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Old 13-01-2019, 02:01   #1
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Outhouse-Style Head?

I was watching a walkthrough of a couple's trimaran, and they had what I can only think to call an outhouse-style head, which is basically just a hole open to the water below with a porthole cover securing the opening. (I linked to the section of the video where they show that head.)

How feasible is this out at sea (beyond the no-dumping zones, of course, if you'll pardon the pun)? Thoughts?
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Old 13-01-2019, 13:31   #2
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Re: Outhouse-Style Head?

Everything old eventually becomes new again. That's what the toilets were in the captain's quarters on galleons etc in the tall ship days. But, clever as it is, unfortunately it's not legal in any US waters. 33 CFR 159.7 Requirements for vessel operators:

No person may operate any vessel equipped with installed toilet facilities unless it is equipped with:
(1) An operable Type II or III device that has a label on it under § 159.16 or that is certified under § 159.12 or § 159.12a; or
(2) An operable Type I device that has a label on it under § 159.16 or that is certified under § 159.12, if the vessel is 19.7 meters (65 feet) or less in length.

You could argue that it's technically not a toilet, I doubt you'd be able to sell that argument, especially since it really is a revival of toilets from another era....which btw, were really quite grand "water closets" that could even be flushed.

Btw...it appears you're a new arrival on cruisersforum.com...welcome aboard!


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Old 13-01-2019, 13:39   #3
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Re: Outhouse-Style Head?

Thought you'd see the potential in this one
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Old 13-01-2019, 13:47   #4
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Re: Outhouse-Style Head?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleo View Post
I was watching a walkthrough of a couple's trimaran, and they had what I can only think to call an outhouse-style head, which is basically just a hole open to the water below with a porthole cover securing the opening. (I linked to the section of the video where they show that head.)



How feasible is this out at sea (beyond the no-dumping zones, of course, if you'll pardon the pun)? Thoughts?


That’s known as a “Spronk” head. When it’s rough, it’s also a bidet.
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Old 13-01-2019, 21:48   #5
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Re: Outhouse-Style Head?

Love it!


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Old 13-01-2019, 22:53   #6
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Re: Outhouse-Style Head?

alfresco anyone ?
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Old 13-01-2019, 23:12   #7
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Re: Outhouse-Style Head?

I thought everyone had one of these
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Old 14-01-2019, 01:48   #8
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Re: Outhouse-Style Head?

Since they say they have two toilets...if the other one meets regulations and they put a lock on this one (same principal as locking the overboard discharge hose), they might be within the rules...at least a gray enough area that it's not likely that you will draw a ticket unless you've really annoyed the official.

Obviously a #2 in a marina wouldn't be a good idea but offshore or in remote areas with decent tidal flushing, seems like a great idea if you have the space. Unlimited use and nothing that could break.
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Old 14-01-2019, 04:23   #9
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Re: Outhouse-Style Head?

Seems like less work and less problems to use a five gallon bucket.
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Old 14-01-2019, 08:41   #10
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Re: Outhouse-Style Head?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Since they say they have two toilets...if the other one meets regulations and they put a lock on this one (same principal as locking the overboard discharge hose), they might be within the rules...at least a gray enough area that it's not likely that you will draw a ticket unless you've really annoyed the official.
As long as they have at least one "legal" toilet, all they'd need to do to satisfy even an inspector with an advanced case of Barney Fife Syndrome is lock that head door.

[/QUOTE]Obviously a #2 in a marina wouldn't be a good idea but offshore or in remote areas with decent tidal flushing, seems like a great idea if you have the space. Unlimited use and nothing that could break.[/QUOTE]


Since there's no toilet seat and only a porthole as a "lid," I doubt it would be used much to do anything that requires sitting on it...at least not for very long.


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Old 14-01-2019, 22:46   #11
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Re: Outhouse-Style Head?

@Peggie: Thank you; I'm glad to be here! I was assuming the original ship heads were buckets, rather than these kinds of open holes, so that's interesting to hear! I'd only associated outhouses with land-based facilities. They do seem very practical, especially if the water can clean the inside of the tube extending downward, as I imagine that at least some of the deposits wouldn't fall cleanly down to the water below. Regarding the lack of seat, one could certainly be built in to allow for all manner of use!

Regarding the bucket that fish53 mentioned, don't they require plastic liners at a minimum, and some kind of...coir or wood chips or something to aid absorbency and combat odors? To me, that would mean more provisioning, more storage space taken up, and the potential of supplies running out. Can you dump the bucket in deep water, or do you have to wait until you have access to a legal disposal site on land? There's a knee jerk part of me that is drawn towards extreme simplicity - no parts that aren't necessary, nothing that requires more steps than necessary, so I guess I look at what I learn with an eye towards that.

Spronk! Thank you, lol, I was trying to find information online, but calling it an outhouse style head didn't get me anywhere. All of the results were for marine toilets and composting heads. The thought of it functioning as a bidet, thereby cutting down the need for toilet paper, did cross my mind as well!

LOL @ the pictures you guys posted. They look like fodder for, "You might be a redneck sailor if...."

That's a good point about the locking door with an alternate head, though it would require two heads, which would be more problematic on a small vessel. (The Flicka is in my head as I write this particular note. Part of me fell in love with her when reading about all kinds of different boats.)
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Old 15-01-2019, 02:12   #12
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Re: Outhouse-Style Head?

"Regarding the bucket that fish53 mentioned, don't they require plastic liners at a minimum, and some kind of...coir or wood chips or something to aid absorbency and combat odors?" I use peat moss unless we're where it can go overboard, no need for a liner. This "spronk" toilet sounds like a small version of a moonpool. The thing I'd be concerned about is "items" that float and hence "stick" around awhile. I had a lobster boat with a clean out tube over the prop so you could reach straight down to clear line from the wheel, never thought to, uh use it in the aforementioned manner.
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Old 15-01-2019, 03:40   #13
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Re: Outhouse-Style Head?

Quote:
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...which is basically just a hole open to the water below with a porthole cover securing the opening... How feasible is this out at sea (beyond the no-dumping zones, of course, if you'll pardon the pun)? Thoughts?
Nothing new there. There are a hundred of them here in Port of Doha
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Old 15-01-2019, 12:50   #14
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Outhouse-Style Head?

Back in the 70’s I worked a salmon charter boat. The head the customers used was a normal marine head bowl and lid. On the bottom was a 3” hose connected to 3” valve and thruhull. Believe it or not some folks would manage to plug that up. I had a broom handle to rod the blockage out. This was in nw Washington state -Neah Bay. Much easier than electric heads. Some people didn’t like that their business often floated up behind the boat for all to see.
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