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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
MikeOReilly started about a thread what amenities are required to make being on a boat a step above camping.

I commented that a good, reliable head is high on my list. This comes from my experience actually camping (cabin without a toilet = camping, cabin with a toilet = condo), and from a charter I was on two years ago.

There were seven of us on a beautiful 39' 3-cabin Jeanneau. That's a bit tight, but I don't think it's an unreasonable number of people for a 3-cabin boat.

Except… for the 22-gallon holding tank! We were only out for three days and we were taking conservation measures like running a couple dinghy trips over in the morning so people could poop in the outhouses on shore, and when we were on shore for hikes or bonfires reminding everyone to pee before we went back to the boat, but we still filled that tank.

So my question is: What's the rule-of-thumb for holding tank size? I know it will vary from person to person and situation to situation, but assuming moderate beer consumption and a minimum of three days between pumpouts, how many gallons per person should a holding tank be?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've been using a bucket ever since cracking a hodling tank in heavy weather the boat was ruined for life, it was a 3 year old Ericson 38. I will never again own a boat with a holing tank NEVER!
I don't care if the Pardeys did it, YUCK! Anyway, I'm on the Great Lakes and inlands waters, so bucket-and-chuck-it wouldn't be legal for me.

where do those of us with "fermentopotties" (composting toilets) sit?
Square on the pot, I hope!
 

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1-3 gallons pp/per day, with 2 being a fair average depending on the head and the water/beer consumption. You can get one by dry bowling and conservation flushes, and three after Mexican Food night.

There is a rule amongst cruisers:

If its yellow, let it mellow. If its brown, flush it down.

Brian
 

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1-3 gallons pp/per day, with 2 being a fair average depending on the head and the water/beer consumption. You can get one by dry bowling and conservation flushes, and three after Mexican Food night.

There is a rule amongst cruisers:

If its yellow, let it mellow. If its brown, flush it down.
Since that makes for a stinky boat we have a different rule. If you are a boy and aren't in a marina then you pee over the side (legal, even though bucket and chuck it is not).

A 20 gallon tank lasts 5-7 days of cruising for us, a sample size of one couple.
 

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Caberg, I'm not sure the WagBags are for me, but I'm curious wher eyou get them. All I see is a link to the DOD Mall and the GSA Advantage site. I'm not in the government, so I can't order from either of those.
Widely available online, couple of links below. If you think about it, the gross factor of sealing a bag of your own waste is way less (or should be) than dealing with hoses and tanks filled with a group of people's waste that sits for days or weeks at a time. But, gross factor aside, we mainly do it because of the efficiency and ease of not having to maintain and empty the marine system/tank.

Cleanwaste WAG BAG Waste Bags - Package of 12 at REI.com

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Since that makes for a stinky boat we have a different rule. If you are a boy and aren't in a marina then you pee over the side (legal, even though bucket and chuck it is not).

A 20 gallon tank lasts 5-7 days of cruising for us, a sample size of one couple.
So call it 20 gallons for 2 people for 6 days = 1.666 gallons/person/day, utilizing the male-over-the-rail conservation technique. This seems in line with CruisingDad's 2 gallon average.
 

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Since that makes for a stinky boat we have a different rule. If you are a boy and aren't in a marina then you pee over the side (legal, even though bucket and chuck it is not).

A 20 gallon tank lasts 5-7 days of cruising for us, a sample size of one couple.
42 last 5-7 days for us, 4 people. Like I said, 1-3g, pp/day with 2 being the average.

Brian
 

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Boy you guys are good. I ve a lot to learn. Have choice of fresh or salt. Use fresh always except when offshore and need to conserve potable water. Much less stink and I think easier on the system. Wife insisted on electric so have one electric one manual both with macerators. Down side is even with three settings on electric use way more water then you folks are posting. Upside is have two holding tanks. The one for electric fills first. Have tank monitors. When other gets near usually time for fuel or pump out or a great excuse to go outside the limit. Conclusion is if tank size is a concern don't put in electric head. Have had guests push button repetitively fascinated by the flush until told to stop.
 

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Funny, the discussions between the ladies at the yacht club somehow always get around to poo and holding tanks. Something that was an eye opener for us was the 18 gal tank in our specifications only measured out to a paltry 13 gallons! The two of us are very comfortable for a weekend but really have to practice conservation when we are off the grid for a week or more. We installed a tank watch system for obvious reasons. When you are using the 1-3 gallons per day metric is that assuming a one gallon flush per use? My friend who has a boat by a European builder also discovered his tank was less than advertised.
 

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I'm surprised this isn't a bigger thread. A lot of us "day sailors" struggle with this problem. We don't "cruise" in the real sense. But, we do spend several days at a time on our boats. And, we have female crew, which is all I'm going to say about that. It's a three day weekend for me, and my one goal is to tear out my 70's era head, and then decide which way I'm going to go in regards to "solid waste". I'm looking forward to reading the responses in this thread. So far, I'm leaning towards a composting head. Although, the aforementioned poop bags look like a contender as well.
 

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Our 15 gal tank lasts the two of us a week. We wash down solids and let liquids flow on their own. We don't use the salt intake unless we are out and going directly overboard. Inland the thru-hull is closed and we use the shower head to rinse the solids. I would prefer a bigger tank, but that's we have.
 

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Since that makes for a stinky boat we have a different rule. If you are a boy and aren't in a marina then you pee over the side (legal, even though bucket and chuck it is not).

A 20 gallon tank lasts 5-7 days of cruising for us, a sample size of one couple.
Actually the bucket is legal as long as its not designed for pee and doesn't have a toilet seat on it it still comes under the loose rules of direct discharge but I still have and use my porta potty for poo underway and on the hook pee is fine but I hate to see floaters in the water I'm anchored in its just not nice to do in port. with just poo I get about a month for my 8 ltr porta potty and pump out stations are all over the place here in Puget sound I use sea water for flushing it
 
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