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Old 11-29-2018, 12:57 PM   #1
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Nature's Head

Just purchased 1981 35 Cheoy Lee Trawler that does not have a holding tank. We would like to install a Nature's Head as opposed to installing a holding tank. We will generally be 2 people with a few days of family with grand kids- so 4 adults 2 young kids for maybe 3 day outings.
Would look forward to boaters who have gone this route. And any experience with solar fan.
Thanks
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Old 11-29-2018, 01:24 PM   #2
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It seems popular with the sailboat crowd. My cats seem to like it but they call it a litter box. Sorry, I know thatís not very useful. A lot of people swear by them. I just donít like the idea.

My ideal marine sanitation system would be a Raritan Marine Elegance toilet with fresh water flush. The Raritan SaniFlex discharge hose would run down hill to a Ronco plastic holding tank. The tank would have a 1Ē vent hose to a regular mushroom style thru-hull fitting, no screen. The tank discharge would come out the top of the tank and be teed to allow deck pump out or overboard discharge. Iíd use a big diaphragm Pump to empty the tank overboard when allowed.
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Old 11-29-2018, 01:30 PM   #3
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I'll be interested in the feedback you get. I have used, but not lived long term, with a Nature's Head. My experience is people who discount them eventually admit to never having used one; and people who have used them generally say they won't put in anything else.

I talked to a well known NA (that used to hang out here till he started his FB page) who has one on his live aboard boat with a family of 3. His comment was to the effect of "I use it because it works well for us - the fact that I eliminated 2 through hulls on by boat was just gravy".

I am planning one on my new build. Although I opted to run the fan off the house battery (direct connect with switch so it will run with the rest of the power turned off) and am using moderate sized solar panels to keep the battery charged. But feedback from people who just use a solar fan was good. But I think you'd need to always carry a spare solar fan to swap out when the primary stopped working.

It seems to be a great solution if there is not currently a holding tank and probably a very good solution even if there was a holding tank in place.
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Old 11-29-2018, 02:29 PM   #4
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The concept is great and there advertising says about 3 weeks between clean outs for 2 people but doesn't mention how long the liquid tank would last, certainly not 3 weeks IMO. May want a spare liquid tank??
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Old 11-29-2018, 02:37 PM   #5
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While I wouldn't be interested in putting that system on my boat for several reasons including resale value, it probably a very viable option for others. Depending on age of grandchildren, it may be more challenging to get them comfortable with the process. I've been horribly sick the last couple of days and couldn't imagine having to deal with a litter box while expelling at both ends.

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Old 11-29-2018, 03:42 PM   #6
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We did not have a natures head but had a similar type on our previous boat. I am currently in the process of ripping out our sanitation system on our new boat and installing two composters. We live aboard full time and lived with the composer on our old boat for 3+ years. We loved it.

The biggest challenge I can see in your situation might be teaching the kids to use it. It is imperative to keep the liquids and solids separate, which might be hard for little ones. How old are the kids? There is a little bit of a learning curve as you learn how to keep the media dry, but if you do your research it is not too bad.

I have heard of a few people that switched back after going to composters, but as mentioned above it is the exception. Most people love them. The people I have talked to that went back it was either because of insect issues or because the could not keep the liquids and solids separate. You can avoid the first situation by being careful what media you use and making sure you have screens on your vent.

For NDZs, we kept a 5-gallon jerry can on board that we dumped the urine into when the container on the head filled. With two of us, this would last us over a week no problem.

Happy to answer any other questions as best as I am able.
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Old 11-30-2018, 07:09 AM   #7
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Rain Dog, that was useful input. Thank you.

Regarding NDZ's - I've read where some NDZ's don't allow composting toilets for over some period of time (I think I read Annapolis harbor say's you can't moor for more than 5 days if you don't have a traditional holding tank). Have you experienced this in your travels or have any harbor masters inspected you?
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bkay View Post
Regarding NDZ's - I've read where some NDZ's don't allow composting toilets for over some period of time (I think I read Annapolis harbor say's you can't moor for more than 5 days if you don't have a traditional holding tank). Have you experienced this in your travels or have any harbor masters inspected you?
It has nothing to do with NDZs...Annapolis Harbor is not one.In fact, there's only one NDZ on the entire Chesapeake Bay: Herring Bay. The discharge of TREATED waste from a Type I or II is legal everywhere else. There's no requirement for boats that have one to also have a holding tank.

The actual issue: The city felt that their public trash cans and dumpsters were becoming overwhelmed by bags of partially composted waste from boats and passed an ordinance intended to prevent it. They aren't the first to do so. I've read conflicting reports about whether it's being enforced.

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Old 11-30-2018, 08:20 AM   #9
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Thank you, Peggie. I prefer a composting head in my new build - but I've been debating whether to spend the money to build in a holding tank and leave it disconnected just to satisfy some future owner. So I've been keeping an eye on these types of issues so I can make a decision before passing a point of no return.

It's helpful to have your insight into facts vs. rumor on things like this.
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Old 11-30-2018, 09:59 AM   #10
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Have you experienced this in your travels or have any harbor masters inspected you?
We have only traveled the Gulf Coast, Florida, and outside the US, but we have never had any issue anywhere. In some places in the Keys, they want proof that you are not pumping overboard. In Key West, the pump out boat had a "wand" they used to empty the jerry can mentioned above. In Boot Key Harbor you are required to prove you are taking the jerry can to shore and dumping it.
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:02 AM   #11
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I cant imagine that any shore side facility would enjoy someone dumping waste into their toilets or other facilities. If done properly there is likely no mess but my experience is that if thee is a way to screw up somebody will find it,
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:16 AM   #12
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I can't imagine that any shoreside facility would enjoy someone dumping waste into their toilets or other facilities. If done properly there is likely no mess but my experience is that if there is a way to screw up somebody will find it,
Port-a-potties are quite common on smaller recreational boats. Some marinas have facilities specifically for emptying port-a-potties and/or composting heads.
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:24 AM   #13
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Another option is an Incinolet waste burning toilet. 120/240v. Stainless steel, easy to keep clean. It uses a vent, no plumbing. You need a decent inverter or a generator running when away from the dock. I have 2 and run them on the inverter most of the time. Standard height and seat. Uses a paper liner, about 10Ę a flush. Waste drops into a sealed burn pot. All that remains is light grey ash, no sewage smell and no holding tank. In 7 years of daily use no repair parts. Many RVers and people in remote cabins use them, too.

Compost doesn't happen immediately. It takes weeks to fully compost and you'll be adding to it daily. Most have a separate urine jar that has to be dumped daily.
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:35 PM   #14
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You need a decent inverter or a generator running when away from the dock.
How long does a cycle run? How many amps while running? Their website does not provide this information. I would love one of these for our guest head if I could live with the power consumption.
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Old 11-30-2018, 01:25 PM   #15
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I have a NH. We like it!

Sent you a PM.
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Old 11-30-2018, 01:40 PM   #16
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I've looked at the Incinolet, electric requirements are in the manual. Requires 120V 20A service, and operates for 75 minutes per flush. According to the manual:

Quote:
One complete cycle uses about 1 1/2 to 2 kilowatt hours of electricity. Because you can use INCINOLET any time during the cycle, your “per use” cost is lower.
Might be practical on a large yacht with the genset running 24/7 but at 12V each flush represents 125 AH.
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Iambe View Post
Just purchased 1981 35 Cheoy Lee Trawler that does not have a holding tank. We would like to install a Nature's Head as opposed to installing a holding tank. We will generally be 2 people with a few days of family with grand kids- so 4 adults 2 young kids for maybe 3 day outings.
Would look forward to boaters who have gone this route. And any experience with solar fan.
Thanks
There are a number of composting toilet evangelists on cruisersforum.com, so I would go there and get a lot of information. "Composting" toilet questions - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

I asked the same question as above about how appropriate it is to toss partially composted poo into dumpsters and was told that since they take disposable diapers, they are set up to take composting toilet output. Ok.....

Users all seem to find them perfectly acceptable. Those who don't have one question how much fun it is to dump urine bottles every day or so, but I guess you get used to anything.

For all the arguments as to why NDZs may be a solution looking for a problem as it relates to boats, there is also a long thread on he subject on cruisersforum. Do the potty police have science on their side? - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
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Old 11-30-2018, 06:19 PM   #18
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Users all seem to find them perfectly acceptable. Those who don't have one question how much fun it is to dump urine bottles every day or so, but I guess you get used to anything.
The tradeoff is how much fun is it to pump out a holding tank every week. Neither is really ideal.
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Old 11-30-2018, 06:59 PM   #19
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Why is it that regular head owners jump into desiccating/composting head threads to say how disgusting desiccating/composting heads are, but the desiccating/composting head owners don't jump into threads about the never ending ways regular heads can screw up and gloat about how desiccating/composting heads never have those problems?
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Old 11-30-2018, 07:00 PM   #20
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Fear of the unknown/different?
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