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Old 20-07-2011, 18:15   #16
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Re: Sewage Management?

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The short answer, regarding how sewage systems work on our boats, is that they often work poorly.

I used to belong to a yacht club where the old salts and liveaboards would gather every afternoon at quitting time for beers and conversation. It was incredible, but a day rarely went by when the conversation didn't turn to heads at some point. It seemed that on any given day someone within our group had just replaced a joker valve, or rebuilt a pump, or.....
I assume you could either fix your current poorly working system or buy a new one to solve the problem. How much is does this sort of thing cost? I realize a multitude of things can be wrong, but I'm sure there are common problems and estimates for those.
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Old 20-07-2011, 18:19   #17
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Re: Sewage Management?

What boat are you talking about Capt.? These are not usually off the shelf items, they are components cobbled together, for the most part. Most older boats were not built with holding tanks so people had to find places to put them. They could be almost anywhere. They could be installed properly or not. They may work well or not.
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Old 20-07-2011, 18:25   #18
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Re: Sewage Management?

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What boat are you talking about Capt.? These are not usually off the shelf items, they are components cobbled together, for the most part. Most older boats were not built with holding tanks so people had to find places to put them. They could be almost anywhere. They could be installed properly or not. They may work well or not.
The general reason for most of my questions root at one question: "What boat should I get?" (I don't own a boat)

With that said, and based on what you're saying, am I to assume that some of the newer boats have systems that are more "standard"?

And what is "old" in respect to boats that are likely to not have holding tanks?
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Old 20-07-2011, 18:33   #19
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Re: Sewage Management?

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With that said, and based on what you're saying, am I to assume that some of the newer boats have systems that are more "standard"?
No.
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And what is "old" in respect to boats that are likely to not have holding tanks?
Well, any boat that is being used in the US now will have a holding tank for black water. I'm not sure about gray water holding tanks. You will have to check when you look at a boat.

Actually, Peggie is a better person to answer these questions. Buy her book.
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Old 20-07-2011, 18:34   #20
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Re: Sewage Management?

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I realize a multitude of things can be wrong, but I'm sure there are common problems and estimates for those.
Yes. There are common problems. For example, I change the joker valves in each of my heads yearly. The new valve is cheap, it's easy to change, and changing it is absolutely gross. When everything that passed through your sphincters in the past year subsequently passes through a joker valve, things get fairly disgusting.

A clogged vent is even cheaper to fix, but modern sailboats are designed in such a way that you either have to be a contortion artist to fix one, or you have to rip half your boat apart before you can loosen the hose clamp you need to loosen.

That's why we're always talking sewage when cruisers get together.

If all this concerns you, you're probably better off getting into sailboarding.
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Old 20-07-2011, 18:35   #21
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Re: Sewage Management?

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Actually, Peggie is a better person to answer these questions. Buy her book.
I plan on buying some books, but I am a little poor at the moment.
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Old 20-07-2011, 18:40   #22
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Re: Sewage Management?

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If all this concerns you, you're probably better off getting into sailboarding.
Now that you mention it, I'm so disgusted of poop that sailboats are out of the question now...

I'm just taking in information to help in my decision of buying a boat.
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Old 20-07-2011, 20:48   #23
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Re: Sewage Management?

I like to begin my seminars with, "You could put 100 homeowners together for a year, and it's unlikely that the subject of the toilet will ever come up...but any time just TWO boat owners are in the same room, it's 100-1 bet that one of 'em will bring up the sanitatation within an hour...within 10 minutes if I show up." That's not due to poorly working systems or systems in need of replacing...it's due to the false premise that marine sanitation systems have ANYthing in common with household sanitation systems. They don't...and neither does any other system on a boat. In a house, everything is just an appliance...but on a boat, everything is a component in a system...and anything that's done--or isn't done that should be--to any component in a system impacts the whole system. When it comes to the sanitation system, that's compounded by the fact that household toilets have no moving parts...a siphon pulls bowl contents out of the toilet, then gravity takes over to send it into the sewer and out of your life. But the toilet on a boat has a pump--moving parts--that have to push bowl contents to a tank or a treatment device or out a thru-hull...and ALL those components require maintenance to keep 'em working properly. Ignore one component, screw up the whole system.

PREVENTIVE maintence is the key...it's always easier and cheaper to prevent problems than it is to cure 'em. But unfortunately too many owners don't see it that way...for them, "maintenance" just means "fix what breaks."

If you'd like some help designing a system that's simple and easy to maintain, you're welcome to email me...I don't sell anything, just give advice.
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Old 20-07-2011, 21:04   #24
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Re: Sewage Management?

Sheesh, Bash...you must like to do everything the hard way! Changing a joker valve isn't a bad job at all if you flush out the system with plenty of clean water and some distilled white vinegar before you take anything apart.

As for the tank vent, there shouldn't be any reason to remove any hose clamps. 90% of tank vent blockages occur in the thru-hull, which you can scrape out from the OUTSIDE of the boat with a screwdriver blade or any other tool that works. And you can even PREVENT vent line blockages from ever happening by simply backflushing it with a hose every time you wash the boat.
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Old 20-07-2011, 21:40   #25
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Re: Sewage Management?

I think the reason the subject of marine toilets comes up so often in boaters conversations is because of the value we place on having a clean comfortable place to read.
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Old 20-07-2011, 23:54   #26
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Re: Sewage Management?

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Sheesh, Bash...you must like to do everything the hard way!
Selling books, peghall? You may wish to register as a Commercial Member. You can find the guidelines for this under the "Rules" tab at the top of the page.
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Old 21-07-2011, 00:12   #27
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Re: Sewage Management ?

Bucket and chuck it.
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Old 21-07-2011, 05:10   #28
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Re: Sewage Management ?

Consider a composting toilet.
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Old 21-07-2011, 06:01   #29
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Cool Re: Sewage Management ?

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Bucket and chuck it.

With all the BS about heads and discharge and dyepacks and so on, how is it that bucket and chuck it is still legal? Has anyone without a head system actually had the Marine Patrol/CG aboard?

Come on Prof. Bash, there are several (many?) established authors on CF that aren't commercial members. You were joking with Peg Hall I'm sure.
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Old 21-07-2011, 07:05   #30
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Re: Sewage Management?

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Well, any boat that is being used in the US now will have a holding tank for black water.
That's not true. Perhaps it would be better to say something like, "Any boat that is being used in the US now should have a holding tank for black water."
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