A photo a day from Oriental, NC, the surrounding Pamlico County area, and nearby rivers, creeks, bays and other waterways of coastal North Carolina.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

11.29- FREE: one lightly used head

An "Ecolet" composting head at town dock

Oriental residents have long debated the pros and cons of offering public restroom facilities for visiting cruisers and aliens...

Today a cruiser seems to have weighed in by offering up this fully-functional "Ecolet" composting head, left next to the public trash and recycling bins by Oriental's public town dock.

No doubt the unidentified head-dropper has opted to install a "Nature's Head" composting head on board, and discarded the bulky Ecolet... a guess, based on the fact that there is an authorized distributor of the fine "Nature's Head" products here in Oriental...

While Sun-Mar has apparently dropped the "Ecolet" model name, they still offer a range of composting heads.

Whether it's a "Sun-Mar" a "Nature's Head" or an "Air Head," composting heads are the way to go on your cruising sailboat... few parts to fail, no toxic chemicals, compact waste storage... and they produce good fertilizer for your on-shore ornamental gardens!

Or you can safely empty them into local sewer treatment systems via any on-shore water closet.

And no, they don't stink. In my experience, holding tanks stink a lot more, never mind the inevitable pump-out catastrophes.

For my non-sailing readers, please pardon this somewhat scatological posting... as a wise sailor once explained to a me when I was yet a tyro:

"Sailors always end up talking about shit!"



chip Sellarole said...

Hey Lets talk shit...me and my wife will be cruising full time and are thinking about a Natures Head ..what do you think? its a big commitment...solar vent? and dc vent right? where do you dump if you are not off shore?...thanx love the blog Chip

Capt. Ben said...

My only experience with composting heads is the Air-Head.

It has a 12 v. muffin fan that should be wired to stay on at all times. Little electric draw, easily taken care of by even a small solar panel.

Has two tanks, No. 1 and No. 2. No.1 detaches easily for more frequent liquid disposal. No.2 requires more steps to detach, but only needs taking out once a year for moderate use. Again, can dump down any toilet... it is basically dirt after a short while - you put peat moss in it every so often, and constant air flow dries deposits out while natural bacteria or something breaks it down... Sometimes have to add a little water if the TP isn't breaking down, but thats about it.

Manufacturer recommends getting extra No.2 tank so you can remove full one and let it keep composting while you are using the second one... probably a good idea for cruising or more-than-moderate usage.

Dump it down any on-shore toilet. Can also use as compost, but manufacturer rec.s only on ornamentals, not edibles.

But is it really a big commitment? Ask me, holding tanks, chemicals, and the unholy pump-out are much bigger commitments in the long run, particularly while cruising. Air-head with extra tanks makes everything "in-house" on your cruise/s for years to come. I'm sure it's the same with Nature's Head.

Anonymous said...

Yes, composting toilets are the way to go. The only reason everyone doesn't have them is that they are not sold in marine stores and the big companies make no money from the sale. You have to buy direct. This place gave me great service.