OK, so it's time to ask a question that I've often wondered about.
Our marina has several year-round liveaboards - a few on sailboats, and a couple more on motorboats. These boats NEVER leave the marina. Based on the appearance of the boats, they may not be able to go anywhere.
The people on these boats range from almost-homeless to normal, working guys trying to live a minimalist lifestyle. The normal guys are nice people, and they help the security of the marina because they're always around.
I would never ask this question to their faces, because I don't want to stir up trouble, but I do wonder what these guys do with their holding tanks. Our marina's pumpout is at the gas dock (can't come to your slip), and it rarely works anyway due to improper installation (always loses its prime because the pump is 150' away from the end of the hose).
I just suspect that these guys open their T-valves when the river current is ripping through.
So what do you think? Do any of you have liveaboards that never leave the marina? What do you suspect that they do?
I suspect that those liveaboards dump, to answer your question directly.
If a marina allows liveaboards, the marina should offer free pumpouts. In our old marina in Kemah, the best option was to have a pumpout boat come to your slip. Redfish Island Marine | Pump-Out Services
The cost, if I recall was $25.00-$30.00 for a pumpout. Kind of steep, no? If the service was free, wouldn't most liveaboards use the service? If it is unlawful to dump in an area, shouldn't pumpouts be free (or available for a reasonable fee), and should be convenient as well.
The City of Marathon has solved the problem. My hat is off to them. With a mooring (at a reasonable fee), there is a mandatory pumpout once each week. They pump different rows of moorings on different days, so you are assigned a day when you sign up for a mooring. The cost for the pumpout is $0.00! Boot Key is now pretty clean. In the past, it was a mess from what I have read. The mandatory pumpout is taken very seriously, and no one will slide for long. If a boat doesn't have a proper MSD setup, they will get nailed.
St. Augustine also has free pumpouts. Just call, and they send the pumpout boat out to your boat. Not mandatory however.
My point is that marinas should be required to offer a solution to pumpout issues. The cost of doing business.
Water view at low tide | sailing away with R & B