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Head, Holding Tank and Discharge Systems - a Discussion (updated June 6, 2019)  

July 27, 2012.

Well, it's taken 5 years and 4 months to finally get to this point - a website page on heads. First, a disclaimer, required by the Dolphin24.org website legal dept -

You're on your own! This is not advice, just discussion.

It seemed fitting to keep focused so we have a picture of the evil necessity that requires so much attention. Maybe we will get other brave souls to comment on this subject.

Today, Alden Harris, Pacific Dolphin #263 started this off with the following email (minor edit) and pictures

Holding tank in place
Holding tank and hoses

Hi Ron,

The holding tank configuration had been bothering me for some time.  It seemed convoluted and confusing and a lot of it unnecessary.  So I pulled it out.  There was about 30' of hose, two "y" valves and a Gusher hand pump.  The main problem that the "y" valve was attached on the other side of the pump, so no matter what, flushing would have to pass through about twelve feet of hose as opposed to a straight exit when offshore.

Above are two diagrams - on the left how the old system would have looked, and on the right a diagram of how the new, more simple system will look.

More to come.



This prompted a response from your webmaster (edited).

Hi Alden

Thanks for your email and pictures. You may already have this info but here is the Don Casey/West Advisor link on this subject (pictures below)


I don't know what your 'local' regulationss are but on Marionette I installed Casey's recommended system - all toilet discharge goes into the holding tank. The Whale Y valve is located on the holding tank discharge line - 1) to a Gusher Pump to a direct overboard valve with a lock (an actual padlock with a key that hangs on the brass clock in the main cabin), or 2) to a deck discharge. In my area, Long Is Sound, it's all a no discharge zone until you get out into Block Is Sound/Atlantic and the 3 mile exclusion zone. For pictures and text of this set up click here.

Anyway, around here, if you get stopped, which is unlikely, any direct overboard discharge Y valve setup option is a hassle invition.


Don Casey/West Advisor Recommended System
Vented Loops

Full Disclosure - Marionette does not have vented loops - only iron discipline - thru hull valves are locked down while sailing


September 19, 2012. Check out Blue Gum's holding tank - click here.


June 6, 2019 Check out the composting head - click here



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