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Old 18-01-2013, 12:41   #1
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Practical Holding Tank advice in Florida

I couldn't find this info in the archives, so here are my questions regarding FL in terms of actual enforcement:

1. Is having the Y-valve cable-tied to the tank position adequate when being checked in FL, or will this get you a ticket?

2. Is 3 miles the accepted distance offshore for being able to directly discharge?

Thanks.
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Old 18-01-2013, 13:02   #2
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Re: Practical Holding Tank advice in Florida

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Originally Posted by infinitysail View Post
I couldn't find this info in the archives, so here are my questions regarding FL in terms of actual enforcement:


2. Is 3 miles the accepted distance offshore for being able to directly discharge?

Thanks.
This site may give you some idea on the discharge rules, but every country has different laws so if going international you need to check for the local regulations.

The West Advisor: Heads Holding Tanks
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Old 18-01-2013, 13:09   #3
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Re: Practical Holding Tank advice in Florida

In my experience the toilet police put green dye in your head and flush it while the guy left on their boat that delivered them to your vessel trails behind and watches for the dye in your wake. That's it.

Cable tying the "Y" to the tank position is fine and must be done too, but they are savvy to cheats and use the dye method to be sure your head does not discharge.

My usual place to get boarded is the area of New Smyrna Beach and the toilet cops are overzealous. After getting ticketed for having one of our 2 heads discharge directly, (the one we pee in only!) the police left. Some minutes later the police boats pulls up alongside at speed and the driver yells over at us, "We're back!", while laughing at us. I am still mad for that. So we pee into the water, so what? Now we're back on pee jugs and dumping them to save our limited holding tank space.
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Old 18-01-2013, 13:10   #4
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Re: Practical Holding Tank advice in Florida

I've had the coast guard and FWC tell me the cable tie is ok, but FL sheriffs or water cops tend to be more angry in general and do what they want. The cost of zip ties adds up so making a 10" stainless cable with loops for a pad lock is a step up. If you dont have a crimper, west marine can do it. Some places the 3 mile limit, is actually 12 miles or starts from a point off shore. Not at shore, so you need a chart to figure out where it ends.
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Old 18-01-2013, 13:18   #5
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Re: Practical Holding Tank advice in Florida

@daviedoall, What happened when they came back after you got the ticket? Pee is waste and waste is not allowed overboard, so I guess you kinda deserved the ticket. Not that I dont agree with you, but laws is laws. I love to drive over 100mph, but I also pay the tickets with a smile.
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Old 18-01-2013, 13:25   #6
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Re: Practical Holding Tank advice in Florida

Thanks for the replies. I like the idea of a thin wire with a lock. easy and hard to argue with.
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Old 18-01-2013, 14:31   #7
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Re: Practical Holding Tank advice in Florida

Most people who get tickets have a direct discharge and tank on Y-valve. They start by opening the valve and seacock every time they use the head, then tie it back to the legal off position. Thats a great big pain in the ass (and illeagal) so it gets left open because the cops are not around 99.999% of the time. Then a routine boarding happens, the cops find it open and a ticket is issued. Then there is a story involved and they feel wronged somehow. This is allmost always the case. When the cops board the 1st thing they do is tell everyone not to move or go below. There is never time to secure any valves or seacocks. Best system is to have all waste go to tank and have the Y valve switch between deck pump out or a quality pump so you can pump your own tank.
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Old 18-01-2013, 15:05   #8
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Re: Practical Holding Tank advice in Florida

I just don't have Y valves! Everything goes into the holding tanks and gets discharged when allowed. Some may think this is crazy, but I'm never in violation of any rule regarding the valve etc this way!
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Old 18-01-2013, 15:48   #9
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Re: Practical Holding Tank advice in Florida

Don, Do you have 2 ways to empty? Its great to not have any Y valves, but if you need a marina pump out to empty the tank that wouldnt work for many of us. I only touch my Y valve for the 3 minutes it takes me to pump the tank, then back to the deck pump position. Whatever way, no dye tab could ever end up in the water.
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Old 18-01-2013, 16:22   #10
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Re: Practical Holding Tank advice in Florida

A good system is to run the hose from the toilet right to the holding tank, which has a hose for either the deck pumpout location or one for an overboard pump. Keep the overboard seacock handle padlocked to an eyebolt in the closed position. IMHO Y valves are prone to problems and they are worth eliminating if possible.
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Old 18-01-2013, 17:15   #11
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Re: Practical Holding Tank advice in Florida

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Originally Posted by RabidRabbit View Post
Don, Do you have 2 ways to empty? Its great to not have any Y valves, but if you need a marina pump out to empty the tank that wouldnt work for many of us. I only touch my Y valve for the 3 minutes it takes me to pump the tank, then back to the deck pump position. Whatever way, no dye tab could ever end up in the water.
I can either have both deck pump out fitting and on board pumps to pump out.

My last boat had a Y-valve, but I operated it just like my current boat. All discharge goes into the head to later be pumped out by a pump out facility, or pumped overboard from the boat when allowed.
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Old 18-01-2013, 17:35   #12
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Re: Practical Holding Tank advice in Florida

So I guess I need more more tank bungs to get rid of my Y valve, as I only have 1 standpipe to the bottom of tank for pump out. Not that I'm in any hurry to get rid of the Y valve, the tank having 1 in and 1 out is pretty fool proof. Also the Y valve is four years old now and still in top shape.
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Old 18-01-2013, 19:06   #13
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Re: Practical Holding Tank advice in Florida

MexDon,Thank you for brightening my day, please post your signature in the joke thread!
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Old 18-01-2013, 22:43   #14
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Re: Practical Holding Tank advice in Florida

My black water also goes directly to the tank. When I want to pump it overboard I have to open the secured seacock and switch on the pump.
Peggie Hill came up with a good idea that will allow me to keep the seacock open.
She suggested putting a key switch in the pump circuit. That way only someone with the key could discharge sewage overboard. Same effect as locking the seacock.
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Old 19-01-2013, 06:27   #15
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Re: Practical Holding Tank advice in Florida

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Also the Y valve is four years old now and still in top shape.
I have found that Y valves work until one day they don't, and inevitably it is when you are offshore on a trip to Bermuda or some other place where you can't easily fix or replace it. In my case the handle broke off completely one day. I recall I was able to limp along with a pair of vice grips for awhile, but then the valve stuck half way open and half way closed, which did neither route any good. In any case, might be worth it carrying a spare if you use a Y valve.
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