Composting head ramblings

somebody on a forum was commenting about how they didn’t feel comfortable with a composting head due to if the boat every turned upside down that stuff could come out of it and make a mess.. I’m dubious as to the logic of this argument against a composting head but here is my answer to that as well as addressing someones concerns about the cost of the commercial units.

On mine it is bolted to the floor and the top part latches to the bottom that is bolted to the floor. There is a flap that secures the solid waste tank at the top. It is spring loaded and holds itself shut when your not using it. I don’t see the unit letting the compost fall out. Upside down there would be the possibility of the urine leaking back out. However if it was totally full that would be just at or over 2 gallons of urine no more. If it was that huge of a deal I could see how to modify our system to use a small tank for urine with a line running to it with a valve on it. However it would also call for all the plumbing of a normal holding tank to either pump the urine off the boat or discharge it overboard. Though more complex it would also allow with say a 10 gallon tank a pump out schedule or overboard outside the 3 mile limit of of say 20 to 25 day intervals for two people.

As to cost… yes the commercial units are very pricey.. I did not want to purchase that expensive a unit. But when I added up the cost of a decent size replacement tank, all plumbing and fixtures needed to totally replace what we had, I came up with a cost that was close enough to make it financially feasible. Also It took me a couple hours total to install the unit. That includes the exhaust hose etc.. as well as mounting the unit in place. I would have taken 3 or 4 days for me to install all new tank and plumbing and pumps etc… with a standard marine head setup.

I could have built a home made version but frankly for me right now spending the money and saving the labor made more sense. Little though I have, I still have more money than time at this point in my life. With a surplus of boat projects that need to be done I spend the extra money on stuff as the situation calls for if in my judgment the money means it will get done vs saving money and the project not getting done at all.

Overall both my wife and I consider the composting head to be a huge quality of life improvement on the boat both in terms of frequency of emptying it and in terms of odor.


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