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Old 12-09-2016, 21:22   #16
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Re: Liveaboard toilet options

Check this thread too:
What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

I thought the Sealand Traveler looked interesting if you have the room for it.
SeaLand 711-M28 Gravity-Flush Toilet System
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Old 13-09-2016, 03:17   #17
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Re: Liveaboard toilet options

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Check this thread too:
What are the laws for a boat head/ toilet for live aboard?

I thought the Sealand Traveler looked interesting if you have the room for it.
SeaLand 711-M28 Gravity-Flush Toilet System
Good thread interestingly wide variety of opinions. The way I read it, in the US the head needs to be Coast Guard certified.https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/40/140.3

Gravity flush heads are standard in RVs. I have owned one with a large holding tank underneath and I can say that composting toilets are far superior .
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Old 13-09-2016, 04:48   #18
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Re: Liveaboard toilet options

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Originally Posted by Simply Sailing View Post
People who have holding tanks who say they don't smell remind me of smokers who think they can cover up the odor by brushing their teeth or putting on perfume. It's usually only the non-smoker (and non-holding tank owners) who can smell them both. Not saying that it's not because there's an issue, I'm just saying that if that is the case, then every boat I've been on or near with a holding tank has had an issue.

Yeah, been there with the smoking thing. Quit 40 years ago...

We do occasionally have one specific odor. Not head/holding tank related. Cause is the deep P-traps in the sinks. Easy enough to make go away, with decent flushing... and when we're on the boat for a while, constant use solves it. Or I could reduce the depth of the traps, not all that difficult.

In any case, it sounds to me like you've not ever been on a clean boat. Your welcome to come do your own sniff test on our boat. Bring beverages.

I suspect lots of folks sense an odor, and immediately decide it must be head/holding tank related... when there are probably 35 other potential sources...

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Old 13-09-2016, 05:50   #19
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Re: Liveaboard toilet options

Another vote for composter.
- Less effort and significantly more duration between empties
- Nothing to break or fail.
- No odor (I must be another of the many who have never been on one of these mythical boats with holding tanks that don't smell)


Yes, it gets used slightly differently but for visitors it's certainly no more complicated than working valves and pumps.
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Old 13-09-2016, 10:43   #20
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Re: Liveaboard toilet options

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
(I must be another of the many who have never been on one of these mythical boats with holding tanks that don't smell)

Same offer. Bring beverages.



I have only rarely been on a "holding tank boat" with head/holding tank odors. I've been on some odiferous boats, but mostly it was something else causing the odor. Most often, stale water in the bilges and groady shower sumps, sand tagnant water in the AC condensate pans... but there are several other common ones.

Judging from comments here, sounds to me like many boats out there with holding tanks have some problems. Not my experience.

And given discussions with other owners in our club, I'd suspect often the problem -- when it exists -- is something that could/should be fixed (loose fittings, sometimes even permeated hoses, etc.)... which in turns leads me to believe it's not the holding tank "technology" that's broken, but rather the execution (fittings allowed to work loose and not attended to, cheap hoses, better hoses but still past their sell-by date, whatever). Just guessing, though...



Edit: It occurs to me our boat, and most of the more recently-built boats in the club, all have freshwater heads, electric-macerating or Vacuflush. The water source may well have something to do with it... Another is that the builder seems to have used excellent sanitation hose. It may also be possible that many of the hose runs to/from the holding tank are gravity-draining, although part of the run from our own bowl to the tank starts to be a bit uphill at one point.

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Old 13-09-2016, 20:38   #21
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Re: Liveaboard toilet options

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The water source may well have something to do with it...
-Chris
Definitely. The salt water flush will fill the intake line and head flush mechanism with greeblies (sorry for using the scientific term, I don't know the lay person's word) anyhoo the little buggers up-and-die when you're away from the boat for any length of time. Their dead carcasses smell something awful. Since the smell comes from the head area, and you know no one has used the head, the holding tank gets the blame.
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Old 13-09-2016, 21:31   #22
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Re: Liveaboard toilet options

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Definitely. The salt water flush will fill the intake line and head flush mechanism with greeblies (sorry for using the scientific term, I don't know the lay person's word) anyhoo the little buggers up-and-die when you're away from the boat for any length of time. Their dead carcasses smell something awful. Since the smell comes from the head area, and you know no one has used the head, the holding tank gets the blame.
I have seen the argument for dead sea critters causing the smell many times on these type of threads over the yearsbut don't believe it is the cause. I am a boatbuilder and have worked around marinas for over 40 years, both salt water and fresh and holding tank systems smell just as bad on the great lakes. I will never have a holding tank system again and currently have an airhead which I am very happy with.I am very sensitive to the smell and I find the vast majority of boats we work on stink. I think the only boat I have been on with a holding tank that didn't is an old Luders yawl we rebuilt years ago and we installed a shop built plywood/glass/epoxy tank right under the head of the vee berth where the owners sleep plumbed, with pvc pipe with just a short flexible section to the tank. no smell after many years of use.

Steve.
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Old 13-09-2016, 21:45   #23
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Re: Liveaboard toilet options

Its not the water source that is the problem, we get the same stink on the great lakes with fresh water . Lets face it the contents of the tank stinks and it permeates through the hose over time, replacing the hose (at a ridiculous price per foot) solves the problem for a while and then the stink is back. Plumbing as much of the system as possible with common house pvc pipe with just short flexible connections is a cheap permenant solution, much better than even the most expensive hose. A compost head is a better solution.


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Old 13-09-2016, 23:49   #24
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Re: Liveaboard toilet options

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I have seen the argument for dead sea critters causing the smell many times on these type of threads over the yearsbut don't believe it is the cause. I am a boatbuilder and have worked around marinas for over 40 years, both salt water and fresh and holding tank systems smell just as bad on the great lakes. I will never have a holding tank system again and currently have an airhead which I am very happy with.I am very sensitive to the smell and I find the vast majority of boats we work on stink. I think the only boat I have been on with a holding tank that didn't is an old Luders yawl we rebuilt years ago and we installed a shop built plywood/glass/epoxy tank right under the head of the vee berth where the owners sleep plumbed, with pvc pipe with just a short flexible section to the tank. no smell after many years of use.

Steve.
You may be right, but having just returned to the boat after being away for month, the first flush was bad; lots of algae-like material. Been here a couple of weeks and no more odours and clear water flushes. I changed out all the hoses about a year ago, so maybe that's why there's no smell. Either way, any issue with the head I've got now will be my excuse to rip it out and try to shoehorn in a dessicating toilet. Usually solo, with a simple boat, so I think it would work well. I wouldn't mind getting rid of a few through hulls either.

I think the poster I was quoting uses drinking water for his fresh water flush as opposed to fresh (lake) water, which would also have living organisms in it.

There aren't many people converting back from dessicating heads it seems. That says a lot.

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Old 13-09-2016, 23:56   #25
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Re: Liveaboard toilet options

I've heard of liveaboard yachts and liveaboard motor cruisers, but this is the first reference to a liveaboard toilet...

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Old 14-09-2016, 02:32   #26
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Re: Liveaboard toilet options

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I've heard of liveaboard yachts and liveaboard motor cruisers, but this is the first reference to a liveaboard toilet...

Jim
Well, they just move in and stay I guess, a bit like the early days of Oz settlement... the squatters just turned up and never went away...

I suppose you could call a liveaboard toilet a 'squatter'...
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Old 14-09-2016, 05:03   #27
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Re: Liveaboard toilet options

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You may be right, but having just returned to the boat after being away for month, the first flush was bad; lots of algae-like material. Been here a couple of weeks and no more odours and clear water flushes. I changed out all the hoses about a year ago, so maybe that's why there's no smell. Either way, any issue with the head I've got now will be my excuse to rip it out and try to shoehorn in a dessicating toilet. Usually solo, with a simple boat, so I think it would work well. I wouldn't mind getting rid of a few through hulls either.

I think the poster I was quoting uses drinking water for his fresh water flush as opposed to fresh (lake) water, which would also have living organisms in it.

There aren't many people converting back from dessicating heads it seems. That says a lot.

goat
I'm sure the organisms don't help for sure, perhaps, at least in fresh water, if one were to bring the water in through a large household filter it may help but I blame the hose. I cant see using drinking water as a practical solution, even if you have a watermaker as it would probably become your largest use of water onboard and membranes are not free. The marinas where I have worked are very happy to take the money for replacing hoses and rebuilding marine heads and will never as much as mention the composting solution as there is no money in it. I have an airhead in my gemini cat and never even made one deposit in the marine head that was in it when I bought it. We used it for 32 days straight with 2-4 people aboard on the delivery home in 2013 and cant say enough good about it to whoever will listen. Btw, I now have only 1 below the waterline through hull as a lake water intake for the pressure water system so I don't need to use the water tanks. We only use it for showering, dishwashing etc and use water from home for drinking etc. I don't live aboard though. If I were buying a composter today I would probably buy the C-head.

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Old 14-09-2016, 07:42   #28
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Re: Liveaboard toilet options

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Same offer. Bring beverages.



-Chris
Amazing how these offers come online occasionally by defenders of holding tank systems but I've yet to get such an offer in real life where I might actually take them up on it.
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Old 14-09-2016, 07:43   #29
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Re: Liveaboard toilet options

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Nature's Head is (according to their website): "USCG Certified! The Nature’s Head composting toilet meets all “No Discharge” regulations and is a U.S Coast Guard Approved type III marine head."

Ok its no discharge, but so is my holding tank.

But what do you do with the contents of the "composting" head.

With a holding tank I have to pump out at a pumping station or go 3 miles off shore and that is impossible on any inland waterway.

I just dont understand and no one has stated how you handle your full compost bin. Do you bag it and drop it in a dumpster? Or do you quietly dump the contents overboard. If outside your 3 mile offshore minimum that is fine.

But if you dump it overboard its slill untreated waste, therefore not legal in a no discharg zone or inside the 3 mile limit. It's only approved if the contents stay aboard in its built in tank.
No one seems to understand this and just ignores the obvious.

No discharge means no discharge into the waterways, either by pump or bin.

Please show me the coast Guard regs that states its ok to dump your "compost" over board.
I want to know, how do users of a composting head dispose of the end product with your last deposit being yesterday. Please explain. Thankyou
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Old 14-09-2016, 07:49   #30
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Re: Liveaboard toilet options

Sorry for the drift. But this is a real concern for me. Thankyou
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