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Old 29-11-2011, 07:41   #1
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Composting Head

I plan on replacing the existing waste holding / disposal system (a manual pump toilet and bladder holding tank) aboard out Morgan 32 before we start a stint of extended coastal cruising. Installing a new holding tank of sufficient capacity will require a significant amount of interior modification; really, more than I want to tackle. For this reason I am considering a composting head.

I have done a lot of research, but find very little in the way of comments by sailors using or have used this type of waste management system. Any information and photos you care to share on issues or lack thereof on installation, operation and maintenance will be appreciated.

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Old 29-11-2011, 09:38   #2
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Re: Composting Head

I live aboard and just installed a Natures Head (Nature's Head Composting Toilets - The environmentally sustainable waterless toilet for Your Boat, RV, Cabin, Big Rig, Barn, Workshop, or Yurt!) It was pricey but very worth it. I had a pump-out head I couldn't use on the dock, and the price of a holding tank installation and general refit was staggering and impossible. So I opted for the composting head and I really like it.

I live aboard alone and empty the pee bucket about every week and a half. the poo part needs emptying about every 3 months, and so far its worked really well...I just bring a bucket or bag of poo and dump it in the woods somewhere, it sounds bad but.....its natural, i'm okay with it.

the pee i dump in the ocean at night cause its sterile. Walking up the dock carrying 2 gallons of my own fermented urine was humbling and fun at first, and the lobstermen think its hilarious (hey look its the crazy boat girl with her bucket of piss...you can imagine). so now it just goes over the side. I would mark a half inch below the top of the pee bucket, because it overflows easily if your not paying attention and that is not fun.

the pee can smell weird, i put in 2tsbp sugar and it stops smelling. the poo smells like dirt. it smells like poo after you poo then it goes away.

installation things: I had to install the toilet at an angle so the vent and handle would fit.....i recommend the spider handle for a tight space. Heres a pic....good luck!
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Old 29-11-2011, 11:24   #3
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Re: Composting Head

There are several threads about composting heads here.
So far I haven't met one person that doesn't like the composting heads that have actually installed and used one. Mine works great and it is a relief not having to deal with the troubles many of the holding tank systems are well known for. It is a bit different than what most people are used to but you become quite used to it along with two of the best benifits, a whole bunch of new space where the holding tank used to be and the ever present smell that is well known with holding tank systems is gone. No more joker valves, pump seals, macerators, leaking hoses, full tanks that have to be pumped or dumped. I removed and sealed off the old thru-hulls. No worries with the CG man about illegal valves or having to keep them locked. How many people can say they can go for three months on average and not have to pump or dump their holding tanks? A simple Home Depot five gallon bucket with a lid is all you need if you have to dump the composting head if you can't get to land in time, which would be rare. The down side is if the small 12V muffin fan stops working you'll have to get a new one from Radio Shack for about $4. Last month I took some friends over to Bimini for a few days. Last week I dumped the composting head. Out came the femine hygene things and a pile of baby wipes, even though I gave the what not to throw into the head speech before we left. I would have been in trouble with my old head system. Instead I never even knew until I dumped the composter out.
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Old 29-11-2011, 11:42   #4
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Re: Composting Head

We JUST got our C-head. We are totally happy with it. It seems really well designed, well built, compact and simple and looks nice. We got ours with mahogany base so it looks nice in our woody interior.

And the price was very reasonable, around 450.00 US.

It is not yet permanently installed because we want to use it for a while before bolting it down. After we have had it running for a while I will be posting a report, but out of the box I am thrilled!
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Old 29-11-2011, 11:46   #5
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Re: Composting Head

Can composting heads small enough to fit on a boat keep up with lets say 2 people lining on board 24/7. Even the smallest ones are still too big to fit on my boat. If I put one on my boat I would not be able to sit up, unless I put it smack dab in the middle of the forward cabin and opened the deck hatch.
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Old 29-11-2011, 11:53   #6
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Re: Composting Head

Quote:
Originally Posted by laminaria View Post
I live aboard and just installed a Natures Head (Nature's Head Composting Toilets - The environmentally sustainable waterless toilet for Your Boat, RV, Cabin, Big Rig, Barn, Workshop, or Yurt!) It was pricey but very worth it. I had a pump-out head I couldn't use on the dock, and the price of a holding tank installation and general refit was staggering and impossible. So I opted for the composting head and I really like it.

I live aboard alone and empty the pee bucket about every week and a half. the poo part needs emptying about every 3 months, and so far its worked really well...I just bring a bucket or bag of poo and dump it in the woods somewhere, it sounds bad but.....its natural, i'm okay with it.

the pee i dump in the ocean at night cause its sterile. Walking up the dock carrying 2 gallons of my own fermented urine was humbling and fun at first, and the lobstermen think its hilarious (hey look its the crazy boat girl with her bucket of piss...you can imagine). so now it just goes over the side. I would mark a half inch below the top of the pee bucket, because it overflows easily if your not paying attention and that is not fun.

the pee can smell weird, i put in 2tsbp sugar and it stops smelling. the poo smells like dirt. it smells like poo after you poo then it goes away.

installation things: I had to install the toilet at an angle so the vent and handle would fit.....i recommend the spider handle for a tight space. Heres a pic....good luck!
I pee in DELO oil jugs, they are opaque so are descreat (have a level indicator on the side) and I use a holding tank enzyme made by Rutland, no smell for urine one cap/gallon(and totally breaks down contents of head). I carry my full oil jugs in my back pack up the dock...no one is the wiser and no one smells anything when I dump it out.
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Old 29-11-2011, 11:59   #7
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Re: Composting Head

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarafina View Post
We JUST got our C-head. We are totally happy with it. It seems really well designed, well built, compact and simple and looks nice. We got ours with mahogany base so it looks nice in our woody interior.

And the price was very reasonable, around 450.00 US.

It is not yet permanently installed because we want to use it for a while before bolting it down. After we have had it running for a while I will be posting a report, but out of the box I am thrilled!
Sara, what brand has a mahogany base?
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Old 29-11-2011, 14:07   #8
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Re: Composting Head

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarafina View Post
We JUST got our C-head. We are totally happy with it. It seems really well designed, well built, compact and simple and looks nice. We got ours with mahogany base so it looks nice in our woody interior.

And the price was very reasonable, around 450.00 US.

It is not yet permanently installed because we want to use it for a while before bolting it down. After we have had it running for a while I will be posting a report, but out of the box I am thrilled!
sarafina,

I would also like to know manufactured your CH. I especially like the price. It is about half what i have been seeing.

Duke
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Old 29-11-2011, 14:27   #9
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Re: Composting Head

C-Head
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Old 29-11-2011, 14:42   #10
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Re: Composting Head

Do guys have to pee sitting down ?
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Old 29-11-2011, 14:49   #11
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Re: Composting Head

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Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
Do guys have to pee sitting down ?
We do on ours. You don't have to but it's highly recommended. The reason is the urine goes into a separate container and its easier to direct the flow when seated. Also, the toilet bowl is shallower than your normal toilet and there is less splash when seated.
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Old 29-11-2011, 15:29   #12
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Re: Composting Head

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Thought "C" stood for composting.
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Old 29-11-2011, 16:19   #13
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Re: Composting Head

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
Do guys have to pee sitting down ?
Yep ; -D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surveyor View Post
That's the one!
Quote:
Originally Posted by cburger View Post
Thought "C" stood for composting.
I think that Sanford ( the guy who makes them) was going for the paly on words...

Sea

C

Composting
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Old 29-11-2011, 16:26   #14
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Re: Composting Head

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfenzee View Post
Can composting heads small enough to fit on a boat keep up with lets say 2 people lining on board 24/7. Even the smallest ones are still too big to fit on my boat. If I put one on my boat I would not be able to sit up, unless I put it smack dab in the middle of the forward cabin and opened the deck hatch.
If your boat is too small for a c head then it's prolly too small for a portapotty. Here is something to think about. With the c-head, if you have a place to stow it, you could pull it out to use, in the middle where you CAN sit, and then stow it again after use. It's not light weight but you could slide it around pretty easy.

Go look at the c-head and see what you think. Contact Sanford and see what suggestions he has. He's a pretty clever guy.

If you are wanting the mahogany version, tell Sanford you want the style Sara had ; -)
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Old 29-11-2011, 20:15   #15
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Re: Composting Head

A composting head is one of our projects for next season. I'd decided on a Nature's Head, but have not seen the C-head. Seems the main difference (other than price and choice of bottles) is in the size of tanks.

Looks like C-Head will require weekly poop-dumps, vs Nature's/Air Head monthly to 6 weeks. Urine dump will be twice as often with C-head.

Can anyone offer any head-to-head comparisons?
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