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Old 05-03-2015, 12:05   #1
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Holding Tank in Spain - a Must Have?

We are planning to spend a couple of weeks in Spanish waters on our boat.

Read in a pilot book that the holding tank is a must have 'for Spanish flagged yachts' since 2004.

Anyone who had experience with Spanish harbours - does it mean the boats which registered in Spain, or does it include visiting boats flying Spain curtesy flag? And how strict the authorities are with the latter?

Thank you
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:01   #2
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Re: Holding Tank in Spain - a Must Have?

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Originally Posted by PersephoneD View Post
Read in a pilot book that the holding tank is a must have 'for Spanish flagged yachts'
This is correct; one needs a holding tank to register a boat in Spain.

I don't know if they are required for visiting yachts but I would doubt it. In over 10 years cruising around the Balearics I never heard of this being an issue.


If it is any indication, pump-out facilities are rare in Spain, in my experience.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:23   #3
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One day in the future.. Yes
At present.. No
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:36   #4
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Re: Holding Tank in Spain - a Must Have?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PersephoneD View Post
We are planning to spend a couple of weeks in Spanish waters on our boat.

Read in a pilot book that the holding tank is a must have 'for Spanish flagged yachts' since 2004.

Anyone who had experience with Spanish harbours - does it mean the boats which registered in Spain, or does it include visiting boats flying Spain curtesy flag? And how strict the authorities are with the latter?

Thank you
Yes it is mandatory and it has to have a deck way out. I never saw the Policia Maritima checking boats about that but I think it is very rude not to have an holding tank if you are staying the night on small anchorages or even by day is not practical: Do you sail away when you need to use the head?

Es obligatorio el deposito de aguas negras - La Taberna del Puerto

Artículo 24. Descarga de aguas sucias.
1. Está prohibida toda descarga de aguas sucias desde embarcaciones de recreo en las siguientes aguas en las que España ejerce soberanía, derechos soberanos o jurisdicción:
a) zonas portuarias,
b) aguas protegidas y
c) otras zonas como rías, bahías y similares.

2. Se autoriza la descarga de aguas sucias por embarcaciones de recreo en otras aguas en las que España ejerza soberanía, derechos soberanos o jurisdicción, siempre que se cumplan alguna de las siguientes condiciones:
a) que la embarcación efectúe la descarga a una distancia superior a 3 millas marinas de la tierra más próxima si las aguas sucias han sido previamente desmenuzadas y desinfectadas mediante un sistema que cumpla las condiciones establecidas en el apartado 5, o a distancia mayor que 12 millas marinas si no han sido previamente desmenuzadas ni desinfectadas. Las aguas sucias que hayan estado almacenadas en los tanques de retención no se descargarán instantáneamente, sino a un régimen moderado, hallándose la embarcación en ruta navegando a velocidad no menor que 4 nudos;
b) que la embarcación efectúe la descarga en aguas distintas de las señaladas en el apartado 1 de este artículo, utilizando una instalación a bordo para el tratamiento de las aguas sucias que cumpla las prescripciones del apartado 6, y que, además el efluente no produzca sólidos flotantes visibles ni ocasione decoloración, en las aguas circundantes;
c) cuando las aguas sucias estén mezcladas con residuos o aguas residuales para los que rijan prescripciones de descarga diferentes, se les aplicarán las prescripciones de descarga más rigurosas.
3. El apartado anterior no será de aplicación:
i) a la descarga de las aguas sucias de una embarcación cuando sea necesaria para proteger la seguridad de la embarcación y de las personas que lleve a bordo, o para salvar vidas en el mar.
ii) a la descarga de aguas sucias resultantes de averías sufridas por una embarcación, o por sus equipos, siempre que antes y después de producirse la avería se hubieran tomado toda suerte de precauciones razonables para atajar o reducir a un mínimo tal descarga.
4. Las autoridades portuarias y/o marítimas están autorizadas a precintar, mientras la embarcación permanezca en las zonas portuarias o protegidas, aquellas conducciones por las que se pueda verter las aguas sucias directamente al mar o aquellas por las que se pueda vaciar el contenido del depósito de retención de aguas sucias al mar.


The law applies not only to Spanish flagged boats but to all recreational vessels on Spanish waters.
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:54   #5
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pirate Re: Holding Tank in Spain - a Must Have?

Well.. all I can say is.. the Spanish are missing out on some serious earnings.. must be thousands of boats they can hit with fines.. followed by compulsory installation in the Port your in before you can sail.
Have to drop them a line and bring them up to speed..
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:25   #6
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Re: Holding Tank in Spain - a Must Have?

We were in Spain on a US flagged vessel for three years. Never once asked about a holding tank or inspected. Customs and harbor police met us dockside many times, never asked about holding tanks.
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:41   #7
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Re: Holding Tank in Spain - a Must Have?

We cruise almost exclusively in Spain on a UK flagged boat. Never been asked about holding tanks. In the marina we have been in, we have never ever seen the pump out facility being used. Indeed, one time we spent 2 days tied up blocking access to the pump out.

However, as some one already mentioned, with crystal clear waters in small anchorages you will need some solution if you need to take a dump!
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:50   #8
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Re: Holding Tank in Spain - a Must Have?

I think you will find that all European countries in the Med and north sea with the notable exception of the UK require all yachts to have holding tanks. I sailed from Greece back to the UK last year and this was the case all the way though as was stated nobody bothered to check.
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Old 06-03-2015, 13:17   #9
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Re: Holding Tank in Spain - a Must Have?

We sail exclusively in the Spanish Balearics and have never been nor heard of anyone checking for or asking about holding tanks. Ever! Many boats do not have holding tanks or they are simply not used.

Until perhaps five years ago there were no pump-out facilities on Mallorca. There are a few now but they seem to be very rarely used.
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Old 06-03-2015, 13:50   #10
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Re: Holding Tank in Spain - a Must Have?

Always had holding tank in the med , never used it once

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Old 06-03-2015, 14:12   #11
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Re: Holding Tank in Spain - a Must Have?

Without a holding tank, what do you do with your poop?


Holding tanks or some other means of preventing discharging poop into the water near shore have been required in the USA for 40 years or so.


If you're on the ocean away from land that's one thing but in a marina? I would hate to be sitting on deck enjoying my breakfast and morning coffee and suddenly a couple turds and a wad of toilet paper come floating by.
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Old 06-03-2015, 14:18   #12
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Re: Holding Tank in Spain - a Must Have?

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Without a holding tank, what do you do with your poop?


Holding tanks or some other means of preventing discharging poop into the water near shore have been required in the USA for 40 years or so.


If you're on the ocean away from land that's one thing but in a marina? I would hate to be sitting on deck enjoying my breakfast and morning coffee and suddenly a couple turds and a wad of toilet paper come floating by.
very well fed harbour mullet in the med......some get to 2 ft long.......
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Old 06-03-2015, 14:36   #13
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Re: Holding Tank in Spain - a Must Have?

Heads do have macerators. You don't see turds floating around. A littler macerated TP maybe, but no turds.
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Old 06-03-2015, 14:41   #14
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pirate Re: Holding Tank in Spain - a Must Have?

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Heads do have macerators. You don't see turds floating around. A littler macerated TP maybe, but no turds.
Toilet paper should be bagged... turds disappear quick..
TP takes a long long time..
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Old 06-03-2015, 17:45   #15
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Re: Holding Tank in Spain - a Must Have?

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Heads do have macerators. You don't see turds floating around. A littler macerated TP maybe, but no turds.
Some heads have macerators. Some do not.
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