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We finally took the plunge and ordered the Nature’s Head composting toilet yesterday. We have written about this at length already (do a search if you are interested). My intention is to remove the currently-installed POS toilet and re-task the raw water intake to the soon-to-be-delivered watermaker. It was recommended to us that we could build both the watermaker and the toilet for much less than the cost to purchase these ready-made units, and I don’t doubt that it’s true. What I do doubt is my DIY abilities. I’m sure that will change in the future but for the time being we thought that it made sense to go with units where the R&D has already been done for us.

The cold front has moved on and we’re back to some sunshine today. My plan is, after dropping Rebecca off at work, to head to the boat and do some basic clean up. After doing so I want to assess the job of installing our new LED lights on both the mast and the interior of the boat. I also want to look at what it’s going to take to put our new chartplotter into service. The previous chartplotter was never tied into the radio making the DSC feature not operational. We would like to fix that. On the subject of radios I am still drooling over the Standard Horizon GX2100 Matrix with integrated AIS. Seems like a cool little unit and apparently it also can tie into the new Garmin. We will NOT be buying one though (hides credit card)!

Rebecca with our LED lights from Fiji.

23 Comments

  1. Just a note about LED’s. You may have to reverse the wiring from the way it is set up on the existing fixture. Depends on how the diode inside the LED is set.

  2. So cool that you ordered the composting head. I look forward to hearing all about your experiences with it, you can be my guinea pigs! It’s something we are seriously considering for at least one of our heads (we have 3, oy vay). And possible for all down the road. My worry is the disposal of the stuff. I am still having a hard time picturing taking a big jug of pee to… ? And finding the chips or what have you that are needed to make the compost magic happen when you are in far flung ports. So… tell us your thoughts and keep us posted on this development.

    • I’ll let you know the specifics once we had to live with it for a while.

      For composting material some people use peat moss but others use Coconut husks. I would assume the latter should be easy enough to come by. Apparently it doesn’t require that much so carrying a year’s worth is not a big deal. We’ll see I guess.

      • Coconut husks may not be that easy to find.Very few coconut palms in the Bahamas.
        Seems like several materials qualify for compost-maybe you could use bark mulch. Cheap-$35/sq yard in New England-easy to find.You can even buy it pre bagged.

        • Hi Dan.

          See, I have never been to the bahamas so I didn’t know that they don’t have coconut trees:)

          I plan on talking to the nature’s head guys and see what they recommend for us too.

      • Coconut palms are scarce in the Exumas. Seems like a variety of materials will work-how about bark mulch? Cheap and easy to buy pre bagged for storage.

  3. Just thinking out loud here, since I am supposed to be working.
    Regarding retasking the toilet intake for the watermaker, should work OK but you may wish to discuss the depth of your thruhull with Katadyn. If yours is shallow, you will want to avoid sucking air in a seaway. Also, the toilet thruhull probably does not have an external strainer so you may want to swap it out while on the hard. If so, talk to Katadyn about any benefits to aiming the strainer forward, although their website seems to indicate that your model may not require it to do so. If you are going to replace the thruhull, highly recommend going with a seacock instead of a ball valve, if that is what you now have. While it’s apart, should probably do it right. Add an internal strainer as well (amazing where jellyfish can get to).
    Happy plumbing!

    • You are welcome to skip work and give us advice any time! 😉

      We have Marelon seacocks but I’m not sure their depth or what kind they are. How can I tell this?

      I do however know that it does not have an external strainer because I was having issues with grass being sucked into the Jabsco pump head. I had to put in an internal strainer last fall.

      • Locate the existing head intake thruhull on the outside of the hull while it is on the hard. Try to determine if it is located deep enough to remain under water in most sea conditions; deeper the better. (Planning to fly a hull? Just kidding).
        This is really 0nly important if you plan to make water while at sea. If you only plan to make water at anchor or cruising in calm waters, the intake would probably always be underwater. If you plan to run it only manually, the no worries, just don’t run it while in questionable conditions.

  4. Hello again, We installed an Airhead a year ago and find it works great. We plan on allowing the “compost” to age in a 5 gal bucket for an extra month before dumping to aid in the decomp. As to handling the liquid waste…We need to empty ours about every 3 days when underway. It’s not too disgusting to take with the towels, etc. when your at a dock to dump ashore. When out… I use it much less for that aspect of waste.

  5. I’ve also been thinking about a composting head. Makes a lot more sense to me than a hole in the bottom of the boat! Or pump-outs, for that matter. I currently have a portapotty in my 23′ sloop. PITA to carry ashore to dump, but -, since it lives in the hole in the v berth, no place to put a proper heads compartment! Boat wasn’t really built as a live aboard. OK in the summer, but not so much come winter!

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