sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Coming to a head - issues of onboard toilets
Coming to a head - issues of onboard toilets

'Ron Leishman clipartof dot com'    .

If you want to seriously test whether someone gets seasick or not (or if you don't want them to come again), give them the job of clearing the blocked head while sailing. Heads, the nautical term for onboard toilets, can be one of the most vexed issues on a boat, depending on where you sail.

Which head you will choose for your boat when you are upgrading will firstly depend on the regulations of where you sail, or where you are likely to sail in the future. Then it may depend on the facilities available where you sail. The following information ignores these various regulations, or proposed regulations and the available facilities, all of which should be checked thoroughly.

There are five types in common or not-so-common use: gravity feed, manual pump, macerating, vacuum and composting.

Gravity-feed toilets:
These work usually by having the unit positioned directly above a holding tank, which can be separate or integral to the unit. Porta Potties are a common example. Bowl contents drain directly into a removable tank which has to be removed and dumped in the appropriate receptacle ashore. Flush water (if provided) is supplied by an internal reservoir, and while most require no plumbing, some larger units can be plumbed to draw flush water from the vessel’s freshwater system to a deck pumpout.
One of the most simple of these that I ever saw was rigged off the stern of the boat and emptied directly into the sea. This was a sure way of ensuring the toilet never smelt and was never blocked.

Manual-pump toilets:
These have a hand pump which brings 'raw' water into the bowl, where it mixes with the sewage and is then pumped clear. Installation requirements include a below-the-waterline skin fitting for the flushing water, a seacock, a holding tank and pumpout options, which will depend on the regulations in your area, as well as the various hoses, fittings, etc., needed to connect each one of them. Sometimes you are offered an optional electric pump.

Macerating toilets:
These are designed to puree solid waste, much like a garbage disposal. This is typically accomplished by an electric-powered 'grinder' (aka macerator) that uses blades to simultaneously chop and pump waste clear of the bowl. Flush water can be raw or from the vessel’s onboard freshwater system. These are noisy contraptions, which may or may not faze you or your crew/guests. Some types of macerating toilets claim that the waste they put into the sea has been treated by electrolysis so that the matter is inert and not harmful to marine life.

Vacuum heads:
These use an electric or manual pump to generate a vacuum in the system, which pulls sewage from the bowl to its final destination when the toilet is flushed, be it a holding tank or overboard depending on regulations and your own view of the world.

Composting toilets:
These very 'green' alternatives use peat moss to turn waste into compost. As they’re completely self-contained, they can be an attractive alternative to traditional toilets. No plumbing is needed; however, they do require you to install a fan and a vent pipe. While they are reputed not to smell, I have never seen one in operation which doesn't.

Correct installation is critical for all of these head varieties, and your choice will depend on the comparative convenience, the regulations where you sail or are likely to sail, your attitude to how 'green' you wish to be, and, finally, how far you have to travel each time you want to empty the holding tank.


by Lee Mylchreest

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=105740

1:41 AM Sun 20 Jan 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Practical

Related News Stories:

18 Jan 2013  Five top ways to remove stains from your boat
12 Jan 2013  New, the world's smallest Personal Locator Beacon.
11 Jan 2013  Consumer Electronics Show votes Bad Elf the best GPS device
08 Jan 2013  Keeping your fuel clean
04 Jan 2013  The argument for aluminium anodes: Time to be Green
01 Jan 2013  Looking Back: Sail-World's Ten Top Products for 2012
30 Dec 2012  Free Internet radio station plays only sailing and tropical music
29 Dec 2012  Cleaning your hull with ground glass
15 Dec 2012  Product of the Week: Pocket-sized Turbo Meter
15 Dec 2012  Product of the Week: Pocket-sized Turbo Meter
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World





























































America's Cup: Challenger calls Competitor Meeting ahead of deadline *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,






U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship - Top teams to battle
Audi-Tron Sailing Series - Melges 20 fleet ready for action
Volvo Cork Week - Front runners emerge on day 3
Nacra 17 Europeans - Big winds halt racing in La Grande Motte
49er and 49erFX Europeans - Tough end to qualifying phase + Video
New Classification Code for consultation released by the IPC
Clipper Round The World Yacht Race fleet heads for London
Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi and Team Alvimedi head for England
Rio 2016 in the sights of ISAF Youth Worlds 420 sailors
Exciting new International Audi Melges 20 Ranking System now in play
FISU World University Match Racing Championships - GBR women win gold
2014 Seiko 49er and 49erFX European Championship - Day 2
Volvo Ocean Race teams Abu Dhabi and Alvimedica leave Newport, RI
Half Ton Classics Cup - Champagne conditions on Day 2 + Video
ABYC Fourth of July Regatta - Snipes join the action
Volvo Cork Week - Three bullets for ballistic catapult
Nacra 17 Europeans - Besson and Riou lead the overall standings
Formula 16 World Championship - Aussies claim title in Newport
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - The journey beckons
Clipper Round the World - London to provide emotional heroes welcome
ISAF Youth Worlds - Italians to lead RS:X fleet in Tavira   
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - Over the Horizon   
Foiling Week - Italian Moth Championship - Final results   
NYYC Race Week - Yachting history on display   
Rescued sailors reach shore after dramatic ocean rescue   
Half Ton Classics Cup: Swuzzlebubble out front on Day 1 + Video   
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Yachting history on display   
Volvo Cork Week - Thrilling conditions welcome international fleet   
Nacra 17 Europeans: Success for Italy's Bissaro and Sicouri   
America's Cup: 2017 venue short-list reduced to two Cities   
Formula Windsurfing Youth and Master Worlds overall   
49er and 49erFX Europeans: Pitfalls aplenty on day 1 + Video   
ISAF Youth Worlds - Laser Radial sailors look to join list of legends   
Coville soon to chase solo circumnavigation record in giant trimaran   
Fierce competition at the Meanline Fins Slalom Challenge   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel opt for experienced winner   
Bakewell-White supermaxi designed to take Transpac's Barn Door Trophy *Feature   
Crew rescued by navy patrol from J/111 racer after Mayday in storm   
Team Alvimedica practice in Newport, RI - Photos   
18 foot skiff European Championship (Open Europeans) - Final results   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT