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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Switching from marine head to porta potty
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Thread: Switching from marine head to porta potty Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-25-2013 07:27 PM
rbyham
Re: Switching from marine head to porta potty

I am curious why nobody has suggested a pump able Porta potti. That is my solution. Ezzy breezy.. The 5 gal holding tank lasts 2 months of 3x a week ailing for two of us. Easy to pull up to marina pump and the honey. No idea how hard it would be to remove old. I would tend to keep old stuff in and use plumbing and deck pump out fixture for the pump able pp. Oh and let me add that EVERYTHING is hard on a Sailboat.
04-24-2013 07:09 PM
sony2000
Re: Switching from marine head to porta potty

To keep it the simplest I will be trying the Round Hassock Toilet. Even cheaper are the Luggalble Loo 5 gallons, but the Hassock isn't as crude looking.
04-24-2013 06:28 PM
cthoops
Re: Switching from marine head to porta potty

I appreciate the mention of the C-Head by a few posters. I was only aware of Airhead and Nature's Head. A composting toilet is definitely our first choice, so hopefully the smaller size of the C-Head (or the willingness of C-Head's owner to modify) will work in our space.

As I posted earlier, I know that the type of head that people have almost always inspires a vigorous debate. I'm glad it does - that's how we learned about composting toilets as we read posts over the past year. Everyone has their preferred option, from buckets to electronic flushing toilets, and I think that's great as long as a person has a system that they are satisfied with.

I am not particularly concerned with what the prior owner has done in setting up this system. If the rest of the boat is any indication, I'm sure he did a fine job. But in looking at boats on-line for the past year, Mr. cthoops and I have never had a marine head on our "wants" list. In fact, initially we weren't going to look at any boats that had them because we knew we would just end up removing it. I'm glad we changed our minds on that one, or we never would have even seen our boat!

If we remove the system and eventually decide that we made a mistake, then fine. We'll reinstall. Is that an expense I'd rather not have? Sure. But I'd rather remove it when it's never been used vs. ignore our instincts only to end up removing a used one.

Ultimately, it doesn't sound like removing the holding tank and head is a difficult job. Thanks for the feedback!
04-24-2013 05:59 PM
Siamese
Re: Switching from marine head to porta potty

Removing the old and putting in a Porta Pot is not difficult. For the way we sail, the Porta is the best system, so that's what we use in our 2007 Catalina 309.

Just a matter of taking the old stuff out one piece at a time. Just remember, there will be times you will want to have safety goggles on and keep your mouth shut and/or wear a disposable face mask. You don't want to be tugging on a hose and have some splash back !!!!!!

In the case of our 309, I took out the toilet but left the holding tank intact to make it easier for me or a subsequent owner to re-install the old system.
04-24-2013 03:27 PM
capttb
Check Please !

Quote:
the owner has had it since 1985, and he has kept it in impeccable condition. I mean, this thing is incredible. He has kept up with everything. He even had all of the turnbuckles lubed, cleaned and ready to go for spring in labeled baggies. Even the seacocks are immaculate. No water penetration in the chainplates (he has rebedded everything a few times since he's owned it and always wonders why he's bothered since it's dry), the mahogany and teak is perfect, no soft spots, very little cracking in the gelcoat. He's selling because he's bought a bigger boat and he's going to be staying in the same marina. He said we could call him if we have questions, etc.
In one week, you've gone from this to "I'm gonna remove the new head, hoses and seacocks to **** in a bucket and hand carry my crap in the name of simplicity".
You started out so good, what happened ? Did you forget you got a boat to go sailing and got distracted by a holding tank ? I know you have no reason to respect my opinion, but did you run this idea past the PO. Seems like you kinda respected his opinion a while ago. I'd be willing to abide by his decision.
I'd normally have given up and shut up earlier but I'm feeling optimistic today.
04-24-2013 02:09 PM
Alex W
Re: Switching from marine head to porta potty

You don't need any through hulls with a holding tank. You can pull water from a sink drain through hull. If you only use a pump-out then you just need the deck through hull for the pump-out, no underwater through-hulls. For most coastal cruisers there is no advantage to being able to dump overboard, since you can't legally do it in most coastal waters anyway.

A simple marine head + holding tank is barely more complicated than a porta-potty and a lot nicer to empty.
04-24-2013 02:05 PM
barefootnavigator
Re: Switching from marine head to porta potty

Hoops, you had me at lady J, don't listen to the sea monkeys, its your boat do what you want. I used a porta-potty for years and yes there is good and bad. We used vinegar for odor control and cleaned it often. Marine heads are disgusting but so is pooping in general. We use a wag bag for emergency's, bucket and chuck-it when we can and the marine heads the rest of the time. Again you guys made a great choice in your new purchase, keep her simple.
04-24-2013 11:44 AM
rbrasi
Re: Switching from marine head to porta potty

I did exactly what you are proposing on my Cal 2-30. In my case, however, the holding bladder and hoses were well used. Also, the boat was hauled out when I bought her, so the first thing I did was remove the two through hulls (drainage, intake) and glass over the holes. Once on the water I proceeded to removing the rest. I won't lie- it was a smelly, disgusting mess that took some doing for one person. The hose to the bladder ran under the V-berth to the port side vanity where the bladder was mounted to the port wall. There was a pump out deck plate above (still there) and a vent above that (also still there) that I removed the hoses from and cleaned thoroughly. The deck plate remains sealed and the vent is now, well, a vent. I made a mess in the cabin when pulling the drain hose out, but my boat is pretty sparse in decor, so I hosed her down pretty good. I put in a Thetford on a home made stand and haven't regretted it. The moment I got rid of all that, my boat smelled different in a good way. Resale value may take a hit, but this is not an investment and in Southern California there are places that frown upon boats with heads that drain into the ocean.
As an aside, I rarely use the head. As a single hander, I have the old 'milk bottle with a line attached' in the laz and a bucket if I should ever need to go #2 (which hasn't happened yet). I use the marina toilet, which is about 100 yards from my slip.
If you have to do it in the water, just close the through hull, remove hoses and carry on until you do haul out.
04-24-2013 11:08 AM
radcat
Re: Switching from marine head to porta potty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Knowlton View Post
Search "C-Head composting toilet" for what you are looking for: simple and 100 x's better than a porta potty.
I agree. I recently ordered a C-Head for my PS 37. The original owner had the head plumbed directly overboard and used the holding tank as a spare water tank. I decided to go the composting route. I canít say enough about the excellent support I got from Sandy, the owner. The PS 37 head space is pretty small and I was not sure that the unit would fit. I sent Sandy some pictures and measurements and he offered to modify one of his units (he sells several models) to fit the space. After making a cardboard mock-up with the instructions he provides, it turned out the standard angle back model fit fine. Due to the slight overhang, Sandy made some recommendations for adding a lower support that will be easy to make out of Starboard. I canít provide any feedback on the performance yet (just installed it), but the reviews are very positive. Also, I would not remove the through hulls. You might want them in the future for an AC unit, anchor wash etc.
04-24-2013 10:24 AM
Peter Knowlton
Re: Switching from marine head to porta potty

Search "C-Head composting toilet" for what you are looking for: simple and 100 x's better than a porta potty.
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