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Old 01-09-2016, 10:21   #31
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Re: What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

For those with space considerations, and don't want a composting head or porta potty, I think the Sealand Traveler is worth considering. It has a nine gallon tank that lasts many times longer than my former thirteen gallon holding tank.

Uses very little water (pressure fed) to flush. I still have a y valve and through hull, but a single hose to deck fitting would be simple if access to facilities is readily available.

For me as a single live aboard it has worked out very well. A monthly visit to the marina for diesel topoff, water fill and pumpout. My freshwater routinely runs low at the same time the holding is near full, so lucky timing.

I've never seen a porta potty carried ashore in six years. But I have heard suspicious splashing at 3am in the anchorage many times. Coming from the direction of the small boat liveaboards.

Again, the Sealand Traverler has worked out well for me.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:21   #32
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Re: What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

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Most marinas do require a tank on boats that are berthed in 'em. Tanks are required on ALL inland lakes.
Never had an issue with a smaller boat. And who wants to be on a lake? Of course you cannot USE the head if you are 3 miles in. You can have the marina or CG put a seal on the seacock/valve.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:22   #33
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Re: What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

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Most marinas do require a tank on boats that are berthed in 'em. Tanks are required on ALL inland lakes.
Peg I really disagree with you many boats are manufactured without even so much as a head. Also my marina doesn't care about having a tank however if a live aboard in my dads marina they do require a 15 gallon holding tank or a composting head again this is just for lives boards.
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:11   #34
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Re: What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

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I need to know if it is illegal to live on a boat with a port o potty.
It is not illegal. In the U.S., the overarching regulation is (as previously mentioned) the Clean Water Act as it pertains to waste discharge and MSDs. Here is an excerpt- "The MSD requirements do not apply to vessels that do not have installed toilets (e.g., vessels with "porta-potties")."

Individual marinas often have their own rules about living aboard in their respective marinas however and you would certainly have to abide by those as well.

https://www.epa.gov/vessels-marinas-...n-devices-msds
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:35   #35
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Re: What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

Marine composting toilets are not composting but desiccating. For the bacteria to render the bad stuff in sewage safe takes months and to convert it back to basically dirt takes even longer. The little bugs that do the decomposition just aren't that hard workers. Not that the supposed marine composting heads won't do the job, they just don't have the time to do it before needing emptying, urine especially. For a part time use boat they will work as a composter but for full time use are dessicaters.

The key to the whole debate is what will your marina or the poo police accept for live aboard use. Unfortunately there is no uniformity. In a no discharge area, only the government is allowed to polute. All your sewage has to go to a City/County/State legal polluter called your sanitation district 'sewage' treatment plant. Your marina may have other ideas about what is an acceptable no discharge device. Some will allow portapotties, some may allow MSD's and many want holding tanks or desiccating devices. BTW when I say Government allowed polluters I'm just imaging reality. Government sewage treatment plants regular overflow in heavy rains dumping more untreated sewage in the water than every boat in the area could dump in decades.

So pick where the boat will be kept and do what you need to do to meet the requirements.
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Old 01-09-2016, 15:59   #36
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Re: What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by four winds View Post
For those with space considerations, and don't want a composting head or porta potty, I think the Sealand Traveler is worth considering. It has a nine gallon tank that lasts many times longer than my former thirteen gallon holding tank.

Uses very little water (pressure fed) to flush. I still have a y valve and through hull, but a single hose to deck fitting would be simple if access to facilities is readily available.

For me as a single live aboard it has worked out very well. A monthly visit to the marina for diesel topoff, water fill and pumpout. My freshwater routinely runs low at the same time the holding is near full, so lucky timing.

I've never seen a porta potty carried ashore in six years. But I have heard suspicious splashing at 3am in the anchorage many times. Coming from the direction of the small boat liveaboards.

Again, the Sealand Traverler has worked out well for me.
I had not seen this one, this is a good one for the "great stuff for pocket cruisers" thread! Where did you get yours?
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Old 01-09-2016, 16:41   #37
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Re: What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

Hey Don, a couple or three years ago I wanted to simplify my system and reclaim storage space.

After some googling I found a place in New York, though I can't remember the name, that had a better price than Defender and others, and free shipping.

Commonly used in RVs as well so their suppliers might be an option, too.

First saw it here years ago.
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Old 01-09-2016, 17:16   #38
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Re: What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

I think the Sealand Traveler is worth considering. It has a nine gallon tank that lasts many times longer than my former thirteen gallon holding tank.

I love that toilet (full name: 7-11 M28 Marine Traveler). It's a self-contained system has a real china bowl, the same flush mechanism as the SeaLand VacuFlush and is designed to use onboard pressurized fresh water--only enough to rinse the bowl--and you can bring water in ahead of use. Because it uses so little flush water, the 9 gallon tank holds as many flushes as a 20-25 gallon tank. It has only one potential drawback: the tank has a 20" x 20" (give or take a couple of fractions) footprint, which makes it too large to fit in a lot of head compartments. But if you do have room for it, give it some real thought.

The Dometic/SeaLand site has become a nightmare to find anything on...Defender's description of it is pretty complete, so I use it: SeaLand Traveler at Defender
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Old 02-09-2016, 05:40   #39
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Re: What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

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"Composting" toilets are also legal everywhere and self-contained, but need power to run a fan and a heater...plus, they're expensive!
IMO.
Air Head composting toilets require only minimal power to run a small fan. No heater required. (That would require MUCH more electricity.)
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Old 02-09-2016, 05:50   #40
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Re: What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

Since there seems to be some debate about the legality of composting heads, let me just say that when I questioned Air Head about this same issue, I was sent a letter from the USCG explaining their stance on composting toilets, and the short answer is yes, they are legal everywhere in US waters. Period. Outside the US, it may obviously be different. But that letter from the CG made me feel a lot better about arguing with a marina that "didn't allow" them. They did change their minds. Something to think about.
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:55   #41
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Re: What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

The potential drawback of footprint that Peggie Hall points out can indeed be a deal breaker for the traveler. I feel remiss in not pointing that out myself.

Many heads have an angle from the hull on the floor, especially smaller boats, that may reduce the available flat surface.

During my searching I downloaded the manual and used the dimensions drawing to determine if it would fit. And it just did fit, flush with the edge of the raised floor in the head, with a rear corner just touching the angle of the hull at the rear.

I too like the full size China bowl.
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Old 02-09-2016, 07:44   #42
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Re: What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

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Air Head composting toilets require only minimal power to run a small fan. No heater required.
That depends on how cold it gets. All the composters and desiccators (AirHead, Nature's Head etc) need added dry material and a bacterial "accelerator" to facilitate breakdown. It works just fine at 75F and above, and ok at 70...but bacterial activity becomes increasingly sluggish with every degree below 70. Around 60 not much is happening...at 40 most bacteria become dormant. So a heater wouldn't be needed if you're in a climate where the temps stay warm or you're aboard 24-7 with heat on in the boat...but if you're a live aboard where it gets cold in the winter and are ashore at work all day, leaving the heat on the boat set below 70, your waste material isn't gonna break down much without some warm air.
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:24   #43
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Re: What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

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Originally Posted by peghall View Post
Most marinas do require a tank on boats that are berthed in 'em. Tanks are required on ALL inland lakes.
This answer has been bugging me regarding inland lakes. We did our research years ago so I did some fresh research. My research specifically was for Colorado but I noticed many states us the same rules and regulations booklet. No, a holding tank is not required on all inland lakes. But discharging any waste is forbidden. A recreational vehicle is required to use type 3 santation device and this includes porta potties. Type 3 specifically is non discharging but does not have to be a "holding tank". Porta potties and composting / dry/ desicating heads are all type 3.
Please check with your state regarding type 3 sanitation on inland lakes to be sure you are in compliance with your states rules.
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:58   #44
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Re: What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

The Traveler looks kind of cheap and plastically. Are there any other options similar to the traveler out there that are more robust. I do like the self contained tank idea.
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:13   #45
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Re: What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

I haven't seen any similar products.

As to looks, I think you might be deceived by the picture.

It has a full size China bowl, and uses a standard household seat/lid. The tank, which of course must support the weight of the user, is quite substantially thick walled. By my guess probably more than twice the wall thickness of a typical holding tank. If one presses hard on the center of the side wall no flex occurs.

I would describe it as robust in construction, and in no way cheap.
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