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Old 04-20-2018, 11:09 PM   #1
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Composting head info

Guys, anyone have a composting head? Here's a link and video (there are many brands)

https://www.amazon.com/Natures-Head-...ng+toilet+boat




I'm curious about them. The upsides are myriad. No pumpouts, very little maintenance, extra storage gained from eliminating the holding tank/hoses etc.

The downsides: You will personally be disposing of your urine and excrement (although the latter will pretty much be mulchy manure by then, lol) . Another big downside is that the actual toilet is very high, so it supposedly feels weird when sitting on it.

The price is about $1k or so. There are different composting options but even the Euro options are about the same price or even higher.

Anyway, I'm seriously considering it. I really like the idea of NO PUMPOUTS. I also like the idea of eliminating the holding tank/hoses and gaining a huge amount of real estate (it's in the companionway).

I also like the idea of it for the winter temps. Im gonna be a full time liveaboard starting in the fall of 2018. It'd be great to not have to winterize the lines, tank etc. I could still use my head all winter (although I also have top notch facilities at my marina as well).

Thanks guys! Let me know!

PS: If you're just gonna be rude and make disparaging comments, please don't bother! I'm on a small boat and it could be a viable option for me. I understand that on bigger boats it's probably not the best choice!
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:41 PM   #2
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Good luck with your PS being respected...some people got their panties all bunched up and took my thread about this topic waaaay too personally last year!!!

Having said that, we have a urine separating/poop desiccating head on our boat. We decided to tippy-toe our way into it by getting a Separett Privy 500 for about $150.00

The urine is directed to a large jug, but I'm going to rig things so pee can also go straight overboard where allowed.

The poop drops into a bag lined bucket, and I rigged up a simple 'agitation device' which shakes & shimmies poop below the desiccating mediums surface. We put in a very small fan which draws any stink from fresh deposits outside the boat, but once the poop is covered by the desiccating medium most of the stink is gone. There is no hint of smell in the rest of the boat.

What I like about this system is that it's simple, which means there's very little to go wrong and very little in the way of maintenance and/or upkeep. The other nice thing is that we can "go" anywhere, even if we're staying in a marina or anchored in a no discharge zone for weeks.

Steel yourself for the usual nay sayers, as they'll find it impossible not to comment! All I have to say is; no holding tank, no pump outs, no breakdowns, and no time limits
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Old 04-21-2018, 01:00 AM   #3
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Iím about ready to chuck my current system. Hoses permeated and stink, both Y valves leaking, new macerator pump just started leaking. Thinking about ripping out all the valves and hoses and going with a composting toilet.

We donít use the boat all that much and when we do itís usually just me and the wife. She wants to check one out and see if she will be able to tolerate it however. Anyone know of any in operation in the Houston area we could look at?
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Old 04-21-2018, 03:00 AM   #4
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We've been using a Nature's Head in our Albin-25 ever since we bought the boat 9 yrs ago. The Albin came to us with an not-installed Jabsco Marine Head and holding tank but I declined to install it. The previous owners had used a Potty (blue water , self contained) as we had done for 25 years in cruising sailboats.

We like the Nature's Head a great deal.
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Old 04-21-2018, 03:09 AM   #5
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I have a friend who was a happy Nature's Head owner for a number of years, but sold it to the buyer of his boat. Not quite willing to spend $1000 for a new N-H (his first cost about $800), he made a head using a $45 component which was the urine funnel and a plastic construction material bucket. Urine is contained in a 1-gal milk jug. He lines the bucket with a trash bag. Ventillation is accomplished with a separate fan instead of self-contained as in the N-H. The whole affair is housed in a very nice marine plywood housing featuring a standard household toilet seat and hinged lid which many boaters would not have the skill to construct.
He said at a recent meeting of our sailing club where he showed us his unit that there are many websites showing solutions similar to his and that is where he discovered the source of his urine funnel component.
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Old 04-21-2018, 03:15 AM   #6
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I had to install some blocking on the irregularly contoured surface of the sole of our head compartment in order to provide a flat surface onto which the N-H is clamped.
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Old 04-21-2018, 03:23 AM   #7
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My wife's tolerance of the N-H is key, and she likes it better than our former Mansfield Sani-Potty. There is absolutely no odor problem. There was a slight odor problem using the Sani=Potty within the confined of our former sailboat when she would use it in the wee hours while I remained in the sack. There was no head compartment in that boat.

As you can see in my first pic above, we have a hinged door on the head compartment of the Albin.

I would recommend doing biz with N-H. When we had the vent fan go out (just a little computer-type fan) they provided a replacement at no charge.
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Old 04-21-2018, 03:41 AM   #8
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Our Albin-25 has standing headroom in the Head. Our former Shearwater-28 Yawl (Edey & Duff) did not have standing headroom. However, the "slight odor" noted above when using a Sani-Potty was not a result of the potty being located between the V-berths, as is typical among small sailboats. The Shearwater had a decent head location which could be enclosed by a large beach tower suspended from a bungee cord on the overhead above the potty. The pic here was taken from a position on the large V-berth.
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Old 04-21-2018, 03:54 PM   #9
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Composting head info

All my black water system is defective. Both y valves leaking, hoses permeated, older pump jabasco toilet sucks. So Iím thinking that since I have to take all that old stuff out, I want to try one of these composting heads. Leave the holding tank in (after a good cleaning) in case a new buyer doesnít like the composting idea or if I get tired of it or hate it. Then I can reinstall all new stuff at that time and maybe sell the composting toilet. So if it doesnít work out, Iím only out the difference.

The composting idea seems to fit the way we use the boat (not that much) and with not many people. Plus we have a lack of a handy pump out. Plus I like the simplicity idea of it, and I can use the area where all the hoses and valves are for some storage, after a good cleaning.
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Old 04-21-2018, 09:29 PM   #10
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Thanks guys. MurrayM: As to you first sentence, so far so good!

CarDude: Yeah, it seems like the composting head would be a good fit for you. It's crazy that your boat is only 10 years and basically the whole head system is not working right. Sucks.

Moby: Thanks for your replies and pics. That helps.

I've still got some research to do about all this but I'm very intrigued to say the least.
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Old 04-21-2018, 09:53 PM   #11
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You might want to consider this instead of a "composter" SeaLand Traveler at Defender Self contained...has the same bowl as the VacuFlush...uses onboard pressurized fresh water and so little of it that the 9 gallon tank holds as many flushes as a 40 gal tank connected to any marine toilet. No moving parts to maintain, no plumbing except the flush water inlet line, pumpout line and vent line...and with a y-valve in the pumpout line a macerator pump can be added to dump the tank overboard. Costs a lot less than a "composter too."

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Old 04-22-2018, 07:02 AM   #12
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HEre is a blog of a couple who completed the great loop in a C-Dory 25 with a composting toilet.


https://daydreamsloop.blogspot.com/


You may have to search through the blog to find comments/observations related to the toilet, but they are there. More of their rationale is in their earlier posts.
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:10 AM   #13
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Check out the C-Head if your interested in this type of toilet.
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:24 AM   #14
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Could not wait to get one. Could not wait to get rid of it.
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Old 04-22-2018, 09:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mule View Post
Could not wait to get one. Could not wait to get rid of it.

What did you not like about it? Tell me more.
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:05 AM   #16
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. Good points... used as directed, did not stink.

Down side, constant dumping of urine. Might have been more tolerable had I set up a drain directly over the side for urine. The churn handle got very hard to crank as it filled. No tolerance for diarrhea. Very unpleasant dealing with emptying in the close quarters of a marine bathroom.

To be fair, I live aboard. I would not reccomend as the primary for a live aboard. Guest v Berth then excellent.

Last of all, if you sub out to a maid to clean your boat, show her Where NOT to Dump MOP WATER. What a mess.






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Old 04-22-2018, 10:26 AM   #17
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https://youtu.be/Uveq2JB64Tg?t=1m35s

This might be useful. The folks at MJ sailing did a bit of a DIY composter.
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Old 04-22-2018, 11:20 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
Iím about ready to chuck my current system. Hoses permeated and stink, both Y valves leaking, new macerator pump just started leaking. Thinking about ripping out all the valves and hoses and going with a composting toilet.
Nothing on a boat is maintenance free. I rebuilt all the components of my 2 heads and replaced all the hose with non permeating hose during my refit. I replace the duck bills annually and will do the diaphragms and other parts every 5 years.

Personally I have nothing against the composting head. However, when you sell your boat, others (potential buyers) may. If that's a problem for your inheritors, go for it.

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Old 04-22-2018, 12:42 PM   #19
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Composting head info

Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Nothing on a boat is maintenance free. I rebuilt all the components of my 2 heads and replaced all the hose with non permeating hose during my refit. I replace the duck bills annually and will do the diaphragms and other parts every 5 years.

Personally I have nothing against the composting head. However, when you sell your boat, others (potential buyers) may. If that's a problem for your inheritors, go for it.

Ted

I totally agree that the composting head will limit my pool of buyers. Most wont understand it. Actually, most wont understand my boat either, so Iím not sure I should worry about it.

But, thatís why I was planning on leaving the tank and all thru valves in place. That way all a new buyer (or me, to facilitate a sale) would have to do is replace the hoses and install a new modern marine toilet.

So if I go the composting route, Iím still leaving the option open to go back to the traditional holding tank setup. I consider it an experiment.
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Old 04-22-2018, 01:01 PM   #20
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I totally agree that the composting head will limit my pool of buyers. Most wont understand it. Actually, most wont understand my boat either, so Iím not sure I should worry about it.

But, thatís why I was planning on leaving the tank and all thru valves in place. That way all a new buyer (or me, to facilitate a sale) would have to do is replace the hoses and install a new modern marine toilet.

So if I go the composting route, Iím still leaving the option open to go back to the traditional holding tank setup. I consider it an experiment.
Please don't take this the wrong way. If I went to look at a boat with a disconnected plumbing system, my first thought would be, "What else is did the PO not fix? Think I would fix the system. In the scheme of things, the parts to fix yours aren't all that expensive.

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