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MikeFL 03-09-2020 15:31

Re: simplified plumbing, Composting and "direct deposit"

Originally Posted by owly (Post 3223861)
T As this is a SAIL boat, the nod goes to outboard(s). It just makes sense.

Of course there are diesel outboards... Yanmar Dtorque for one.

smj 03-09-2020 15:44

Re: simplified plumbing, Composting and "direct deposit"

Originally Posted by wingssail (Post 3224074)
Aside from the impracticality of your Bucket and Chuckit idea (won't be appreciated in anchorages and impossible in marinas) the main issue I have with your "minimalist" approach is that it creates a difficult lifestyle, one which many people would soon tire of.

When we were putting together our boat for living aboard and cruising we wanted to create a lifestyle which we would enjoy for many years. We felt that too many hardships would grow old after a while and we would stop sailing and probably decide to give up the liveaboard and cruising life all together.

So we made our boat, as much as possible, as convenient as a condo ashore: Running water, running hot water, shower, flush toilet, heat, air conditioning, Internet, good galley with stove and oven, comfortable seating and intimate lighting, workshop, desk, comfortable beds, good music, and a lot more. We also, and this was challenging, retained all of the sailing capability of our vessel, and made it easy and convenient to get out of the slip and go sailing. We tried to the utmost to make sure it was as convenient living on it at sea or at anchor as it was in a marina berth, so as never to have an excuse to avoid going out.

Yes, this meant some complexity, and as hard as we tried to keep things simple, we have a lot of systems to keep running. Repairs and maintenance are an unavoidable fact of life, and yes, at times I wish I didn't have to fix something every day. But I accept it to have the wonderful water based life which we have.

It must have worked, we have lived on and sailed our boat for 34 years and we still love it, despite the time and money we spend on repairs.

There are a few "minimalists" who pass through here, and some who stop for a while. We observe them gradually giving up that life, it is just too hard to sustain. A person can only enjoy camping out for so much time, then the fun wears off and they pine for a normal life. You can pick and choose what you can deal with and what is too primitive but if you make it too hard, you might, like a lot of people, drift back to the conveniences of life ashore and you'll be talking about your "minimalist" sailing life only in past tense.

Pretty much been a minimalist for 28 years. I build houseís for a living and if I needed all the systems you have thereís no doubt I would have a beach house and no boat!
Nothing against your lifestyle or priorities.

owly 05-09-2020 09:15

Re: simplified plumbing, Composting and "direct deposit"

Originally Posted by Mike OReilly (Post 3223985)
Another +1 for your choice of a composting head. One of the best upgrades I've made to our boat.

As for direct discharge, I'm sure it would be pretty easy to rig on your boat. The problem you'll face is, what do you do in enclosed waters where flow and volume are limited? It would preclude you from being in many smaller anchorages, and pretty much any marina.

I generally agree with your minimalist approach, but like BenBowSirocco, I'm a bit confused by your contrast between some simple systems and your "non negotiables". Compared to refrigeration and a watermaker, manual water pumps barely make the complexity grade.

Anyway, I like your general thinking. Perhaps you need a bit more experience before knowing what the best answers for you are.

My big objection to "plumbing" and fixed tankage is algae, and other things that grow in standing water. I have no real objection to a removable cleanable container stowed near where it is to be used, and a foot pump. I've seen people open up built in water tanks, and the interior is usually not pretty. They fit well in the oddly shaped spaces giving maximum utilization of the space compared to containers, but stuff likes to grow in them. It's not the level of complexity of a system so much as the steady proliferation of systems. I do not consider a watermaker a particularly complex system, nor one that has to be expensive. Nothing more than a pressure washer type pump, a few valves and some filters. I drink a LOT of water, and not much of anything else. That makes me picky about the quality of drinking water. I have had chemical free water most of my life, and find chemicals unpleasant at best. The big argument for me is the increasing issues with availability, quality, and cost of quality water. If for example you are in one of the Pacific Atolls it is not right to make demands on their fresh water system.....nor does the idea of getting water from one of their tropical rainwater cisterns appeal to me..... Have a look inside one and you tell me.

Refrigeration is a fundamentally simple technology, one I understand and work on. It can be made complex. Ice is the perfect "battery". In terms of energy storage it has about the same as a lead acid battery... looking at change of state numbers... But it never wears out. Living aboard refrigeration is a huge quality of life enhancement. It allows you to keep things far longer, have cool drinks instead of piss warm, avoid packing bagged ice with it's short life, keep caught fish while on passage.... It is a concession to complexity that many people have been willing to do without. I lived entirely without refrigeration for 2 years once...and got by just fine, but I was in the mountains, and had a flowing spring. I learned a great deal about keeping fresh meat far longer than one might imagine possible using circulating air and a rub.

I don't need "all the comforts of home".... water heater, washer drier, a slew of kitchen appliances, entertainment systems. The systems I consider important are not the same ones you might

I did not advocate using direct deposit at anchor or in enclosed water. My plan is to do some serious voyaging, and I see direct deposit as a safety feature. More MOB incidents occur from pissing overboard than any other reason. It's just silly to accumulate human waste in any form during an oceanic passage to dispose of ashore.

owly 05-09-2020 09:30

Re: simplified plumbing, Composting and "direct deposit"

Originally Posted by MikeFL (Post 3224205)
Of course there are diesel outboards... Yanmar Dtorque for one.

There are probably few people who have done as many bizarre engine conversions as I have over the years.... I even built a 2 cylinder engine out of a 4 cylinder, and at one point took an 855 Cummins truck engine, and removed 4 pistons and rods along with the associated valve train and injectors, and set it up to run a generator at low RPM (belt driven) as a cool sounding odd fire engine. The odd rhythm annoyed some people, others enjoyed it... Just a crazy project for fun. I have had a love affair with big diesels for as long as I can remember and have rebuilt more than I can remember, most recently putting together parts from two Perkins engines nearly 50 years different in age to make one running engine for a tractor... a surprisingly challenging project. That said, I would not be particularly hesitant to stand a small diesel on end and connect it to an outboard leg. Cooling and oiling would be the dominant issues and would be manageable.... I would not even consider direct seawater cooling... it's all doable if you have some creativity...Gathering and recovering oil would be the main challenge, and I have some good ideas how to do that and eliminate oil leakage issues.

The question is "is it worth it" when you can buy inexpensive reliable 4 stroke outboards? I don't think so. With the advent of EFI, outboards are extremely reliable and efficient.

owly 05-09-2020 09:33

Re: simplified plumbing, Composting and "direct deposit"

Originally Posted by smj (Post 3223981)
This is the ďSpronkĒ head on the Crowther Spindrift Zingaro. Conveniently located inside a cockpit locker.
Attachment 222630

Excellent solution.. Just what I had in mind, but more just an open hole without the restriction... Oceanic bidet is a bonus ;-)

Mike OReilly 05-09-2020 09:34

Re: simplified plumbing, Composting and "direct deposit"
Well, I'm not really sure what your questions are. It sounds like you've got some fairly specific needs/issues, and have it all figured out. I'll just wish you the best of luck. Hope it all works out as you envision.

contrail 05-09-2020 11:01

Re: simplified plumbing, Composting and "direct deposit"

Originally Posted by thinwater (Post 3223876)
"There probably are a lot of threads on the various composting systems out there.... There is little more unpleasant to deal with than holding tanks and associated plumbing, and with that in mind I'm a fan of the composting head. Also the more plumbing you have, the more problems you have.... It's really that simple."

The problem is, you are arguing from a false premise, or at least bad experiences.

I've had full plumbing and never had any problems. No adding coir. No hauling pee ashore. No flies. No odor. Just the occasional pump out, which if done correctly, is clean as can be. Just like home, and my guests like it that way.

IMO and my experience, problems only result from bad design or bad operation, not plumbing vs. not.

I would composting in a situation where pump outs were unavailable. Different situation.


Re. direct deposit on multis, a flap in the tramp is pretty simple. Many variations.

Well, you might not be inclined to use if if in bridgedeck slamming conditions!

Chotu 05-09-2020 11:42

Re: simplified plumbing, Composting and "direct deposit"

Originally Posted by contrail (Post 3225464)
Well, you might not be inclined to use if if in bridgedeck slamming conditions!

Thatís what Iím thinking. Direct deposit in a seaway... yikes!!! Especially jellyfish.

owly 05-09-2020 12:15

Re: simplified plumbing, Composting and "direct deposit"

Originally Posted by Chotu (Post 3225489)
Thatís what Iím thinking. Direct deposit in a seaway... yikes!!! Especially jellyfish.

That conjures up some pretty graphic images ;-).. jellyfish sandwich....

It also bring up an important point. It's obviously not a solution on all cats or in all seaways & sailing conditions, but I was not advocating this as replacing the head entirely.... splash is one thing, a full "slam" is something else, but slamming generally more prevalent in some areas than others, so choosing the optimal location would matter. Realistically with decent bridge deck clearance, and seated height on the bridge deck, your butt is going to be over 4' above WL, plus you have a fairly confined hole from the bridge deck level up to seating height.... It would require very poor judgment both in design and choice of when to use the facility to end up sitting on a waterspout ;-)

bcboomer 05-09-2020 13:37

Re: simplified plumbing, Composting and "direct deposit"
So do you need to bolt the lid shut to prevent a waterspout while unoccupied? :whistling:

thinwater 05-09-2020 13:54

Re: simplified plumbing, Composting and "direct deposit"

Originally Posted by contrail (Post 3225464)
Well, you might not be inclined to use if if in bridgedeck slamming conditions!


Actually, on a tri this is very seldom an issue on the aft end of the windward tramp. I said multihulls, not cats. In fact, tramp slamming is not common on cruising cats. You can always bear off the wind for a few minutes, which will eliminate slamming.

But there are many fun mental images. Oh, for heavens sake, any knuckle head can figure this out.


I have no problem with any approach, I'm just tired of hearing people denigrating any system that doesn't work because it is either poorly engineered on installed wrong. This can be true of any sanitation system, conventional or composting.

Next week I'm going on a road trip to fix (engineering consultant) a 20,000 GPD sanitary system that has failed due to poor operation. I'm pretty sure there is nothing important wrong with the design, beyond a few tweaks. But you've got to take the time to understand the system and the care to install it properly.

Martkimwat 05-09-2020 14:24

Re: simplified plumbing, Composting and "direct deposit"
If you look at even modern Dhows that ply between India and the Arabian Gulf states, that is exactly what they have, usually hanging off the stern with a sort of modesty fence about three feet high surrounding them. You could create a similar setup with some canvas dodger/screens surrounding it.

Manateeman 05-09-2020 15:17

Re: simplified plumbing, Composting and "direct deposit"
Direct deposit. No running hot water. OK, Iím game. How exactly do you wash your hands. Are you a single sailor? Hereís a hint. Women actually wash more then men. Itís a scientific fact. Bad hair day because there is no warm running water. Bed sheets that smell? Funky towels? Underwear? Yikes.
My wife and I spent four months technical alpine. As soon as we hit running water, even an ice cold stream, she would wash her hair. Some kind of black bag hanging in the sun gonna do it? Happy Valentineís Day sweetie.
Here is a summary of two actual science papers. First, almost all human carry exterior fecal material. Interesting. Then bidets became popular because of the tp hoarding. Excessive use of a bidet or wet wipes changes the composition of the micro flora which can result in an explosion of bad bacteria or yeast. Dry after washing. Actual medical studies.
So now we have a pandemic and washing your body, your bum, and your hands.
Just curious. Unnecessary? Foolish? Now back to direct deposit.
How would you feel if manatees used their big paddle to flip their biscuits into your boat. Kinda marine air freight. They are mammals. They live in the ocean.
You just visit, so offshore itís what...ok to poop in their drinking water.
Iím so pleased you posted because in court, itís evidence of prior intent.
Happy trails to you kimosabi.
Captain Mark and his clean manatees:thumb:

Chotu 05-09-2020 16:12

Re: simplified plumbing, Composting and "direct deposit"
Wait a second. Mark and his Manatees got me thinking about how my girlfriend likes to keep very clean and wash up.

We’re all missing one clear advantage for the direct deposit. Free bidet functionality!

Carry on, you manatees

SV__Grace 14-09-2020 07:27

Re: simplified plumbing, Composting and "direct deposit"
A composting toilet is as simple and "minimalist" as you can get and requires no "plumbing**."

It does require air flow for the composting to work, which means-

- an air hose from the toilet vented outside the cabin
- a small fan to keep the air flowing (tiny computer fan, very little power needed)
- a screen on the air intake and exhaust holes to keep the bugs out

Without the above, it's just collecting poop in a bucket, and if your disposal system is to chuck it overboard it is much worse to chuck a bucket full than one at a time.

But I really, really hope you see the value of keeping our environment clean from your fecal matter and see the value of having a simple, economical system, that doesn't require "plumbing" so you can live, boat, fish, and swim with integrity. If you wouldn't want to swim in your own poop, don't expect others to do so.

**Webster's definition "Plumbing: the apparatus (such as pipes and fixtures) concerned in the distribution and use of water in a building."

If it doesn't carry water, it's not "plumbing," so a composting toilet has no plumbing.

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