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Old 08-31-2009
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Originally Posted by BoatKid5 View Post
what is the difference from the porta-pottie and a marine toilets with MSD's and holding tanks???
A porta-potty is a portable toilet. It contains flush water and a sewage tank in one unit that comes off your boat (usually in two pieces). You have to put fresh flush water in the integral tank, and some chemical (cheap stuff) deoderant/biodegrader) in the holding tank. You use it, flush it, and at the end of the season or when the tank is full, you remove the tank from your boat and dump it in a toilet. The best porta-pottys are tall enough and big enough to sit on comfortably. They aren't all that expensive (about $150 for a good one), and generally need to be replaced every 5-8 years as the seals between the tanks degrade.

An MSD (marine sanitation device) is a "real" toilet. They tend to be much more complicated than a household unit as they need to draw in flush water from outside and then flush to a holding tank on board, all with one handle. The holding tank needs to be periodically emptied. This is as unpleasant as it sounds. The pump out is done usually via a deck fitting and hose. Many marinas have a service to do this for a fee. In some "no discharge areas", some states provide free or low cost pump out services.

If you are going to mostly daysail and overnight only occasionally, a porta-potty is the way to go. Dumping treated pee into a toilet is no big deal (note that you can't dump into a septic tank; the chemical will kill the good bacteria that breakdown all that nasty stuff). If however you intend to really cruise and be aboard for days at a time, you probably do need an MSD. This means the added headaches of maintaining the internal plumbing, but does free you from the need to constantly find a toilet where you can dump the porta-potty. If you want some good, gross-out fun, check out the various threads here concerning head maintenance. I would bet that it is the number two (no pun intended) most discussed topic on this site, right after "what boat should I buy?".
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Old 08-31-2009
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My thoughts are a little different on boat size. I went the route that you are looking at taking and wish that I wouldn't have. My boats with cabins started with A west Wight Potter P-19. It was a fun little boat to sail, but only big enough for two comfortably. Then moved up to a Mac 26S. It was a semi comfortable boat for three, maybe four. but I'm a big guy, and the porta-potty was a pain to use and empty. The rear aft berth was great, like a king size bed. the port berth was a little short for me, but ok for someone under about 5'10". There was no headroom, and ducking and kneeling to cook or do anything wasn't fun. It sailed poorly, and you needed to reef in 15 kt winds or all you would do is round up.
I then bought a fixer upper Hunter 30. It has great headroom and I'm 6'1'' It will hold four comfortably and has a head with a shower and MSD. The Galley is small but works. Ice box, 2 burner alcohol stove, sink, and some storage. I added a grill on the stern rail to keep the heat out of the galley and use it for almost all of the cooking.
It sails great, isn't trailerable, but well worth the comfort. I should have bought the H30 first, but hindsight is 20/20. You can find them from the late 70's or early 80's for around $8k-15k depending on how much work you want to do to it.

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Old 08-31-2009
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This Sucks!

talked to my parents..... dont think we have enough time to do it so i told them that we dont have to do so much of the things i want to do on weekends. so then they said they dont want me getting a job until at least awhile through the first quarter in school so they know if i could handle a job....

I am so bummed....
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