R 22

Rhodes 22



I had one of those installed at the factory when I purchased the boat. It is a Thetford, 6+ gallon holding tank Porta-potti, with pumpout and vent hoses installed in the usual fashion, except that the 'business end' goes through a special Thetford accessory fitting in the PP.

This gives me the convenience of pumpout, long times between those pumpouts (PP's use a LOT less water than marine heads, so there is about a 3-to-one advantage in holding capacity), and I can always treat it like a normal PP if there is no pumpout available. BTW: It is also fully legal in all of Canada.

It worked great for months, then began to stink really BADLY, then began to leak. Let's just say I discovered that wastewater was accumulating on top (yes - on top) of the lower unit of the PP and 'fermenting' until truly ripe, then treating us all to a truly attention-grabbing odor.

It took multiple (unpleasant) tries, but I finally figured it out.

The PP unit is large, and barely fits in the head while allowing the door to close. This 'pushes' the hoses to one side at the back of the unit. If you try to close (attach) the top unit onto the bottom WHILE THE HOSES ARE 'PUSHED' to one side, the unit will 'click' shut, but WILL NOT SEAL.

If you leave the lower unit unlocked (unsecured to the floor), AND leave the hoses loose (rather than strapped to the back wall as they are inclined to do at the factory), THEN close/attach the top, THE UNIT WILL SEAL PROPERLY! At that point, you can 'push' the whole thing into place, lock it to the floor, and it will continue to function properly.

I almost hate to admit it, but it took me three tries over several weeks before I finally figured it out. At that point, I also remembered that everything had worked fine until the first time I had disconnected everything and dumped it like a normal PP rather than just pumping it out as I had been doing.

Hope someone else can learn from this quicker than I did.

Are you certain you want to get rid of your Porta-potti in favor of a built-in marine head? On Dynamic Equilibrium, we have a large Porta- potti & stay with it for the following reasons:

1. I can move the Porta-potti out into the cockpit at night. This way people hearing the call of nature at 2:00 AM don't stink up the cabin or bother everybody else. If I'm sailing in Canadian waters, I have brackets to secure the Porta-potti in place. I've been inspected numerous times by Canadian authorities at Customs & never been cited. Actually, I've never ever been questioned about the Porta-potti. Nobody really expects to see a marine head with holding tank on a 22- foot sailboat.

2. I am rigged up for either deck pumpout or I can take the Porta- potti ashore for sewage disposal in either an onshore RV pumpout or any gas station toilet.

3. Much less weight up in the bow when you compare the weight of the Porta-potti vs. the marine toilet, associated plumbing, & holding tank. The Rhodes 22 is sensitive to weight in the bow. Especially if your boat wasn't originally designed for the built-in marine head, be careful about adding a lot of pounds in the bow.

4. Wherever you put it, the holding tank will use up valuable storage space.

5. With judicious use of on-shore toilets, we find we can get a week out of our Porta-potti. Are you really going somewhere that you can't get to either a marine pumpout or some shore-based toilet for longer than a week? Plenty of other consumable supplies like water and ice run out long before the Porta-potti fills up.

Actually, I can only think of one positive reason for changing over to a built-in marine head. It makes the boat seem more yacht-like as opposed to more like a marine pop-top camper. If that's what floats your boat; then, all of the logical arguments cited above don't mean anything.

Roger Pihlaja
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium

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