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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Back for more - portapotty vs. manual head
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Thread: Back for more - portapotty vs. manual head Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-30-2013 10:02 AM
tommays
Re: Back for more - portapotty vs. manual head

Sealand Traveler all in one

04-30-2013 03:18 AM
cthoops
Re: Back for more - portapotty vs. manual head

Thank you for the advice, everyone. It seems that the general consensus is that the setup leaves something to be desired.

We don't have many options as far as placement of the holding tank (or increasing its size), but I think the suggestion that we really try to deal with this in the fall is spot-on given that the relatively short sailing season is almost upon us.

I think we're going to take it out for now (keeping the parts), put in a portapotty, and reevaluate in the fall if necessary. The idea of removing an unused system is much more appealing than using it this season, perhaps dealing with various problems, and then having to remove it once it's been "broken in", so to speak. We could just leave the whole thing alone and rely on water bottles and a bucket in an emergency, but while I have no problem with a Lady J, a bucket may be pushing it.

Thanks again.
04-29-2013 08:39 PM
capttb
Re: Back for more - portapotty vs. manual head

Why not sea trial your system with a few gallons of fresh water ? Maybe it'll work just fine as a liquid waste disposal system.
04-29-2013 08:08 PM
Minnewaska
Re: Back for more - portapotty vs. manual head

Re-route the waste line up to a vented loop and then downhill to the holding tank. Consider the Lavac head to use little flushing water, given the very small tank.

I only repeat, since this was buried in a note that appears before the question was asked again.

If it can be done, I prefer a holding tank as one must use nuclear chemicals in a porta-potty that are ultimately dumped into the environment.

Good luck.
04-29-2013 06:00 PM
dinosdad
Re: Back for more - portapotty vs. manual head

Two points to consider, one how will you use the boat? Day sails , with a couple of overnights? Staying at a marinas or on the hook? If your going to be sailing on the sound and will return home most days a portapot may work as well as a head with a small holding tank. If you install a portable , many have the option of a remote( deck pumpout). Don't know where you'll be keeping your boat , but
In the mystic river area where our boat is(noank) you can e-mail a pumpout request and don't have to be present and you'll get a confirmation email that it was completed( saves time). Second, I'm just finishing a complete overhaul of my "waste management system". I' m replacing all of it , head, holding tank,
Thruhulls, valves , hoses, right down to the hose clamps, and its not a cheap project! I'll be well over a thousand by the time all is done. So you might want to keep cost in perspective , not to mention that it will take longer than you think to yank it all out science out a new plan and install a new system, and the New England season is short so do what you have to , get it in the water , enjoy it then tear into it in the fall ( it'll get there faster than you think).
04-29-2013 04:58 PM
jimgo
Re: Back for more - portapotty vs. manual head

I chimed in on the last thread advocating keeping the head. But that was before I realized that it wasn't a well-designed system. I think I'd do more research into possible holding tank arrangements, especially close to the head itself (do you have room in a settee, or in the bilge? Could you put it immediately in front of the head, and build a false step over it as you enter the V-berth?). If nothing seems practical, then I agree with your original assessment of tearing everything out and going with a Port-a-Potty.
04-29-2013 04:21 PM
katsailor
Re: Back for more - portapotty vs. manual head

Don't you still need a loop that is above the waterline when the boat is heeled to keep the holding tank from emptying back out the head while heeled? yuck

I would not want to find my cabin sole covered with poop, would make for a miserable sail and I know who would get stuck with clean-up duties. The porta potty may be a simple $125 fix in the short run.

PS evaluated several recently, they have come a long way and they don't use as much water to flush.
04-29-2013 04:02 PM
Pegu club
Re: Back for more - portapotty vs. manual head

The problem is that the waste out hose from the head travels about thirteen feet through the bilge/ under the cabin floor, then has to gain about two and a half feet to get up to the holding tank that is attached on a bulkhead under the cockpit, past that bulkhead is the lazz locker that holds the outboard. The only place one could maybe move the holding tank to would eliminate all the storage for the galley/ nav table, and it would still be two feet above the waste hose where it exits the head. so I'm thinking that the current head system needs to be removed and a porta potty should be reinstalled.

I know that the head debate rouses many to levels of passion, but a quality new porta potty can be set up for dockside pump out that alone strikes me as reason enough to remove the old poorly laid out head system.

Is the current head system as described above a disappointment just waiting to happen or not? From what Slowbutsteady is saying I think its got to go.

What say you fellow sailers?
04-29-2013 10:06 AM
jimgo
Re: Back for more - portapotty vs. manual head

Can you put supports under the line so the waste doesn't have to defy gravity? Or perhaps suspend it from the underside of the floor/top of the bilge?
04-29-2013 07:50 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Back for more - portapotty vs. manual head

SlowButSteady is right about the waste in the line and it will eventually permeate the hose. Even if the waste line does not defy gravity, it requires at least one full gallon of clean water to keep it clear of deposited particles. One way to fix this would be to get a new hose and route it from the head, straight up along side the hull to a point that is higher than the waterline when heeled, install a vented elbow to prevent a siphon and then route it any way from there to the holding tank without ever creating a low spot. The only part of the hose that would have standing water would be the piece from the head to the vent and that should have clear water, if you flush enough. You can probably get away with the hose you have routed up to this new vent and only buy the hose to get back down to the head.

The problem with a 6 gallon tank is it is legitimately about 5 to 6 flushes. They really need to be vented outside the boat, which requires a 1" hose, also run with an anti-siphon loop, to a thru hull above the water line at heel or through the deck. While not required, I would hope it has a way of emptying overboard, when allowable.

If you were willing to spend some money, the Lavac Head may be the answer for you, if it will fit. They work by hand pumping a vacuum that builds up and then shoots the contents of the bowl to the tank. You would probably still need to re-route the waste lines away from that dip, but they only use a few pints of water per use and your 6 gallon tank would last much, much longer.

Good luck. For me, any boat without an operating head can not be cruised and isn't even a day sailor, its a couple of hour sailor, maybe.......
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