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Old 05-22-2014, 09:26 PM   #1
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Waste Overboard Port

If your boat has a holding tank overboard pump, does the waste discharge above or below the water line? My boating experience is mostly with charter and commercial boats. Can't remember one with a below water discharge. I prefer to have fewer hull protrusions below the water line and am thinking about moving mine above the water but under the swim platform. It will still have a seacock and it's unlikely that I will ever use the overboard system, but then options are always good.

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Old 05-22-2014, 09:36 PM   #2
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On most pleasure boats I have been on and/or serviced...they are below the waterline.

I too wish mine was above the water for flooding/security issues....I'm curious as to anyone with a Raritan LectraScan that has a discharge above the waterline and whether there is odor with the discharge.

If not...I may consider changing mine.
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:15 PM   #3
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My blackwater discharge is inches below the waterline. Its valve is always closed. Shower water and manual sump pump discharges are adjacent and those valves are usually kept closed too. Sink and electric/automatic bilge pump discharges are inches above the waterline and are usually/always kept open.

Under-waterline discharges:

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Old 05-23-2014, 06:20 AM   #4
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I have never seen a boat with its waste discharge from a holding tank above the waterline. When the water is clear enough I have watched our pump outs and would not want that discharge to be on the surface and likely floating.

Conventional wisdom was to loop the discharge line upwards inside the boat so that the discharge line reached a point above the water line and thus would not flood the holding tank if the thru hull was left open.

In the last few years I have seen more and more boats do away with the above the water line loop and just have a direct discharge. This requires the thru hull be closed unless pumping out. I am happy with this arrangement as it reduces the length of the discharge hose (potential smell) and allows me to rinse the discharge hose with sea water after the pump out and before I close the thru hull.
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:41 AM   #5
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Ted - I'd go with under the water and put on a thru hull that you can close. I've seen a few guys put these above water and it is NASTY! You wouldn't use that when divers are in the water would you? lol

On the electra-san/scan question. I have mine going below water, but, during winterization I've had to pump out what's left in the system. It is not overly unpleasant, smells like chlorine and looks more like water. Note, if the electrasan isn't working correctly it will still pump and well.. then anything goes.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:22 AM   #6
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IN the painted water line is least nasty , unless the water ices and you use non white TP

For the least hassle with the coasties ,,A simple U discharge pipe or hose that could be pushed into the waste deck fitting (many can now lock in place and aimed down would solve the problem.

Overboard Waste discharge? , no sir , one is not fitted .
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:37 AM   #7
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I never use mine due to the type of cruising we do.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:01 AM   #8
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Black water definitely below the waterline for all reasons mentioned, with a vented loop and seacock. Macerator pump, switch, through hull/seacock, Y-valve, vent, tank inlets and outlet all grouped together for convenience in our utility/generator room. When I used it was of course out in open water past the three mile line, typically at idle speed. Nice to have the stuff being discharged 3 feet under...
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay Pelican View Post
I have never seen a boat with its waste discharge from a holding tank above the waterline. When the water is clear enough I have watched our pump outs and would not want that discharge to be on the surface and likely floating.

Conventional wisdom was to loop the discharge line upwards inside the boat so that the discharge line reached a point above the water line and thus would not flood the holding tank if the thru hull was left open.

In the last few years I have seen more and more boats do away with the above the water line loop and just have a direct discharge. This requires the thru hull be closed unless pumping out. I am happy with this arrangement as it reduces the length of the discharge hose (potential smell) and allows me to rinse the discharge hose with sea water after the pump out and before I close the thru hull.

Marty, I think you probably omitted "vented loop". This is an important distinction because the vent breaks the siphoning action that can still flood the boat.

For those not familiar, here is a kind of primer on vented loops.

Vented loops and anti-siphon valves ; how they work on boats
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
If your boat has a holding tank overboard pump, does the waste discharge above or below the water line? My boating experience is mostly with charter and commercial boats. Can't remember one with a below water discharge. I prefer to have fewer hull protrusions below the water line and am thinking about moving mine above the water but under the swim platform. It will still have a seacock and it's unlikely that I will ever use the overboard system, but then options are always good.

Ted
To answer your question, mine is above the waterline.

To offer some unsolicited advice, I don't think you will gain anything from moving yours. Filling the hole is much more involved than just plugging it, you have to grind out some fiberglass and taper the patch. Leaving the thruhull and capping it off is the easiest way to abandon it so why not just leave everything as it is and save yourself the trouble and expense?
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:59 AM   #11
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I removed and filled in all the underwater through hulls except for the two for the engines, 7 of them. This was recommended by our insurance company. Every thing is now pump up/over and I sleep better at night.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:52 AM   #12
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We have a Raritan Purasan.

The discharge is through a 1.5" seacock below the water line.

It also has a vented loop to prevent siphoning, and we close the seacock when we are not on board. No we do not close it if we are just going ashore, only if we're leaving the boat for overnight.

Cant speak for the smell but can attest that you can see the discharge momentarily from the purasan. One of the criteria is that there are no visible floating solids. It puts out cloudy colored water with no visible particles.
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:19 PM   #13
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Mine is below the waterline. I don't like the idea of an above waterline discharge for sewage. That said, I don't think I'd go to the trouble to change it if it was above.

I might head the boat to windward at a fast clip when ever I emptied the tank.
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:47 PM   #14
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My holding tank discharge is above the waterline. Factory setup.
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Old 05-23-2014, 02:20 PM   #15
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Mine is below the waterline. I don't like the idea of an above waterline discharge for sewage.
Most of us buy our boats and take whatever comes with them. I can't see someone passing on a boat they otherwise love because the overboard discharge is above the waterline.

Putting the discharge above the waterline saves several hundred dollars in material and labor and accomplishes the same thing, removing poop from the boat to make room for more poop.
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:16 PM   #16
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I'm curious Ron, how does it save hundreds of dollars? I can only think of a seacock as the extra cost of below waterline. What am I missing?
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:36 PM   #17
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Ron, you didn't finish quoting my statement. I think we agree on this one.
It's not a big deal either way. I just prefer it below the waterline.
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:43 PM   #18
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George, in most cases you'd need a seacock or valve on the sewage discharge anyway. Some silly law about locking the valve.

Yes there are ways around needing a valve to comply, but it's just not a big deal.
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Old 05-23-2014, 04:25 PM   #19
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I use where legal a PuraSan hold and treat system with my own holding tank. It originally discharged under the water line through a vented loop and a through hull with a locking handle. Last year I changed the transfer pump from a Jabsco to a SeaLand diaphram type pump. I also used the below the waterline through hull for a raw water anchor wash down pump and changed the treatment systems discharge to an above the waterline discharge. I still have the vented loop and I have more stains from my AC units than the PuraSan. Either way will work. Just make sure you have a method for locking the discharge to comply with NDZ USCG regulations. In my case not only does it require turning on the treatment systems DC breaker I need to change the divertor valve from the deck pump out fitting to the SeaLand pump in addition the H-N-T requires a key and the discharge has a handle I can lock closed and remove.
Either way worked fine for me where it's legal to discharge treated waste. I'm doing the identical setup on my Gulfstar. I prefer fewer below the water line through hulls or sea cocks.
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Old 05-23-2014, 04:29 PM   #20
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I'm curious Ron, how does it save hundreds of dollars? I can only think of a seacock as the extra cost of below waterline. What am I missing?
Bronze thru-hull instead of plastic or nylon, seacock, extra sanitation hose for the loop and the anti-siphon device (the exact name escapes me at the moment). And the labor and space for the extra components and loop.

My macerator outlet connects with about a foot of sanitation hose to a $20 thru-hull. A couple of clamps and that's it. There's no possible failure that would endanger the boat.
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