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Composting toilets

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

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Re: Composting toilets

Postby Hugh » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:01 pm

Pulled the trigger on a Nature's Head today. Bought in from a B.C. company The Harbour Chandler in Nanaimo. extra pee bottle and a Nicro Solar Vent. Free shipping tipped the deal.

Before this, I emailed NH directly and got a reply from Larry within the hour via phone and then a followup call the next day answering a clarifying question. Who calls anyone these day? Wow! :D
If the product is as good as the service I've received so far, this will be a winner.
I'll keep you posted on the install on Cedar Wind :macm:
Hugh
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Re: Composting toilets

Postby bartmac » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:11 pm

That seems to be one of the fundamental differences between the Airhead and the C-Head. The Airhead uses moist material and the C-Head uses dry material. I asked Sandy who owns the C-Head company. He confirmed that. The object of the C-Head dry material is that it quickly absorbs the moisture from the poo and therefore, the smell. Most of us have owned a dog and know that fresh poo in the yard is very smelly, but dried poo has no smell at all. Same principle.


Not sure then that the C-Head is a compost toilet....coming from a Certified Organic farming system and having composted 60 cu metre truck loads of chicken manure/sawdust mixtures combined with various other ingredients....the vital one being water....The pile will sit inert until it gets wet.So the C-head to me is storage method rather than a compost method.Thats not necessarily bad but the compost process can under ideal conditions render the offending material relatively inoffensive....and useable in the garden...probably not on vege garden but certainly in the bottom of a planting hole for a tree or shrub
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Re: Composting toilets

Postby Saxacussionist » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:03 pm

bartmac wrote:
That seems to be one of the fundamental differences between the Airhead and the C-Head. The Airhead uses moist material and the C-Head uses dry material. I asked Sandy who owns the C-Head company. He confirmed that. The object of the C-Head dry material is that it quickly absorbs the moisture from the poo and therefore, the smell. Most of us have owned a dog and know that fresh poo in the yard is very smelly, but dried poo has no smell at all. Same principle.


Not sure then that the C-Head is a compost toilet....coming from a Certified Organic farming system and having composted 60 cu metre truck loads of chicken manure/sawdust mixtures combined with various other ingredients....the vital one being water....The pile will sit inert until it gets wet.So the C-head to me is storage method rather than a compost method.Thats not necessarily bad but the compost process can under ideal conditions render the offending material relatively inoffensive....and useable in the garden...probably not on vege garden but certainly in the bottom of a planting hole for a tree or shrub



You are absolutely correct. According to what I read prior to purchasing a 'composting' toilet is that technically none of them are true composting toilets. As you said, you must add water and various other ingredients to begin the composting process. You must also wait a long time for the composting process to complete. I'm guessing for most, the goal is not to create compost, but to remove the smell and allow us to either dispose of mixture or throw it on a proper composting pile when we return to shore. So yes, they use the store and dispose method rather than a true composting method.
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Re: Composting toilets

Postby bartmac » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:32 pm

The Airhead will completely compost the contents IF the conditions are right....moisture is the most important...too wet and the whole lot just stews and too dry will not be condusive either.Of course its not possible whilst the unit is being used so really 2 solids containers would be required to allow complete composting ie one in use and the other "finishing"...thus it does lend itself more to periodic use rather than continual.My main point was the difference between the C-head (composting cannot take place in such a dry environment) and Airhead....the Airhead actually will compost given time...and having seen the results....BUT would not add to a compost heap just in case of some carry over of pathogens
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Re: Composting toilets

Postby Hugh » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:18 pm

Hugh wrote:Pulled the trigger on a Nature's Head today. Bought in from a B.C. company The Harbour Chandler in Nanaimo. extra pee bottle and a Nicro Solar Vent. Free shipping tipped the deal.

Before this, I emailed NH directly and got a reply from Larry within the hour via phone and then a followup call the next day answering a clarifying question. Who calls anyone these day? Wow! :D
If the product is as good as the service I've received so far, this will be a winner.
I'll keep you posted on the install on Cedar Wind :macm:
Hugh


In order to help the next person trying to make a decision which toilet to go with or in.... :D : I want to add what I've gleaned and why we went with NH To me, All three units mentioned in this Thread ; Airhead, C Head and Nature's Head appear to be well made and function in a similar way. Not exactly the same as no doubt Sandy or Larry or Airhead folks would point out.
I agree, for the time the crap sits in the unit they do not compost but does dry out enough to make it manageable.
Our choice was based on capacity. We (two adults) felt the NH would hold enough for a season's use. VS C head's Mac version would last a week give or take a few days.
As new :macm: owners, we, however, have no idea what our usage patterns will be nor how long we will be out sailing at one time. We erred on the side of capacity and the potential for more composting to take place before we have to empty.
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Re: Composting toilets

Postby Bobglas » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:56 am

Snow finally left. I installed the Natures Head in front of the shelf butted up to it ( may cut into it next year if it proves satisfactory). It sits back enough so that it does not obstruct passageway forward. I'm running the ventilation out the pumpout fixture (previous Porta Potty set up), supplied wire too short to run aft to batteries ( I'm installing a solar panel to make up for any drain). Removed the door, installed a curtain that stretches to the port side. 5 foot 5" I can sit straight up, hair brushes the portlight slightly, no more claustrophobic head compartment! Now to see how well it functions. Don't know how to upload image :? :macm:
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Re: Composting toilets

Postby Tomfoolery » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:37 am

Bobglas wrote: Don't know how to upload image :? :macm:

Go to http://www.tinypic.com, hit 'choose file' button, find your pic (easiest if you put it somewhere you can find it easily), left-click the pic and click on 'open' at the bottom-right, click 'upload now', do what it says to get past security, then left-click (to highlight it) on the second line down on the page that comes up, which has the UBB code already on each end, and right-click to copy the link. Just paste the link into your post (don't add any UBB code - just paste it in, on its own line so you don't force a wide post), and the pic will show.

There are, of course, better sites out there for photo storage and management (tp doesn't do either - just hosts it), but to put a pic up quick, without creating an account or anything, I use tinypic. Sounds like a lot of steps, but it takes me less than 30 seconds to post a pic that way.

Like this one.

Image

Hit the 'quote' button on this post to see what the format looks like if you want.
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Re: Composting toilets

Postby RobertB » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:19 am

I started the install on the C-head. First fit showed the seat to be 18.5 inches high - actually pretty manageable.

I purchased some cooler tiedown hardware and have some other material on the way to make the mounts.

Because the back goes to the rear of the shelf and there is really no room to put a stop block there, I am going to route a dado in the base (the base is 1/2 inch thick) and sit the head on a 3/8 inch thick bar with side blocks. The front will sit on a thick piece of mahogany and this piece will be held in place with two short plastic 3/4 inch dia dowels - recessed into the bottom of the head and into the wood block.

Behind the head will be a 8 inch deep and 10 inch tall enclosed shelf to hold extra/filled milk jugs (urine), composting material, and even bags of "used" composting medium until disposed of. This shelf is also needed to support the seat lid when open.


Last, I will add 1/2 inch spacers to the head door hinges to allow the door to open into the companionway.
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Re: Composting toilets

Postby dlandersson » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:24 pm

LOL! :D

tkanzler wrote:
Bobglas wrote: Don't know how to upload image :? :macm:

Go to http://www.tinypic.com, hit 'choose file' button, find your pic (easiest if you put it somewhere you can find it easily), left-click the pic and click on 'open' at the bottom-right, click 'upload now', do what it says to get past security, then left-click (to highlight it) on the second line down on the page that comes up, which has the UBB code already on each end, and right-click to copy the link. Just paste the link into your post (don't add any UBB code - just paste it in, on its own line so you don't force a wide post), and the pic will show.

There are, of course, better sites out there for photo storage and management (tp doesn't do either - just hosts it), but to put a pic up quick, without creating an account or anything, I use tinypic. Sounds like a lot of steps, but it takes me less than 30 seconds to post a pic that way.

Like this one.

Image

Hit the 'quote' button on this post to see what the format looks like if you want.
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Re: Composting toilets

Postby Fireboat52 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:13 pm

Well I finally got to see the inside of a Macgregor 26M. Dr. Ron Brown came by to pick up his C-Head on his way from NC to the Keys for vacation. We removed the brackets for the porta-pottie without too much trouble. It was bolted down but the nuts were accessable from under the dinette seat. It does take two people. Looks to me like you could run a vent hose under the seats out to the transom if you needed to but I don't think it will need to be ventilated unless you are living aboard full time. The installation is pretty straight forward. You can use any of the anchoring systems shown in the manual or you can simply bracket it in around the base. The door closed fine and he could sit comfortably without bending over. He is going to give me a report after his vacation is over and I will pass it on.

How do I attach a photo?
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Re: Composting toilets

Postby windypatrick » Wed May 01, 2013 2:48 pm

It is not clear in this thread so I'll ask: has anyone installed the C-head in the X? I have a 1998. If so, did you install the one with the notched base/3.5 gallon reservoir, or the flat bottomed full sized one?

Thanks in advance. The Admiral has mandated a toilet. :D
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Re: Composting toilets

Postby Bobglas » Sun May 05, 2013 8:36 am

Took the boat out on Champlain for her shakedown cruise. Practically had that whole body of water to ourselves!! Natures Head performed as advertised, but what's more important is that wife was very happy with it :) I pre loaded peat moss in ziplocs to keep spillage down. Very happy so far! 8) :macm:
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Re: Composting toilets

Postby fishheadbarandgrill » Sun May 05, 2013 9:31 am

What you'll find simply amazing is that in the summer you will have absolutely no odor from the head. We've had ours a couple of years now and the Admiral still says it's the best mod we've done.

Bob
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Re: Composting toilets

Postby bartmac » Sun May 05, 2013 4:48 pm

Beats pump out tank, porta potti and all the rest hands down...in our case looking for a way to empty our sullage tank or potti would necessitate going out of our way...and then the smell inevitably permeates through out the boat....to us the only way is a compost toilet...Airhead
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Re: Composting toilets

Postby C Striker » Wed May 15, 2013 10:32 pm

Hi Guys,

I'm about to pull the trigger on one of these turlets soon. I was wondering if any of you had any real info on healing. Did the pee stay outta da poo? I'd rather not have to install it facing aft. Any other nuggets you feel like droppin will be appreciated...
:D
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