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I have read a blog or two about people installing composting heads on their boats. But I have yet to read how the new owners feel about composting heads after having them installed for several years.

Anyone have experience that they would be willing to share?
 

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On land composting toilets are another expensive "green gadget"
But they actually make sense on boats (one of the few marine things that are significantly cheaper than the land version).
I have an "Air Head" sitting in my forward cabin ready to install.
 

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I've read both stories. Some love them to the point that they preach the benefits from every hilltop. There are also some that rip them out the first chance they get.

For me, I'm not going there. Too hard for guests to understand and I'm not explaining it....... squat there and turd on the last user's load, then turn the handle to mix it all together. Right......
 
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Composting heads are alot less complicated than a marine toilet.
No valves to remember the order of etc
Not an electric one. A guest only needs to press the flush button until the bowl is empty. While you should chase it with a clean bowl of water to purge the waste lines, that can be done after they leave, if necessary. A vacuflush is even easier.
 

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Though you are relying on your electrical system working and tapping into your fresh water supply. If you have a big enough boat (and bank account) stuffed full of gadgets and gizmos requiring a larger power source and a high capacity water maker, it would work until something breaks down. A composting head uses a small amount of power for the 12v fan, which can be supplied by an independent solar charged battery. I am a poor sailor on a small boat, a composting head takes up very little space
 

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I'm not saying composting toilets are bad. I only find myself refuting the extreme points that their advocates usually make about them. Less complicated, no odor, easier to use, etc.

Now we are moving to the amount of power usage. Sure, my toilets use more electrical power. But the composting head won't compost properly or remain odor free with zero, like a hand pump.

My only point is, there is no perfect solution, and it only seems to be the composting head advocates that insist there is.

To those that like them, more power to you.
 

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2.5 years with composting head. No way I'll go back.
I don't switch electric fan on unless there are many guests on board. I run vent hose into my mizzen mast. Natural draft works pretty well.
 

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I'll bite. How come and why not while you're aboard alone?
As I said, i have vented the head into mizzen mast which is basically 35 ft stack.
Also I spend very little time in marinas and I normally anchor out. There is always natural draft exists with wind blowing over top of the mast. I have the fan connected, so I turn it on when I'm expecting that my head be used more heavily than normal. I don't think I really need the fan.
 

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As I said, i have vented the head into mizzen mast which is basically 35 ft stack.
Also I spend very little time in marinas and I normally anchor out. There is always natural draft exists with wind blowing over top of the mast.
Okay, then why do you need it on for guests?
 

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This story prompted me to rethink the composting head:
7/6/2012 - A confession | yodersafloat
Wow. The infestation is a new one on me. I'm sure its not prevalent, but something to think about. I am sure they couldn't get the composting to work, as they nuked the thing with insecticide, which is probably also killing the bacteria that cause the composting.
 

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One of our main reasons for getting a composting head was that pump outs seem to be spotty here on the Chesapeake, especially in the more out of the way areas. We haven't had any odor or bug issues (knock on wood) and find it to be a great solution for weekend warriors like us.

Where I can't see it working well is for longer term cruisers, mainly because of the small liquid holding capacity. Two of us fill ours in about a day and a half. Extra tanks are available, but is anybody really going to dinghy 3 or 4 of them ashore every few days? The liquid can also be directed to a larger holding tank, but that really starts to defeat the purpose. I'm not sure there's an easy way to no discharge compliance if you're going to be out for more than one or two liquid tanks worth of days.
 

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The Chessy is probably one of the toughest places to manage a holding tank. Anyone in the upper Bay is a day and half away from clearing the NDZ. If you have to pump out 100% of the time, that would be a pain. Composters could be a good solution, you just can't say they are without their downsides too. Around here, I pass outside the 3 mile limit nearly every weekend...... intentionally.

What roasts my potatoes is that when I'm 1 mile offshore in 100 foot deep ocean currents, its illegal to dump a few gallons of waste. Emotional people who can't fathom how vast that is are making these rules.

Everytime you flush the toilet at home or the office, you are affecting the environment too. Do you think your septic tank hasn't made about 500 sf of your backyard pretty toxic? Composters are predominantly sending their nutrient rich waste to a landfill. Bet you wouldn't let your kids play in it.

I'm getting a giggle thinking of all the environ-zelots that are going to try to hold it in today. :)
 

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As to minne's would I let me kids play with a manure debris, which is what the remains of a composting toilet is........yes if composted long enough. On the other hand, I do pickup after my dog a couple of times a day, putting excrement/manure in the trash.

I've probably put hundreds of not thousands of yds of manure and or bio-solids as it is know locally on peoples yards as top-dressing/mulch. BUT, All of these have been or are supposed to be composted for X months, reach a YYY temp for a minimum time to kill off any bad organisms etc. This is usually mixed in with sawdust of some sort. Altho the manures from farms usually have some shavings/sawdust from the get go, then the composter/supplier mixes in more.........

This is going on daily around the US right now. Is human excrement any more worst than animal. no not really. Altho bio-solids/sewage sludge is probably in an of itself the most problematic from a potential poison issue considering what get thrown down the septic/sewage system.

Cam Muir on Mt Rainer uses a composting/dehydrating toilet so the waste from the climbers/dayhikers to here is reduced to about 10-15% weight nd size for easier removal from the mtn. If you climb the mtn away from here, you take a double plastic bag system up with you to bring down the solid waste.

To my eye, either system involves or should potentially involve rubber gloves to remove the waste. Both need to be processed at a proper place once out of the holding tank per say. I also do not have issues with dumping x miles from land etc. I also know the water at least locally from the sewage processing plants, is as clean or cleaner than locally in the cascade mtn streams. It is pumped into puget sound daily. Meanwhile up north in Victoria, everything, dumped straight into the straights with out processing. That is scary in my book! at least at that quantity.

Marty
 

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The Chessy is probably one of the toughest places to manage a holding tank. Anyone in the upper Bay is a day and half away from clearing the NDZ. If you have to pump out 100% of the time, that would be a pain. :)
Its a fact of life here on the Chessie. Do we want our crabs or do we want them embargo because of high fecal chloroform levels. I have never really found it that difficult to find a place to pump out when traveling here. I am fortunate where I keep my boat has one, but the alternative of dumping into the Bay is not an alternative to me.
 
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