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Old 06-08-2014, 20:13   #16
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

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Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
why not just use a porta potty?

Very limited capacity = storage issues.

And mixing solids and fluids = stink.

Uses water to flush.

That said, if you sail where you can legally dump almost at will, then the holding tank is ok too.
Where do you "legally" dump the liquid?
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Old 06-08-2014, 21:03   #17
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

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Where do you "legally" dump the liquid?

In a toilet
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:33   #18
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pirate Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

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Where do you "legally" dump the liquid?

Or 3 miles out.

I recall an earlier thread where I think Sarafina lives in the SF Bay area and it was maybe a 20 mile sail to get to the 3 mile limit, but I suspect few of us face that. Most of last year it was a 3 1/4 mile sail for me. In truth though I just dump the liquid over the side in my hurricane hidey hole at the moment. Coastal Carolina is still far ahead of FL and Cali as regards ignoring what isn't a real problem.

If I were in a sensitive area (eg where the water cops are paying a lot of attention) I'd hump a jug ashore if I had to; even in the FL keys, it can be a short ride offshore on the ocean side ... and a good way to keep travel ready, rather than let anchorage life (plants and so forth) creep up on you. As noted in the current mooring thread, shipshape boats that move occasionally have very few problems of a shoreside nature.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:39   #19
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

Which mooring thread? I'd like to read it. There are too many _current_ ones for search to be helpful
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:48   #20
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pirate Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

Moorings in Eastern Florida
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:49   #21
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

Thanks
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:52   #22
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

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Or 3 miles out.

I recall an earlier thread where I think Sarafina lives in the SF Bay area and it was maybe a 20 mile sail to get to the 3 mile limit, but I suspect few of us face that. Most of last year it was a 3 1/4 mile sail for me. In truth though I just dump the liquid over the side in my hurricane hidey hole at the moment. Coastal Carolina is still far ahead of FL and Cali as regards ignoring what isn't a real problem.

If I were in a sensitive area (eg where the water cops are paying a lot of attention) I'd hump a jug ashore if I had to; even in the FL keys, it can be a short ride offshore on the ocean side ... and a good way to keep travel ready, rather than let anchorage life (plants and so forth) creep up on you. As noted in the current mooring thread, shipshape boats that move occasionally have very few problems of a shoreside nature.

I'm pretty sure in the Keys you have to be 12 miles offshore to legally dump.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:08   #23
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I'm pretty sure in the Keys you have to be 12 miles offshore to legally dump.
Not unless they changed the laws. all the cattle(tour) boats in Key West empty holding tanks on the way back from the seven mile out reefs
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:32   #24
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

Yes, they do compost but for liveaboard use, it's typically not complete before you have to empty it. No it does not need anything close to 2 yrs to complete the composting.

Skid marks: How to you avoid skid marks with a the standard marine toilet with a 1.5" hole in the bottom? You clean it. Generally solids drop in the hole. We have a spray bottle of water to rinse the bowl after every use.

We have the natures head. It's a 2 gal liquid tank and we have a spare. We can go 4-5 days but usually dump daily as it's not a big deal.

I like the Chead with the two bucket system (we got our natures head before they came out). While the solids must be emptied more often, it does offer the option to give it a week or two before dumping so the composting is more complete. I don't like the 1 gallon liquid tank though. If you have guests on board, that could get filled very quickly.

Got small flys once but emptied and quick application of bug spray and they never came back.

It's not perfect. You still are dealing with waste but beats the heck out of trying to get the joker valve working while you are head down in the head while the boat is bouncing around with wonderful odors wafting about the small enclosed space.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:48   #25
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

The more I read about composting toilets the more they sound like my cats litter box.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:01   #26
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

I have a Nature's Head. It works great. I'm a full time liveaboard too. There is no smell at all. The key is to make sure you vent the unit. I have it vented with the supplied fan which is in the toilet and I also have it vented using a solar vent. I use peat moss. You have to make sure the urine collector is cleaned regularly. Truly that would be the only source for nasty smells. The head itself when open simply smells like dirt.


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Old 07-08-2014, 08:15   #27
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

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The more I read about composting toilets the more they sound like my cats litter box.
While there is a certain amount of truth to that (though no significant smell compared to a litter box or traditional head), try thinking about 30 gallons raw wet sewage sloshing around in a tank before a fitting gives way and it winds up sloshing around in your bilge and then get back with us.

The diffrence is people are used to the nasty unsanitary holding tank based systems so they accept it as normal. You get detailed commentary on composters because people don't know what to expect.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:32   #28
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

We have a Natures Head, works perfect. Spraybottle with water to clean.
The poo in a plastic sack and that in a garbage bin is no problem (in Sweden the garbage goes to incerneration to make heat and electricity) and the pee in a toilet on land or in a forest.
No smell, no insects, very functional - we will stay with this solution!
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:33   #29
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

I've been an active composter since the old hippy days, and compost piles do not belong on a boat. There is no more perfect compost maker than the ocean, so why try to compete. If you have room on your boat for a composting toilet, they are big boxes, you have room for a large holding tank, so much easier. And you get to actually move your boat a few miles every couple of months.
And they are legal.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:41   #30
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Re: Your Experiences with Composting Heads?

Lorenzo, agreed.

And to a previous poster that said its more like a litter box...on board a boat that is precisely what a composting toilet is...it's a dry solution to replace a holding tank.

You can't compost on a boat, not really...it makes no sense to pretend that's what it is.

If you keep the poo covered by saw dust, you won't get flies...the sawdust will help dry it faster so the flies can't use it. It's not the occasional flying flies that are a problem, it's when the flies have enough time to brood. Don't give them any food and you are good to go.
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