Saturday, December 8, 2007

new stuff! compost and tender

Hooray for new stuff!

My parents (Justin) chipped in some xmas money toward purchasing us a dinghy. As some of you may know, we like to spend time near the islands in the summer, but with no dinghy we can't get ashore. We just sit there a ways out and soak in the view. That is lovely, but we'd love the ability to go ashore. Hence we have pooled in with our parents and purchased a new Watertender 9.4

We haven't taken any photos ourselves yet, so those are all stock pictures. It is sad that it isn't quite dinghy weather out here right now, so the new boat is just floating around in the snow, hehe, but oh well, it will be FUN come spring. A new motor for it is next on the list.

In the meantime, old boats (aka, the Fitzcarraldo) have old parts. Sadly, the head (toilet) is one of them. Old things like to break down. Our current head system is an old VacuFlush system that no longer holds a vacuum seal. A lot of the fittings leak (gross and illegal) and its wiring has gone bad and causes it to draw extra current all the time (dangerous and battery draining). This has been on our list of things to fix ASAP. Well, we finally can't take it anymore. We ordered the toilet we have long been excited about (yeah, you get excited about weird things living on a boat). Anyhow, it is the "airhead" composting toilet system:

Again, these are all pictures from online that I have stolen for posting. Ours is in the mail and will be here in 7-10 days.

(warning, post gets a little gross from here on out) :)

It is an interesting system. Some people seem to absolutely LOVE it and some just hate it. Most heads have a holding tank in the bilge and some form of pump system that flushes everything down and keeps it in a big sewage slop til you can get pumped out. They tend to use chemicals to keep the smell down and water to assist the flushing process.

The airhead, is altogether different. It is supposed to be the "environmentally friendly" alternative toilet. It has two tanks built right into it which separate liquids from solids and then the solids get composted with peat moss via a mixing handle. The liquids you can dump overboard out at sea where it is legal and/or just dump into the real toilet at the boathouse. The solids simply get turned into dirt via the natural composting process. A vent hose with a small fan keeps the smell blowing to the outside of the boat in the meantime.

Supposedly, it is very odorless (it can't be worse than our current system--just ask any friends who have stayed over... our boat definitely has a certain funk to it--to be polite to ourselves). It uses no water and no chemicals. It is going to be way easy to install since I don't have to do any plumbing and very little electrical work.

In the meantime, our old system was installed overtop of an even older system! Yes, we have 2 holding tanks, two vacuum pumps and twice as much hose and junk running around our bilge as we need. It will be so NICE to get rid of all that extraneous junk. The old systems de-install will take far longer than the new system install.

All told, we are incredibly happy about this week's two new acquisitions. They will make living on a boat into a much better, smoother, and less stinky experience.

...and I can't wait to go fishing with the new dinghy--I can finally fish the rocky areas!

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