Composting toilets

Published: Wednesday, 22 October 2014
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Today we visited eco toilets at Hillmorton to look at the composting toilets as a potential replacment for the aging dump thru pump out fitted today.

The existing toilet is now nearly 20 years old, as is the mild steel holding tank. in recent years we have had a number of occasions where the flush has stuck open and tank has overflowed leaving foul water under the bed and in the cabin bilge. There is no way to tell what state the holding tank is in but sooner or later it is going to spring a leak and cause more issues. Pump outs are sometimes hard to find (we went 10 days without over the Huddersfield a few years ago resulting in a full tank) and are expensive (£12-20 a time once a week or sometimes more often so approx £150 a year, and with plans to use the boat for 20 weeks a year this will rise to £300+)

Airhead toilet


 For a while I have been thinking about a composting toilet as an alternative and have been looking at the airhead unit supplied by eco toilets click on pick left for more details.

 This is a self contained unit with a small (10L) removable urine tank at the front. The extractor fan is external to the main unit fitted in the pipe or extract vent.

this toilet requires a bit more user "training" than the Villa below but can be used by men standing up !




Seperett Villa



After the visit today I have started giving serious consideration to the Sepperett Villa as an alternative, this is a slightly larger more domestic looking unit with a seperate 20 or 25L urine tank (that would go under the bed in the main cabin). Assuming we can fit this in the toilet I think this will be the best option, time for some measuring up, and re-arrange the toilet layout to see if will fit. 

The villa is a bit more intuitive than the airhead and is used much like a conventional WC, the one exception is that everyone needs to sit to pee.

Click on pic right for more details.



Both units have a 12v fan operating continuously to remove odour and dry out the solids, this will be fine when onboard but currently the 12v domestic gets turned off when leaving the boat unattended so some juggling may be required.

Along with the new toilet unit we are planning to replace the vanity unit with a new ceramic basin and a new cushion floor to make the room a little lighter and warmer.

Update 30/11/14. After measuring up the bathroom it looks like we can fit the Sepperett Villa in to the bathroom, with a new corner sink unit. So at some point over the winter we will be removing the existing dump through toilet and sink unit, redecorating, sealing the tank and installing a new floor and then fitting the new toilet and sink unit.

Winter Works 2014-15

Published: Wednesday, 22 October 2014
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So the winter works are getting under way, starting with opening the water tank under the front deck. This tank has never been opened since I have had the boat and recently we have been getting a lot of brown water and rust in the domestic water system.  So I asked Gordons Narrowboat services to open the tank up clean it out and paint it




So the tank cover is off and the tank drained


















In this case literally a hole in the water in to which we pour money.




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In addition to the cleaned and painted tank we have invested in a microbiological filter which will turn the tank water into clean drinkable water from a seperate font on the sink.  So no longer will we need to carry gallon bottles of drinking water. Click on the pic left for more details.





To complement this there is a new Soda stream on order so bottled sparkling water is also superflous.

A new shower mixer head and shower head holder complete the makeover of the water system.

Weekend Boat working Party

Published: Monday, 15 September 2014
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Another weekend on the boat doing another batch of the never ending maintenance jobs.

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Previously as well as having the bottom blacked and the gunwales repainted we have rubbed down and re-varnished the Cratch board, repaired and cleaned the cratch cover.  Installed a new TV ariel and replaced the Deisel boiler.





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This weekend we removed the lockers and seats from the cratch and attacked the dreaded rust worm that was well established there. Rust inhibiter applied, so next weekend will be time for the paint.


Boat blacked and floating

Published: Monday, 01 September 2014
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Well the boat hull is blacked and the gunwals painted and looking smart. Pics to follow. Thought I suspect it wont be long before the first scratch.

While the boat was out of the water the stern tube has been refitted and repacked so hopefully the persistent leak has been solved.

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Over the weekend we also fitted a vent to the new engine compartment fan so we no longer need to have the locker lid open to vent, and refitted the repaired Cratch cover to keep the cratch dry.

Lastly the Eberspacher was replaced, the previous attempts at servicing the boiler have helped but have not solved an intermittent issue with the boiler cutting out so finally I have replaced the complete unit rather than spending any more money on the 10 year old unit, hopefully there will be some value in the old one to offset the cost of the new one.

Other jobs still on the list for this year are to apply the name transfer (currently on order), rebuild the lockers in the cratch, box in the boiler, and lag the exhaust pipe with aluminium tape.

A boat is a hole in the water into which you pour money

Published: Thursday, 14 August 2014
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Although at present the hole is out of the water, it still needs money poured in...


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Currently getting the bottom blacked and gunwales repainted.  New Anodes and some work on the stern tube as well. The Cratch cover is off for repairs after loosing an argument with a tree a year ago.


Once back in the water it will need new signwriting and graphics applying.


This year have we have also rubbed down the cratch board and panel and re varnished, changed the water pump and updated the drain on the pressure relief valve for the hot water cylinder so that it drains overboard rather than into a catch bottle.  This after finding out the hard way that when the water pump decides to fail full ON the bottle does not take long to fill.


One more job left for this year to replace the lockers in the Cratch and repaint the steelwork inside the front cockpit




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