Sunday, February 24, 2013

REFIT Plan: The Head

Looking to change the head to a composting head. I've been wondering how they are supposed to work and how well and been researching it. Seems that anyone who has one is glad they made the change. There are two companies I've come across, Nature's Head and Airhead that seems to have the main products.

The main concern I have is that it seems both of them require a vent through the deck. I'm not too crazy about putting another hole in the deck and where the head is, lines between the mast and the cockpit go right overhead. As I'm writing this, I'm thinking I might be a little creative in the vent. Maybe not going straight up but maybe somehow route a vent toward the stern of the hull. Looking closer at the Nature's Head website, it might be possible to use the deck pump out port location for the air vent since the hole is already there.

Along with conversion to a head, that means no pipes to worry about. I can remove them and likely gain  a little bit of storage space. While I'm looking at replacing all the seacocks in the boat, I may still be able to replace the one for the head in case I, or someone else, decides to install a regular marine head. The deck waste outlet will still be in place which I could re-seal that to make sure it's water tight.

I welcome any thoughts.

Here are the pictures of current setup. I didn't have a tape measure when I took these pictures but I'm hoping one of the composting heads would fit in this space without any issues. It would be nice to free up space by getting rid of those pipes.


  1. I don't know if it will work for your purpose but there are stanchion vents, or venting stanchions. Basically the stanchion tube is open on top and penetrates the deck with some kind of fitting on the bottom. I think some of the Catalinas used them to vent the holding tank. It looks like you have a stanchion about 1' aft of the pumpout. I don't know if that's in the engine compartment or one of the quarterberths on your boat.

  2. I think that stanchion is on the other side of the bulkhead from the head. It seems to be over the quarterberth. The waste port is right next to the wall where the pipes going through the countertop going up to it.

  3. Dan

    Thanks for your comment on my Talofa Lee blog.

    I just ordered the C-head composting head and it has shipped and is due to arrive in the next few days. I looked carefully at the other composting heads but eventually decided on the C-head because of its simplicity.

    I will install it on Talofa Lee and begin to use it while I complete my restoration. I am really encouraged by all I have read about it. It can be used with or without a vent. I think I will install a vent that will vent high in the port side of the bridge deck locker (but I haven't definitely made up my mind on that...I'll use it for a while without a vent and see how it goes). With just me working around the boat there'll be no one else around to be offended and I won't be embarrassed if it stinks a bit.

  4. I was reading on the wooden boat forum and saw a boat that had a vent in the cabin side. I guess that's another option if you can't pierce the deck.