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Old 02-03-2014
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composting toilet-should we do it

We are seriously considering a composting toilet for our 30ft Pearson. The boat currently has a porta-potti which limits us to about three days usage. Ask me how I know.

Space constraints seem to dictate putting a holding tank either under the v-birth or the dinette, both of which seem conducive to neither romance or dining.

So talk me either into it or out of it. I'd like to here from sailors who have real experience with these composters. The few dock neighbors who have them seem very satisfied with them, but I feel funny asking if I can take one for a test ride.
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Old 02-03-2014
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

Copy the following into the search field on your browser and you'll find tons of opinions and experiences:

site:sailnet.com composting head

I do not have one. In my opinion, they have their place. However, my largest objection is trying to explain to a guest how to use it and what's going on. Clean the skid marks with this spray, no water. I have guests nearly every weekend, not all are into camping.

The composter is a great solution for capacity and disposal, but knowing you're sitting inches from the last dude's doo and you're going to crank yours into it, will be unacceptable to some. Maybe not rational, but true nevertheless.
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by CLOSECALL View Post
....putting a holding tank either under the v-birth or the dinette, both of which seem conducive to neither romance or dining....
Ours in underneath the cabin sole by our dinette. You would never know.

I might be a tad reluctant to put it under the v-berth, only because the possibility of a leak would make that a tough place to sleep.
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

As Minnewaska says, there's lots that have been written about composting heads. I'd recommend you read through some of the recent threads. As someone who actually has one, I'd say yes. But there are real trade offs (and not really the ones Minn mentions).
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

Thanks for the search tip, Minne.

Our bilge would be way too shallow.
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

One other thing. My wife requests some comments from female users.
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Ours in underneath the cabin sole by our dinette. You would never know.

I might be a tad reluctant to put it under the v-berth, only because the possibility of a leak would make that a tough place to sleep.
I own a Pearson 30, under the sole is about 5" deep at the deepest point, right in front of the companionway steps. This space is where all p30's I have seen out the bilge pump. Your answer therefor does not help the OP with his question.
I am considering a composting head for these same reasons, mine is under the v-berth.
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

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Originally Posted by CLOSECALL View Post
One other thing. My wife requests some comments from female users.
We don't have one, but if John suggested going that route I'd be game. I'm pretty much ok with trying anything that won't potentially sink the boat, otherwise be unsafe, or make us the laughingstock of any marina.
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

We had a composting head for the last three years of owning our previous boat. The premise of sailing around with a tank full of liquefied waste was never very appealing to us so we were delighted to be rid of the tank, hoses, and the need to find working pump out facilities every so often. Ultimately, though, the “yuck” factor between the composting head and a holding tank ended up being about equivalent in our minds. We had to deal with a couple of fruit fly infestations, which certainly upped that yuck factor. Explaining usage to guests was about the same – if not a little easier for the composting head. There were definitely fewer opportunities for a guest to screw something up. Having to constantly empty the liquid container at first seemed a small price to pay for not having to deal with holding tanks and pump-outs, but it did get old, getting 36-48 hours max between emptyings for two of us. On balance, we wanted to like the composting head, but just didn't see any true advantage over a holding tank system. We sold ours with the previous boat and don’t plan on putting one back in the new boat.
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Re: composting toilet-should we do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by CLOSECALL View Post
....Space constraints seem to dictate putting a holding tank either under the v-birth or the dinette........
Quote:
Originally Posted by sulli View Post
I own a Pearson 30, under the sole is about 5" deep at the deepest point, right in front of the companionway steps. This space is where all p30's I have seen out the bilge pump. Your answer therefor does not help the OP with his question.....
Placing it under the dinette wasn't my idea.

Further, I was only trying to debunk the notion that having it there would interfere with dining.
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