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Old 21-09-2019, 21:07   #1
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Am I crazy to remove my holding tank

I have about a 25 gallon holding tank on my boat, but to eliminate our reliance on pumpouts I replaced the head that was connected to it with a composting head. I still have a second head that pumps overboard. I'm thinking about removing the holding tank to increase my storage - it is not that old, installed in 2007. The composting head makes us legal, technically, and I would be quite happy to never have to visit a pump out station again. I'm just wondering if anyone has any opinions on why we might want to keep it?

I did keep the old head that was in there, and if we leave the US for an extended time I might reinstall it in overboard mode.
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Old 21-09-2019, 21:11   #2
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Re: Am I crazy to remove my holding tank

You could use the tank to increase your fresh water capacity. Oh wait, never mind.
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Old 21-09-2019, 21:47   #3
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Re: Am I crazy to remove my holding tank

I pulled mine out in 2000. Stuck it in storage. Finally disposed of it before I set sail for Mexico in 2008.

Love the extra storage. No way would I give that up.

Last haulout I finally got rid of the unused thru hulls.

Sometimes pulling the trigger isn't easy.
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Old 21-09-2019, 21:54   #4
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Re: Am I crazy to remove my holding tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingunity View Post
I have about a 25 gallon holding tank on my boat, but to eliminate our reliance on pumpouts I replaced the head that was connected to it with a composting head. I still have a second head that pumps overboard. I'm thinking about removing the holding tank to increase my storage - it is not that old, installed in 2007. The composting head makes us legal, technically, and I would be quite happy to never have to visit a pump out station again. I'm just wondering if anyone has any opinions on why we might want to keep it?

I did keep the old head that was in there, and if we leave the US for an extended time I might reinstall it in overboard mode.
The tank would hold a lot of rum. Add a foot pump.
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Old 21-09-2019, 22:10   #5
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Re: Am I crazy to remove my holding tank

I'd be worried about messing something up in the process of taking it out
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Old 22-09-2019, 04:26   #6
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Re: Am I crazy to remove my holding tank

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Originally Posted by sailingunity View Post
I have about a 25 gallon holding tank on my boat, but to eliminate our reliance on pumpouts I replaced the head that was connected to it with a composting head. I still have a second head that pumps overboard. I'm thinking about removing the holding tank to increase my storage - it is not that old, installed in 2007. The composting head makes us legal, technically, and I would be quite happy to never have to visit a pump out station again. I'm just wondering if anyone has any opinions on why we might want to keep it?

I did keep the old head that was in there, and if we leave the US for an extended time I might reinstall it in overboard mode.

What size yacht is it? Having two heads then it's over 40+ ft?

I think if you re-install the head in pump-over mode you'll be pretty limited in what countries you can visit.
  • Denmark. Boats built before 1 January 1980 do not have to have a holding tank and can discharge sewage when 2 nautical miles from the shore. ...
  • Finland. ... Discharge 2NM
  • Germany. ...Discharge 12NM. Boats over 11.5M must have H/T
  • Sweden. ...Discharge 12NM
  • Spain. ...Discharge 12NM
  • Greece. ...Must have H/T
  • Turkey. ...Must have H/T
  • Netherlands. Must have H/T?
  • France.....Must have H/T
https://www.noonsite.com/report/euro...r-regulations/


New Zealand won't allow you to discharge within 2km of the coast.

I think Fiji " 5.3.15 All lavatory cubicles shall have an impervious floor and the lavatories shall have a flushing apparatus which discharge into a sewerage holding tank.

Australia To be clear, it is ILLEGAL to discharge UNTREATED sewage on inland waters and within 3 miles of shore. To legally dispose of sewage boaters must either have an on-board treatment device (Type I or Type II MSD) or a holding tank (Type III MSD) to hold the waste and have it pumped out ashore

Galapagos Holding tank





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Old 22-09-2019, 05:07   #7
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Re: Am I crazy to remove my holding tank

Make sure that you figure out all the details of using the desiccating/composting head to your satisfaction and you should be better off than most with the option of overboard discharge when your can. As a compost only boat, I can say that having the option to direct discharge would be (to me) the optimal setup. That’s not a complaint about composters, but rather a statement that less frequent emptying of the composter certainly wouldn’t be a negative.
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Old 22-09-2019, 05:26   #8
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Re: Am I crazy to remove my holding tank

I installed our composter about eight years ago. The first season with the new head I kept all the plumbing and holding tank in place, just in case we didn’t like the composter.

The next season all that crap came out. In the place of the tank I now carry two inflatable kayaks, some sails and a bunch of repair equipment.

Space recovery was, in fact, one of the main reasons we went to a composter. The main reason was to never have to worry about a pump out. We spend most of our time off the dock, and like to linger in smaller remote anchorages. Even if direct discharge is possible, it is undesirable in smaller anchorages. A composter means we can essentially be out there indefinitely.
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Old 22-09-2019, 05:39   #9
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Re: Am I crazy to remove my holding tank

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I . We spend most of our time off the dock, and like to linger in smaller remote anchorages. Even if direct discharge is possible, it is undesirable in smaller anchorages. A composter means we can essentially be out there indefinitely.
A very good point.

I did say in another thread that I don’t like going in the water when close to wet sewage boats. I have heard others say, “fish eat sh.. No problem” yeah right.

I did one month long passage, and have another one planned. Direct discharge justified. That’s why I call both toilets the optimal setup.
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Old 22-09-2019, 05:52   #10
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Re: Am I crazy to remove my holding tank

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I did say in another thread that I don’t like going in the water when close to wet sewage boats. I have heard others say, “fish eat sh.. No problem” yeah right.

I did one month long passage, and have another one planned. Direct discharge justified. That’s why I call both toilets the optimal setup.
I’ve got absolutely no problem with direct discharge in areas of good volume/good flow. It’s probably the best option in these cases, so yeah, your setup is ideal.

But if you’re anchored, or even tied to a dock, in a place that has limited flow and volume; and especially if there are lots of other boats or land dwellings around, then direct discharge can quickly overwhelm the ecosystem’s capacity to process everyone's poop.
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Old 22-09-2019, 06:24   #11
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Re: Am I crazy to remove my holding tank

No, not crazy at all, we removed the entire marine head system holding tank and all, four years ago, and use a Natures Head. For us it was another system and its maintenance and labor costs gone. The removal of the tank created a good deal more storage capacity as well. The decision to do so has worked very well for us. We are into our second year full time cruising, no complaints.

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Old 22-09-2019, 09:04   #12
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Re: Am I crazy to remove my holding tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingunity View Post
I have about a 25 gallon holding tank on my boat, but to eliminate our reliance on pumpouts I replaced the head that was connected to it with a composting head. I still have a second head that pumps overboard. I'm thinking about removing the holding tank to increase my storage - it is not that old, installed in 2007. The composting head makes us legal, technically, and I would be quite happy to never have to visit a pump out station again. I'm just wondering if anyone has any opinions on why we might want to keep it?

I did keep the old head that was in there, and if we leave the US for an extended time I might reinstall it in overboard mode.

Technically I think the second had with overboard discharge makes you a illegal
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Old 22-09-2019, 09:23   #13
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Re: Am I crazy to remove my holding tank

The law and regs here in the US are simple: any head that can discharge to the water MUST have a holding tank and the Y valve must be directed to the holding tank, and must be securely locked (not just directed to the tank) in that position. You must also have a flue or vent over the installed head. The existence of a composter, porti-potty, or 5 gallon bucket does not relieve you (pun intended) of these regs.

Do yourself a favor and call the Coast Guard.
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Old 22-09-2019, 10:15   #14
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Re: Am I crazy to remove my holding tank

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The law and regs here in the US are simple: any head that can discharge to the water MUST have a holding tank and the Y valve must be directed to the holding tank, and must be securely locked (not just directed to the tank) in that position. You must also have a flue or vent over the installed head. The existence of a composter, porti-potty, or 5 gallon bucket does not relieve you (pun intended) of these regs.
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Do yourself a favor and call the Coast Guard.
Could you please expand on the flue comment?
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Old 22-09-2019, 10:55   #15
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Re: Am I crazy to remove my holding tank

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I did say in another thread that I don’t like going in the water when close to wet sewage boats. I have heard others say, “fish eat sh.. No problem” yeah right.
Amen. This was a topic of contention in the NDZ threads, where some saw no problem with direct-discharging anywhere if you had a macerating head. Anchorages, marinas... yecch.

We chartered this year in the BVI. The 41' had 2 electric heads. Each had a small holding tank, and a discharge valve under it to an underwater thruhull. The rules were:
  • If it didn't come out of you, it doesn't go into the head (ie - no paper)
  • close the valve while you're moored/anchored/docked.
  • Once you're out and sailing, open the valve.
To me this was a pretty sensible setup, and the tanks were thin, and mounted fairly high up, and the head pumped up to it. Maybe this arrangement would be suitable for the 2nd (wet) head? I don't know if this would be accepted in all jurisdictions.
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