Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Marine Head
Classic question. You'll get many different suggestions, including from the composting head crowd. Personally, I find porta-potties and composting heads to be a bit tough to take.
My objection to porta-potties probably comes from the PTSD of having to clean the one we had on the boat when I was a kid. However, my more rational objection is all the nuclear chemicals that must be used and then dumped into the environment somewhere. If you are only going to use the head to pee on a day sail and dump and clean it every day, you could avoid these chemicals and it becomes a better option.
Composters do have their place. I just find them a bit gross. I mean, you are taking a dump on top of the last guy's dump. I could get over it, for the right circumstance, but have no illusion that 99% of my guests would not or could not deal with it.
That only leaves a holding tank. These need to be large enough to flush enough water to fully evacuate the waste line between the head and tank or the line will begin to stink. This will differ by design, but expect it will take at least one full gallon of clean water to push the constantly mixing and dilluting waste out of the line. When a holding tank is properly vented and you religiously avoid putting anything in them other than TP and waste, they will not cause odor on the boat, have no chemicals and can be dumped overboard where permitted.
So, when you say "old head", what do you actually have now?
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.