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Old 20-10-2012, 20:22   #31
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Re: Thinking of Yanking the Holding Tank

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Rebel Heart I think that even your question is out of order, it presumes that if there is no legislation you are free to do what ever you want? This is the Brazilan way of thinking.
What do you think is happening onboard a vessel in a tropical anchorage that's sitting there for a week? The magical pump out fairy is coming along and emptying the holding tank?
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Old 20-10-2012, 20:34   #32
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Re: Thinking of Yanking the Holding Tank

The rest of the world is not as unsophisticated as you may imagine. Most developed countries require that you use a holding tank, and get a bit miffed if you crap in their marine environments.

Keep the holding tank and only discharge when well offshore...or, you could install a self composting dunny. I have no experience with them in a boat, but an aquaintance has one and claims they are the absolute duck's nuts!
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Old 20-10-2012, 20:37   #33
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Re: Thinking of Yanking the Holding Tank

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What do you think is happening onboard a vessel in a tropical anchorage that's sitting there for a week? The magical pump out fairy is coming along and emptying the holding tank?
Don't patronize me, I live in Brazil for over one year now. Don't tell me what people do. You want to be the next one????
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Old 20-10-2012, 20:44   #34
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Re: Thinking of Yanking the Holding Tank

OK guys... knock it off! The "Be Nice" rule is in danger of violation

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Old 20-10-2012, 20:47   #35
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Re: Thinking of Yanking the Holding Tank

Back in older times before holding tanks were in general use on recreational boats, I used to buy bags which were made from a thick paper and which were designed for camp toilets. They could be placed within a small container (such as a boat's toilet bowl) and while their use required you to empty your bladder separately, the bags would hold solid effluent. As they were paper, they could then be sealed and disposed of in toilets on land or at the marina, with no unusually negative environmental side effects.

I imagine such bags are still available from larger camping and adventure style stores and the carriage of these bags to the nearest purpose designed repository, was not unduly distasteful.

PS. I think I used to buy them in Oz from Army Surplus stores.
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Old 20-10-2012, 20:50   #36
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Re: Thinking of Yanking the Holding Tank

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Back in older times before holding tanks, I used to buy bags which were made from a thick paper and which were designed for camp toilets. They could be placed within a small container (such as a boat's toilet bowl) and while their use required you to empty your bladder separately, the bags would hold solid effluent. As they were paper, they could then be sealed and disposed of in toilets on land or at the marina, with no unusually negative environmental side effects.

I imagine such bags are still available from larger camping and adventure style stores and the carriage of these bags to the nearest purpose designed repository, was not unduly distasteful.
+1, In Holland we call them Cactus Toilet, http://www.cactusdroogtoiletten.nl/Home.aspx

But even in Brazil there are on-shore facilities.
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Old 20-10-2012, 21:06   #37
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Re: Thinking of Yanking the Holding Tank

so, rebel heart, let me get this straight. the holding tank is above the head. the head has a macerator pump that pumps UP into the tank. the tank then drains down overboard.

i can see why that joker valve is so important. it keeps the 'stuff' in the upward hose from draining back down into the head. you might want to install a second flapper valve in the upward hose as added insurance....
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Old 20-10-2012, 22:02   #38
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Re: Thinking of Yanking the Holding Tank

Hi,
I think you might want the option of using a holding tank in a few rare circumstances, even if it's something you don't use frequently (or even in any given year).

Marina's up narrow winding channels, with completely still water inside: Marina Costa Baja (La Paz), Rebak Marina (Langkawi, Malaysia)
Marina's that have locks: Darwin, Australia

Of course the option is to not stay at marina's in these places: they all have nice adjoining anchorages. Or to stay there and just walk 5/10 minutes to the restroom. But, what's also interesting, is that each of these places I'm just arbitrarily thinking of, are also places where people sometimes hang out for a while (months?), waiting for a seasonal change, or even feel like they are the best place nearby to weather a potential hurricane (Costa Baja in La Paz, the marinas in Darwin) -- so staying in a marina for a few months is sometimes a thing people do, even if they don't usually think of themselves as marina people.

Matt
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Old 21-10-2012, 03:42   #39
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Re: Thinking of Yanking the Holding Tank

If you are in a marina with good tidal exchange & seawater circulation, could it be that direct discharge from the macerator is much healthier for the fishies than discharging stuff thats been stewing in a holding tanks for a couple of days?
Near stagnant estuaries of course are much more sensitive to discharge.
The Y valve enables you to make a responsible decision based on the sensitivity of your mooring area.

To put things in perspective here is a link to report on a 3.2m gallons sewage spill ! I bet the open sea beaches weren't closed for long.

"Sewage Spills Close Area Beaches" by News Ticker | San Diego Reader
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Old 21-10-2012, 03:45   #40
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Re: Thinking of Yanking the Holding Tank

If you are thinking of going to the Med then a holding tank is probably essential now and certainly will be in a few years and in time for grey water also. A number of countries have laws and penalistic fines if caught. Even if there are no laws, its at the very least unpleasant and antisocial to discharge near the shore or where there are swimmers. I would keep the Y valve but leave it directed to the tank and just open the tank outlet or pump out when you are able to dump. That way, if you do get a problem you can revert to the emergency direct overboard. Thats what we do and it works fine. All thats lost is a couple of seconds to operate a valve
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Old 21-10-2012, 03:59   #41
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Re: Thinking of Yanking the Holding Tank

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So...

I've got a head I'm happy with, but I need to redo some plumbing in the next few days. We're splitting the US, not coming back (hopefully) for years. Yes, I know I can put a Y valve in but they're not exactly free and most of the places we're going simply don't have pump out stations let alone rules enforcing discharge.

Stupid idea?

Our holding tank now works sort of like a day tank. Fill it up during the day, dump it on the outgoing tide at night. Just wondering what the real use of these things are for those well outside of no discharge zones, but maybe still being in a marina/mooring/anchorage with clear water and folks swimming around.
I would stick with what you have got - with one eye on a Y valve (for direct discharge) in the future.

Apart from being less work likely that in the future having a holding tank fitted will become ever more a requirement (even if not everywhere, and rarely if ever inspected or enforced), plus will be a bonus if you ever sell..........the good news is that most places will never get quite so anal as the US gubberment on how and when you poop .

How you use your current set up is of course up to ......personally I feel that anyone swimming in a full anchorage has a rather optimistic take on human nature - black water tank fitted or not.
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Old 21-10-2012, 07:32   #42
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I would stick with what you have got - with one eye on a Y valve (for direct discharge) in the future. ...
......personally I feel that anyone swimming in a full anchorage has a rather optimistic take on human nature - black water tank fitted or not.

As almost always, DOJ is spot on. I also agree with all who feel you'll have to have a legal way to discharge sewage down the line.

I am amused at the number of readers who don't actually read an OP carefully and/or jump in without reading previous posts. As an example, here is what RH asked for: "Just wondering what the real use of these things [holding tanks] are for those well outside of no discharge zones, but maybe still being in a marina/mooring/anchorage with clear water and folks swimming around." Later having to restate: I'm looking for advice outside the US, not a commentary on my current world, which is fine."

I've forgotten why Rebel dumped his composting head. Seems like that solved some of these concerns. And 'lest we forget, Rebel Heart asked those down and dirty questions we all wanted asked about composting heads in the first place.

As regards dumping into San Diego bay, did they move Tijuana?
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Old 21-10-2012, 08:05   #43
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Re: Thinking of Yanking the Holding Tank

I wouldn't yank it either. As others have said, you will eventually encounter locations where it's required, plus it's just downright anti-social to dump your crap around other boats and people, especially in anchorages, and even more so in marinas. I'm just shocked that people do that.
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Old 21-10-2012, 09:11   #44
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Re: Thinking of Yanking the Holding Tank

Stick with what you already have. Keep the system with gravity discharge, as there's a lot less to go wrong; you can always just leave the valve open.

The system on our previous 1998 Hunter 450 had two holding tanks with no possibility of ocean discharge except for the poo first going through a macerator pump. The undersized hoses leading from the holding tanks to the macerator pumps were always clogged with solids and the two macerator pumps were always broken for lack of use Another part of the poor design, was the long length of horizontal hose running from the holding tank to the pump... a terrible setup which always smelled like sewage throughout the boat. The hoses smelled, the tanks smelled and sometimes the sewer gasses even backed up through the heads.

Our new setup in the Oyster is much like you describe, electric heads leading to a holding tank above sea level with gravity discharge which is left open most of the time. The through hull ball valve can remain in the closed position while in port or left open where it's appropriate to discharge. While in the marina, we use the marina restroom facilities for number two.

No unpleasant odors, no sailing around with gallons of sewage on board with the present set up.

It's also now possible to run clean water directly through the deck pumpout fitting, into the holding tank and then out through the through hull fitting to clean out the entire system; something we couldn't do with the macerator dependent set up.
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Old 21-10-2012, 09:55   #45
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Re: Thinking of Yanking the Holding Tank

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I've got a macerating head, it all just comes out looking like a (gross) cloud.
Personally, when I'm anchored out in some pristine anchorage and take my morning swim, the last thing I want to come across when swimming back to the boat is a recently created cloud from a macerating head. I much prefer that to held and released later. But perhaps my aversion to swimming in sewage is uncommon.
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