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Old 10-23-2021, 08:46 AM   #1
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What kind of toilet should I put in?

The boat I'm rebuilding might be classified as a houseboat. You can see a video of it here -



It's under 19 feet in total length.



I found this rule for houseboats - "Every houseboat shall be equipped with at least one permanently installed toilet which shall be properly connected to a United States Coast Guard certified or labeled Type III marine sanitation device."


I was generally planning to install a camper van style bathroom and shower. This toilet is a 'cassette' toilet so I'd have to pull out the cassette and go dump it into a toilet or sewer dump on shore to empty it.



Is this an ok and legal way to do it? Should I look into something like a dometic toilet with a small built in holding tank and the ability to pump it out the side. The boat is being totally re-done right now so if I should do that now is the time!








For the shower / gray water tank I was planning to hook that up to a tank that dumps overboard via a bilge pump which I have the impression is a-ok for a recreational boat.
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Old 10-23-2021, 09:20 AM   #2
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There is nothing simpler, easier, less hassle and cheaper than a porta-potty.

Yes the above system is legal
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Old 10-23-2021, 09:36 AM   #3
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I have a porta potty in my van and a compost head on my boat. I Hate the walk of shame with the porta potty. In your shoes, I'd go compost (not really true compost but separates liquid and solid waste). Airhead, C-head, and Natures Head are the three most popular off shelf brands. DIY is also possible - your current head looks like a decent head start.
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Old 10-23-2021, 10:09 AM   #4
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Walk of shame? This boat is on a trailer. Probably goes home at the end of day. Porta potty is compact. The one pictured seems built in.
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Old 10-23-2021, 11:29 AM   #5
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Your boat is not a houseboat, it's a vessel as defined by the CFR: ""every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water."

And on a vessel that size, an MSD portapotty makes the most sense.
The "MSD" designation in the model name/number means it has fittings for a pumpout line and vent line, and is designed to be permanently installed (actually just sturdier brackets than portables, so you could still take it off the boat if you absolutely have to), which means that although it's still called a PORTApotty, you don't have to carry anything including urine jugs off the boat to empty it.

A 5-6 gallon model is household height and holds 50-60 flushes...you'd need at least a 30 gal tank to hold that many from a manual marine toilet and I'm not sure a "composter" can hold that much poop and organic material needed to absorb the liquid in solid waster (which, btw is about 75% water). No plumbing needed except a vent line and pumpout hose--so no new holes in the boat...and -0- maintenance needed except for rinsing out the tank--which you can do with a bucket while it's being pumped out. Total cost including the pumpout hose and vent line is about $250--a fraction of what you'd spend for toilet, tank and all the related plumbing needed. And the best part is, you have all the advantages of a toilet and holding tank without giving up a single square foot of storage space.



There's only one still made in the US--the Dometic Sanipottiie 975MSD Defender has it for about $200 Dometic SaniPottie 975 MSD
And their listing includes all kinds information about it.


If a portapotty doesn't suit your decor, build a nice box around it. In the days before indoor plumbing, rich folks kept their chamber pots in very nice mahogany boxes with lids...I found one in an antique store complete with pot that I planted ferns in.

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Old 10-23-2021, 04:22 PM   #6
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If it's not really a 'houseboat' am I even required to have a potty on it? If not I assume anything I put in is 'legal'


What is the extra expense of using a toilet like this one - https://www.dometic.com/en-ca/outdoo...ic-711-_-25364 ?


I presume I have to have some sort of hose run from the gunwale to the holding tank for pump out.



If I don't have access to a pump out at the dock then I might need some sort of maceration pump to pump it out myself? That is what I use on my camper and I dump it into my septic tank at home.



If I'm an appropriate distance from shore and I can dump the tank overboard how would that work? I would need a pump mechanism if I need to suck the waste up and out the opening on the gunwale, correct?



This boat has no space in it for a holding tank under the floor.


Thanks again for all the replies!
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Old 10-23-2021, 07:34 PM   #7
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Follow the Head Mistress's advice she knows her s__t. I did what she suggested I am happy and I feel she was spot on.
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Old 10-23-2021, 07:46 PM   #8
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You'll get some better answers for particular options if you share how you intend to cruise. Requirements will vary based on day trips, weekends or week long off grid(no marinas). Big difference between needing something for an occasional #1 vs. a few people needing something for #1 and #2 for a couple days without pumping or dumping.

Cool boat by the way.
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Old 10-23-2021, 08:01 PM   #9
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Ok, to make sure I understand.



That toilet is both a porta potty AND it hooks up to a clean-out on the gunwale.


Thus if it can be pumped out that works and if I don't have access to a pump out... say I'm at home and it's on the trailer. I can simply pull it out and dump it into my spetic tank.


Assuming that is correct then yeah... that looks like exactly what I should get.




Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2021, 09:35 PM   #10
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If it's not really a 'houseboat' am I even required to have a potty on it?

Any vessel with sleeping and cooking facilities is required to have some type of toilet facilities


If not I assume anything I put in is 'legal'

Not quite. On inland waters it must be designed to receive and retain, but not discharge human body waste. That can be a self contained system or a toilet and separate holding tank.


If I'm an appropriate distance from shore and I can dump the tank overboard how would that work?



The legal "appropriate distance from shore" to dump a tank is in open ocean at least 3 miles from nearest point on the entire US coastline...however, that doesn't stop a lot of people from doing it illegally.



Yes, you'd need a pump to empty the tank if there's no available pumpout facilities. A full 5 gal tank weighs about 50 lbs including the weight of the tank, so I don't recommend trying to carry it off the boat or even lifting it to dump it over the side unless you're a weight lifter. Uncle Matt said in his post above that he's installed one...he should be a good source for installation guidance.





You asked about the Dometic 711-M28...one of my favorite self-contained systems. It uses onboard pressurized fresh water and has a china bowl atop a 9.5 gallon tank--which, btw, has about a 20" x 20" footprint--that really is permanently mounted to the sole, so there is no option to carry the tank off the boat....pumpout or a pump and hose long enough to reach your septic tank access are the only options. About $600 at DefenderDometic 711-M28 Traveler at Defender



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Old 10-24-2021, 05:43 AM   #11
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". say I'm at home and it's on the trailer. I can simply pull it out and dump it into my spetic tank."

BEWARE many of the no stink chemicals are dangerous for your septic system.

They can kill the biological breakdown action and the entire field ends up needing replacing.
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