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Old 08-07-2010, 00:51   #16
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I believe a bucket is the best value for money and you do not need a holding tank or pump out facilities.
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:43   #17
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I'll ask the Admiral

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I believe a bucket is the best value for money and you do not need a holding tank or pump out facilities.
Well, I thought I'd made my decision, just let me run this one past the Admiral.

Greg
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:47   #18
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Tellie, where can I find information on marine application composting head?

I have the the"Air Head" Doodles linked to. I went with the Air Head only because the measurments fit the head space available on my boat.
MichaelC makes some very good points. You need to keep an eye on the urine container and not wait too long to empty it. I find this a very very minor chore easily done when compared to repairing joker valves, macerators, seal kits etc.
I researched for a long time others who went with composting toliets before I made my decision. Most people who have never used one tend to cringe at the idea. I understand, I was the same way. My wife gave me that "It had better work" look when I told her what I was going to do. I installed it and took a two week cruise with my brother in-law and nephew. When we got back I did not empty the head and I left the boat closed up for about a week. I came back with my wife and the first thing she said when we opened up was that the boat never smelled so fresh after sitting for so long. I had for years always assumed that musty smell was from humidity and some mold not the plumbing lines.
The cost of these things are a bit high for what they are right now, about 1k once installed. But I believe as they become more accepted and more boaters turn to them the costs will come down. Still, they're cheaper than new holding tanks, electric heads, hose, valves etc. I also talked to the local CG guys. They have no problem with them at all and some like them a lot better because there's no chance of accidental or other wise willful discharge. I also carry a Home Depot 5gal. bucket and lid with plastic bag liners to empty a full pot into if I can't get to a proper location in time. The owner of Air Head, whom I spoke with several times, claims that you can get 80 uses before it is nessacary to dump the holding container. That might be a bit high. I found about 60-70 uses fills it up enough to where you would dump it. But that's a considerable amount as well and with the 5gal. bucket we can go a long time.
This was one of my better decisions for our boat. As MichealC says " Best thing since night baseball"
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:04   #19
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I work on boats for a living. I don't have time to waste repairing my own gear. My choice for the last twenty-some years is the Lavac (which has an electric model for those who wish). The only "repairs" I've had to make in this time are to replace the three rubber items in the bilge pump and replace the silicone seals under the toilet rims. Oh, and I once cracked the toilet seat top. Count the number of parts in any brand's repair kit. That should be enough of a warning. But probably not. Fortunately, people don't listen so I have plenty of work and job security.
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:54   #20
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Interesting, the airhead that is, but what do you do with the liquid? Dump it over the side? Given the amount of drinking that occurs on my boat I wonder how often I would be emptying that part. I take out 5-8 people on "booze cruises" once a week and they go through some beer. By the looks of it the liquid container would not last one evening on my boat.

I'm using a vacuflush system right now, installed by PO with odorsafe hoses and am very happy so far, but I've only had the boat for a few months now.
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Old 08-07-2010, 12:19   #21
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Interesting, the airhead that is, but what do you do with the liquid? Dump it over the side? Given the amount of drinking that occurs on my boat I wonder how often I would be emptying that part. I take out 5-8 people on "booze cruises" once a week and they go through some beer. By the looks of it the liquid container would not last one evening on my boat.

I'm using a vacuflush system right now, installed by PO with odorsafe hoses and am very happy so far, but I've only had the boat for a few months now.
That's what worries me about the composting toilets as well. At sea or in seclusion I can just pee of the stern rail but in mixed company or around others that's a little crass. I like to drink 1 qt things of sparkeling water sometimes; I can easily generate half a gallon of urine in a day.
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Old 08-07-2010, 13:05   #22
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Good points. I personally would not suggest this on a charter type boat at all. You'd spend too much time explaining it and getting past the "eeew's" with your guests. I would say this is more for a private boat.
The disposal of urine is something you'll do on a regular basis. I do it every other day. The urine containers hold enough to take care of, uh...larger needs. I use this system in the Florida and Bahamas during the summer and I consume plenty of fluids. I haven't had any issues with the container not being large enough.
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Old 08-07-2010, 13:15   #23
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I wonder if you could have a hybrid system, where the sh*t gets composted and the urine goes to more reasonable sized (bigger than 2 gallons) holding tank with a sea cock. Or does that defeat the purpose?
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Old 08-07-2010, 13:42   #24
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I wonder if you could have a hybrid system, where the sh*t gets composted and the urine goes to more reasonable sized (bigger than 2 gallons) holding tank with a sea cock. Or does that defeat the purpose?

For convienance a direct over board drain for urine would be a neat idea. Perhaps a small salt water flushing set up. I'm not sure if one would again run afoul of the discharge rules or difficulty explaining it to the CG. The other point is though urine is basically sterile, storing it for more than a few days before dumping it is a bad idea. Stored urine can get quite nasty after a few days.
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Old 08-07-2010, 13:50   #25
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I would imagine dumping the urine over the side probably violates the discharge laws but of course I personally feel that is rediculous.

From Sailing anarchy…

not free to pee

Some friends were sailing in from an OD weekend a month or so ago in San Diego. The skipper from Denver went to the stern to pee out beyond Ballast point, when a Harbor Patrol boat went by. The two female officers were so offended that they cited him for public exposure. He missed his court appearance (lives in Denver) and now he is facing a sexual predator felony, including the card and the need to register where ever he goes. It probably won't go that far, but it is a sad state of affairs that a couple of water cops can't overlook what every fisherman, surfer, and sailor-not to mention seals, fish and whales do every day.

For the most part, the Harbor Police leaves sailors alone, but it is always worth remembering that SD is a really conservative town, with a very aggressive police force, and that these Harbor Patrol people are not life guards, they are cops !
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Old 08-07-2010, 17:17   #26
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That's what worries me about the composting toilets as well. At sea or in seclusion I can just pee of the stern rail but in mixed company or around others that's a little crass. I like to drink 1 qt things of sparkeling water sometimes; I can easily generate half a gallon of urine in a day.
There are two of us and the container last 2-3 days for us. You can get extra containers and I've often seen it suggested, although we haven't yet. That way at least you don't have to empty it in the middle of the night if the first one is full. They come with a screw on cap, so you just swap them out and deal with the full one later.
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Old 08-07-2010, 17:25   #27
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Okay one more question about the composting toilets. Sorry for being gross, but just to get this out there:

So sometimes people smear nastiness all over the bowl. People get sick, some people have "cannon ass", etc. How exactly do you keep the bowl clean? I'm okay with the concept of the urine, and I'm okay with a properly vented system not smelling foul, but how do you not have caked on old nasty poop all over the interior bowl? Most people clean that stuff with water and a brush, but with no water to flush it down it seems like a nasty problem to deal with.
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Old 08-07-2010, 17:53   #28
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I found this on their website:

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We keep a small spray bottle filled with water near the Head to spray off the bowl. Some water in your peat moss or coconut fiber will not hurt it, and it will help keep it moist. While everyone's urine has different smells (some stronger than others) - we have found that if we put some brown sugar in the liquid tank it will help to reduce this odor.
Nature's Head Composting Toilet - Installation Instructions and Users Guide
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Old 08-07-2010, 17:54   #29
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Okay one more question about the composting toilets. Sorry for being gross, but just to get this out there:

So sometimes people smear nastiness all over the bowl. People get sick, some people have "cannon ass", etc. How exactly do you keep the bowl clean? I'm okay with the concept of the urine, and I'm okay with a properly vented system not smelling foul, but how do you not have caked on old nasty poop all over the interior bowl? Most people clean that stuff with water and a brush, but with no water to flush it down it seems like a nasty problem to deal with.
You can keep a small spray bottle near by with some water/cleaner comb. The little extra bit of water won't hurt the compost mix.
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Old 08-07-2010, 18:15   #30
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You can keep a small spray bottle near by with some water/cleaner comb. The little extra bit of water won't hurt the compost mix.
If I go home and tell my wife that I have a solution for getting rid of "boat smell" I think she'll marry me all over again.
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