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I am having a new holding tank put in my Freedom 38. The yard asked if I wanted to consider having a macerator installed at this time also. Since all of our current sailing is coastal and the Admiral shows no inclination to heading offshore I can't figure out a reason to have it and several not to 1) it cost $, 2) something else to break.

Any advice?

Thanks

Ed Reiss
Being There
Freedom 38 #154
out of Jamestown, RI
 

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I guess the easy answer is that it gives you another option to empty the tank when you are cruising. You only need to be outside the 3-mile limit for this to be legal.
 

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NO!! do not waste your money, You are a responsible sailboat owner who not only uses a pumpout service or station, but also monitors his tankage and plans his coastal trips accordingly, you would'nt think for a second of dumping ( along with 1000's of others ) in a relatively small area some 30-40 gals of raw sewage in our coastal waters.
 

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Ditto the others - if you don't install it, you'll have no way of pumping out your holding tank other than using a pump-out facility. I remember, this past December, looking for a pumpout in Annapolis since we had a full holding tank. Every place was shut down due to the freeze. We'll just leave it at that.
 

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Just get - DIY if you have to, trust me nothing more romantic than someone going down below, few pumps and ewwww and the **** hits the vent while sailing (within legal discharge zones). Having the option is priceless.
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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I believe you can also use a manual diaphragm pump instead of the macerator, no electricity and very simple.
 

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Telstar 28
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Even coastal cruising, you can still be out past the three-mile limit. As JRD said, you can use a diaphragm pump, like a Henderson/Whale Mk V instead... and save electricity and complexity. :) I have and use one.
 

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I remember, this past December, looking for a pumpout in Annapolis since we had a full holding tank. Every place was shut down due to the freeze. We'll just leave it at that
Ooooh, now that would be a problem and pretty much kills your options
 

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The primary difference between the macerator and just going for a pump is that the macerator will pulverize the contents of the tank. This is both good and bad. The good part is that it greatly decreases the amount of time for any "materials" in the tank to biodegrade. The bad is that if there is anything hard in there, such as popcorn kernels, you can damage the blades of your macerator and end up SOL, pun intended. Macerators do have a large electrical draw (20amps+) but only while you are running them, and to pump out a 20gal holding tank you are talking about 90 seconds or so.

Poopdeck - it wasn't a good situation... full tank, and all of the marinas had shut down their pumpouts and the Annapolis pumpout boat was shut down for the winter. I got excited when I found out that there was a mobile pumpout company that would come to the docks. I got slightly less excited when I found out they charged $79 for the service. And then it went out the window when I found out they would only come out on a certain day, and that day was 5 days forward. I asked several locals what they do, and let's just say that they suggested not washing your dishes using the saltwater footpump while in Back Creek.

Another anecdote - we arrived in the Bahamas through Bimini, and we had been used to going to pumpout stations all along the coast of the US. At the marina in Bimini I asked the dockmaster if they had a pumpout. He just laughed and said "We have a don't ask, don't tell policy."
 

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Telstar 28
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Umm... a macerator in this case would do little for the contents of the holding tank, as it is probably for the discharge/pumpout line rather than the intake. :)

The primary difference between the macerator and just going for a pump is that the macerator will pulverize the contents of the tank. This is both good and bad. The good part is that it greatly decreases the amount of time for any "materials" in the tank to biodegrade. The bad is that if there is anything hard in there, such as popcorn kernels, you can damage the blades of your macerator and end up SOL, pun intended. Macerators do have a large electrical draw (20amps+) but only while you are running them, and to pump out a 20gal holding tank you are talking about 90 seconds or so.
 

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Labatt, I can understand your problem now, if you don't have facilities you really don't have an option but DD Ob and that stinks,
 

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Senior Mumble
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Just get - DIY if you have to, trust me nothing more romantic than someone going down below, few pumps and ewwww and the **** hits the vent while sailing (within legal discharge zones). Having the option is priceless.
By option, do you mean to plumb directly from the head to the thruhull? We have a Raritan SeaEra toilet, which uses a macerator to pump to the tank. While grinding things up may reduce the time it takes for shtuff to break down, it's not instantaneous! We're set up as Doggie recommends, so we are always using the tank. The aroma that wafts back to the cockpit when under sail certainly eliminates the possibility of someone discretely ducking below for a quick comfort break.
 

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Don Radcliffe
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My own experience is that the mean time between failures for a macerator is less than 2 years, while a good manual diaphragm pump (not a Plastimo) while be problem free for over 10 years. Consider the consequences of a failure...
 

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Less than 2 years? How often do you use it? I replaced one after 5 years, but I use mine maybe a dozen times a year. And I only replaced it because I was replacing the hose and I figured a new pump would mitigate the need to go into that system again in the near term.
 

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We'll see how long ours lasts for... we use it every 4-5 days.
 
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