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Conversion to pumpout toilet

How difficult/expensive would it be to convert a narrowboat from cassette to pumpout toilet. I appreciate this will differ from boat to boat, I am just looking for a rough guide as i have found 2 boats i like but both are cassette and i would like pumpout.
Thanks in anticipation
Paul

Asked by: Paul Jones  | 1.43pm, Tuesday 31 January


WW says:

As you suggest, this is a very difficult question to answer, not only because all boats have different layouts but also because different types of pump out toilet have different requirements.
Some have a holding tank that can be positioned in a convenient, remote place like under an double bed while, with the cheaper dump-through type, the tank must be directly under the bowl. How much it would cost depends on the degree of disruption to the existing layout and the cost of the chosen system.
One point that is worth making is that cassette toilets have several advantages. They can be emptied at any BW sanitary point so you are unlikely to find yourself miles from a pump out station with a nearly full tank. This is why the majority of residential boaters opt for this type. They are also far cheaper to run. BW has recently increased the charges at its DIY pump out stations to £14.75 and many boatyards charge more than this. Cassette toilets can be emptied free of charge.
If the plastic bowl, or the thought that someone else has used the unit are putting you off, you could consider replacing it with the new Thetford C260 which has a ceramic bowl and should be much easier - and therefore cheaper - to install in an existing boat.

Graham Booth  | 2.17PM, Tuesday 31 January

The issue with the "handpump and container" useage is that you have to effectively handle raw sewage... and roll up the hose again (and possibly have to unblock it or the pump!). Containers of sewage in, say an ordinary 25 or 50 litre container don't tend to empty well without splashing either...
As a general guide, a cassette loo (or Port Potti type) lasts around 2 to 3 days for a couple, depending, of course, on useage! However, they are very easy to empty and clean- and are often preferred by long-distance cruisers.
You can always carry a spare tank (or two) in addition (which is what I do) for when you have more crew aboard.

Mark Langley  | 3.54PM, Wednesday 1 February


Readers say:

Thanks for your prompt reply, my main thought was not the cost of emptying but the frequency.I will be doing a lot of cruising and thought a pumpout would be better (with a handpump and container to get round the "being caught with a full tank far from a station problem") but, looking at the Theford c260 with 17.5 litres has made me think. I will now give a pumpout a lower priority.
Thanks for your help
Paul

Paul Jones  | 1.29PM, Wednesday 1 February

I fitted a holding tank, vacuum pump and a porcelain toilet to my 35' NB in place of previous cassette system. It all worked very so well that I used exactly the same configuration for my recent new boat. All 3 items plus pipework and fittings are priceable at LeeSan. Mike

mike bass  | 10.28AM, Tuesday 12 June

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