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Cruisin' Threads => Tips & Techniques => Topic started by: Phantom Jim on December 15, 2016, 05:50:23 PM

Title: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on December 15, 2016, 05:50:23 PM
Note: Moving this topic from the "Galley" area to the "Tips and Tricks " area, for sanitary reasons. ;D - CapnK

My son and I are researching the use of the "sawdust toilet" for our respective sailboats, Baba 30 and Pearson 365 ketch.  Before I just start posting details, I wanted to know if there is interest in this topic.  The sawdust toilet is a "composting style" toilet that uses sawdust (as well as many other media) in a bucket.  Complete information at http://humanurehandbook.com/humanure_basics.html.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: ralay on December 15, 2016, 07:14:28 PM
If you put "C-head" in the sailfar search bar, you'll find one thread on homebuilt composting heads.  There have been more too, though I couldn't find them quite as quickly.

We've been living aboard with an Airhead for 4 years, so I have some experience and ideas on what what would make a good homemade head. 

I think urine separation is key.  If you never plan to have women aboard, maybe you can get by with just a bucket and a bottle.  We've accidentally gotten pee in our poop chamber and the results are bad.  Smelly.  Sloshy.  It's gotta be something people can still poop/puke in when the boat is heeled 30 degrees and it's not safe to do so on deck. 

The airhead has a gasketed lid, some screened vents and a fan that help keep the contents dry and the bugs out.  If you put a regular seat on there, your boat can fill with poop flies.  We get a few even with the gasket, but when we broke the hinges and couldn't keep a seal they got real bad.  We also have a solar fan to pull air from the poop chamber to the outside.  The head gets stinkier in the winter when the solar fan doesn't have enough juice.  I ought to put a 12V fan in for the dark months. 

I don't know if Airheads are really worth $1000 (ours came with the boat), but they have some features beyond being a poop bucket.  It might be a good idea to incorporate those features in DIY heads.

Also, I like coco coir better than sawdust. 

Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: CharlieJ on December 15, 2016, 07:52:17 PM
CaptK has lived with a homemade composting potty for a good while.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on December 16, 2016, 08:49:47 AM
I will search for CapK's posts on the subject. 

Our interest is that the AirHead and Nature Head are much too big for his boat, the Baba 30, and would take significant alteration in the head of the 365.  The C-Head is smaller, but still presents an installation problem.

Most small boats have a small head size and a very limited holding tank volume.  Perhaps the smaller sawdust toilet could work effectively as a different option. 
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Bubba the Pirate on December 16, 2016, 11:56:05 AM
I am super happy with the C-Head composting toilet that I installed; about $400 IIRC

http://www.c-head.com/index.html (http://www.c-head.com/index.html)
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on December 17, 2016, 08:46:54 AM
 have searched the archives and find no mention of a "sawdust toilet", or a bucket toilet that contains both liquid and solid human waste.  Please feel free to correct me if i am in error.

The sawdust toilet is a bucket toilet that contains both solid and liquid human waste.  The concept was developed by Joe Jenkins about 30 years ago for use on "back to earth homesteads" using the waste as composted fertilizer.  The premise is simple: a 5 gallon bucket is fitted with some form of toilet seat and damp sawdust medium is used to cover/deodorize/render passive the human waste.  There is no separation of the liquid and solid waste!  About three inches of sawdust is placed into the bottom of the bucket.  After each use, solid or liquid, more sawdust is added to the bucket.  If the toilet stinks or looks wet then more sawdust is added.  When the bucket is about 3/4 full it is placed into a compost pile to compost thoroughly.  When used correctly, the toilet has no foul odors and is easy to empty, especially if the bucket is lined with a sturdy plastic bag.  I would suggest that one read The Humanure Handbook to obtain more information.
(http://humanurehandbook.com/downloadsHumanure_Handbook_all.pdf)

The attractiveness of this toilet to marine use is the small and variable size.   It can be adapted to almost any boat head space.  Like commercial composting toilets, the sawdust toilet uses a carbon based medium, like sawdust, peat moss, coconut coir of wood shavings.  No ventilation is necessary.  It is useful on small boats because coconut coir and equine pine pellets are compressed, easily stored in small air tight containers and expand into usable volumes when dampened.  Boaters are not likely to have composting bins at home and it is perfectly legal to bag and dump the waste into public dumpsters.

My evaluation, over a year long trial, has shown that a 5 gallon contractors bucket is sufficiently large for several days use for two adults.  There is no odor other than the smell of pine sawdust or cedar planer shavings.  I have not used coconut coir.  My purpose for this toilet on our Pearson 365 ketch is to avoid having to travel many miles to a pumpout station on the Texas ICW.  When we get to an anchorage we like, there is no need for us to up anchor to go empty the holding tank.  My son on his Baba 30 is using his as the only marine toilet.  There also in no conflict whether dumping urine overboard is legal or not.  I have also used 3.5 gallon buckets successfully.  We have always been a dinghy ride from a trash dump site.

The sawdust toilet is another option available to boaters, especially small boats.  It is neither better or worse than marine wet toilets or commercial composting toilets.  It is just another choice.

You may contact me via private message if you want more specific information.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on March 09, 2017, 07:19:31 AM
My son, John, and I designed and constructed and tested a sawdust toilet to install in his Baba 30.  This is about as small a head compartment I have experienced in a 30 foot sailboat.  The photo shows the toilet ready for final installation.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Frank on March 09, 2017, 08:58:03 AM
A few questions....

Is there a lid on the 5 gallon pale?

Do you put a plastic bag in first before the sawdust?
If so, I assume it folds outward over the top edge.

How is the seat attached? (Picture ?)

How do you mount it to stay in place?

Looks very "neat and tidy"
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on March 09, 2017, 09:47:29 AM
Good questions!  The toilet is constructed from two 5 gallon buckets.  One bucket is cut off about 6" from the bottom and becomes the base bucket.  This base is bolted onto the sole or platform where the original toilet was mounted, possibly into the same holes that were used by the toilet base.  I anticipate using a 1/2 inch plywood backing plate inside to give strength to the base bottom.  The toilet bucket slips into the base and is very stable and secure.  There is a plastic catch behind the toilet that is not visible in the picture that keeps the toilet from falling out.

The seat is attached to the toilet using the rim from a snap lid screwed to the bottom of the toilet seat.  An earlier prototype used wooden cleats to make a snap-on connector.  There is no lid on the toilet, but a snap lid should be placed on the toilet before any rough weather to keep the contents from being ejected from the toilet.  Alternately, a seat for a Luggable Loo or a Magellan seat, both designed to snap on a 5 gallon bucket to make a portable toilet would be a very workable option.  The two brands appear to be identical except price.

Unless you plan on burying or composting the waste, I would double bag the bucket with 15 gallon heavy duty kitchen trash bags.  They fold over the rim and the snap lid locks them in place.  It is appropriate and sanitary to dispose of the contents in a public trash disposal can or dumpster as long as the bags are intact.  The contents will be moist, but not dripping wet.

The toilet is managed as per http://humanurehandbook.com/manual.html .  We use horse pine pellets as the sawdust source.  It is cheap, compressed and available at horse and tractor supply places.  Regular sawdust may be too bulky to carry in a small boat.  Coconut coir should work, but I have not tried it.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on March 09, 2017, 09:49:07 AM
More pictures
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on March 09, 2017, 09:50:04 AM
More pictures
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Owly055 on March 09, 2017, 12:00:08 PM
     Urine diversion is almost universally considered to be as critical element on any small composting toilet.  These are not considered real composting toilet because they lack the moisture level and time necessary for true composting.
     It's a great topic.   As far as I'm concerned "composting" heads are the only way to go.    I'm interested in any simple refinements people have come up with.   Sawdust is not necessarily the best medium, but does have a nice deodorant effect.

                                                   H.W.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: lance on cloud nine on March 09, 2017, 12:35:32 PM
I am surprised more folks don't use the new taller more modern, 5 gallon porta potty....and take extra tanks.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: lance on cloud nine on March 09, 2017, 12:50:52 PM
Meant to first say....Jim - yours looks very well designed/executed. Nice job!
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on March 09, 2017, 01:07:36 PM
I agree most boating literature and personal comments consider urine separation to be the holy grail of a composting toilet.  The boat we had to make a toilet for did not have the space available for a separation scheme.  Research into the Humanure sawdust toilet indicated separation was not needed and was actually counterproductive to composting.  The Humanure instructions were followed and both my son and I had very positive experiences, although we used different bucket toilets on different boats with different mediums. 

The commercial composting toilets in reality do not seem to be an actual composter, but a depository for solids until the contents can be composted.  The urine needs to be dumped frequently, perhaps daily.  The difference appears to be that a commercial composting toilet empties the solid tank every several weeks and empties the urine tank daily while the sawdust toilet empties the tank about every three days for a couple.  I have no experience with the commercial products but I do read the posts describing how much the urine jug can smell.  i think the commercial units are good products and better than a holding tank sanitation system.  None would fit the Baba 30.

The toilet for the Baba 30 is a collecting toilet, a different concept than a composting toilet.  If you wish to compost, that option is available.  It could be argued that placing the contents into a dumpster is composting in a way.  I suspect this would be beneficial to the mass deposited into a landfill.  This toilet is a simple device that will fit into the smallest of cruising boats, is ecomonical to build, simple to operate, inexpensive to run and does not smell.  Composting is at the bottom of a list of objectives.  The top objective is no smell!

We have used plain sawdust, pelletized sawdust, red cedar planer shavings, bald cypress planer shavings, pine planer shavings, cross cut paper shreds and peat moss mixed with all the above.  All of the media worked well, but the sawdust was the cleanest and easiest to use.  We gravitate to the pelletized sawdust because it is the easiest compact material to obtain.  It stores in about 1/4 the space that planer shavings and raw sawdust occupy.  It is easy to rehydrate.  It is pretty much dust free.  It smells good.  It is easy to handle.  It costs about $6 per 40 pound bag in the Houston, Texas area.  John plans to store it aboard in the clear 1/2 gallon pretzel canisters.  By our experience and Humanure data, a 40 pound bag will last approximately 30 days for an average size couple.

Once we got the design working, we thought that the smaller cruising boat community might like to hear about our experiences with this marine sanitation system.

Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Frank on March 09, 2017, 01:30:19 PM
Grog to Ya

Seems a really simple an effective option.

When you have time, can you post a pic of how the seat is attached.
Thanks!!
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Steve Bean on March 09, 2017, 02:03:31 PM
There is a thread here on Sailfar on dry heads. Search for: The $10-20.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on March 09, 2017, 02:29:29 PM
Pictures attached
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: misfits on March 09, 2017, 04:13:32 PM
That is pretty cool.
You can pee over the side of your boat & thats legal but you can't empty a urine collection tank over the side, go figure.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on March 10, 2017, 08:44:32 AM
An interesting article on how and why the sawdust toilet (called a Biolitter Toilet in the article) works.

http://www.eautarcie.org/en/05c.html
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Frank on March 10, 2017, 09:48:58 AM
Thanks for the seat pictures.
I like anything that is simple and works....inexpensive is a bonus too.
This certainly qualifies on all counts.

Have another grog 😀
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on March 10, 2017, 04:59:13 PM
Thank all of you for the compliments.  We wanted a toilet to replace the existing marine toilet but would not change/alter anything in the head compartment.  This design lets us replace the old toilet when resale time comes and there will be no damage or obvious alterations.  That is why the toilet seat has the attachment wings still there.  I think that a composting toilet, especially a home made one regardless how good it looks, would only detract from the value.  Many are not as enlightened as you.

This is one of many viable toilet options on boats, of which most are good.  It may be attractive to some and not to others.  This toilet has a dumping schedule very similar to when we need to dump trash, so a separate trip ashore is not necessary and pump outs are totally avoided.   It also avoids the smelly wet marine toilets we had suffered with and all the repairs/rebuilds and it is so much easier to clean around the base.  It also cannot really break down and leave you without a functioning toilet.

The next experiment is to get the coconut coir bricks and determine whether it will store in a more compact manner than the pelletized sawdust.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: misfits on March 10, 2017, 05:34:13 PM

The next experiment is to get the coconut coir bricks and determine whether it will store in a more compact manner than the pelletized sawdust.

coconut coir bricks might store easier on the boat but you're using the same collection bucket for #1 & #2. The  bricks may not have the absorption properties as sawdust.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: CapnK on March 11, 2017, 08:36:59 AM
Hi Jim - where do you source the pelletized sawdust?
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on March 11, 2017, 10:07:02 AM
Compressed pine pellets are available at TSC Tractor Supply, Co. located in all Gulf Coast states as well as the eastern seaboard states for about $6 per 40 pound bag.  The pellets are also available at Walmart and pet stores as wood pellet cat litter, costing a lot more.  Horse equipment and supply stores will sell the pellets as well and the cost should be similar to TSC.  They are available online but I have not needed that service.

I have only tried the pine pellets but there are internet reports that hardwood pellets used for heating furnaces are better.  We do not usually heat our homes with this type of furnace in Texas and I do not have ready access to these pellets.

I have located coconut coir bricks at local pet stores as a medium for reptile terrariums.  I will try this soon, but my suspicion is that this will be dusty.  It is a renewable source and very water absorbent and deserves a good look.

As a comment on the organic media I have used, I found advantages and disadvantages with all of them.  Peat moss is a non-renewable source I would prefer not to use and it was exceedingly dusty.  It left a fine layer of brown dust everywhere.  Paper shreds took an enormous volume to work the toilet.  I think it is the mass of the medium, not the bulk that is necessary and paper shreds are not dense.  Paper shred got everywhere as well.  Wood planer shavings and shop sawdust worked well but were dusty, not as dusty as peat, but it was noticeable.  They all smelled good.  I found that a five gallons of "foot" compacted shavings provided medium for two toilet cycles (5 gallons of pellets was 5-6 cycles).

Since our cruising is typically local and for 10"ish" days or so, we will probably use planer shaving until that source is gone.  Our Pearson 365 is big enough to hold 3 or 4 five gallon buckets of planer shavings, enough for 9 to 12 days.  We do not exclusively use a sawdust toilet, only when we are inconvenienced by needing a pump out.  If our current PHII toilet fails, we may convert completely to a sawdust toilet.

John, on his Baba 30, needs a more compact medium when he cruises.  His only toilet will be a sawdust toilet and he simply does not have the storage space for 6 or 7 five gallon buckets of a semi-compacted medium.  He can store 10 to 20 1/2 gallon jugs of pellets easily.

I hope this helps.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Owly055 on March 11, 2017, 05:26:24 PM
Another possible material for the job might be alfalfa pellets sold for livestock or pet feed.  They can often be bought in bulk or bagged.

I've been reading various articles on composting.  With proper moisture content and oxygen composting happens quite rapidly.   The temperature is important.   The bacteria will generate heat which should be contained.   The carbon / nitrogen ratio is important.    With all the factors in balance, composting times can be reduced to a couple of weeks rather than months.   The thermophilic bacteria that are responsible elevate the temps enough that pathogens are killed.   Temps as low as 130 over an extended period of time (several weeks) are enough to do the job.    The typical marine "composting head" doesn't compost at all, it merely dehydrates.

                                           H.W.


Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: misfits on March 11, 2017, 05:48:15 PM
Wood shavings should be available at a feed store also.
We used them at the farm for poultry & piglet bedding
I purchased a boondock c head over the winter & that is one of the mediums they recommend.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on March 11, 2017, 06:08:20 PM
Wood shaving are prominently mentioned in web discussions as a good medium for a composting toilet, but a quick review of the web does not reveal any mention of alfalfa as a medium.  There is no reason it would not work.  As stated before, I look for compact or compressed media for use aboard simply to lessen the storage volume needed. 

As a reminder, my sawdust toilet design is not a composting toilet but a collecting toilet.  If you wanted to take the contents home and compost it, that becomes composting.  I do not anticipate composting the toilet contents from our boat.  I would prefer our operation to be environmentally friendly though.

I would not expect this design to be appropriate for boats venturing out for months at a time unless there was a provision to obtain the media, either by purchase or by foraging.  I see it being useful in cruising where the boat is out for 1 to 3 week cruises or in areas where one could reasonably obtain additional media as needed.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Owly055 on March 11, 2017, 09:27:10 PM
Wood shaving are prominently mentioned in web discussions as a good medium for a composting toilet, but a quick review of the web does not reveal any mention of alfalfa as a medium.  There is no reason it would not work.  As stated before, I look for compact or compressed media for use aboard simply to lessen the storage volume needed. 

As a reminder, my sawdust toilet design is not a composting toilet but a collecting toilet.  If you wanted to take the contents home and compost it, that becomes composting.  I do not anticipate composting the toilet contents from our boat.  I would prefer our operation to be environmentally friendly though.

I would not expect this design to be appropriate for boats venturing out for months at a time unless there was a provision to obtain the media, either by purchase or by foraging.  I see it being useful in cruising where the boat is out for 1 to 3 week cruises or in areas where one could reasonably obtain additional media as needed.

     At sea on extended cruises, the "direct deposit" method is probably the most practical.............. Or the "bucket head" with the contents immediately going over the side...... assuming you aren't in the ICW or some other confined area.   How many millions of fish, dolphins, whales, etc are crapping in the sea every day??   It's not "pollution" in the open ocean, it's food for various organisms in the oceanic food chain.  It's only pollution in confined areas, harbors, rivers, etc.     I suggested the Alfalfa pellets because they are dense and heavy, and expand greatly....... and cheap.

                                           H.W.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on March 11, 2017, 10:27:53 PM
The sawdust toilet is not ideal for offshore work where overboard discharge is legal.  I have found that the 3.5 gallon bucket at Lowes will slip inside the bowl of my Raritan PHII and be somewhat secure.  I have used this with a Magellan snap on lid as the toilet.  If I were a serious offshore sailor I would want a direct overboard discharge toilet.

USCG regulations state that where a portable toilet is installed, a direct overboard discharge toilet must be disconnected from the through hull fitting.  If a cruiser arrives in US waters with a direct overboard discharge toilet, they could disconnect this toilet and use the 3.5 gallon sawdust toilet during their stay in US waters.  This seems to be an inexpensive and non-invasive way to get decent sanitation in these boats.

Of course you would have to get used to the bright pink color ;)

It just goes to the concept that there is "no one size fits all"!

Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on March 12, 2017, 12:17:28 PM
I have looked again but I find very little about alfalfa except as an animal food.  Since i have enough medium for a couple of years cruising, I probably will not go beyond testing a single coconut coir brick.    Someone test it and report back. 

Alfalfa is a food and sawdust and coir are byproducts, perhaps we should use the byproducts rather than the food.  Any thoughts?

Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Owly055 on March 12, 2017, 01:48:47 PM

Alfalfa is a food and sawdust and coir are byproducts, perhaps we should use the byproducts rather than the food.  Any thoughts?

     I personally would not be bothered by this......... nothing is going to starve as a result.  Nearly every organic material is food for something.    I find corn based ethanol far more disturbing.  Not only is a food product being wasted, and farmland being diverted to an inapproprate use, but the petroleum energy going into production exceeds the output......... Also do you experience guilt every time you drink a beer or whiskey, knowing that a "food" product is being wasted for your drinking pleasure?  \
     To me it's a complete non-issue........

                                                             H.W.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Owly055 on March 12, 2017, 01:53:42 PM
That is pretty cool.
You can pee over the side of your boat & thats legal but you can't empty a urine collection tank over the side, go figure.

Jim Brown, designer of the Searunner series talks about simply having an opening in the wing of a trimaran as a sit down toilet......."Gentlemen Please Be Seated"....... In rough weather, it could even be a toilet bidet combination   ;-)

                                                                 H.W.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: CharlieJ on March 12, 2017, 02:31:51 PM
That is pretty cool.
You can pee over the side of your boat & thats legal but you can't empty a urine collection tank over the side, go figure.

Jim Brown, designer of the Searunner series talks about simply having an opening in the wing of a trimaran as a sit down toilet......."Gentlemen Please Be Seated"....... In rough weather, it could even be a toilet bidet combination   ;-)

                                                                 H.W.

The 60 foot tri Rogue Wave had that set up

Offshore, you can legally dump a Porta Potty overboard. East coast of US must be over 3 miles out. West coast of Florida requires 9 miles
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on March 13, 2017, 05:08:31 PM
I have started evaluating coconut coir.  I purchased a three pack of bricks form Petco for $10.  Each brick is expected to  expand to 7L (8 quarts) of medium.The following is a comparison of pine pellets to coconut coir.

Pine pellets: $0.60 per cycle   coir: $5 per cycle
Pine pellets:  2 lbs/cycle        coir: 1.5 lbs/cycle
Pine pellets:  216 cu.in.         coir: 122 cu.in.
Pine pellets:  odor pine          coir: odor musty earth
Pine pellets: color tan/yellow  coir: dark brown

So far pine pellets are less expensive by far, but are marginally heavier and have about twice the volume.  The odor, in my opinion, certainly is in pine pellets favor.

My opinion, at this time, is that a less costly source of coir is needed to make it a viable medium.  The space and weight differences are not great enough to warrant the extra cost.

Stay tuned for the next episode.
   
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on March 14, 2017, 06:06:03 PM
My findings and my opinion. 

Reconstituted coconut coir is a fine, fibrous, mulch-type of material that has a neutral odor.  It is dark brown in color which is an advantage when looking into the toilet.  A three pack of 650g bricks will make about 6 gallons of medium at a cost of around 10 dollars.

One cubic foot of coir, 8 three brick packs, will make 48 gallons of usable medium at a cost of approximately $80.   This will be about 14 cycles with a cost per cycle of about $5.  One cubic foot of pine pellets, a 40 pound bag, will make 32 gallons of usable medium at a cost of $6.  This will be 9 cycles at a cost of $0.67.

Coir will have 50% more cycles per cubic foot but will cost 120 times more than pine pellets.

Reconstituted coconut coir appears to be more difficult to reconstitute for use than pine pellets, needing about 12 or so hours to get to a point where it can be hand fluffed into usable medium.  Pine pellets require a little water and about 1 hour and a good shaking in a partially filled jar.

My opinion is that coir is definitely a good medium to use, but the cost is at least 120 times that of pelletized sawdust. 

Note: for those going out for a week, a 2 cu. ft. bag of fine mulch will give 4 cycles of the toilet with out breaking the bank or filling the boat with an enormous amount of medium.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on March 15, 2017, 03:39:24 PM
Coir will have 50% more cycles per cubic foot but will cost 120 times more than pine pellets.

My math was fuzzy, I must have been paying attention to Congressional accounting.

Pine pellets will cost about $6.70 per month.  Coir will cost about $50 per month.  Therefore coir is 7.5 times more costly than pine pellets.

Sorry
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on June 11, 2017, 08:40:18 AM
We installed the sawdust toilet in the Baba 30 this weekend.  It is a clean, functional install that is sturdy.  The head in the Baba 30 is about the smallest head I have encountered but the toilet fit well.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Owly055 on June 19, 2017, 09:55:22 AM
Most folks mow lawns......... How about dried grass clippings?  Or forest "tuff".... the dried layer shed needles under pine and fir trees?   Do we really need to actually buy material for these toilets?

                                                     H.W.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: ralay on June 19, 2017, 12:33:43 PM
You can buy compressed coconut coir a lot cheaper on Amazon.  It's more like $1.70/compressed lb or $1/rehydrayed gallon.  If you estimated you need 1.5 lbs per cycle, that's more like $2.55/cycle.  I didn't bother to look for the best deal on Amazon either, I'm just looking at the first 10lb blocks that came up. 

Also, in practice, with a dessicating style head, we empty it at most 3-4 times per year living aboard.  A single bag lasts a year or more for roughly $15.  There's no way we'd pay $50/mo for toilet fluff. 

We don't bother to reconstitute the coir at all.  We just break off chunks and throw it in the head.  It reconstitutes itself in its own time with whatever moisture is in the waste.  It's really compact to store the bricks.

I guess if you don't want to separate liquids you will go through a lot more media.  Maybe at that point the difference between $2.50 for coir and $.60 for pine is significant.

For us, the $10/year is such a small part of our boating expenses that we just buy the stuff we think works best.  I don't exactly have a lawn or anywhere to dry and store a bunch of  someone else's lawn clippings. 
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on June 19, 2017, 07:08:23 PM
The Humanure Handbook indicated that "dried" grass clippings work.  Apparently wet grass in a sawdust toilet will stink more that raw contained sewage!  We found the coir and peat moss to be very dusty and the head was always covered with dust.  Probably a separation style toilet will not have that issue.

The reason my son and I selected a commercial medium; pellets, peat moss or coir, is because he is unable to generate/collect suitable medium.  He also has perhaps the smallest head compartment in a 30 foot boat.  I usually generate sufficient planer shavings to supply our use, I do not usually use the pine pellets.

Certainly, the separation (composting) toilets will use considerably less medium than a collection (sawdust) toilet.  If the boat has sufficient space to install one, then there will be a lot less medium to store.  The sawdust collection toilet design was done with boats with tiny head compartments in mind.   I currently use a standard marine toilet with a holding tank, but I have that option because the Pearson 365  has a lot of room to place those components.  We have a sawdust toilet available for longer cruises where we get out of range of a pumpout station as well as a backup to our standard toilet.

This design is simply another viable toilet that is available.  It is another option that works and is very adaptable to head spaces.

Then, there is the issue of what to do with the separated urine.......
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: ralay on June 19, 2017, 07:21:03 PM
I figure there are pretty low tech ways to separate urine without a commercial head, especially for menfolk.  If it gets to the point where .60 cents for pine vs $2.55 for coir is a concern, why not get oneself some pee jugs and have the poop medium go a lot farther?  The 2 gallon pee jug on our Airhead doesn't do anything a couple of bottles out of the recycling bin wouldn't do.  Granted, ladies might need to add a p-style/she-wee/etc.

Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on June 19, 2017, 08:07:58 PM
Different ways to row your boat make the world a more interesting place.  We have decided not to dump the urine overboard.  Our marina prohibits dumping "porta potty" materials into the toilets...I know, urine is not nearly as bad as the contents of a porta potty but I do not want to have that discussion with the management.  I keep dumping the sawdust toilet bags into the dumpster low key as well...why call attention to it.  I do not see the sawdust toilet ever becoming a widely used toilet system, it just seems so perfect for those small boats.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: ralay on June 19, 2017, 08:34:52 PM
For sure.  If it works for you, it's all good.  I'm writing for other folks who might be weighing the pros and cons of different systems more than I'm trying to talk anyone in particular out of the system they already know works for them.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on June 19, 2017, 09:08:40 PM
Good approach, it is not my job to tell some one what to do, just give information as well.  Sometimes in the marine sanitation world you have to chose from the best device from some pretty unpleasant choices..... The more information one has, the better the result should be.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on June 20, 2017, 01:47:05 PM
A couple more pictures:
Baba 2 is how John actually has and uses the toilet, bags and a Luggable Loo lid
Baba 3 is how the base is bolted to the shelf using the same bolts that held the old marine head
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on January 08, 2018, 10:07:01 AM
Update on sawdust toilet medium:  I recently purchased a microcut paper shredder which generates the microcut shreds shown in the photo.  These paper shreds work similar to pine pellets and are satisfactory for use in our sawdust toilets.  The onboard stowage is bulkier than pine pellets but a 5 gallon contractors bucket of hand compressed shreds appears to have enough for three or four cycles.  These shreds are much neater to use than crosscut shreds which got everywhere.  There is no dust either.

The use paper which is ground up for privacy/security measures is very planet friendly and does not cost anything, assuming you have a need to shred your records. I would not recommend buying a microcut shredder solely to make sawdust toilet medium.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on February 11, 2018, 08:23:50 PM
A good read from a good boat building supplier

http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/05/articles/toilet/index.htm
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: misfits on February 13, 2018, 04:34:43 PM
Good article.
Thanks!
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on February 26, 2018, 10:32:21 PM
Another testimonial about the sawdust toilet.  This fellow does sell plans for the toilet design on this site.  Please forgive me if the sailfar.net site prohibits commercial advertising and I will not post any other sites that advertise for profit.

http://www.roydesignedthat.com/composting-toilet.html
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Bubba the Pirate on February 27, 2018, 11:10:00 AM
(https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-afyoezwTqbU/WpWBNjR8vOI/AAAAAAAAPbs/_FxCLbMgIYEIzV_HZmZ7xJEKwaMIX-pogCLcBGAs/s1600/20180227_105754-1.jpg)

C-Head composting toilet, made by a small family business here in Florida. I spend less than $10 a month on coconut coir. Great option. It is only temporarily mounted in Emma, hence the kit-bashed shelf it is sitting on.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on February 27, 2018, 01:04:07 PM
Very attractive design and reportedly works very well.  IMO better than wet systems by far.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: misfits on February 27, 2018, 05:44:09 PM
(https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-afyoezwTqbU/WpWBNjR8vOI/AAAAAAAAPbs/_FxCLbMgIYEIzV_HZmZ7xJEKwaMIX-pogCLcBGAs/s1600/20180227_105754-1.jpg)

C-Head composting toilet, made by a small family business here in Florida. I spend less than $10 a month on coconut coir. Great option. It is only temporarily mounted in Emma, hence the kit-bashed shelf it is sitting on.

Got one in my boat
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on May 16, 2018, 04:28:15 PM
Update on the simple sawdust toilet:  We have been using the basic sawdust toilet on Phantom for over a year now and can report that it has not presented any problems for us.  I currently use wood shop sweepings for the medium.  Our use is on weekends which is approximately 80 nights or 160 days a year.  We have had no odor and no flies.  The cycle may take four different stays over a month long period and the bucket sits in the non air conditioned boat when we are away.  When we return, the head area has no odor at all.  The bagged contents are discretely disposed in our home trash by carrying it home in the bucket with a lid snapped on it.

If we were cruising, we would certainly stockpile pine pellets from tractor supply places.  a 40 pound bag would last us at least a month at a cost of about $6-7.  So far I create enough planer shavings and sawdust and not have had to resort to pine pellets an a regular basis.  This certainly beats moving the boat to a pumpout every month or paying the pump out boat to come by.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on May 23, 2018, 09:08:23 AM
Would someone try pine pellets in an Airhead, Nature's Head or C-Head and report back.  The pine pellets are not using non-replaceable peat moss and and are easier to re-hydrate and less dusty than coconut coir.  I am curious whether it will work in these long cycle toilets. 

I would suspect that one could dump the dry pellets (1 cup of pellets makes about one gallon of medium) into the base of the toilets and add a cup or so of water and give a stir.  That seems pretty easy to do.  Pine pellets are the cleanest medium I have worked with with almost no dust at all.

The C-Head site mentions using wood sawdust and planer shavings and an actual user report would certainly be informative.   (No, I do not have stock in a pine pellet company ;))
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: CapnK on May 23, 2018, 12:19:57 PM
PJim - Have you tried coconut coir? Very renewable, affordable, no dust. It comes very dry, you need to add a small bit of water to it.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=coir
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on May 23, 2018, 01:06:07 PM
Actually I have used coconut coir.  I found it very effective but, unlike you, found it very dusty, perhaps the dustiest medium I experimented with.  Since I am experimenting and using a sawdust toilet, I may use my mediums drier than with the C-Head, Nature's Head and Airhead.  I like the coir, but find the pine pellets much easier to work with for my situation. 

Any input is appreciated and will give information for readers to make their decisions.  Please explain your toilet, experience and how you use your toilet.  If you have a better way, then I am interested in it.

I have found that a kitty litter bucket shown in the attached photo will hold about two cycles of medium for my sawdust toilet.  The medium is very dry and when I use this container to directly place medium over the toilet contents, I mist some water on the top to keep the dust down.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: CapnK on May 23, 2018, 01:47:53 PM
For clarity - The coir, 'as is' out of the package, yes, it is dusty at that point. :) Somewhere I'd read to add just a small amount of water to it, just enough to make it 'undusty' basically, and that was the proper moisture range for it to work best in a composter. That was how I used it.

My home-made composter was similar to yours, though I did use a stir stick and a sort of 'folding' of the "materials" ;D to cover them up and get more uses per fill than it seems simple 'layering' would make for. My order was like this:

1 - Do Your Duty. ;)
2 - Depending on the level of "easily accessible" coir in the bucket, then:
  (a) flip some coir up on top to cover, or
  (b) add some coir onto top of mixture, just enough to cover (like you do every time, if I understand properly).
3 - Prior to next Duty, "fold" in the now somewhat dried upper layer of material into the lower and/or outer material, prepping it for a new addition.

By "folding", I am referring to a technique similar to what you do with ingredients when cooking some foods. Like in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L44FtTXTxWk

Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on May 23, 2018, 03:13:55 PM
CapnK, thanks for the description of you toilet.  There is no single toilet or material that will solve all onboard waste situations.  You have a simple workable system and coir works well for you, and will for me as well if I need to go with that medium.  I think that you may separate
(or have separated) the liquid from the solid and that really is ideal.  However, since my use is cruising and it is unlawful and inappropriate to dump any human waste overboard, I do not separate, we simply do all our business into the base and empty more frequently.  Elimination of the urine will really add to the number of uses before emptying is necessary.

I like the folding technique you use and will evaluate whether we will do that.  If folding adds length to the cycle, it will be advantageous.  It is not necessary for odor control.  I would prefer not to have the folding stick present in the head, but it may be something too useful to ignore.

We do "gently" kick the side of the bucket occasionally to settle the materials and rotating the bucket also helps level the materials.

Yes, we do cover the feces after every use for odor control.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on June 28, 2018, 01:07:57 PM
A humorous update on the sawdust toilet medium:  I started letting our coffee grounds dry out and then added them to the sawdust.  The very dark color of the grounds camouflage the solids better than the lighter color sawdust ;).  There does not seem to be much of a coffee odor.  At our usage, it will take a month of coffee grounds to make enough medium for a cycle.....talk about anal retentive!
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on July 10, 2018, 10:16:39 PM
Update on the sawdust toilet:  we finally had a fly infestation.  I cured it by spraying Shoo Fly insect spray into the bucket and waited a couple of hours then disposed of the contents.  It took a couple of hours patiently stalking the remaining flies with a 12v vacuum....  I have also determined that long term storage of damp sawdust in a closed storage bucket will develop mildew and mold, something to avoid.  I normally only store dry medium, but some was stored when it was dry to the touch but still faintly moist.  I discarded the medium because of the mildew.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: SeaHusky on July 11, 2018, 04:29:53 AM
I have to show my ignorance so where do you empty the composting heads?
In Sweden pump out stations are still too few and many marinas don't allow emptying portapotties in the regular toilets due to previous messes.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on July 11, 2018, 07:30:38 AM
It is appropriate to empty the bagged sawdust toilet contents into public or home garbage containers.  I use a double bag liner inside my toilet and when the toilet is full, I tie the bag without removing it from the toilet.  I snap the lid on the bucket and transport the bucket to the garbage receptacle and then remove the bag and place into it.

I do this discreetly even though it is appropriate to dispose of human waste into these receptacles.  It is legal to dispose of pet waste, baby diapers and nursing home diapers into these dumpsters.  C-Head advocates sealing and disposing of the bucket with one of the lockable lids before dumping.

If you have adequate facilities and your home circumstances allow, full composting at home may be the most environmentally friendly option.

I tend to keep the sawdust toilet very low key around uninformed people because of the perceived ICK factor.  I proposed a sawdust toilet article for publication in a major sailing publication which was declined because they felt there would be a public outcry about the disposal in public dumpsters. I also suspect that many marinas might want to prohibit this dumping in their dumpsters as well.

Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Bubba the Pirate on July 11, 2018, 03:15:32 PM
I have been using coconut coir in my C head for couple years. I've had great success. I think with any composting toilet there's learning curve plus there are issues every once in awhile. I seem to be using the c head in a different method then Capt K describes. I believe I'm following the c head instructions nearly to the letter. They supplied a canister and suggested that two canisters full was a good start for the medium. After doing the duty, I use the crank handle 12 or 15 times to mix the duty into the medium. This seems to dry everything out quite quickly. I've experienced almost zero odor. Typically if I smell anything at all, it's the earthy, woodsy smell of damp coconut rather than anything else. Three or four times in a cycle I put a little bit of dry coconut on the top and then mix it in. The c head is of course a urine separation composting head. it's my understanding that the drying out is key to the process. I'm no expert but it has worked for me.

Also, I dampen the coir, a cup of water to 2 small bricks I'm buying from Amazon. The bricks are about 4" square and vary from 2 to 3 inches thick. The bricks breakdown very easily when damp. I wouldn't want to bdeak them up dry.

I'm away from the boat making money again otberwise I would try pine pellets for you. See blog post below.

https://www.bubbathepirate.com/2018/06/i-cant-do-this-anymore.html (https://www.bubbathepirate.com/2018/06/i-cant-do-this-anymore.html)
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on July 11, 2018, 08:27:43 PM
The two styles of "composting" toilets have different dynamics even though they seem almost identical. 

The separation toilets mix single batches of medium and use it all at one time charging their tanks.  If the medium is damp there is no particular issue because it does not have any more liquid added. 

The liquid/solid toilets use the medium gradually as liquid and solids are added.  Storing 4 or 5 gallons of damp medium invites mold and mildew.  I have not seen how Joe Jenkins deals with the damp sawdust, but he reports that damp is better than dry.  That has not been my experience.  Perhaps it is the climate we each exist in.  I think he is in the mountains somewhere which may be cooler.  The Texas coast is blazing hot now and dry has worked better for me.

I am interested whether the sawdust will work well in the separation toilets.  If we keep tinkering with these maybe we will get it down pat!
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: CapnK on July 12, 2018, 10:29:47 AM
Todd - we are pretty much on the same page, except the el Cheapo model I came up with doesn't have a built-in stirrer like the C-Head so I just lightly cover it like a cat, and do any stirring with the pipe paddle immediately prior to next use, giving it a bit of drying time before mixing it in with the rest of the "batch". ;D

Drive carefully!

WRT disposal, you can spread the solids out in wooded areas or marsh grasses and it goes back into the environment very quickly due to weather, bugs, and wee beasties. Home composters use it to fertilize bushes and ornamental plants. It is not recommended to use it for fertilizing food crops - not because it isn't good fertilizer, but due to the possibility of transmitting bad bacteria/etc to the food. IIRC, you need to properly and fully compost it for at least 2 years before it is food crop usable.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on July 12, 2018, 11:35:36 AM
Todd, how much do you estimate you spend per cycle using the coir?  Maybe we can develop an actual cost basis for each style of composting toilet.  I propose we separate the two styles into "dry system" as the commercial and "wet system" as the homemade sawdust option. 

I already know that $6 to $7 in pine pellets will go about a month per couple with the wet sawdust toilet.  This may well be a year in a dry system.  Let us see if we can give the new readers some good data.

I really like both the wet and dry systems and they each have distinct advantages.  I lean toward the wet systems because they are inherently simpler to install and fit into smaller head spaces.  I think the wet system is more ideally suited to a non-liveaboard boating situation where emptying is a frequent event.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: misfits on July 13, 2018, 08:59:42 PM
I tried wood pellets cause I had 400 pounds of them sitting in my basement. There now sitting in a plastic bag in a cooler in the cockpit of the boat.  Maybe cause I'm up north & we have hardwood instead of softwood? Didn't work for me. Couldn't change it out fast enough to wood shavings.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on July 13, 2018, 10:55:49 PM
It is a shame they did not work for you.  Take them home and burn them in your furnace to get even;)  I have not tried hardwood pellets since the ones available are for use in food smokers and are pretty pricey.  I will scratch them off the list of useful choices as medium.  C-Head does recommend the pine pellets.

I have a bucket of 1/2 paper micro shreds and 1/2 cedar planer shavings to try.  Paper shreds by themselves have worked but a lot is needed to keep the smell under control and the bucket fills up much faster than with pine sawdust or cedar planer shavings.  Maybe the wood shavings/paper shreds mix will have a symbiotic effect. 
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: SeaHusky on July 14, 2018, 04:28:15 AM
How about a cheap document shredder and last weeks newspapers?
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on July 14, 2018, 09:09:13 AM
Paper shreds work but they require more volume than sawdust of planer shavings.  It appears that it is the mass of the medium that counts, not the volume.  I experimented with crosscut paper shreds and was disappointed because they got everywhere like dry coir and peat moss.  They also took a very large volume to be effective.  It seems that a cycle using paper shreds was only two days when sawdust was three and a half days.

Microcut paper shreds behaved similarly but are not as messy. I have a Royal microcut shredder from Costco I use for security purposes that cost $100.  That $100 will buy 14 bags of pine pellets which should be 114 cycles, or about 400 days use for a couple.  I would not buy a paper shredder just to make medium for a composting toilet.  I also suspect that paper shreds would not work in the dry commercial toilets.

Paper shreds are my least favorite medium.  They work but are a lot of effort and require a lot of storage volume compared to pine pellets. 
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on July 14, 2018, 11:42:18 AM
Misfits, how did the hardwood pellets reconstitute?  A cup or so of water in a gallon of pine pellets seems to make it very "sawdusty".  Maybe it does not reconstitute the same way.  I will investigate this.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on July 14, 2018, 11:50:45 AM
Just found this at http://www.thefloatingempire.com/2014/07/no-st-joys-of-composting-toilet.html

You may have had the pellets with the oil binder?

As for the biomass, our big accidental find was the hardwood pellets for pellet stoves.

Yes, these things.  Compressed hardwood sawdust made for pellet stoves.

We got a bag of the stuff for use in our gasifier stove, and when we ran out of sawdust, I remembered what happened at the big box store at which I had been working when one of the bags of the stuff broke and got wet.  The compressed pellets, made of hardwood sawdust, expanded as they absorbed the water.  As a result, the pellets are a good deal more compact than sawdust to carry and store, but expand rapidly to absorb any moisture from the compost and seem to decompose just fine.  Better, a bag of the stuff is about $5 for around 40 lbs., which will last you months.  Be sure to get the "natural" kind that doesn't use oil as a binder and has no other additives, and be aware that not all the pellets are compressed hardwood.  Some are cherry pits or other materials.  Read the bag.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: SeaHusky on July 14, 2018, 01:17:48 PM
I must say, you do know your toilets Sir!
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on July 14, 2018, 02:03:17 PM
Heck of an Honor!
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on July 15, 2018, 11:07:15 AM
A simple way to experiment with the sawdust toilet is using a five gallon bucket, a short piece of a pool noodle (or foam pipe insulation) and a bag of cheap potting mix from a big box store.

Cut a length of pool noodle to fit around the rim of the bucket.  Make a length wise slit on one side of the noodle and press it onto the rim of the bucket to make a seat.  Put about 3"-5" of potting soil in the bottom of the bucket and you are in operation.  (See earlier posts for operation instructions)

This is also a way for a weekend boater to have a good sanitation system without buying a porta potty.  I estimate the cost of this setup to be about $10 total.  You might want to pull a big garbage bag over it when the boat is in motion to prevent spills if it tips over while when in motion. 

A good way to try it out without much expense.  To go in real style one can get a bucket toilet seat from most outdoor outfitters for about $5 or Luggable Loo @ $18.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on July 15, 2018, 03:03:09 PM
The photo shows a way to make a toilet seat from a pool noodle
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Owly055 on August 05, 2018, 07:50:36 PM
     At sea, folks normally dump sewage overboard.  The logical extension of that is "direct deposit", which is the most common cause of MOB situations... pissing over the side or stern.    I've gravitated to catamarans, and interestingly I have yet to see or read about someone who put a head on the bridge deck... basically just a  hole like an outhouse, with the entire ocean as your pit.  There is no simpler solution for offshore...... porpoises do it, fish do it.... seals kind of like to do it on your boat ;-)   As practical as it is, the subject seems to be taboo, gross, disgusting to many people...........   Jim Brown advocates it on the Searunner trimaran as an option......"gentlemen please be seated" is a rather priceless quote.

                                                                      H.W.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on August 05, 2018, 10:20:29 PM
Well put. I recently spent 10 days cruising with a long time friend on my boat and part of the ritual is instruction in the use of the marine toilet.  He was not squeamish about the sawdust toilet (he was somewhat skeptical) but relayed that his wife would have no part of that type of toilet since there was a perception that the next user would be able to see the previous user's waste.  This is a female who raised two kids and has certainly diapered as many babies as anyone.  It is neither an honor nor punishment to use a composting toilet.  It is a tool that boat owners can use and they are almost foolproof.

i did not ask my friend how many times their "wet" marine toilet system needed dissassembly during their cruises.  I am confident it is several times since I have had that experience as well.  Taking a toilet apart during a cruise is, in my estimation, the most dreaded task of all.

 I had a favorite picture I cut from a major sailing magazine that showed a toilet seat mounted on the stern railing.  I thought this very funny, especially since the user would have been perched so high and anyone on the boat would have seen the underside of the toilet seat as well as any anatomical body parts visible through the hole.

Why do we Americans make life so hard?

Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: CharlieJ on August 05, 2018, 11:50:23 PM
     At sea, folks normally dump sewage overboard.  The logical extension of that is "direct deposit", which is the most common cause of MOB situations... pissing over the side or stern.    I've gravitated to catamarans, and interestingly I have yet to see or read about someone who put a head on the bridge deck... basically just a  hole like an outhouse, with the entire ocean as your pit.  There is no simpler solution for offshore...... porpoises do it, fish do it.... seals kind of like to do it on your boat ;-)   As practical as it is, the subject seems to be taboo, gross, disgusting to many people...........   Jim Brown advocates it on the Searunner trimaran as an option......"gentlemen please be seated" is a rather priceless quote.

                                                                      H.W.

Newicks Roue Wave had a openimg in a wing deck for exactly that- a water tight hatch.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: CharlieJ on August 05, 2018, 11:52:20 PM
Also- direct deposit, while legal offshore is idiotic. Much safer to use a container, and dump. I say this after many offshore miles
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: SeaHusky on August 06, 2018, 04:06:04 AM
I did not ask my friend how many times their "wet" marine toilet system needed disassembly during their cruises.  I am confident it is several times since I have had that experience as well.  Taking a toilet apart during a cruise is, in my estimation, the most dreaded task of all.
Just like oil filters a anodes, carry e few spare "heads". When clogged simply discard and replace...
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Owly055 on August 06, 2018, 11:49:07 AM
     At sea, folks normally dump sewage overboard.  The logical extension of that is "direct deposit", which is the most common cause of MOB situations... pissing over the side or stern.    I've gravitated to catamarans, and interestingly I have yet to see or read about someone who put a head on the bridge deck... basically just a  hole like an outhouse, with the entire ocean as your pit.  There is no simpler solution for offshore...... porpoises do it, fish do it.... seals kind of like to do it on your boat ;-)   As practical as it is, the subject seems to be taboo, gross, disgusting to many people...........   Jim Brown advocates it on the Searunner trimaran as an option......"gentlemen please be seated" is a rather priceless quote.

                                                                      H.W.

Newicks Roue Wave had a openimg in a wing deck for exactly that- a water tight hatch.

It's a practical if not PC solution............ of course even voyagers spend 95% or more of their time at anchor &c.   With sawdust toilets, I suspect that except in an actual slip, urine gets dumped overboard most of the time...... I'd rather resort to "direct deposit" of urine than diversion into a jug and then dumping the jug.   The nitrogen content of urine is very high, and it is quite sterile, it seems a shame that it gets flushed down toilets into treatment ponds when it should go on fields for fertilizer..... really all sewage should.  Our practice of mixing it with huge amounts of water, and ultimately discharging the water into rivers seems wasteful of two valuable resources.

                                               H.W.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: CharlieJ on August 06, 2018, 01:59:35 PM
Urine always gets dumped overboard, usually from a small container in the cockpit.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: SeaHusky on August 06, 2018, 03:53:41 PM
it seems a shame that it gets flushed down toilets into treatment ponds when it should go on fields for fertilizer..... really all sewage should.  Our practice of mixing it with huge amounts of water, and ultimately discharging the water into rivers seems wasteful of two valuable resources.

                                               H.W.
Our whole sewage system needs to change. In Germany, and soon Sweden, it is illegal to use sewage as fertilizer on crops due to its high content of cadmium and other contaminants. Also, like you say, 99% of our sewage is purified drinking water. A modern replacement system could be vacuum powered and if you could get people to only put no.1 and no.2 in it we would take a huge step toward sustainability.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on August 06, 2018, 08:45:59 PM
A new - to - me concept: the Laveo Dry Flush.  Everyone give it a good look and report what you think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMa6yTos38s
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: SeaHusky on August 07, 2018, 03:20:17 AM
A new - to - me concept: the Laveo Dry Flush.  Everyone give it a good look and report what you think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMa6yTos38s
Perhaps I missed it but how many deposits/cassette?
Like many of the comments my reaction is that it uses as much packaging as deposit. If the packaging is biodegradable then it might be a solution if you only need a head occasionally but for standard use - to much waste for a sh~t problem.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on August 07, 2018, 09:45:15 AM
The literature lists 17 flushes per "cassette", apparently both urine and feces.

I am still thinking about the concept and do not want to weigh in until I form my opinion.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on August 07, 2018, 04:23:28 PM
Ok, a few comments about the Laveo Dry Flush Toilet.

1. Cost is around $600 plus $20 per cassette of 15-17 flushes
2. Most reviews are fairly positive, but the poor reviews reflect the worst of onboard toilet problems...odor and unsanitary mess
3. Customer service seems to be a problem with a 6 mo. warranty and several very unhappy owners
4. Those that are happy are really happy
5. Appears to be about the size of the C-Head

This may turn out to be a viable option as time transpires.  There seems to be a couple of quirks that may need to be ironed out.

Does it beat the simplicity of the composting toilets?  I do not know that answer yet.  I do know it is a lot more expensive than a sawdust toilet and about the same cost as a C-Head.  It does cost more than a dollar per flush, which is a lot more than any of the composting toilets.

Stay tuned for the next episode!
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: SeaHusky on August 07, 2018, 05:47:08 PM
How about making something in the same basic fashion but instead of twisting the bag you close a clamp and weld it shut like a vacuum sealer?
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Norman on August 07, 2018, 05:52:54 PM
From someone who became annoyed when certain public toilets went from one quarter to two, a dollar seems high.  And that does not even include soap, water, towel, and sink, which is included for the quarters.

Back to sawdust and such.

Norman
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Frank on August 07, 2018, 06:50:16 PM
Off topic, but Norman, I remember feeling totally ripped off the first time I had to pay 10 cents to use the washroom at the public market building in London Ontario back in 1975. Unheard of to me then!
I feel your pain 😄
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on August 07, 2018, 09:13:44 PM
I think I will add the Dry Flush from Laveo to the list of possible toilets for smaller boats.  If the technology is sound, the product works and the supplies are available then it may meet the needs of someone.  Just like some boaters like the holding tank system, others may like the porta potty or one of the composting toilet styles.

The Dry Flush is another toilet that is available for us to use.  It maybe more expensive per use, but that is for the user to determine whether this is too much.  I, personally, am not particularly intretested in it but my friend whose wife is put off by the possibility of seeing another's waste may be attracted to the design.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on August 07, 2018, 09:30:01 PM
On a different note, I am investigating different methods to cover the waste so the next user will be spared the vision, or the perception thereof, of someone else's waste.  The Dry Flush uses a mylar bag to contain the waste and perhaps a bagging system could be designed to augment the sawdust design.  An inner baggie just below the rim seat with some sawdust in it.  The waste would drop into the baggie, more sawdust is added and the entire bag dropped into the bucket.  This approach involves a lot of handling of the toilet rim and seat to secure the secondary baggie. 

Another approach entails circular paper cutouts that cover the last deposit and the sawdust.  The technique would be: 1, do the duty; 2, sprinkle sawdust to cover; 3, drop in a circular cover paper to eliminate the sight of the sawdust covered materials.  I suggest using old newsprint as the paper.

The common sense approach is to not be put off by the sight of the contents of the sawdust toilet in the first place!

Any comments are welcomed.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on August 13, 2018, 09:18:55 PM
A different use for the sawdust toilet technique:

Line the porcelain toilet bowl with a grocery store bag and add the sawdust.  The waste is added and more sawdust is added and the bag removed and placed in a bigger trash bag.  Use good store bags with no holes in the bottom.

This will be useful when there is a failure of the marine toilet or the holding tank is full and there is no good place to pump out.  I suspect that each bag can accept a couple of uses before replacement.  We were cruising with a 5 gallon sawdust toilet as the backup and this will allow us to have the sawdust option without carrying the bulkier bucket.

I would not consider this a replacement for a sawdust toilet.
Title: Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
Post by: Phantom Jim on March 01, 2019, 06:54:55 PM
Maybe this is the solution to marine toilet problems ;)
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f115/stinky-head-no-more-214401.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email