Bigdamdork

Bucket vs RV Toilet vs Toilet w/holding Tank

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Hey everyone.  Thanks again for the great advice on going up the mast.  So one of my higher priorities for my boat when it goes on the hard this weekend is to figure out how to handle where my wife can go to the bathroom on the boat.  The old head is completely gone.  Holding tank, toilet, etc.  Not sure if any of the old hoses are still there but the bulk of it is removed.  In it's place is a 5 gallon bucket with a toilet seat top over it.  So here is my question, how much should I upgrade all this? I know how to plumb everything if I go full toilet with holding tank, I'm just curious about smell, difficulty to maintain, etc. 

A few things about us.  For now we are going to be sailing very close to home.  In other words we should have access to a pump out station if we decide not to go with a thru-hull option when we are more than three miles out.  We'll probably venture out more than three miles after a while. The thru-hull sea cock for the head is still there but it appears all the plumbing has been cut out.  I have heard a gauntlet of opinions on what I should do.  Getting the powder for the bucket that changes your waste to gel and then haul it out at the end of they day.  RV Toilet that is a little more self contained than a bucket and still requires a haul out at the end of the day. Or full blown head with toilet and holding tank with option to shoot it outside with a macerating pump.   

I have heard "holding tanks stink" but I have also heard they only stink if you set them up poorly.  If you get the right hoses and a proper tank it shouldn't be that bad.  My wife is already not super happy about the bucket and doesn't mind the RV Toilet option but part of me thinks just going full flushable toilet/holding tank would be "Cleanest"? It's going to be on the hard so any large jobs like this I'd like to knock out if I can. 

My wife isn't some prissy girl who can't do her business in a bucket but I'm trying to make the whole experience more pleasurable for her. Any thoughts on the subject? 

Thanks again for any advice, I really appreciate it. 

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C-Head ‘composting’ toilet. My wife likes it. In fact, it was she who removed the old holding tank and its plumbing. Going to the C-Head allowed us to close off two thru-hulls, too. Am aboard full time and after three years plus, still like the C-head

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My girl rocks the 5gal pale with the toilet seat attachment. She's a keeper. Used to pee in my old Opti bailer, but things had to change after a 25kt pee session that caused her to fall over while squatting...

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Newspaper?

We change out all the old hoses with brand new expensive Shields Poly X sanitation hose and that alleviated 99% of what makes a boat smell old and funky.  Our boat was build with a paltry 16 gallon holding tank glassed into the bilge under the engine.  Living aboard full time and mostly using marina facilities (usually only peeing in our head first thing in the mornings) would still require that we get pumped out every other week.  Two years ago I installed an Raritan ElectroScan treatment system and we're pretty pleased so far.  We still have the holding tank plumbed to a Y-valve for the bays and waterways here in California that are NDZ's.  Also, we "shit-canned" the worthless POS Jabsco manual flush and bought a Lavac head with the MK-5 pump.  Never had a problem since.

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15 minutes ago, thereefgeek said:

Newspaper?

We change out all the old hoses with brand new expensive Shields Poly X sanitation hose and that alleviated 99% of what makes a boat smell old and funky.  Our boat was build with a paltry 16 gallon holding tank glassed into the bilge under the engine.  Living aboard full time and mostly using marina facilities (usually only peeing in our head first thing in the mornings) would still require that we get pumped out every other week.  Two years ago I installed an Raritan ElectroScan treatment system and we're pretty pleased so far.  We still have the holding tank plumbed to a Y-valve for the bays and waterways here in California that are NDZ's.  Also, we "shit-canned" the worthless POS Jabsco manual flush and bought a Lavac head with the MK-5 pump.  Never had a problem since.

Im using an Actana Turdmaster with the optional big gulp bowl.

fresh water flush , 

https://www.deoutletspecialist.com/product/actana-24v-toilet-met-buitenw-spoeling/

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18 hours ago, Bigdamdork said:

Hey everyone.  Thanks again for the great advice on going up the mast.  So one of my higher priorities for my boat when it goes on the hard this weekend is to figure out how to handle where my wife can go to the bathroom on the boat.  The old head is completely gone.  Holding tank, toilet, etc.  Not sure if any of the old hoses are still there but the bulk of it is removed.  In it's place is a 5 gallon bucket with a toilet seat top over it.  So here is my question, how much should I upgrade all this? I know how to plumb everything if I go full toilet with holding tank, I'm just curious about smell, difficulty to maintain, etc. 

A few things about us.  For now we are going to be sailing very close to home.  In other words we should have access to a pump out station if we decide not to go with a thru-hull option when we are more than three miles out.  We'll probably venture out more than three miles after a while. The thru-hull sea cock for the head is still there but it appears all the plumbing has been cut out.  I have heard a gauntlet of opinions on what I should do.  Getting the powder for the bucket that changes your waste to gel and then haul it out at the end of they day.  RV Toilet that is a little more self contained than a bucket and still requires a haul out at the end of the day. Or full blown head with toilet and holding tank with option to shoot it outside with a macerating pump.   

I have heard "holding tanks stink" but I have also heard they only stink if you set them up poorly.  If you get the right hoses and a proper tank it shouldn't be that bad.  My wife is already not super happy about the bucket and doesn't mind the RV Toilet option but part of me thinks just going full flushable toilet/holding tank would be "Cleanest"? It's going to be on the hard so any large jobs like this I'd like to knock out if I can. 

My wife isn't some prissy girl who can't do her business in a bucket but I'm trying to make the whole experience more pleasurable for her. Any thoughts on the subject? 

Thanks again for any advice, I really appreciate it. 

 

got to love lazy previous owners..

 

please don't, there's enough shit in our water..

 

unless you're going far out over a long distance, there's no need to dump into the water..   If you think after a long day on the water, drinking or whatever, and are getting ready to head home, how do you think about that task of having to deal with dumping after every sail?   the protable toilets are ok, but don't have to dump everytime and the smell is usually the chemical within and not shit..   think long range and replace with a head, but you may want to check what was done with the space the original holding tank was in..

here's a decent article to help decide

 

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1 hour ago, Rasputin22 said:

DIY

Image result for toilet seat on boat

Yep....definitely going to show this to my wife......LOL 

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Be sure that you point out the gap in the noodle/seat like on commercial toilet seats that men are supposed to direct their stream.

il_570xN.1318472211_6a16.jpg?version=0

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I have a porta potti.  My wife seems to think it is fine when it's operated correctly.   I contemplated going to a holding tank and proper toilet but I don't do race categories that need it, they need more maintenance, and I don't have to find a proper pump out facility, just a local public toilet.   A fixed head with a removable holding tank would be the best of both worlds for me.

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17 hours ago, Spoonie said:

I have a porta potti.  My wife seems to think it is fine when it's operated correctly.   I contemplated going to a holding tank and proper toilet but I don't do race categories that need it, they need more maintenance, and I don't have to find a proper pump out facility, just a local public toilet.   A fixed head with a removable holding tank would be the best of both worlds for me.

This is the way to go. For extended cruise, get an extra tank.  A little blue juice and there's no odor.  Oh, and they never stop up. 

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So I spoke with the former owner and he said it never had a holding tank.  Only a line directly to the outside. 

Unless I want to do some cutting an install a tank I think something self-contained is going to be my option.  Not sure I want to get that deep into the head if there isn't a tank to begin with.

Thanks again for all the advice.  She goes on the hard tomorrow if the wind/swell/weather agrees.  First time putting a boat on hard so it should be a different experience.  I'll be back soon. 

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Another vote for the c-head if you are still undecided. Holding tanks are just nasty. 

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I doubt there is an abundance of pump outs in your area. Where do you sail out of... Port SLO, Morro?

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4 hours ago, mtn_matt said:

I doubt there is an abundance of pump outs in your area. Where do you sail out of... Port SLO, Morro?

Moored in Port San Luis and you're right.  They don't have a pump out station.  I can't even find someone to clean my hull on the mooring.....it's pretty slim fixings for sailboats for parts and services on the Central Coast of CA unless you go an hour-and-a-half South to Santa Barbara.  I can't even find a rigger.

We wound up going with the five gallon bucket, stuff called poo powder, and a lid that looks like a toilet seat that sits on top of the five gallon bucket.  Wife is happy as pie for now.  We're not going to be doing any multi-day trips for a while so it works pretty good for right now. 

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I've been told odor usually comes from the hoses getting permeated with the smelly stuff sitting in them. My 17 year old setup with the crummy white, yacht grade, sanitary hose (think it was the Sealand OdorSafe Plus) had a definite odor that seemed to get worse when I flushed in some blue green chemical, kind of like going into a PortaPotty on a summer day. Tore out the ridiculous 8 gal holding tank and plumbing, replaced with new, larger polypro tank and fittings and plumbed it all with this heavy duty hose from Canada called Trident Green Stripe that the local chandlery swore all the commercial boats use. It's a bitch to bend but by God it took care of the odor problem. You seem to have found your solution for now but keep that name in mind if you go with a real head and holding tank. It's not cheap, I think about $16/ft, and it's tough to cut but I figured I only wanted to do this job once. 

 

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Oh, and be sure to double clamp using heavy duty clamps like Ideal Triden that use an actual bolt and nut as the tightening mechanism. The little screw type ones won't compress that stiff hose enough. 

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composting head

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On 4/27/2018 at 12:23 PM, Bigdamdork said:

Moored in Port San Luis and you're right.  They don't have a pump out station.  I can't even find someone to clean my hull on the mooring.....it's pretty slim fixings for sailboats for parts and services on the Central Coast of CA unless you go an hour-and-a-half South to Santa Barbara.  I can't even find a rigger.

We wound up going with the five gallon bucket, stuff called poo powder, and a lid that looks like a toilet seat that sits on top of the five gallon bucket.  Wife is happy as pie for now.  We're not going to be doing any multi-day trips for a while so it works pretty good for right now. 

There might be a rigger in Morro. Its a stop over point for cruisers going up and down the coast and I think there are some better services as a result. It always surprises me how little support there is once you venture outside the metropolis'.

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On 4/30/2018 at 5:12 AM, mtn_matt said:

There might be a rigger in Morro. Its a stop over point for cruisers going up and down the coast and I think there are some better services as a result. It always surprises me how little support there is once you venture outside the metropolis'.

I've called the Yard up in Morro Bay and no one.  Santa Barbara is the nearest place to get any rigging done.  Looks like I'm going to be doing my first extended trip sooner than I thought.  :D     On a side note found the pump out station at the end of the pier on Sunday in Avila so that mystery is solved......LOL.  Wife has accepted 5 gallon bucket with poo powder so I'm not going to push it either way at this point.

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Most of the stink comes from rotting sea creatures that come along with the sea water you flushed with. You can mitigate that flushing through some fresh water at the end of the day. There is a great book that explains all the options, the causes of nasty smells and so on:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1892399784/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

 

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13 hours ago, Bigdamdork said:

I've called the Yard up in Morro Bay and no one.  Santa Barbara is the nearest place to get any rigging done.  Looks like I'm going to be doing my first extended trip sooner than I thought.  :D     On a side note found the pump out station at the end of the pier on Sunday in Avila so that mystery is solved......LOL.  Wife has accepted 5 gallon bucket with poo powder so I'm not going to push it either way at this point.

Bummer. Sorry if I sent you on a wild goose chase.  So that means there's not a single rigger in 250ish miles of California coast line? (SB - Monterrey)  wow!

Good to hear there's a pumpout in Avila. I guess they might as well make use of all that leftover piping they have sitting around. I'm quite sure my wife would not go for the bucket scenario. I'd be working on my golf swing instead.

 

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13 minutes ago, mtn_matt said:

Bummer. Sorry if I sent you on a wild goose chase.  So that means there's not a single rigger in 250ish miles of California coast line? (SB - Monterrey)  wow!

Good to hear there's a pumpout in Avila. I guess they might as well make use of all that leftover piping they have sitting around. I'm quite sure my wife would not go for the bucket scenario. I'd be working on my golf swing instead.

 

My wife..... an avid gardener, go figure...... vetoed the composting head. I think these are a great option for coastal cruising.

And jarcher is right on, I'll second the advice of getting Peggy Hall's book

FB- Doug

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