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Empty Holding Tank at Sea

SVSeaAngel

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.
 

terry_thatcher

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.
 

SVSeaAngel

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.
 

dickkilroy

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.
 

Carlos Toledo

New 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.
Hi mate could you post some pictures ?
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Sorry, i just tried to take some pics, but they didn't come out. The tough work was in the bilge where its tough to access- and photograph.

Conceptually its very simple. Its just a pump connected to the holding tank with a pvc tee, and to the existing discharge under the head sink with a y valve.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Warren

Just off the subject, We see you have arrived in Balboa. How was the crossing? Everything working as planned? when do you expect to transit the canal?

Jim
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
The crossing was rough, but nothing significant or serious happened. My favorite cutting board broke.

I'm waiting on a quote for a quick haul and sloppy bottom job. Might paint myself if it saves money, I can't afford to do it properly. The last time Eliana was out of the water was Jan 2019, and that was a cluster f by the yard in New Zealand. I hate hauling out, can't trust anyone.

Anyway, the antifoul is really bad with some large white spots where its completely gone (another cluster f in South Africa with bow/stern mooring balls with a heavily fouled line connecting them sawing at my hull) so without a quick haul here im going to need to dive on her weekly.

The prop fouled so badly on the way here i could only make 2 knots motoring into the marina, and had minimal control. Fortunately i radioed ahead and a contingent of dock hands helped me avoid a crash.

If all goes well i plan to transit the canal in 2 weeks. Shelter bay is really nice. Beautiful Marina next to a Jungle. A local wildlife expert gives free tours and i am going to do that in a couple days. And the cruisers here are very friendly. Some familiar faces, and finding we all have mutual friends.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Warren

Glad to know you made it safely. We went through the Canal on a small cruise ship. The passage was at night so we didn't get to see much. I really wanted to see Gatun Lake. Do you have to take on line handlers? Enjoy and good luck.

Jim
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Yes, i have to take on 4 line handlers, and an advisor. Ill probably take 2 other cruisers for line handlers, and 2 pros for their experience. I've been told they are helpful just for knowledge of the process, and sometimes better than the adviser.

I also plan to fo though as a line handler on another boat before i go through.
 
Hi Warren,

Where did you T into the holding tank to deck hose, in the bilge? What was the course your hose took from the T to the water closet where you installed the Y valve. I plan to do the same thing that you did. I have used that setup on several boats and was pleased with it. Enjoy Panama.

Best,

John
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Yes. In the bilge. I cut the PVC pipe from the holding tank and installed a tee there. Then sanitation hose to under the galley sink (near the factory hose from the head). The macerator pump is under the settee forward the galley. Then hard PCV to the head following the factory route. I had to cut up the port side settee for access, but there is lots of room in it for plumbing etc.

I think others have added an additional through hull and put the pump under the chart table.
 
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.
Hi Terry,

I am contemplating whether to do my holding tank to sea pump out the way Warren did his vs the way you did yours, either to the black water thru hull in the head, or to a new one in the wet locker. Would you share any thoughts on pros and cons and whether you are pleased with the way you did yours. I have always Y'd into the heads thru hull, but I am not opposed to an additional thru hull who's seacock is always closed except for occasional uses. Yours has a shorter run and perhaps easier installation, and the valve switching is much simpler. Does yours interfere with you use of the wet locker for your foul weather gear. Are you happy with the manual waste pump?

Best,

John
 
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