Friday, May 13, 2011

which way should we go?????????????

I'm not talking about navigation here.  No way points or course bearing involved.  I'm wondering which way we should go when we have to,...umm...., go.

This has been an interesting topic ever since Bruce posted his ever-popular piece called "The never mentioned aspects of cruising" a couple of years ago.  We want to be clean, comfortable, odor free and environmentally safe.  In the past that has always mean using the SeaLand SaniPottie.  This piece of gear operates similar to a regular toilet, flushing with fresh water from a reservoir.  The waste is stored in a storage tank containing chemicals for odor control.

We've had one along for every cruise on Spartina, after each trip we have listed it as one of our favorite pieces of gear.  No muss, no fuss.  No odor.  It fits perfectly under the foredeck when not in use, forward of the mast.  And at night it sits in the aft cockpit.

The only minus, from my point of view, is emptying it out.  It can get a little messy.  And two people heading out for eight days on the water means it will need to be emptied somewhere mid-trip.  At ramps and older marinas with porta-potties this is fine.  Mid-trip on the cruise means this upscale towns of Oxford and Tilghman Island.  They may frown on me lugging the sanipottie into the restroom of a nice restaurant or hotel.

So I'm thinking about wag bags, something I've heard several other cruisers are using.  This is basically a bag within a bag that contains some material that deodorizes and gels waste.  And those bags can be safely disposed of in any trash can.  I've bought a carton of wag bags, plus a "seat" that goes on top of a five gallon bucket.
I've heard good things about wag bags.  Then again I've heard not-so-good things about wag bags.  Odor being one of the problems.  And storage.  But then again we should be stopping somewhere on the bay for lunch or whatever at least every other day, so we can dispose of the wag bags as we go.

As I said, the sanipottie has worked well over the years.  If you look to the right you can see ours, I'm resting my feet on it while reading a book anchored in Middle Bay last year.  But with the "emptying" issue, I just don't know which way to go.

I guess I'll wait till Bruce gets here and we'll discuss, it may be a game-time decision.



S R Wood said...

Steve -- I've heard good things abotu wag bags from river rafters out West, where you have to pack out all waste.

If the challenge is storage of the, um, used materials, you may be able to fabricate an airtight tube from a large-diameter piece of threaded PVC with end-caps screwed on. This is something I read that kayakers on Lake Powell used to pack out waste. Airtight = no odor.


Steve said...

Thanks for the idea Seth. I'll keep it in mind, plus I'm thinking about another airtight solution I might try to put together this winter.


Unknown said...

I have the same "Sea Land" potti aboard my 19' O'Day Mariner. I bought mine for about $70.00 at Cabelas under the brand name "Domenic". Works fine.
The storage reservoir is kinda small so a week long trip with two might stretch it to the limit.

Steve Hock

Steve said...


I think we will stay with the tried and true sani-pottie for this trip. We will look for a decent spot to empty out along the way.