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post #50 of Old 01-17-2014
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Re: How big a holding tank vs. camping

I believe a lot of the boats that have a sewer smell down below are fitted with expandable bladders and not solid boxes for holding tanks. My boat did when I bought her and we had that mild but still nasty odour until I ripped he bladders out. The problem with bladders is that they're generally not vented and thus the generate anaerobic bacteria which smells waaaaay worse that aerobic bacteria.

I also support the belief that a properly installed holding tank will not smell in the boat - we have many boaters we know with holding facilities and their boats always smell fresh and clean.

We have two heads, one pumps directly to the sea and is used for urine only when close to land or anchored and for anything else only when we're at sea. The second head will (haven't got to it yet) get a solid 60 litre Vetus tank installed with solid PVC tube, not the flexible "filter" pipe (I call it filter pipe because it will eventually permeate the smell of the system into the boat. It may take shorter or longer but it will happen.

There are large areas in New Zealand where it is illegal to anchor, even for an hour, without holding facilities. We have to at present buck that rule but do so very responsibly and hope we don't get nabbed.

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