;) ahem.... WE don't throw those sorts of parties... sniff.... ;) But, if we were to accidentally host a boorish and careless guest, I would deal thusly: Very small amounts aren't apparently a problem, but a real beer-emptying would be. Step one: Scold the offender. Strongly suggest that the offender go clean that mess up very much sooner rather than later. Step two would mean dumping sodden material in garbage bag. Step three would be hosing the bucket and housing out or attaching a line and dropping the bucket on a line overboard to rinse it. Sort of like what happens when the pumpout station is done with its job- drops the hose in the water to rinse it, right? Step four, take a couple of paper towels, dry the bucket, put back in toilet housing. I gather this faux pas would take a good ten minutes rather than two, and a waste of three bucks worth of coir. I take comfort: At least I don't have to know what a flapper valve looks like or how to re-install one, right? Again, I hasten to add, "SO FAR!" We have a lot to learn yet.
We just received our c-head yesterday. It has not been put to use but it looks really good, professional even. Your thread here helped me to make up my mind about this. I hope you have continued to have good luck yours. I will stop now before I make a corny joke about toilets. This is probably the first time in Internet history someone didn't make a crappy joke about... I really tried :)
I have had mine for about three weeks. i have been amazed how well it works. Spent a whole week on the boat ,no smell, no mess and no worries. If it continues I will add another one.
Update: I finally noticed a couple of people have asked for more C-Head information. Sorry for the delay!
We are still pleased with our C-Head, almost two years into it.
Longer version:Although we admittedly still haven't yet given it a month-long midsummer wild-party-cruise trial-by-fire, the way we use it- for afternoons, grandchild overnights in our floating backyard guesthouse, and romantic weekends away for two, it is perfect for our needs. We never have to worry about maintenance, (don't have any idea what a flapper valve looks like or costs, no idea how to unstop a clogged line when somebody didn't read the instructions, don't care where the nearest pumpout facility is. Nothing leaks, makes startling noise in the middle of the night, uses precious fresh water or grows obnoxious slime from the lake. No worries about whether we are out of chemicals. Love it, love it, love it! We have passively vented it through the secondary composting bucket to the aft wall immediately behind it, sort of like U====U=|= , which creates a barely-detectable draft for effective ventilation and drying, but I'm not convinced it was necessary. We haven't felt the need for a fan. In fact, I confess, we haven't even used the secondary composting bucket yet.
This C-Head has NO odor. None. I find the frequent emptying- every day or two, of the urine container, which, by the way, is a simple gallon water jug, to be reassuring. That's what eventually stinks, honestly. And a quick trip ashore to the restroom with the jug in a bag is easy, quick, and discrete. The flora deep in the woods ashore by a pretty mountain lake might appreciate the free fertilizer, for that matter. If I were an unrepentent scofflaw, I might even be tempted to dump the jug of sterile urine overboard into our vast Albemarle Sound some dark night underway. Perish that thought, natch. And it would be really, truly tacky to dump the jug in the marina right next to your neighbor. If that gallon jug gets discolored and smelly, out it goes with the trash, to be replaced with a well-rinsed gallon milk jug. I like that it isn't a proprietary and expensive and heavy special container like the fancier marine composters have. We always have an extra -and free- disposable screw-cap gallon jug handy for a quick swap-out.
The C-Head has held up very well, remains quite sturdy and new-looking. Every inch of this thing is super-easy to clean with a damp rag from time to time, as necessary. Except to wipe off the sawdust (we are still building this boat) it is just as clean as when we unpacked it. If anything were to overflow, (but hasn't ever) it would leak into the totally-waterproof base, again, easily cleaned, no mess on the floor. Again, the only thing we insist on is that EVERYbody sits to pee. This is standard protocol among real sailors, of course, and this head's shallow bowl is not designed for inattentive guys who stand and whistle, gaze off into the distance, and splash off the back wall. Ick! The one thing maintenance thing WE do, is eventually, not very often, scoop the dried solid lumps and paper out of the peat/coir/sawdust like a kitty litter box, into a plastic grocery bag, and flush it inside. That's what happens if we're having a bunch of people over for the afternoon, and that is just us. Others will dump the whole bucket into a kitchen trash bag and heave it into the nearest dumpster, takes about the same amount of time and energy as taking out the galley trash. Still others will, as C-Head recommends, tamp a permanent 5-gallon bucket lid onto the secondary bucket when it's full, store it in the bilge until time permits taking it to the nearest recycle center, thence to the landfill to compost itself for a millennium. This wouldn't be necessary but every month or two of constant use, I think.
Sandy's customer service is most excellent, response is prompt and thorough. Advice is free and frank. I am still gratified by how well what I feared would be a risky venture has turned out, and am a little smug about how smart I was to make this decision.
I M the first to re invent the wheel on here, your system is working for you congrats, its the challenges we fix or fine tune, that makes HB ing such a passion.
keep us tuned as you sit there an ponder the next MOVE
Thank you so very much for posting all the information on your C-Head. I personally HATE having to pull up to a marina to pump out...and the worry of not getting it pumped out in time!
Just spent a wonderful day on a gorgeous trawler with a traditional head.
Good surprise: It didn't stink, but then, the boat had just come out of storage, had been thoroughly cleaned, and hadn't been used all winter. Interesting things I learned: It pumps seawater, or in its case, brown swamp water, and has a 300 gallon holding tank. Wow. That is a TON (and a half!) of stuff to haul! To use it, you flip a switch, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump. Use. Ahhhhh!...then flip switch, pump, pump, pump, pump until the brown water plus whatever disappears... more or less. Hope you weren't in a hurry! And be very careful what goes into it. And have spare parts on hand for the near-inevitable equipment failure. The pumpout costs at least ten bucks, plus time waiting for your turn, plus time to do the pumping, if you find a convenient municipal subsidized one, and don't mind doing all the details yourself.
So now I have seen three sides of this what-to-do-about-waste question, and there are doubtless more. My dear friend's portapotty in the companionway of his wee sailboat doesn't even make the list of reasonable possibilies. Reading threads posing plumbing puzzles, stink solutions, chemical questions, I am so happy we didn't go that route. It was a near thing.