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140's Head and Holding Tank  

January 26, 2014. Eric Barnett and your webmaster have been exchanging emails regarding #140's pretty sophisticated head/holding tank system, and a mystery has been solved. He's yanking it all out and going with a port-a-potty! This started with a post Eric made on the Forum back on October 1st - here's the exchange (edited)

I was told when I bought my boat (Hull #140) that it DID NOT have a waste holding tank. Subsequent investigation hath shown this not to be the case. I do, indeed, have a holding tank connected to a two-way valve from the head. What I DON'T have is a pump-out on deck. I need some guidance on how this system operates and how I would empty the tank. Anyone else have a boat set up this way?

The only through hull connected to the system is the direct overboard dump valve. However, the prior owner had a laminated card on the boat identifying all the pump out stations along the Southern California coast, so he must have had a way to pump out the holding tank, I just can't figure out how he did it. Also, the holding tank is beneath the water tank in the v-berth and is not readily accessible.

The hose on the left goes to the overboard dump after passing through a manual bilge pump.

The hose in the middle runs from the valve along the sole, and through the bulkhead to the holding tank which I cannot access because the water tank is bolted in with a wooden frame.

The hose on the right runs from the valve to the head pump. There is evidence that at some time in the past there was a way to empty the holding tank.

The picture at left shows a box with an alarm buzzer and a button. The wiring seems to be attached to the holding tank and I surmise that this controlled a macerator pump that emptied the tank.

I plan to remove the water tank to see what is really under it. If it is repairable, great. Otherwise it's all coming out. I've already bought a porta-potty!


I finally had the time to pull the water tank out to see what was beneath it. As suspected, there is a small waste holding tank under the water tank. A hose runs to the pump out through-hull.

The mysterious black box is an alarm that is attached to a sensor mounted towards the top of the tank. If/when it went off, you would have to manually pump the tank out using the in-line whale Gusher pump

Water tank removed - at right, water tank, frame and base removed, holding tank under

I have decided to yank the whole system and go with a port-a-potty that I have already purchased. I will have to build up the pedestal that the head now sits on as it's not wide enough to support the port-a-potty. I will keep you updated as I proceed.

Stay Tuned - Click here to go to 140's home page







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