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Heads-electric vs fresh?

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    Heads-electric vs fresh?

    time for new heads in our 3587, I’m converting from manual to electric and looking for suggestions on brand, type model etc... and salt vs fresh. Any other advice is welcomed. I am changing all hoses at this time as well. Do the fresh heads consume a significant amount of water &Power over all ? We go to desolation every other year and use an EFOY not a generator for power.
    Jay J.
    98' 3587 - Respite
    Twin 250 Cummins diesel
    Camano Island Wa.

    Fresh means no stink. I have no doubt that Tecma is the best of the bunch with fewer parts than VacuFlush and a high quality built in macerator. Your question is best answered at a boat show where you can see the innards of Tecma and say, Masterflush my 2nd choice.

    I do not notice either water or power consumption with VacuFlush.
    1989 26' then 1994 32' now 2001 39'


      I also responded to your other post. We have a 3818 with the original water tank. I didn’t have an issue with a Jabsco raw water electric flush and the onboard treatment system operating off a single 8D for 2-3 days on our previous boat. At the same time, it carried 33 gallons of potable water. I’m not concerned about our current boat carrying 80 gallons of water and four golf cart batteries for the house plus another four for the inverter. That said, the Admiral isn’t very receptive to more than a day or so on the hook, but that was with the previous boat.
      As you are replacing the black water hoses, many of the installers have gone to using schedule 40 PVC pipe. It doesn’t get permeated and is a whole bunch cheaper than the proper hose. If you stay with inch and a half there’s a special adapter that makes breaking the joint possible and assembly easier. When I did mine last year, I eliminated the Y valve. I never used it because if I was in an anchorage where direct overboard was allowed, it was a place where I really didn’t want to dispose directly overboard, right? With this boat, when in Canada where pumping overboard is allowed and pumpouts are rare, we pump into the tank and use the macerator when in deep water to empty the tank. I used the through hull as a second vent for the holding tank as suggested by Peggy Hill “the Head Mistress”.
      P/C Pete
      Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
      1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
      Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
      MMSI 367770440


        Fresh water heads will affect your ability to stay on the hook, as they affect your water used, and water is most often the limiting factory to time away from port.

        As far as brand I have always liked Raritan products, but brand preferance is pretty much always not based on anything objective.


        Whats the weather like on the boat

        Where am I right now?


          I would definitely go with fresh water if you possibly can. Many years on many boats have taught me that with seawater there will always be a smell and while various treatments and various levels of smell reduction are possible you will always be fighting it with seawater. My last two boats have been fresh water and no smell ever, with no treatment needed to maintain. My current 4788 came with old electric heads and smelly hoses on seawater. I changed out the heads and hoses as you are doing and converted to freshwater at that time. I also installed a charcoal filter in the holding tank vent. I kept the holding tank but flushed it with fresh water a couple of times after installation of the freshwater system. Now I have a smell-free boat. I would say that even if your water storage is marginal for your bi-annual Desolation Sound visit it would still be worth while switching to fresh water for the overall benefit the rest of the time and I would either add a bladder water tank or two on deck for additional water for that trip or add a Y valve arrangement to your existing seawater supply so that you can revert to Salt-Water in emergencies (short term use of salt water would probably be OK if everything is flushed through with fresh water after you return to civilization).

          These flexible tanks hold approx 14 gallons. A vacuflush consumes 2 pints per flush so that would give you 56 flushes per additional tank.

          I installed this model of head, which has a low water consumption flush option and a seawater/freshwater valve.

          Good luck, however you proceed!
          Alan Teed
          1996 Wendon Sky Lounge 72'
          Gig Harbor, WA
          1994 Bayliner 4788
          2006 Hylas 49' SY
          Bayliner 2855
          1977 Cal 34' SY
          1981 Hunter 33' SY


            we have the tecma can switch from fresh to salt when we need to conserve water just purchased the 140 efoy how do you like yours does it perform well\


              Salt only stinks when it has a chance to sit around. If you are using the boat and turning the tank over every few days you won't have any smells. Let it sit unused for a week and it will have a bit of a funk for the first couple flushes as air purges the vent line.

              With the 4 of us and electric macerating heads we can make it about 4 days before the tank needs to be emptied. I am also a stickler and want plenty of water flushed after the "goods" are gone so things don't linger in the lines.

              Another thing on a lot of the original installs there is a lot of round about routing of lines that can be shortened up to have less chance of things staying in the hose between toilet and tank. A bigger vent is always a good idea. I redid ours to 1" and made it about 15' shorter with a new through hull much closer to the tank.
              1999 Sandpiper Pilothouse - Current
              1989 3888 - 2011-2019, 1985 Contessa - 2005-2011, 1986 21' Trophy 1998-2005
              Nobody gets out alive.


                As Pete said, in BC we don't dump in anchorages. We dump in very deep water while moving and well away from anchorages. Most anchorages, BTW, are no dump zones by law, but a secluded no-name one is still too shallow and still for dumping.
                1989 26' then 1994 32' now 2001 39'


                  Thanks for the suggestions and thoughts, really good info, and another reason to go to the boat show tomorrow.
                  newby- regaurding the Efoy 140, we had a bit of a learning curve last summer, best advice is to set the start voltage as high as possible to prolong batt voltage as it only puts out 6amps. Default is set about 12.3 which is hard to recharge with any size able batt bank, set at 12.9 - 13.1 can’t remember exactly what it will allow.
                  our boat is all propane, LED, with only the fridge drawing amps about 50% of the time plus lights, tv etc... we used 1 jug of fuel in 2weeks, including 2 marina stays.
                  not listening to a gen was nice though, I think we did 4 days on the hook without starting the engines.
                  Jay J.
                  98' 3587 - Respite
                  Twin 250 Cummins diesel
                  Camano Island Wa.


                    As others have said freshwater reduces vent smells (when someone flushes and every crew member within 20' of the vent knows it) but does not always eliminate it, we added a charcoal canister to solve our off and on vent odor problem. Its the organisms in saltwater that rot and cause much of the odor.

                    if you go with fresh water make sure and evaluate the amount of water per flush. We have Vacuflush which uses very little water and power to operate but require more installation room. The bible on this topic is "Get Rid of Boat Odors" by Peggie Hall. Ms. Hall was a regular on this forum for many years, her book is available on Amazon (I purchased the Kindle version), she discusses the types of heads and specific models.

                    It may make more sense for you to use a raw water head, since your already plumbed for it and add vent filters to each tank. Some BOCers have built their own filters and replace the charcoal on a regular basis.

                    I agree with the poster that suggested eliminating your Y valves if you end up doing a deep dive on your system. I don't know any recreational boater in the PNW that would use one, we all need to keep our anchorages clean. I remember the days when it was legal and seeing "stuff" floating through harbors and anchorages, yuck.

                    As far as treating systems, don't bother IMHO. I would love to have one and never pump out again but we are now headed for a government ban for Puget Sound and the San Juans so I don't think installing a new system would be a great investment.
                    Partner in a 1999 4788

                    Seattle, WA