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Old 02-08-2013, 00:08   #1
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pirate Compost?

New boat no holding tank. Is there any reason NOT to buy a C Head or similar?

I've built a toilet but I'd rather have the factory look.

Do you all REALLY take yer pee to shore?

Pine chips are working for me.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:32   #2
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Re: Compost?

Officially, yes.

Otherwise it's nice to go a month or more between emptying the solids. (Natures Head). With two liquid tanks, we can make it almost a week if needed but rarely use the second.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:13   #3
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pirate Re: Compost?

I'm hung up on the worry that the poop police will realize we're still dumping pee in the water, and putting not-yet-composted poop in the dumpster because it's more convenient than finding a more natural site.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:37   #4
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Re: Compost?

If you are concerned, it's not hard to walk up to any shoreside toilet and dump the liquids. No need to find a working pumpout.

If you get across the 3mile limit once a month, it's easy to eliminate the solids overboard. Realistically, double bag it and it's no worse than a lot of stuff you find in a dumpster. If you are really concerned, pick up a 5 gal bucket with lid and let the composting finish before disposing.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:50   #5
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pirate Re: Compost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
New boat no holding tank. Is there any reason NOT to buy a C Head or similar?

I've built a toilet but I'd rather have the factory look.

Do you all REALLY take yer pee to shore?

Pine chips are working for me.
You have got to be joking... you are saying one cannot even pee over the side in the States anymore...
About time you guys injected some reality into the people who run your lives for you...
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:56   #6
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:58   #7
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pirate Re: Compost?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
If you are concerned, it's not hard to walk up to any shoreside toilet and dump the liquids. No need to find a working pumpout.

If you get across the 3mile limit once a month, it's easy to eliminate the solids overboard. Realistically, double bag it and it's no worse than a lot of stuff you find in a dumpster. If you are really concerned, pick up a 5 gal bucket with lid and let the composting finish before disposing.
Yeah. I'd prefer that. I can't quite pin down my concern. It's more a legal sniggle than about the waste product. I'm buoyed by the fact that several serious posters are using these for daily use.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:59   #8
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You have got to be joking... you are saying one cannot even pee over the side in the States anymore...
About time you guys injected some reality into the people who run your lives for you...
Oh you can pee over the side. You can't pee in a container and pour it over the side. I had to laugh when I heard this the first time.

You can get spare containers to increase storage for both urine and composting (allowing more time for composting) but we just go off shore. We divert the urine into the existing holding tank which greatly reduces frequency of needing to go dump.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:02   #9
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pirate Re: Compost?

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You have got to be joking... you are saying one cannot even pee over the side in the States anymore...
About time you guys injected some reality into the people who run your lives for you...
Yes indeed. A high speed small projectile injection.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:14   #10
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Re: Compost?

Yep Boaty, they are well on the way to makeing rules that remove all the little things that make sailng so satisfying! Like peeing overboard, sailing naked, topless foredeck crew, all the stuff of our youth !! Ahh, what a world it has become !! ( we still try to do something they say is forbiden everytime we sail!) Gee it's hard for old men like me to have to wait till after dark tp pee over the side !!
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:25   #11
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Re: Compost?

as a rule of thumb....just dont piss toward the bow while on a moving boat!
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:30   #12
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Re: Compost?

Installed our Nature's Head this season. Have only used it for a few weeks at a time, but so far it is working just fine. Simple, works as advertised. Easy to use, and best of all, no more running to the pump-out every two weeks (we don't have the option of going offshore here on the Great Lakes). No smell at all, except when making a "primary deposit." And even then it is more of musty, organic aroma than something ugly.

So far, it's a big .
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:51   #13
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pirate Re: Compost?

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as a rule of thumb....just dont piss toward the bow while on a moving boat!
Hmmm... can picture the wet legs and feet as one runs before the wind...
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:53   #14
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Re: Compost?

I've had both composting toilets and traditional marine toilets.

There are reasons to not install either in favor of the other. The question is how these reasons balance for you, your boat and your intended use.

Having had both, here are the reasons that discourage me from installing a Nature's Head or similar and install a traditional marine head with gravity fed holding tank instead:

1. It's easier to simply open the seacock when appropriate to discharge waste than it is to empty a composting toilet, especially when out cruising.

2. Most composting heads require a vent fan and electric hook up. A simple, traditional head does not.

3. I can install a traditional marine head system more cheaply than the cost of a nature's head. (especially, if I wish to install a holding tank for urine.)

4. A quart of water introduced into a marine head by accident is easily flushed away with no consequence. A quart of water introduced into the compost of a composting toilet will make an absolute mess. (Through the vent hose, a hatch or window left open by crew, etc.)

5. Composting heads require one to obtain, carry and replace composting material such as moss, not always easily obtained while cruising.

6. Related to #3, most sailboats already have thru-hulls for traditional heads, but do not already have the vents for composting toilets. (This may or may not be true of your situation.)

7. Most composting heads separate the urine, so one either needs to dispose of a small urine bottle regularly (not necessary with traditional head) or install a separate holding tank for the urine, in which case, you've now to some extent duplicated the very system, many argue a composting head avoids. (A holding tank for urine may be smaller, but now you still have the same need of a through hull and vented tank that a traditional system requires, as well as most of the same issues that come with installing and maintaining such a system.)


There are or course reasons why one should not install a traditional head and consider a composting head instead, but that was not your question.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:08   #15
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Re: Compost?

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Originally Posted by nautical62 View Post
I've had both composting toilets and traditional marine toilets.

There are reasons to not install either in favor of the other. The question is how these reasons balance for you, your boat and your intended use.

Having had both, here are the reasons that discourage me from installing a Nature's Head or similar and install a traditional marine head with gravity fed holding tank instead:

1. It's easier to simply open the seacock when appropriate to discharge waste than it is to empty a composting toilet, especially when out cruising.
- The problem in the USA is you can't do that legally in a great many areas.

2. Most composting heads require a vent fan and electric hook up. A simple, traditional head does not.
- Hook it up to a solar vent and it pulls any misc odors out of the head compartment with it. I've yet to come across a traditional head that wouldn't benefit from more venting. We took out the pump out fitting and put the solar vent in it's place.

3. I can install a traditional marine head system more cheaply than the cost of a nature's head. (especially, if I wish to install a holding tank for urine.)
- When you add the fiberglass surgery and all the misc pieces and parts, I doubt it.

4. A quart of water introduced into a marine head by accident is easily flushed away with no consequence. A quart of water introduced into the compost of a composting toilet will make an absolute mess. (Through the vent hose, a hatch or window left open by crew, etc.)
- We usually leave the lid down so it's highly unlikely. Certainly no worse than landlubbers messing up a traditional unit.

5. Composting heads require one to obtain, carry and replace composting material such as moss, not always easily obtained while cruising.
- In the modern world, peat moss is pretty easy to come by. Others use blocks of shreded coconut husk that comes in small blocks and is broken up and expands.

6. Related to #3, most sailboats already have thru-hulls for traditional heads, but do not already have the vents for composting toilets. (This may or may not be true of your situation.)

7. Most composting heads separate the urine, so one either needs to dispose of a small urine bottle regularly (not necessary with traditional head) or install a separate holding tank for the urine, in which case, you've now to some extent duplicated the very system, many argue a composting head avoids. (A holding tank for urine may be smaller, but now you still have the same need of a through hull and vented tank that a traditional system requires, as well as most of the same issues that come with installing and maintaining such a system.)
- No, it's still a big advantage. If you want to follow the letter of the law, every few days you can walk a jug of liquid up to ANY shoreside toilet and it's taken care of. If you have a traditional system, you need to up anchor, find a pumpout station, wait for other boats ahead of you...oops, the pumpout broke...where is another? Then an hour or two later, you get back and your choice spot in the anchorage is taken.

There are or course reasons why one should not install a traditional head and consider a composting head instead, but that was not your question.
I'll agree they aren't perfect but definetly a good alternative to carrying a couple dozen gallons of putrifying waste.
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