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Old 15-07-2018, 15:17   #1
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Pumping out possibility required for holding tanks in US coastal waters?

Hi everyone!
I've been reading for quite a bit around here to get a better idea of how to set up the new blackwater system on our yacht. There is one question I haven't found an answer to, however, and I sincerely hope it hasn't been covered a thousand times before, as I wasn't able to find it anywhere.

While sailing in U.S. coastal waters, is it a problem to have a holding tank that only has direct release, but no pumping out option on deck?

We're currently in Italy refitting a 1979 Jeanneau Gin Fizz to sail to the Caribbean and back and time, space and budget are tight. Since in the vast majority of locations we want to sail to over the next year there are simply no pumping out facilities anywhere, we're leaning towards not drilling another hole in our deck that we'll never use. That would mean our system would have the options to directly discharge, or flush into our holding tank to then discharge later when sufficiently far from the coast. So is the U.S. coastguard happy with such an installation or may that lead to problems? (I know that the no-direct-discharge setting has to be fixed while in coastal waters, by the way.)

Thanks everybody in advance, some clarification on that topic would be much appreciated.

Cheers,
Kai
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Old 15-07-2018, 15:36   #2
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Re: Pumping out possibility required for holding tanks in US coastal waters?

Interesting question. I don’t think there is a requirement for a deck pump out.
There are a lot of parts in the USA that you’d have to travel pretty far to legally discharge overboard.

I think you would regret not installing a deck pump out.
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Old 15-07-2018, 15:38   #3
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Pumping out possibility required for holding tanks in US coastal waters?

I would say it would be a big problem. Iím 20 miles up the St Johnís river now, and my only legal way to discharge would be a 46 mile round trip.
You will spend lots of times in Marinaís, anchorages, and mooring fields where being able to pump out would en a great help.
Itís only one hose and a deck fitting, real easy to do.
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Old 15-07-2018, 15:39   #4
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Re: Pumping out possibility required for holding tanks in US coastal waters?

[QUOTE=HopCar;
I think you would regret not installing a deck pump out.[/QUOTE]




You would be very poop wise to have a deck pump out
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Old 15-07-2018, 16:13   #5
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Re: Pumping out possibility required for holding tanks in US coastal waters?

I have a Catalina built in California with the capability for direct discharge from the factory, so there's no problem there. Some places might required it locked or disabled but I've not encountered that. I don't think anyone, CG, Harbor Patrols etc. has ever asked even me about it.
Here, free pump out stations are required in every harbor and their use encouraged as environmentally preferred to dumping at sea.
Pumping out is required in no discharge zones already, a deck pump out seems prudent to me.
When faced with a full or leaking tank my priority has always been to empty by the quickest legal method available.
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Old 16-07-2018, 02:12   #6
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Re: Pumping out possibility required for holding tanks in US coastal waters?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Kai.
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Old 16-07-2018, 04:58   #7
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Re: Pumping out possibility required for holding tanks in US coastal waters?

Got to go with those who say get a pump-out fitting. Unless you have a VERY large holding tank, there are going to be times when it is problematic -- or at least very time consuming -- to get to a place where it is legal to discharge overboard.


Basically, within U.S. waters, anytime you are within 3 miles of the coastline you must have your overboard discharge valve closed and disabled in some way. If the Coast Guard decides to check, and it is not wired shut, or disabled in some other way, you are subject to big fines. (Assuming you don't have a Type I MSD.)


If you were just planning to stop very briefly in U.S. waters, it might be worth it to just deal with it. If you are planning to spend any meaningful amount of time here, though, I strongly advise the ability to pump out.


Good luck, whatever you do.
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Old 16-07-2018, 05:21   #8
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Re: Pumping out possibility required for holding tanks in US coastal waters?

No legal problems; I don't believe a pump-out fitting is required on US coastal waters. State waters (like Lake Champlain) might be different.

The only problem I see would be if you're staying any length of time in a place where it's hard to get 3 miles offshore. Some marinas might require a working pump-out for a long-term (think, seasonal or monthly) stay.
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Old 16-07-2018, 05:42   #9
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Re: Pumping out possibility required for holding tanks in US coastal waters?

In my view it would be short sighted not to include a pump-out capacity it you are installing a holding tank. We have a friend that has a lovely 1989 Jeneau 42 he's been trying to sell for some time and one of the biggest impediments has been the lack of a holding tank. Prospective buyers are not interested in a boat where the heads can only be used off-shore. I suspect that concern would extend to holding tanks that could only be discharged off-shore as well. Moreover, including a deck pump-out capacity really is not that demanding--two fittings and a length of SaniFlex hose, eh?

FWIW...
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Old 16-07-2018, 08:20   #10
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Re: Pumping out possibility required for holding tanks in US coastal waters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainKay0zz View Post
Hi everyone!
I've been reading for quite a bit around here to get a better idea of how to set up the new blackwater system on our yacht. There is one question I haven't found an answer to, however, and I sincerely hope it hasn't been covered a thousand times before, as I wasn't able to find it anywhere.

While sailing in U.S. coastal waters, is it a problem to have a holding tank that only has direct release, but no pumping out option on deck?

We're currently in Italy refitting a 1979 Jeanneau Gin Fizz to sail to the Caribbean and back and time, space and budget are tight. Since in the vast majority of locations we want to sail to over the next year there are simply no pumping out facilities anywhere, we're leaning towards not drilling another hole in our deck that we'll never use. That would mean our system would have the options to directly discharge, or flush into our holding tank to then discharge later when sufficiently far from the coast. So is the U.S. coastguard happy with such an installation or may that lead to problems? (I know that the no-direct-discharge setting has to be fixed while in coastal waters, by the way.)

Thanks everybody in advance, some clarification on that topic would be much appreciated.

Cheers,
Kai
Besides what others have said
You definitely want a pump out option but
for a different reason
Recently I was on a boat with no pump out
facility, The sea outlet got glogged
and it turned into a real s-it storm
What a mess
I think it a real good idea to have two ways
of emptying the holding tank
Long stretches and zones in the US are
no discharge to boot
Cheers
Neil
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Old 16-07-2018, 08:30   #11
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Re: Pumping out possibility required for holding tanks in US coastal waters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
Besides what others have said
You definitely want a pump out option but
for a different reason
Recently I was on a boat with no pump out
facility, The sea outlet got glogged
and it turned into a real s-it storm
What a mess
I think it a real good idea to have two ways
of emptying the holding tank
Long stretches and zones in the US are
no discharge to boot
Cheers
Neil
Neil is right - I hope you never need to worry about this, but I did on an Atlantic delivery; You do want another way out of the holding tank besides the bottom of the hull.

the deck opening is easy compared to installing a tank. if seawater were to enter the holding tank through the deck opening -- no problem. you might even do that with rain to flush it when on blue water.
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Old 16-07-2018, 08:40   #12
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Re: Pumping out possibility required for holding tanks in US coastal waters?

I think you will wish you had pierside pump out capability. But you don't have to go through the deck. Rig the pump out so you can attach a long enough hose to be accessible to the pier hose when you need it. As long as you can get enough room to connect a pump out hose, with the attendant fittings and valves, the boat-side hose can be kept below...or even removed and stowed (cap the tank) when not needed.
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Old 16-07-2018, 09:09   #13
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Re: Pumping out possibility required for holding tanks in US coastal waters?

Wow, thank you guys so much, that was a lot of useful information in quick succession!

We're not planning to stay in U.S. waters for very long, probably just passing by the American Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, never getting close to U.S. mainland. So having to 'hold it' while cruising up rivers is probably not a likely scenario.

The points about a secondary option to empty the thing and the resell value are things I hadn't even considered, yet. So thanks, very much, lots of food for thought.
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Old 16-07-2018, 09:53   #14
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Re: Pumping out possibility required for holding tanks in US coastal waters?

I use a diaphragm pump to manually empty my holding thank. The discharge line from the pump leads to a T fitting, from there the low side leads to thru hull and high side leads to deck fitting. vacuum system at pump out pulls the waste through the valves of the pump as if it wasn't even there.
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Old 16-07-2018, 10:30   #15
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Re: Pumping out possibility required for holding tanks in US coastal waters?

The overboard discharge valve needs to be locked or sealed inside 3 miles. Openings and closings should be logged though there is no legal requirement for pleasure vessels to do so but it looks nice an professional and gives the coasties a warm fuzzy feeling. I always have TWO valves for double isolation. YMMV but I think it is a good practice to have redundant closures on any system subject to pollution violations.


A deck pumpout fitting is simple to install and you can get a nice pretty chrome one for about $40. A tee down below and a piece of good hose and bobs yer uncle. You may want to also include a valve in the pumpout system right at the tee. Alternately you could have just a hose or pipe down below, with closure, and snake a dirty smelly pumpout hose into the boat and to your fitting. Guess which way I prefer.


Most places the pumpout station uses a flexible rubber probe that press fits and seals into your deck pumpout fitting. However you MIGHT run across a facility that uses an industrial type camlock hose coupling and so you should think about getting together a kit for adapting to 1-1/2" and 2" camlock make or female hoses. JFYI, most deck pumpout fittings have threads for just that purpose. Alternately you can make up a probe to attach to a camlock hose and use it as you normally would, but camlock to camlock to threaded is more secure and won't let air in.


Another good place for a valve is next to the thru hull fitting for your sewage vent. In some parts of the U.S., in the summertime such small nooks and crannies can fill up with mud dauber nests or other bug nests, and a strong pumpout vacuum can collapse your tank or possibly play havoc with your joker valve, I don't know. At any rate, at the very least, a blocked vent will interfere with pumping out. A valve there and maybe a tee and yet another (!!!) valve allows you to bypass a plugged inlet and suck air right from inside the boat to relieve the suction on the tank.


Another possible use of your deck pumpout fitting... if barnies or mussels or other sealife clogs the discharge system you can (gently) pressurize the system to "pump out" via the pumpout fitting and a hose, at sea. Obviously a head isolation valve would be a great addition to the system if you might ever need to do this. No compressor onboard? Over several hours, a 12v emergency tire compressor can move a lot of black water this way, pressurizing via the tank vent. Been there, done that. I was on a boat that had NO overboard discharge, and I needed to discharge overboard. What was that tire compressor doing on the boat? I don't know, but I used it to get the tank level low enough that it was no longer a crisis.


Don't let dockies or pickup crew confuse your FW fill and your waste fitting. I have heard of this happening. I should say the whole marina heard. I had to filter out a lot of obscenities that came along with it, actually. Guy was shall we say somewhat irritated. Fuel fitting could similarly be confused. One problem is owners figure a fitting is a fitting, even though they are slighly different and are stamped with "FUEL" or "WATER" or "WASTE" or whatever. Get the right hardware that is marked accordingly.
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