I had the head added to my recycled boat. The enclosed head works
well, but does take up a lot of space in the boat. We don't sleep
4 on board so the vberth is no a problem. My wife insisted on the
enclosed head over using a porta-potti. However, the space is
cramped, both side-to side and vertically. When sailing alone we
usually don't close door. We're making a curtain for the hatch so
we can do that also with guests.
Pumping the holding tank is not a problem as long as the pumping
station works. I was ready to haul my boat last year when I found
the pump at the ramp didn't work. The only alternative was to have
the storage marina do it - big bucks.
The bottom line is that if you are looking for the maximum interior
space, don't get the head. If you don't want to haul a porta-potti
off the boat every weekend, and are willing to give up the space
BTW, there was someone on the list that applied the same logic to
the galley counter. He had Stan take it out and put in another full
length settee. He said they never cooked, so why take up all that
On a more delicate subject: For our 1995 Rhodes we ordered a marine
head with holding tank and deck fitting for pumping out the tank.
With this set-up we have to have a dock based pump out facility to
clear the holding tank.
This has proved to be awkward in areas where there aren't many pump-
out facilities (Canada, San Juans, Channel Islands) and we're out for
3 or more days. We have used the ol' bucket method, but would rather
not, frankly. The pump-out at our home marina was broken and badly
repaired, to the point where we're avoiding using the head so we
don't have to pump the tank.
Has anyone retrofitted a macerator pump to the holding tank? If so,
where did you put it and how did you plumb, wire, and secure it? Also,
has anyone added a larger holding tank to the boat? Our tank
capacity only lasts us 2 to 3 days. For longer excursions, this
doesn't work very well. It may be taking too much water to clear the
head (the head is on the starboard and the holding tank is on the
port, so it takes some pumping to move the waste to the tank from the
head). Has anyone modified the area under the V-berth to hold a
bigger waste tank and smaller water tank?
We would appreciate hearing from you and any ideas you have.
Julia and Jay
We have a Porta-potti on board Dynamic Equilibrium. It is plumbed up
to a deck pump-out. However, the pumpout hose can also be easily
removed so the Porta-potti can be taken ashore for sewage disposal in
a land toilet.
-- Roger Pihlaja
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium