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We are just about ready to buy a composter. We are leaning toward the Airhead. The advantages we see are the more of a household type of seat and the fact that it does not need to be opened to empty the liquid container.

Yet it does seem that the Nature's Head is the more popular model. Maybe some sailnetters can either confirm our choice or steer us the other way.
 

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Daniel - Norsea 27
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I'm working on buying one myself.

I was originally going to go with the Natures Head, but when I saw both of them at the Annapolis Boat Show this past Oct., I decided to go with the Airhead instead. My reason for that decision is because the space I have to install one isn't very big. The extra 2" clearance needed behind the NH to open the lid for removal of anything didn't appeal to me. The AH can be installed closer to the bulkhead behind it. The AH is also slightly smaller than the NH.
 

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We will be placing an order next month for our new Airhead. As you stated, our reason for going the Airhead route was not having to open the body to remove the liquid container. Also, as Rhapsody said above, the footprint is just a tad smaller and we can use every inch of floor space. We will be ordering the model with the larger seat however.
 

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Old soul
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I looked long and hard at both models. I settled on a Nature's Head, mainly b/c it fit a little better in our space, and it was slightly cheaper. But quite frankly, I don't think there are any substantive differences between the two. They each do some things slightly differently (pee bottle placement, seat, how they're emptied, etc.), but after using mine for a while I'm quite sure there'd be no substantial difference in actual practice.

I will say, I do like my NH, and have received outstanding customer service from the company. That counts for something.
 

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Between the big three as I see it from my research:

Air Head:
+urine bottle changing
-I believe there were some cracking issues when they first came out (use cation if you buy used)

Natures head:
+a bit more durable construction
+looks a bit simpler to set up
-some complaints of the liquid separator not working effectively

C-Head
+price
+most everything can be replaced out of home depot
-looks like it came from Home Depot

I have read that all three are very good at customer service and stand behind there products. I have been leaning to either Air Head or C-Head. C-Head for price and Airhead for ease of bottle emptying. I had originally thought Natures head as I like that it is mostly one piece. I am still considering making my own as well. But if I do I will make some sort of stiring mechanism like the C-Head.
 

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Old soul
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Between the big three as I see it from my research:

Air Head:
+urine bottle changing
-I believe there were some cracking issues when they first came out (use cation if you buy used)

Natures head:
+a bit more durable construction
+looks a bit simpler to set up
-some complaints of the liquid separator not working effectively

C-Head
+price
+most everything can be replaced out of home depot
-looks like it came from Home Depot
Nice list. To add a few more negatives:

- I read some critiques about the AH having issues with the gadget seals failing.

- On my NH, the venting fan died for some reason. It was replaced without question and without cost by NH, but there you go.

- The C-Head's major negative (to me) is the fact that its main tank is about 1/2 the size of AH and NH. This means you're dumping twice as often. I'm sure it still does fine, but that was the major reason I focused on AH and NH.
 

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I saw a discussion somewhere about the fan placement of the NH being a negative, as it 1)pushes, not pulls the air; and 2)is at the bottom of the hose and thus any condensation will run to the fan. 2)can be answered by a loop, though

I did note the Home Depot appearance of the CH can be somewhat mitigated by spending a bit more and ordering it in mahogany or teak laminate

Watching this thread with interest, though. thanks y'all
 

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Nice list. To add a few more negatives:

- I read some critiques about the AH having issues with the gadget seals failing.

- On my NH, the venting fan died for some reason. It was replaced without question and without cost by NH, but there you go.

- The C-Head's major negative (to me) is the fact that its main tank is about 1/2 the size of AH and NH. This means you're dumping twice as often. I'm sure it still does fine, but that was the major reason I focused on AH and NH.
That I was not aware of, so AH adn NH are like 10 gallons? Seems that could get pretty heavy, I guess depending on what you eat! That may not be all that bad, just empty more often, not like the liquids jar (and that is a gallon) that has to be emptied all the time. The seals leaking may be what I was remembering. My understanding was they fixed the issue what ever it was.

I saw a discussion somewhere about the fan placement of the NH being a negative, as it 1)pushes, not pulls the air; and 2)is at the bottom of the hose and thus any condensation will run to the fan. 2)can be answered by a loop, though

I did note the Home Depot appearance of the CH can be somewhat mitigated by spending a bit more and ordering it in mahogany or teak laminate

Watching this thread with interest, though. thanks y'all
For me what looks home depot is the stir stick assembly, basically PVC pipe with some 90 degrees. While great for replacement ease, just looks cheesy to me.
 

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Old soul
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That I was not aware of, so AH adn NH are like 10 gallons? Seems that could get pretty heavy, I guess depending on what you eat! That may not be all that bad, just empty more often, not like the liquids jar (and that is a gallon) that has to be emptied all the time.
Yes, NH & AH main tanks are about twice as large as the C-head. NH's pee bottle is 2.2 gallons (AH is basically the same: 2 gallons), but the nice thing with C-head is you use standard store bottles.

I saw a discussion somewhere about the fan placement of the NH being a negative, as it 1)pushes, not pulls the air; and 2)is at the bottom of the hose and thus any condensation will run to the fan. 2)can be answered by a loop, though
NH's standard setup has the fan pulling air out of the main compartment, and then pushing it out the vent hose. The other recommended setup is to install a solar vent (nicro) at the deck level.

+1 on the hose loop idea.
 

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In regards capacity and weight, at least for the fecal matter: it might be worth keeping in mind that the 'product' is desiccated, or should be, thus the volume weight should be less than, um, fresh, if you take my meaning. Yes?
 

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Yes, NH & AH main tanks are about twice as large as the C-head. NH's pee bottle is 2.2 gallons (AH is basically the same: 2 gallons), but the nice thing with C-head is you use standard store bottles.

AH the liquid bottle, I thought you were referring to the solids container, that is a standard 5 gallon pail on the C-Head. The liquids, is more important as you have to change it more. The one advantage of the C-Head bottles is that you can keep a bunch of gallon jugs and just pitch them when they are full if not convenient to dump, or getting some scale build up on the inside and looking nasty.

As side note I recently read (I think it was raindog's wife) that you can use the enzyme animal urine cleaner to keep the odor down on the liquids.
 

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baDumbumbum
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I saw a discussion somewhere about the fan placement of the NH being a negative, as it 1)pushes, not pulls the air; and 2)is at the bottom of the hose and thus any condensation will run to the fan. 2)can be answered by a loop, though
Just an FYI: pushing air is more efficient than pulling it.;) Static pressure thing. For a small muffin fan, you want that puppy as early in the duct run as possible -- tho as you note, humidity & sulfurous emanations can't do it many favors. You can buy used or surplus 12V muffins for roughly $4 a dozen. Might pay to keep a few of them on board & to make sure the head is set up for hot-swapping them.

ETA: the urine is the source of most smell on composters; having a larger bottle may not be an advantage if it gets reeky before it's full. You can put a tsp. of sugar in the empty pee bottle, too -- said to greatly reduce odors.
 

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Old soul
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AH the liquid bottle, I thought you were referring to the solids container, that is a standard 5 gallon pail on the C-Head. The liquids, is more important as you have to change it more. The one advantage of the C-Head bottles is that you can keep a bunch of gallon jugs and just pitch them when they are full if not convenient to dump, or getting some scale build up on the inside and looking nasty.
Sorry for the confusion. The main compartment on the NH & AH are about twice as large as the CH. The pee bottles are also about twice as large, but CH uses standard off-the-shelf bottles, so you can have lots of them. We have two for our NH, so can swap them if needed. Dumping has not been any issue so far. Only takes a couple of minutes.
 

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Whee, at this rate, I will soon be permitted to reply to PMs!

It sounds odd to be so absurdly pleased with a toilet, but I am ever so content with our C-Head. We have subjected it to fairly light use in our homemade houseboat for nearly two years, and find nothing to complain about. It is compact, comfortable, easy to clean, effective, AND odor-free, really!! I am no earth-mother, and have a delicate nose, and I am so glad we went this route, after what seemed like months of due-diligence and debate over every marine head on the market. Feel free to PM more questions...eventually I can PM right back!
 

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The C-head ventilation hose, installed as suggested, needs no fan in our boat to provide sufficient draft for proper drying.

Its compact construction required no carpentry or modification to fit snugly against our bulkhead, and the height from seat to cabinsole is just like home. No platform or side clearance for a crank needed. Especially good where overhead clearance is a consideration. While it is sturdy enough, it is pretty lightweight, a significant consideration for us.

I haven't found limited capacity to be a problem. Who wants to store urine for any length of time, for heaven's sake? That is what will stink if you don't dispose of it promptly. And screw cap gallon milk jugs aren't hard to come by, if need be. The chances of our being out of hailing distance of land for more than six weeks, the storage capacity of the secondary five-gallon poop container, are frankly nil.

Yep. That C-Head suits us just fine. And in contrast to our flushing and pumping friends' heads, it is silent!!!
 

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We've owned two NH and one Airhead. For us the NH wins hands down. The NH is much more user friendly as the Airheads thumb screws used to remove the urine bottle and solids container are a pain in the butt. Also the NH's after sales service is second to none.
 

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Daniel - Norsea 27
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We've owned two NH and one Airhead. For us the NH wins hands down. The NH is much more user friendly as the Airheads thumb screws used to remove the urine bottle and solids container are a pain in the butt. Also the NH's after sales service is second to none.
Usually someone comments about one or the other so it's good to see your response after trying them both out. I have heard that the screws in the AH have been an issue for many users.
 

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I am with Amelia,
another happy C-head user! My husband and I have been using one full time for about a year now.
The positives for me compared to NH and AH are:

Ease of emptying, literally you lift the lid and lift out the containers. Takes seconds. It seems the AH and NH must be disassembled to empty the poop bucket. In our small head this seemed like it would be awkward and unpleasant.

Ease of replacement of pee containers. They build up scale that makes it difficult to see how full it is from the outside, so regular replacement is nice.

A secondary containment unit. If you do not pay as close attention as you should to the fullness of the urine container and it overflows, it is contained within the easy to clean out box of the C-head, rather than leaking into hard to clean places on board. Sadly I have experience with the bonus of this feature...:eek:

It is easy to clean. Simple flat surfaces that only take a quick wipe.



Overall I think all units will work well if operated properly and it comes down to what compromises you are most willing to live with. We are happy with the choice we made and feel that the benefits far outweigh the extra frequency of emptying and the perhaps more home depot look of the C-head. And of course there is a cost consideration as well.
Disclaimer: I have no experience with NH or AH and have only looked at them at boat shows, online and watched some youtube videos about them.
 

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Amelia, TJ,

how does the urine-separation scheme work on the C-Head? The pictures at the website have nothing from directly above. Does one have to sit 'just so'?

TIA
 
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