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Empty Holding Tank at Sea


New Member
I’m curious to know if anyone has ever emptied their keel holding tank while out at sea on passage? I’ve no idea how to do it since it’s below water line. Is the only way to empty it to pump it out?

Warren Holybee

Active Member
You would need to install a pump, usually a macerator type. There are a number of ways to plumb it. I installed a tee in bilge in the pipe that goes to the deck pumpout. Then to a macerator pump, then to a y-valve on the discharge seacock in the head, to select between emptying the tank or direct discharge from the head.


Terence Thatcher
I did something similar. I have a LectraSan behind the toilet in the head. I can discharge overboard there or send it to the tank. I put a large seacock in the wet locker forward of the chart table and a Y valve and a hand pump (feared an electric pump would fail on me). In can pump out on deck or discharge through the seacock.


New Member
I can change it to go directly out instead of going in the tank but once it’s in the tank I can only pump it out, not discharge overboard. I’m trying to figure out if there’s another way to get it out of the tank once the 1&2 gets in there.


Richard Kilroy
I had it a manual pump similar to the Morgan supplied bilge pump. It is hooked up to a Y valve in The area under the head sink. Additional plumbing runs to a whale pump installed in the cockpit on the starboard side opposite the Morgan bilge pump. The discharge hose runs through a hole above the waterline on the starboard stern side.