ | Florida Clean Marina Program | Florida DEP
What are the coastal boundaries for waters in Florida?
Coastal boundary limits are nine nautical miles on the Gulf and three miles on the Atlantic Ocean.
The "3 mile limit" applies everywhere in FL (and elsewhere) EXCEPT in the Keys. There, the limit has been extended to 12 miles on the Gulf side, but it's still only 3 miles on the Atlantic side...although the dedicated enviros have lobbied for more than a decade to change that.

The Clean Vessel Act doesn't apply to boat owners...it's the legislation, passed in 1992, that provides gov't grants to marinas to install pumpout facilities. FL's "clean marina program" is tied to it.

If I were you, I'd have the best of both worlds by installing an "MSD" version portapotty. The "MSD" designation means it's designed to be permanently installed and has the necessary fittings to plumb it for pumpout...and dumpout if you want to install a y-valve and pump in the pump out line. A 5-6 gallon model holds 50-60 flushes...no plumibing except the pumpout line and vent...no moving parts to maintain...no hoses and tank using up 25-30% of your storage space. Both SeaLand and Thetford make "MSD" versions of their portpotties...check 'em out.
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:10   #12
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Re: msd law and florida

The C-Head is the simplest & easiest way to deal with this. C-Head portable composting toilets
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:24   #13
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Re: msd law and florida

Thanks to all contributers, !
Great collection of info!
Great Lakes sailor moving temporarily to Fla, staging for Dominican Republic.
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Old 06-05-2015, 13:23   #14
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Re: msd law and florida

Here in AL. they require that hull discharge must be closed and locked. and a valid MSD sticker.
this works when I cruse in Fla. waters...
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Old 06-05-2015, 15:09   #15
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Re: msd law and florida

That C-Head looks perfect, the guy emailed me right back , I am pleased & impressed. C-Head portable composting toilet system 4 variations 1 of which should fit a large number of boats, I'm just thinkin.
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