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Old 13-01-2012, 23:31   #31
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Re: Composting head for live aboards?

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Originally Posted by sarafina View Post
... anyone ever think of sticking the brick of coir into the oven and baking it to kill any potential liveaboards?
Never tried it, but everyone in here (myself included) is just speculating on where the bugs come from. Boats get bugs all the time, and the kind I was dealing with are honestly so small that they could walk across your monitor and you probably wouldn't notice.

But if there were 100 of them on your screen, you would, and it would gross you the hell out. I'm not really a bug-phobic guy but dealing with them was just way too much.
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Old 09-02-2012, 17:55   #32
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Re: Composting Head for Liveaboards?

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Hey guys I am looking to hear from live aboards that have had a composting head. Is it possible? Does it really not smell? Why not just route a solar vent to our existing holding tank for the same general effect?
Hi! We have lived aboard for 6 months with our air head. It took a while to get the hang of it- problems happen when the solid gets liquid in it- I. E. Guys really have to sit to pee. Once ratio of peat was worked out ( must add about a cup with every use ) and everyone started sitting, no problem, no smell. The urine has to be emptied every day though and that actually smells worse than the " donation" compartment ( gotta love that euphemism!) it can a bit tough for guests though
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Old 12-02-2012, 22:50   #33
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Re: Composting Head for Liveaboards?

Back in November, I sailed as crew on a boat with a Nature's Head. I must admit, I was a little concerned when I learned I would have to aim (??). But on the 6-day passage from Bermuda to Tortola with 4 crew aboard, there was no smell and no problem with the aiming :-). I think it was helped by the installation - when sitting on the head you were facing aft, not athwart ships. This helped to keep the urine out of the poop shute. I was glad that the owner was charged with emptying the honey bucket overboard - a daily chore with 4 aboard.
I must admit it all seemed rather silly to me. Isn't the ocean the best composter of all? Why not just pump it all overboard at sea? I understand that it's not the best option in a constricted waterway, but using the composter at sea seemed rather much ado about nothing.
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Old 12-02-2012, 23:37   #34
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Re: Composting Head for Liveaboards?

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Originally Posted by christinekling View Post
Back in November, I sailed as crew on a boat with a Nature's Head. I must admit, I was a little concerned when I learned I would have to aim (??). But on the 6-day passage from Bermuda to Tortola with 4 crew aboard, there was no smell and no problem with the aiming :-). I think it was helped by the installation - when sitting on the head you were facing aft, not athwart ships. This helped to keep the urine out of the poop shute. I was glad that the owner was charged with emptying the honey bucket overboard - a daily chore with 4 aboard.
I must admit it all seemed rather silly to me. Isn't the ocean the best composter of all? Why not just pump it all overboard at sea? I understand that it's not the best option in a constricted waterway, but using the composter at sea seemed rather much ado about nothing.
Seems kind of obvious to me. Most boats spend the bulk of their time in anchorages or harbors; underway in open water happens to a small fraction of boats a small fraction of times.
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Old 13-02-2012, 02:10   #35
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Re: Composting Head for Liveaboards?

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Originally Posted by christinekling View Post
Back in November, I sailed as crew on a boat with a Nature's Head. I must admit, I was a little concerned when I learned I would have to aim (??). But on the 6-day passage from Bermuda to Tortola with 4 crew aboard, there was no smell and no problem with the aiming :-). I think it was helped by the installation - when sitting on the head you were facing aft, not athwart ships. This helped to keep the urine out of the poop shute. I was glad that the owner was charged with emptying the honey bucket overboard - a daily chore with 4 aboard.
I must admit it all seemed rather silly to me. Isn't the ocean the best composter of all? Why not just pump it all overboard at sea? I understand that it's not the best option in a constricted waterway, but using the composter at sea seemed rather much ado about nothing.
Because with a composting toilet there is no way, no plumbing to do that, just the container that has to be eventually dumped. Did you notice any hoses to or from the toilet?
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Old 13-02-2012, 08:23   #36
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Re: Composting Head for Liveaboards?

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Seems kind of obvious to me. Most boats spend the bulk of their time in anchorages or harbors; underway in open water happens to a small fraction of boats a small fraction of times.
But even in many anchorages and harbors, it is not a constricted waterway and pumping sewerage directly overboard is not going to be a problem as the wide bays are open to the sea.

What is going to happen to the urine jug on board the average cruising boat? Where are they going to dump it? Overboard, of course. There are no public bathrooms in the Exumas. So they will be putting urine into the harbor when a boat with a holding tank would not. When the composted material has to be changed, do you think the people of the Bahamas or the Caribbean islands are going to want it for their gardens? I know that that the folks in the Bahamas should want it, but I doubt they'd be thrilled. So it will go to the dump to be burned.

I know that the question posed by the OP had to do for liveaboards, but I meant to say that while it might be a terrific solution if you want to spend all your time in marinas where you can schlep your urine jug up to the marina head to empty it into the city sewer system, I think it becomes rather silly on a cruising sailboat. I think a wet head with a holding tank is a better solution.
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Old 13-02-2012, 08:29   #37
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Re: Composting Head for Liveaboards?

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Because with a composting toilet there is no way, no plumbing to do that, just the container that has to be eventually dumped. Did you notice any hoses to or from the toilet?
Well, duh! I was suggesting that you dump the silly composting head and get a wet head that does have hoses and pump and a through-hull and a holding tank. I think these composting heads might be fine for dockside marina dwellers, but they are not practical for liveaboards who are also cruisers.
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Old 13-02-2012, 08:57   #38
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Re: Composting Head for Liveaboards?

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Originally Posted by christinekling View Post
Well, duh! I was suggesting that you dump the silly composting head and get a wet head that does have hoses and pump and a through-hull and a holding tank. I think these composting heads might be fine for dockside marina dwellers, but they are not practical for liveaboards who are also cruisers.
Christine,

The whole point of a composting head is to do away with hoses, pumps, thru-hulls, valves and, most of all, smelly holding tanks. I see your point, though, about composting under way. Why bother? Our solution was to put a Lavac, without holding tank, in the port hull for use under way with a composting head in the starboard hull for use in marinas. Most small boats will have only one head and since most cruisers will eventually spend at least some time in a marina some provision must be made. This means either a wet head with holding tank or a composting head. You picks your poison. If I had to choose between installing a holding tank for my Lavac or using my composter at sea for me the composter is a no-brainer. To be honest, at sea I use neither, but understand that others are more squeamish than I.
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Old 13-02-2012, 08:58   #39
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Re: Composting Head for Liveaboards?

I think a composting head is a great idea! I think you all should go out and buy two or three of them!
I like my bucket just fine - especially when I'm tied up at the yacht club!(ha,ha?)
I'm thinking about installing a Raritan electro scan device so I can recycle the water through my watermaker and sell it to the Gringos camped on the beach in Baha! I hear 50 cents a gallon is about the going rate?
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Old 13-02-2012, 16:20   #40
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Re: Composting Head for Liveaboards?

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Originally Posted by christinekling View Post
Well, duh! I was suggesting that you dump the silly composting head and get a wet head that does have hoses and pump and a through-hull and a holding tank. I think these composting heads might be fine for dockside marina dwellers, but they are not practical for liveaboards who are also cruisers.
Personally I would never give up my composting head for the privilege of adding two thru-hulls, losing storage space to a holding tank and hoses, looking for a place to pump out, the smell, etc. etc. If you check some of the many thread on composting toilets you will find almost everyone who has converted has really like them and would not go back. As for your captain having to dump the solids from a crew of 4 daily on a 6 day passage, that seems excessive and was probably unnecessary. The urine container maybe so, but that's sterile and who cares one way or the other. According to Air Head's literature, the solids container should take 80 uses if you are a weekend sailor. Even if you use a more conservative number of 60, that would still work out to 10 at day for your 6 day passage, so I'm not sure why the captain dumped it daily.
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Old 14-02-2012, 22:38   #41
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As to the smell of the urine, if you add a cup of sugar to the container it completely neutralizes the smell. As for the solids, no smell at all. Just remember there should be a little vent fan that should run all the time to dry the solids.
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Old 15-12-2012, 14:40   #42
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Re: Composting Head for Liveaboards ?

this seems to be a great thread with lots of info, but i have not seen what you do if you get liquid in the solids tank ie if you have the runs. my problem is i am lactose intolerant but i love my dairy. now i know this is not good for me and that there are pills i can talk to solve my problem but i just deal with it.
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Old 15-12-2012, 15:18   #43
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this seems to be a great thread with lots of info, but i have not seen what you do if you get liquid in the solids tank ie if you have the runs. my problem is i am lactose intolerant but i love my dairy. now i know this is not good for me and that there are pills i can talk to solve my problem but i just deal with it.
Having the runs is not the same as urinating in the poop bucket. It's still fecal matter. Just excessively moist fecal matter. In the case of lactose intolerance, nothing changes except maybe how much you wipe. The fan still circulates, still pulls the extra moisture out, and it still functions fine if not a little better, as you need some moisture to keep the hungry bacteria munching away on the "deposit."
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Old 16-12-2012, 07:36   #44
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Re: Composting Head for Liveaboards ?

I was not really interested in composting heads until having read this thread. Now? Maybe but I'm not ready to let the wife know I'm considering it.
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Old 16-12-2012, 08:18   #45
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Re: Composting Head for Liveaboards ?

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I was not really interested in composting heads until having read this thread. Now? Maybe but I'm not ready to let the wife know I'm considering it.

I know when I first told my wife I was considering ripping out the old holding tank system for a composting head she gave me that funny look. She had her doubts every step of the way. She was concerned about the unconventionality of the whole thing and what guests might think. But once we opened the boat for the first time after installation and sitting closed up for two weeks in the Florida summer heat and she was not greeted with "That smell" she was sold. That was over two years ago. I rate this conversion as one of the best improvements I've made on my boat.
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