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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter #1
So what are my options. Previous owner was pretty much redoing everything so he threw the old probably gnarly toilet away.

For such a small boat, I do have a fully enclosed head. I'd hate to waste the space. I'm also sorry to have to discuss such a sensitive subject but I come to sailnet first. It's my google.

Ok. So the room itself, and it's the one room I didn't take a
picture of. It's just to port of th v berth. Wood door. Inside it's just the floor in front of a raised wood "bench". I'm not sure what is under the bench. I think it's pretty simple.

I had a smaller boat last summer with just a porta potti. That was ok. But quite a pain to carry out and wheel up the dock. I really don't like dirty things. Only emptied it 5 times in 5 months and thats not because I'm nasty and lazy. It's because I didn't use it.

Luckily I have perfect digestion and do not ever have to "go" to the bathroom. So it will be rarely used for liquid waste and also to not waste the room, but also I need to keep in mind I intend to keep this boat for a long while and would like to conform to regulations at different marinas.

Is it possible to put a shower in there or is that a big process. I like to shower everyday and going to marinas gets old when I usually anchor. A solar shower is nice but there are a lot of cold days.

Any and all suggestions are appreciated. Even suggestions such as turning this into a large "closet" to keep my clothes neatly hung. Maybe put in a sink and mirror and be able to shave and brush teeth and that sort of thing.

Please if can, write an estimate of cost to any suggestion. I am trying to weigh the pros an cons of all the things I want to do and prioritize. Boat stuff varies. Some items I am surprised with how cheap it is and sometimes the opposite.
 

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If you're going to sleep on the boat you'll want somewhere to "go". My understanding is that it is normal to need to "go" after you wake up in the morning and start moving around.

Edit, also, if you're using something portable you might consider keeping the paper separate when you are done with it, in a trash bag, for example.
 

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These Wag Bags(R) are legal for use in National parks ,mountains,etc... Wag Bag(R) with NASA developed -gelling agent-. Yes, it says its a bag made for doing #2 and #1. But #1 isn't much for the Ocean to absorb ! Buy at numerous places on the internet, amazon. Instructions & info & dumpster info are on internet. Wow. If its NASA its gotta be good.
West marine has some kinda contraption too with bags.
 

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What is left of the old toilet system? Is there a holding tank of any sort? Is there any old plumbing like an external vent and pump out? Did the boat previously have a holding tank? If there was a holding tank then I'd put one back in and plumb for a standard marine head. That will cost about $600 for the head (get a Raritan Compact), tank, and plumbing.

If you didn't have a holding tank then I'd consider a porta-potty with a pumpout. You want the MSD version of something like this:
Porta Potti 550P - Thetford | Fisheries Supply

Those are designed to stay mounted into the boat, and you pump out through a normal fitting. They don't flush as well as a real head, but are a lot cheaper to install (around $200) and are very simple.

A 26' boat that is being lived on will already tend to be quite damp. I wouldn't want to make it worse with a shower. A hot water heater doesn't work too well with an outboard either (most are heated by engine coolant and 120V AC) and is hard to retrofit onto a small boat. I removed the hot water heater and shower head from my 3' longer boat to get the space back and because we never showered on the boat. I keep my hair quite short with cruising, which makes it comfortable for me to go a number of days without a real shower.
 

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You should also consider a composting head. I have no personal experience with those, but there are dozens of threads on them. They are simple systems and apparently work quite well.
 

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You "don't like dirty things"?

Sorry Princess, but even clean boats are inherently dirty in some areas.
Unless you plan to pay someone everytime you need to turn a screwdriver, or pump out your boat for you, you're going to get a little dirt on your hands.

Get some heavy duty, rubber gloves to carry your porta-poti or to handle the pumpout hose, or to carry your composting head.

...or, I have a plastic bubble I can sell you. Only lightly used by a little boy with an immune deficiency. ;)
 

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Old enough to know better
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In the Pacific Seacraft section there is a home made composting toilet that might be of interest. It is not a lot of money, and if it is unsatisfactory you are not out much.

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/pacific-seacraft/118138-homemade-composting-head.html

Second time I have referenced this post in so many days. I am impressed with this toilet for sure. The only thing I think it is missing is some sort of built in stirring mechanism. That is one thing that makes the commercial desiccating heads work well.

I believe they used a temporary arrangement as a test before actually building it.

I also agree that 26 foot is tough to get a shower into. Perhaps a garden sprayer for use when too cold for a solar shower. Lots of cruisers use them. Are you cruising full time? If you are working in one location lots of folks will do a gym membership, and use the showers there, good spot for your other duty as well! Around here in New York there is a chain of gyms (planet fitness) that has a $15 a month membership, and working for just about any company qualifies for a $10 a month membership.
 

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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter #9
Cruising full time. I hadn't thought about the condensation from the shower. Good points. I don't want that. I suppose you could lay the solar shower on deck and run the hose through the port light in desperation. It's also best to keep things as simple as possible. A hot water heater would be just one more thing that could break.

If I did stay at a dock planet fitness is a great idea. Wouldn't mind working out too. I don't know how that place makes money it's so cheap.

I'll call the previous owner and find out what's under there. It's hard because I had so little time to see everything. I took pictures of everything, except the head. Shouldn't have forgotten that.
 

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Cruising full time. I hadn't thought about the condensation from the shower. Good points. I don't want that. I suppose you could lay the solar shower on deck and run the hose through the port light in desperation. It's also best to keep things as simple as possible. A hot water heater would be just one more thing that could break.

If I did stay at a dock planet fitness is a great idea. Wouldn't mind working out too. I don't know how that place makes money it's so cheap.

I'll call the previous owner and find out what's under there. It's hard because I had so little time to see everything. I took pictures of everything, except the head. Shouldn't have forgotten that.
Well I had a membership for over a year and only stepped in the place like twice. So I think they make there money off those who join and don't go. As the old commercial said volume volume volume....


Just pull the bench up. It may well have had a direct dump head in it, and that is why he removed it. They were outlawed in the 1970's. Perhaps you could just cut a hole in it and start your own homemade composter. Drop in a bucket and put a seat on it.
 

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North, a lot of smaller boats have a shower head on a flex hose installed in the head. No separate shower area, just a covered (waterproof) tp holder and a proper grate and drain in the floor, to keep soapy body water out of the bilge, where it will fester and stink.

So if you want a water closet instead of a clothes closet...I'd take up the floor, find out what's under the "bench" (odds are, plumbing) and install a premade or home-made shower pan with it's own pump to keep that out of the bilge. A couple of curtains help to ensure ay storage, etc. stays dry, and a simple solar vent in the deck will suck the moisture out--if you keep the showers short. Also, a small squeegee to get excess moisture off things when you are done helps.

It can be done, and done on the cheap.

If you don't feel the need for a porcelain throne, don't install one. It is easy enough to buy a toilet seat that fits on any standard 5-gallon bucket and use plastic bags with kitty litter (way cheaper than wag bags) or any type of "camping" or rv toilet. From what I've read the Pardey's have been using a cedar bucket for decades now and have no thought of switching.

In blunt truths, men have also been known to pee in the sink, eliminating the need for a urinal or jar.

But if you expect to have any company or entertain on the boat...a conventional head and holding tank may be a good idea. And not having them, may be a great way to, ah, screen out the folks who don't think your way.
 

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I am surprised to see no mention of the PP I think it is model 975 that has a 5 gallon holding tank and can be plumbed to a deck fitting for pump out. I love mine. I only use it for liquids and with two of us on the boat at least 3x a week, we pump out about every two months. I would not have a PP that required carrying out. This one is clean, efficient, and practical...
 

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Sorry I missed that. Actually I have wondered why a PP is not made that incorporates a 7 or 10 gal holding area. Seems if it was something that could be plumbed to deck fitting would work well. Myself being so new to sailing I anm hesitant sound definitive but from all I hear I am just not interested in a head and holding tank. Seems that system is prone to problems.
 

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When I first got into sailing I was also scared off by head and holding tank based on discussions here and elsewhere. I almost ripped the whole system out of my Catalina 25 when it was time to replace the 30 year old head.

In the end I'm glad that I didn't. Head systems are pretty easy to maintain, comfortable to use, and easy to pump out. I wouldn't be too fast to tear one out of a boat, but also wouldn't go out of my way to add a new one to a boat.
 

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Sorry I missed that. Actually I have wondered why a PP is not made that incorporates a 7 or 10 gal holding area. Seems if it was something that could be plumbed to deck fitting would work well. Myself being so new to sailing I anm hesitant sound definitive but from all I hear I am just not interested in a head and holding tank. Seems that system is prone to problems.
I think when you get to that capacity you will want the option of pumping overboard when past the 3 mile limit.

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