I Love This Crappy Job

By NEMROD Sailing

I bet I can tell you two things you do on a regular basis. On a boat these two things can take on a more important focus. They may make you change your plans, how long you stay, where you go, what you do when no-ones looking. In the privacy of our own heads all manner of things take place.

When dreaming about the freedom sailing brings we feel no restriction. The sky is the limit or maybe the water in this case.

On Nemrod we have two heads and two sets of associated bits of plumbing and pumps. The toilets are electric macerating / pumping units that move my liquids and solids into a holding tank. These tanks last about 3 days before requiring emptying. To empty these I go offshore and open the dump valve. Takes a minute to empty. I close the valve and continue on my merry way. These electric heads were on my must have list. Posh flush I thought just press a toggle switch. Amazingly fantastic.

When we stay in a bay or on a town quay for more than 3 days this system becomes an issue. I have two heads so can extend a little longer if only two on board. I can instruct only solids in the heads please. Do not flush with too much water please. Liquids straight overboard please. “Great for you with the built in equipment but not a change for me, I’ll be toppling back into the water before you blink” I hear.

So the cogs get turning and the dinner table discussions increase. The advantages and disadvantages, the what and ifs are tossed into the air to see where they fall. Let’s go for it. Nothing to loose except your pride I thought.

A tub, a seat and a few things in-between. Keep it simple.

So out with the old (my pride a joy must have) –

Away with the plumbing:

Now march on with the install.

Four screws in the floor, a flexible air vent to the outside and a liquids line to a through hull, electricity from the original power supply.

The view from above with the lid and toilet seat raised. Solids in the back. Liquids in the front. There is even an electric posh flush to rotate the stirrer. I mounted a rocker switch (latching) where the original posh flush switches were.

OK great Scott so how does this composting toilet work. Most of you reading this will already have heard, seen, used a waterless urine diverting composting toilet concept. The aim is to keep the solids and liquids separate. This makes them very easy to deal with.

The solids drop into a bed of coconut coir (ground up husks). This coconut coir is available in house brick sized compressed bricks. For this size container 2 bricks re-hydrated with water is perfect.

Place two bricks in the bottom of the container. Pour in 2.5litres of water per brick. Five litres for us. Leave the bricks to re-hydrate overnight. The next morning you will have a damp pile of what looks like sawdust. Give it a stir and reassemble the toilet.

Now wee are ready to go. Do remember to keep track of your contributions. Solids only. Back of the cabinet door is a good place. Why? we can collect data on how many deposits can be made, how long between replenishes of the coconut coir, how much does the weight increase. When you come to visit the last two years history can be seen on our record door. You will learn heaps of important things?

Time to do the dirty. Give the compost a stir and take the top off the toilet.

Put a garbage bag over the toilet and turn upside down.

Wash with fresh water.

Tip over the side.

Now you are good to add two more bricks and continue your record keeping.

That is half the story but as you are still here I can continue with the other half – liquids. In the image below there are two black hoses. The one looping around takes the liquids to a 2 litre bottle.

You can see the bottle in place here.

The bottle is removed by sliding forward and disconnecting the push fit fitting. For two people this needs to be emptied each day. The other black pipe with the white fitting on the end leads to the original toilet outlet hull fitting. When connected to this hose the liquids go directly overboard by gravity.

I guess that is it. No more questions. Job done in more ways than one.