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anoser 05-24-2010 09:48 AM

Marine Toilet (good, bad, and ugly)
Hi all...My next (semi major) project is going to be to resolve my toilet needs. I have a 1975 B-27 and it has what I'm sure is the original toilet. A pump system that has the Y valve for either pumping into the the water or into an attached tank (appears non removable) with a pump out valve.

There is no "vent" so...using it underway is, of course, the risk of sounding like a Jerk...I haven't tried using the tank yet because pump out facilities are incredibly full of hassle (on the Bay anyway)...basically I've never allowed anyone to use it for #2 because I'm shooting directly into the bay at the moment.

I need to resolve this. Not only because I'm opposed to shooting TP and #2 into the bay, but it turns into an EVENT anytime it needs to be used by opening both seacocks (pump), close the inlet, (pump to empty bowl), then finally closing the outlet.

I'm tempted to rip it all out and just stick a good porta in there...maybe one that also CAN use the outlet seacock (look...even as a conservationist I don't have issues with #1 going in the bay...less harmful an wasteful than chemicals...)

Anyway...thoughts...suggestions? I'm a weekender...with maybe 3 one week trips...and once a month having a few people out that would really use it. I don't want people embarrassed about having to go to the bathroom.

My first thought out the whole unit, keep the seacocks closed, and just use a good porta.


jackdale 05-24-2010 10:45 AM

Yep - too many Y-valves.

Pump straight into the holding tank. Set up the holding tank so that it can be pumped out, or if sufficiently offshore, macerated. Or use a gravity feed.

WouldaShoulda 05-24-2010 11:22 AM

Rip it out, plug it up, put in a porta potty.

Or a five gallon bucket and thick plastic bags!!

knothead 05-24-2010 01:20 PM


Originally Posted by WouldaShoulda (Post 606570)
Rip it out, plug it up, put in a porta potty.

Or a five gallon bucket and thick plastic bags!!

I would rip it out, plug it up but definitely not put in a Porta Potty. Those things stink to high heaven.

I have been using my homemade composting head for six months now and I give you my word that it is simpler, cheaper, cleaner, less smelly and safer than a regular MSD.
It doesn't need to be any more complicated than a five gallon bucket and some sawdust.
Read this online book if you have time. It's worth it. The Humanure Handbook - Table of Contents

I built two units. One for the boat and one for my home. I would never go back to using a water wasting toilet in my home and certainly would never go back to having to carry around a stinking cesspool of sewage on my boat.

Dcneuro 07-19-2010 08:24 PM

I don't understand what the problem is. You have an inlet which should hzve a seacock or ball valve. This goes into the head. You will need to. Plzce a vent loop either in the inlet hose to the head, or preferably between the head flush mechanism and the bowl. The vent loop is nothing more that raising the hose above the water line and then back down, continuing it's journey to the John. The outlet also must have a similar vent loop. The vent loops prevent your boat from taking on water. Lastly you would need an air vent in the outlet line. That is it. Works flawlessly.

PetdeBaleine 08-12-2010 02:11 PM

I looked into all the options and went very simple. The Pett toilet system is cheap, easy and clean. It's like a small suit case with fold out legs, which uses a double bag system with special powder that makes any liquid into an odorless solid. I make a special mount in my boat so it looks built in. I still have to check into sailing in Canadian waters and the acceptance of my system. See the web site or google Pett Toilet, many places sell them.

RonRelyea 08-13-2010 01:18 PM

use a composting toilet??
I installed a "Nature's Head" at the beginning of this season .... love it .... they're not for everyone, but you may want to check them out ... surely beats a porta-potti

PetdeBaleine 08-13-2010 02:25 PM

Nature's Head, very interesting.
I checked it out and agree with you on the port-a-potty. I use one only once and that was enough, and didnít like emptying it, what a pain. For more of a higher use toilet I would look at the natures head. Sure beats a holding tank and pump outs. For my very low use the Pett works the best and for about a $100 it really works. With the Pett you just remove the double bag and seal the bag. You can throw it away in any garbage, do to it is not bio-waste anymore; the special power takes care of that. If itís not used there is nothing to do. I can also remove the Pett and use it at home in emergencies or take camping or ashore. The natures head would also work well in cabins and outbuildings. Thanks for sharing that. I will keep that one in my files.

johnshasteen 08-15-2010 10:14 AM

Fix your toilet the right way - anything else is a compromise and is not good for resail value when someday you sell the boat.
Replace it with a new Raritan, and unless you are landlocked on a lake or similar, be sure you can still pump over board as an option.

PetdeBaleine 08-16-2010 12:21 PM

Why do you believe the Raritan (holding tank head) is the right way?
“Fixing it the right way” is not always the way things have always been done. After reading all the books that Lin and Larry Pardey have written, I look at sailing a whole different way. They are cut out the items that fail and kept the ones that don’t. They travel the world and have no electrical system or waste system on board. I see nothing wrong a Raritan (holding tank type toilet), Natures Head, Pett or a bucket. It really up to the sailor and crew what works for them? I really love to sail, and really don’t like to mess with problems and maintaining things I’m really not happy maintaining. Plus on my 22 foot boat which done come standard with a holding take type head, I would rather use the space the holding tank takes for something else. I would like to hear why the Raritan is the preferred choice for johnshasteen.

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