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Old 09-23-2006
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Installing a head..

I have a boat that has a head, but it only disposes to the outside of the boat. It was never installed with a holding tank. So this winter, I will probably install a holding tank.

I have found an article on the KiSS system where the holding tank is above the water line and when evacuated, really doesn't hold any sewage.

But, I was thinking of going a step further....
Has anyone ever heard of a removable holding tank? One where I can just unplug it and take it to the nearest land based latrine?

I have heard about porta-pottys. I may end up with one, but for some reason, I think I would prefer a real toilet. (I guess that means I think the foundation of the boat is the head? or I have a toilet fixation.... I just realised I need therapy....LOL)

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Old 09-23-2006
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Hi Groundhog,
I sailed an O'Day 25 for many years. The boat was equipped with a porta-potty that had a 4 gal +/- holding tank. I obtained two spare tanks for a total of about 12 gallons of capacity.

Pluses: The system was very simple, Only one moving part. No odor problems (used the blue liquid / formaldehyde based). Cheap.

Minuses: Lugging tanks of waste to shore in the dinghy was a rather nasty chore. I also found it difficult, if not impossible, to get pump-out boats to help me empty the tanks while anchored out (New England areas). Capacity was barely adequate for two adults for a long weekend.

My .02 worth of opinion: if you're going to be aboard for more than three days at a time, consider a "real" head, holding tank, and a deck-fill that a pump-out boat can hook to.

Hope this helps,
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Old 09-23-2006
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I see a few problems with that idea.

One, the tank will have to be fairly small to remain manageable in both size and weight.

Two, the connections to the head are far more prone to leaking sewage if you have the tank removable, as you'll be constantly disconnecting and re-attaching the two connections.

Three, the smell from the installation will probably be a lot worse than a proper fixed tank installation.

Four, do you really want to risk dropping the tank and having gallons of sewage splatter about the cabin and furnishings of the boat when you're trying to carry the tank out to empty it?

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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