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  #21  
Old 02-03-2014
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

for my part,

I really want to get rid of my holding tank. I abjectly detest the damned thing. I'm probably gonna go portapotti and composting toilet (2 heads). On our F27 we got five days out of our portapotti, think it had a 5gal tank. There now are portapotties that are semipermanent, ergo pumpable.

it'll be a good thing to close those thruhulls too.
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  #22  
Old 02-03-2014
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

A composting head is much like most of our sailboats. It is possible to produce complete compost, just like it is possible to sail everywhere, all the time. But most people with sizeable sailboats spend a lot of time motoring, so I guess it's also unfair to call our boats "sail"boats ... right

The main reason most people choose a "composting" head is for the simplicity, the effectiveness, the added safety, the freedom from pump outs, and the huge space savings. I have never met anyone who chose one of the heads b/c they wanted to be more environmentally friendly. In fact, I don't believe HS's characterization is fair. I just looked at the NH homepage. No where does it even mention any environmental benefits. It's probably somewhere on the website, but it's certainly not the main reasons being listed.
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  #23  
Old 02-03-2014
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

At least for me, portapotties are substantially less desirable than a holding tank. Especially the ones that recycle the chemical laden poop/pee slurry in the tank to flush, as most do.

I think portapotties are only appropriate where space is extremely limited and no other solution will work.

Those chemicals are also terrible for the environment.
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  #24  
Old 02-04-2014
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
At least for me, portapotties are substantially less desirable than a holding tank. Especially the ones that recycle the chemical laden poop/pee slurry in the tank to flush, as most do.
Which ones are those? I've never seen that. Both the potties I've had used a plain water tank to flush. Just straight water. The formaldehyde, which incidentally is the same chemical in a holding tank, is held in the receptacle tank of the potti.
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Multihullgirl View Post
Which ones are those? I've never seen that. Both the potties I've had used a plain water tank to flush. Just straight water.
The ones you are familiar with seem less gross, nevertheless, you still get to haul the tank ashore and dispose of its contents in a fairly personal way. My job as a kid........ maybe I'm scarred. By the way, many marinas forbid disposing of portapotty contents in the restrooms, therefore, you get to transport it home. Checks a lot of gross boxes for me.

Quote:
The formaldehyde, which incidentally is the same chemical in a holding tank, is held in the receptacle tank of the potti.
No way. A properly maintained holding tank should have zero chemicals in it. It should be managed to propagate non-odor producing aerobic bacteria, which takes some very simple disciplines. The first is adding nothing you haven't already eaten to the tank, other than toilet paper and non-toxic bowl cleaners. The second is to insure good ventilation (ie oxygen for the bacteria to grow and make it inhospitable for the odorous anaerobic bacteria from you gut. I dare say 99% of boaters do this incorrectly and nearly as many have trouble or dislike holding tanks as a result. Doesn't have to be that way.

Adding chemicals to either has several drawbacks beyond the environmental impact I mentioned. First, the chemicals themselves often smell!! Second, they kill everything, good bacteria and bad alike. When they wear off, and they always do, the bad gets a jump on the good. Add them to your tank and you're doomed to a self fulfilling profacy.
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Old 02-04-2014
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

I know the numbers are not balanced, but I hear a lot more swearing when folks talk about their conventional marine heads than composters do about theirs. Usually people switch to composters after Š number of bad experiences with the conventional type.

If I had a functioning conventional head, I don 't think I would replace it with a composter. Faced with the need to have something more than a portapotti, the composter sure looks like an upgrade.
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Old 02-04-2014
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
wienie, I know the book you mean just can't remember the name of it.

The author did all his research, picked the "separating" head, and then wound up at one point with 2? 4? women crew on the boat. Apparently the head he chose just didn't properly separate the urine stream from women, resulting in a huge wet mess in the "dry" section that promptly slopped out of the bowl when they were heeled.

At least, that was his conclusion.
that dude's main problem was that he mounted the head athwartship. liquids didn't separate when heeled. make sure you mount it fore/aft ... also - the two women aboard were grossed out by the concept from the beginning and seemed intent on making their gross-outedness a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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  #28  
Old 02-04-2014
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

I'm a believer - my wife and I installed one on our boat. My dad, brother and I went cruising over the spring for about three weeks total, no issues with it. (We use the Airhead composting toilet.) I really enjoy it. Plus, my boat now only smells like diesel - the smell of, well, you know, is completely gone!

To clarify - the smell is gone because we removed the holding tank. The composting head doesn't smell at all.
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Last edited by jslade8581; 02-04-2014 at 05:24 PM. Reason: Clarification
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  #29  
Old 02-04-2014
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

"but I hear a lot more swearing when folks talk about their conventional marine heads than composters do about theirs. "
That's an easy but unjustified jump to a conclusion. Assuming a higher percent of conventional head owners complain about their heads, there could be many reasons for that. Most likely, is that the vast majority of boaters simply boat a boat, with a head, with no research and no training and no idea of how to care for it. So they have problems, and they complain. These are the same folks who flush all sorts of things down their home toilets and complain about how they clogged. (G)

Now the folks who bought separating heads, are universally folks who have given great thought to the matter, committed to a specific maintenance routine and specific operating requirements, and they've found...probably that when you plan ahead for something, it is most likely to meet your expectations for how it will work.

That says nothing about the heads, it only speaks about head owners. Easy to confuse the two.
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  #30  
Old 02-04-2014
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

Sorry, Sailor. I may be trying to overthink this.
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