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Old 15-12-2016, 15:48   #1
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Composting toilets

Any of you liveaboards use composting toilets? Any advice
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Old 15-12-2016, 15:57   #2
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Re: composting toilets

Yes. And yes: get one (as long as the crew size is one or two … maybe three at the most).
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Old 15-12-2016, 17:26   #3
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Re: composting toilets

Although I am not a liveaboard, I am experimenting with the sawdust concept as a way to extend our cruises when we get away fro the few pump out facilities. So far, the concept is sound and odor/trouble free but have not been using if long enough. A description of the concept can be found at The Humanure Handbook - Basic instructions for making compost from humanure..
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Old 16-12-2016, 12:48   #4
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Re: Composting toilets

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Any of you liveaboards use composting toilets? Any advice
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Old 16-12-2016, 13:02   #5
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Re: composting toilets

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Yes. And yes: get one (as long as the crew size is one or two … maybe three at the most).
+1

except I'd say two maximum

but i love mine
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Old 16-12-2016, 13:13   #6
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Re: composting toilets

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+1

except I'd say two maximum

but i love mine
Yeah, one to two is best. I’m thinking a couple with one child would likely be OK. We’re normally just two on board, but we have had four adults using our head full time for up to a week. It managed OK, but I wouldn’t want to push it much beyond that.
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Old 16-12-2016, 14:17   #7
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Re: Composting toilets

I installed a composting head on trailerable trimaran I owned for a while. I knew I might sail it on the Great Lakes where obviously dumping is inappropriate and being a small tri, both the space and weight of a holding tank were problematic. After a short cruise, I could simply let it finish composing while not in use and then dump it in my home compost bin after composing was complete. It worked well for that use.

For longer term, ocean use however, (where overboard holding tank dumping is legal and ethical) I have not liked a composting head nearly as much. It's more expensive, and will likely fill up and need emptying before all the composting is finished. I personally much prefer simply opening a seacock to dispose of waste than to lug up half composted waste and throw it overboard by hand.

I think there are many variables to consider however: Are you able to allow partly composted waste to finish composting for a few weeks prior to disposal? Will you likely be located in places where you can dispose of composted and partly composted waste? Will your live aboard lifestyle allow you to dump a holding tank every couple weeks? Is pump out convenient? How often will it get used? Will your live aboard lifestyle including using marina facilities much of the time? With out considering such questions, I don't think one can really say what system is best.
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Old 17-12-2016, 18:03   #8
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Re: Composting toilets

Had one. Didn't like it. Have to empty urine to often. Over use causes problems. Messy to dump. Gnats. But some folks love them.

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Old 17-12-2016, 18:11   #9
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Re: Composting toilets

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Had one. Didn't like it. Have to empty urine to often. Over use causes problems. Messy to dump. Gnats. But some folks love them.
The Gnats?
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Old 17-12-2016, 18:13   #10
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Re: Composting toilets

Well, drain flies some call them. If the compost is not the right moisture you get infestations down here in the keys. Harmless they say but still kinda gross.

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Old 17-12-2016, 22:58   #11
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Re: Composting toilets

Have a Nature's Head. 2 adults and one kid. It works fine. Just make sure you the room to install it properly. They're a little larger than most toilets.
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Old 17-12-2016, 23:27   #12
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Re: Composting toilets

Made my own for 2 bucks and love it no issues at all.
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Old 18-12-2016, 11:01   #13
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Re: Composting toilets

Sorry to hear about your problems SebastianB. My guess is your pile was kept too moist. It shouldn’t be messy to dump (unless you consider potting soil as messy). Keeping it fairly dry also avoids most of the bug problems. Possibly a problem with the ventilation system?

Composters are definitely not for everyone. It does require you to be more intimate with your outflows. If you’re the flush-and-forget-it kinda person, then a composter is not for you. Of course you better hope you never have a serious problem with your standard marine head .
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Old 18-12-2016, 11:07   #14
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Re: Composting toilets

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Composters are definitely not for everyone. It does require you to be more intimate with your outflows. If you’re the flush-and-forget-it kinda person, then a composter is not for you. Of course you better hope you never have a serious problem with your standard marine head .
Yep and it always seems to happen at 0300 in 30 ft seas.
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Old 18-12-2016, 11:59   #15
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Re: Composting toilets

We tried this DIY model for 6 months and then installed a C-Head. Love it.



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