MarineBusiness-World.com
 
 
News Home Cruising USA Cruising Int Photo 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 ...






Cruising Canada



'Sailing Adventures in Paradise' by Vincent Bossley by Noonsite Reviewer/Sail-World,










Springtime Greening: Boaters Tips for Earth Day by BoatUS Foundation/Sail-World Cruising,








How sailors really do have a voice in the future of our oceans by Sandra Whitehouse, Sailors for the Sea,


Message-in-a-bottle record - 102 years by AFP/Sail-World Cruising,










Canadian solo sailor rescued north of Auckland by Sail-World Cruising round-up,


















Free online fuel spill course - how much do you know? by BoatUS Foundation/Sail-World Cruising,












Life-shattering event sends 'rookie' couple sailing the world by Asia News Network/Sail-World Cruising,




Sail Norway and Russia this summer - your own boat, or charter
Sunshine4kids' 'Fleet of Hope' sets off again
3,200-year-old boat found in Croatian waters
Product of the Week: the LineGrabber
Mediterranean Mooring - How to moor stern-to to a dock or quay
Canadian storm bomb threat - sailors advised: get off the water!
Carbon monoxide poisoning - is it possible on YOUR boat?
Sailing family condemmed for taking 3-year-old on circumnavigation
New contract-free plan for satellite communicator on your smart phone
Yacht of the Week: The Dashew creation: no sails, but eco-friendly
No laughing! Sailing mistakes I don't want to make
Destination: From Moscow Sea to the White Sea
Land sailors of India on adventure across the Rann
A Paint App to (almost) replace your marine store assistant
Air warms but water slower - be careful, sailors, of hypothermia
Volunteer Canadian rescue team homeless - any offers?
Hilary Lister and Nashwa Al Kindi set a new trans-ocean record
How to anchor and 'never utter a word'
Non-pyrotechnic flares for my boat - Can I or can't I?
Health benefits of sailing
Cruising in the Maldives - some nuts and bolts   
ISAF Guide to Offshore Personal Safety for Racing and Cruising   
Halyard Tension - a video   
Winchrite - for lazy days or extra muscle-power   
Researcher examines 'current leaks' that may change the way you sail   
Paris off to attempt to circumnavigate the world again   
Need a tow from that helicopter? - watch the video and don't laugh   
Certain oil spill products shown to be ineffective and toxic + Video   
The Constrictor: a powerful 'Queen' of sailing knots!   
Boat painting - simple but best tips   
'It's never just one thing' - Swedish sailors rescued   
Book of the Week: From the Galley of...   
Two brave women to sail India to Oman across Arabian Sea   
Rhode Island's Classic Yacht Symposium - Registration opens   
Another rescue for second-time unlucky solo sailor   
New York to San Fran record attempt - Maserati reaches the Horn   
Finally the book:HMS Bounty, Disaster and Survival in Superstorm Sandy   
Yachts impounded in Mexico - the agony goes on...   
Students achieve robot boat Atlantic Crossing - but not as planned   
Solar vessel nominated for Engineers Prize   


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  



















 
Our Advertisers are committed to our sport, please support them!
This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia Pty. Ltd and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.

Photographs are copyright by law. If you wish to use or buy a photograph you must contact the photographer directly (there is a hyperlink in most cases to their website, or do a Google search.) with your request.

Please do not contact Sail-World.com as we cannot give permission for use of other photographer’s images.

Only if the photographer named on the image is Sail-world.com, Powerboat-world.com, Marinebusiness-world.com or NZBoating-World.com.
Contact us .
Ph: +61 2 8006 1873 or complete our feedback form    Contact us .
   View our Privacy Policy.    [Go Home]     [  Banner Advertising Specification]    [Bot Archive ]

Customised news feeds -Marine Industry companies, Clubs and Associations have their own customised version of our news feed on their website.
Look_here_to_see_examples

X6XL NEW Cru CA