Originally Posted by steff
My first post here. Sorry it's so basic.
We're new sailors
, and our boat (a Northshore 370) has a macerator and holding tank
... I'm trying to figure out how to work it but haven't found any instructions anywhere.
So apologies for the basic questions, stupid descriptions and the bodily fluid descriptions.
So, after you do your stuff into the bowl, there's the pump next to the bowl - I'm presuming that when you pump the handle up and down, this would go into the holding tank?
Then, if I turn the switch for the macerator, I can hear a buzzing sound, and stuff comes out from the hull
into the water
in a pretty coloured cloud.
Does the macerator work from the holding tank? Or does it work straight from the toilet?
I mean, can you just get out to sea, then turn the macerator on, and it will mince and dump everything in the holding tank? Or if I have stuff in the holding tank, do I need to go to a pump out facility if I haven't turned it on straight away?
And, is the sequence... bodily waste, pump using the hand pump, macerator on? Or is it fancier than that?
Howdy Steff and Welcome Aboard CF!
You have hit on a good subject, and already gotten some great comments and help from some of the most experienced CF members.
My wee little bit (
) of contribution to the discussion is this:
1. If you want to go to the "head of the class on heads" get a book that will tell you great tips and prepare you for some of the future issues you might face regarding marine
Peggy Hall, the same Peggy who has responded already above, is an expert on the subject, she literally "wrote the book" on the topic of marine
heads. The boook? "Get Rid of Boat Odors: A Boat Owner's Guide to Marine Sanitation Systems."
The Kindle version is only $9 and I would encourage any new sailor/boat owner to get a copy. I consider that a very smart investment in helpful knowledge. Why? See below #2.
2. Most boats will have guests aboard at some time. Many guests will be unsure or clueless on how to use it. So, the savvy boat owner is the one who prepares for the possibilities of having to be the "Boat Plumber" who has to fix some problem.
Of course not all heads wil be a problem, but the fact remains that clogged heads (and other head
related problems) are common in boats, especially if the boat has frequent guests aboard.
The problems with heads can be so awful, that even seasoned sailors consider unplugging a clogged head
to be one of the very worst experiences of owning a boat.
One bit of warning here: Make sure you pay close attention to making sure the head valves are in the closed position when you are underway in seas or sailing heeled, and while you are not using the head.
Up above, someone mentioned "dry" position. Also, be aware that some holding tanks
are relatively small and may be filled up quickly if everyone aboard is pumping a lot of water
in them to flush like at home.
One thing to avoid at all costs:
On one voyage I took on a very nice Jeanneau
42 footer, one of the two heads overflowed after being used by a newbie sailor who had been seasick and she was unfamiliar with how to use the head. The boat was heeled and in big seas. The resulting flow and mess of sewage flowed out of the head compartment and made for a horribly smelling, disgusting, slippery (hazardous) mess that covered the sole or floor of the boat. It was not a pleasant sight.
So, my wee little bit of advice:
1. Get Peggy's book and study it. That is a smart $9 investment in boat related knowledge.
2. Read the owner's manual for your particular head and memorize the steps.
3. Make some kind of clearly understood SIGN with simple instructions and labeling to put in the head whenever you have guests aboard who will use it. Use colored electrical
tape or paint
or something simple to match the relevant parts
with the instructions, so anyone can understand the right steps to take to flush.
4. Make a rule
that anyone who does not follow the "nothing that did not come out of your body" rule
is the person who has to clean the head. Make this very clear to everyone, along with the very clear rule about what should NOT be put into the bowl/toilet. If other women are on board, make sure they know that no baby wipes or tampons or similar are ever to be put in the toilet.