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  #51  
Old 06-11-2014
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
I'm not trying to be difficult, but I guess I don't understand why it's such a hardship to go out and dump the tank...
I agree. Maybe I'm overestimating the plumbing skills of the charter customer base, but it's not rocket science.

Moreover, at Sunsail, the importance of dumping the tank before returning to the charter base, and the high fee that would be charged for failure to do so, was made abundantly clear both in the charter checkout and in the documents that we had to sign. If you had any attention span at all, you walked away with the clear message "We better empty the damned tank."

I should also mention that our Sunsail 38 (Sun Odyssey 379) had a remarkably simple holding tank arrangement. It was directly above and behind the toilet bowl, with such a short hose that it took almost no water to prevent permeation. Just open the front panel and turn the valve. A side effect of this positioning was that the tank was much smaller than a true cruiser might want, but it was plenty big for someone who hops between the different islands every day or two. Just open one valve while underway, and you could hear the Bernoulli effect sucking the tank dry. Piece of cake.
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  #52  
Old 06-11-2014
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
I'm not trying to be difficult, but I guess I don't understand why it's such a hardship to go out and dump the tank. We were there to sail so we sailed out.

After reading this thread, something John said when we were out dumping our tank now makes more sense: We sailed out and he climbed below to open the tank and thought that it had been open the entire time.

During our debriefing the charter guy just pointed to the tank and told us what to do. We never actually climbed down to make sure it was closed. Didn't think that was necessary.
I don't think you are being difficult at all. It's not that difficult to sail out and dump a tank. It's not that difficult to grab a mooring ball or dock a boat or, well I could go on...

I don't know who John is or what you are referring to.

A debrief is at the end of a charter. At the end of a charter the tank should be open. That way you and the charter company know it is empty.
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  #53  
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

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Originally Posted by FarCry View Post
...At the end of a charter the tank should be open. That way you and the charter company know it is empty.
We closed ours. We didn't realize that BVI was unregulated. We did know the potential consequences of getting caught with an open tank in US coastal waters, and didn't want to risk that in Road Town.
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  #54  
Old 06-11-2014
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

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Originally Posted by fallard View Post
It is only in the past few years that we have been asked to use the holding tank in harbors by Island Yacht Charters (St.Thomas), but to empty it outside before returning to the base.

We, too have been concerned about direct discharge in places like The Bight (Norman Island, BVI), but haven't noticed anything gross when snorkeling along the shoreline. Given that The Bight has an average water depth of about 50 ft, there is a lot of dilution of raw sewerage from the boats in the harbor, but it is still offensive to think that folks routinely discharge into these harbors.

Perhaps it is past time for the charter bases to insist on closed heads and provide for pump outs at the charter base. Given the level of (in)competence we've witnessed among charterers, it may be too much to expect that the instructions on overboard pump outs in the open areas, like the Drake Channel, will be routinely observed.
Many modern charter boats do not have enough tankage to hold a week or more worth of waste in a tank. It would have to be emptied before returning to the charter base.

Another issue would be the lack of sewage treatment in the BVI. So if the big companies had pump out facilities, what would they do with it? There aren't really any waste water treatment facilities in place to deal with it so it ends up right back in the ocean untreated. Sort of defeats the purpose. Currently I believe the best practice is to hold when anchored/moored and dump when out underway. Not perfect, I know.
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

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Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
We closed ours. We didn't realize that BVI was unregulated. We did know the potential consequences of getting caught with an open tank in US coastal waters, and didn't want to risk that in Road Town.
Your briefer should have told you how they want it handled. Each charter company may have different policies. You did what you thought was best and I would never fault that when not given enough information.

This subject get covered and revisited every few months on traveltalkonline dot com Feel free to search that site. Things are pretty highly moderated over there and threads get shut down quickly that wander into some of the dirtier aspects, like poop!

Last edited by FarCry; 06-11-2014 at 09:41 PM.
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

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Originally Posted by FarCry View Post
...

A debrief is at the end of a charter. At the end of a charter the tank should be open. That way you and the charter company know it is empty.
My fault. I meant the boat check before we left for the week when the rep goes over the boat systems.
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  #57  
Old 06-11-2014
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

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Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
My fault. I meant the boat check before we left for the week when the rep goes over the boat systems.
I don't know how every company does things. The policy where I work is that the valves are all open at the start of a charter. The reasoning behind that is that the charter guests can't come back and say they were sent out with full tanks. There are clear instructions on the boat describing how the holding tanks work.

I think I've covered this subject. Unless something new comes up, I'm retiring from this one.
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  #58  
Old 06-11-2014
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

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Originally Posted by FarCry View Post
Many modern charter boats do not have enough tankage to hold a week or more worth of waste in a tank. It would have to be emptied before returning to the charter base.

Another issue would be the lack of sewage treatment in the BVI. So if the big companies had pump out facilities, what would they do with it? There aren't really any waste water treatment facilities in place to deal with it so it ends up right back in the ocean untreated. Sort of defeats the purpose. Currently I believe the best practice is to hold when anchored/moored and dump when out underway. Not perfect, I know.
Good point about tankage, although we never had a problem when sailing as a couple. One 37 boat we chartered had a 55 gal. holding tank. That would be pushing it if there were 5 or 6 of us aboard for a week.

Another good point is the reality of current waste water facilities, as the cost of matching stateside treatment standards may be prohibitive. Therefore, I would agree with best practice indicated above, but still think there are charterers out there that are technically challenged.

Aesthetics aside, the East-West current outside harbors ought to be adequate to handle charter boat discharges--and then some.
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  #59  
Old 06-11-2014
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

All of this reminds me of what an ecological disaster all that parrot fish poop has caused around that area.
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  #60  
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

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Originally Posted by FarCry View Post
I don't know how every company does things. The policy where I work is that the valves are all open at the start of a charter. The reasoning behind that is that the charter guests can't come back and say they were sent out with full tanks. There are clear instructions on the boat describing how the holding tanks work.
In my experience, simply having the head open doesn't assure that the holding tank is empty. Rather, you have to pump the tank empty it. Even then, you need to observe the brown trail to assure that the pump was actually evacuating the tank when you do this.
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