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Old 08-27-2012, 04:51 AM   #15
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Hi Water Guys,
Jus gonna chime in (cuz ya'll know how girls are). I think living simply can be done on $1-2k a month on a boat or on land. I live simply at home & when I travel. Like owning a home, I'm sure there are basic expenses to upkeep & owning a boat that would at least be close to a grand a month (not incl mortgage or boat loan). Then there is food & incidentals. I manage to live a good simple life on $25-35k a yr (sounds as if Auzzee does okay with about the same). I travel a fair bit, work 3-5 mos a yr, save a little, & am always puttin money into some kinda home project. So this brings us back to the original questions of......

Comfort & affordability??? thinkin varies by individual, as Haiqu is comfy around $500 & Lexx "can't see how that could be possible". Hey simple comforts for some could be good coffee while others prefer eating out more often.

Truly necessary or what's a luxury??? same individual preference. How we were raised makes a big difference. Were we exposed to true simplicity like Auzzee growing up with traveling adventurous parents or did we grow up in an avg suburban lifestyle with normal comforts that many would call a luxury??

Depends on our attitude, do we wanna work more & have nicer things or sail more in a simpler fashion??? Thus bringing us to the final question at hand, which in actuality could be a long philosophical question......

Complexity vs Simplicity????? Boils down to what makes an individual happy. I lived a complex life with comforts & a few luxuries in DC (15 yrs owned/managed 3 properties & sole proprietor of a thriving business). I had a much higher income & higher expenses, traveling only 10-12wks a yr. Now I work less, live a simple life (outdoor soaking tub & 1home), make two thirds less income, am happy & travel 5-6mos a yr.

It's definitely a lifestyle choice!! Be an eaudamonist, create your own happiness!! We are all so simple & yet so complex, the dichotomy of life!!

So the water baby has chimed in & yet again probably got a little too chatty. Sorry guys, guess I am really a girl ;-))) cindy

P.S. If you haven't seen the documentary "180 degrees south", ck it out!! a great segment on rebuilding boat mast, plus just a fabulous doc on land conservation & resources & living your dream!!!
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:03 AM   #16
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@water sign: Sounds like you're ready for your own yacht Cindy.

As for ads listing for "female crew" only, the websites probably don't monitor ads closely so you can't really blame the site operators for that. Boys will be boys. :-/

@Lexx: I agree that $500/month may not be feasible in Australia (or the USA either), but then I don't intend to stay here forever. Part of the attraction of cruising is the ability to experience the way the rest of the world lives.

My initial "practice run" will be a circumnavigation of Australia and a run round Tassie then across to NZ, rounding three of the five great capes in the process. By that time I'll be pretty aware of actual costs and equipment needs. Watch this space!

@linnupesa: You've certainly got the right idea about low cost maintenance. Why replace whole items when you can change a bearing, indeed. I repaired two alternators for my Honda Legend a couple of years back, total cost $21 for two sets of brushes. Most people would have replaced the alternator, cost $180 plus labour @$82/hr. Nuts.

@redbopeep: Seems like that ship of yours is quite something to behold. The systems listed might be necessary on a 54' vessel, but they sure aren't minimalist or simple. Regardless, this thread is about one's "level of comfort and affordability" (quoting the OP) and it sure seems you have the money to do it in style. Lovely craft btw, /me is envious indeed. I'm sure your sail budget alone would exceed my total costs.

BTW my brother offered me an ice maker for free, a ZB-15W capable of 33lb a day. I turned it down when I discovered it uses 210W of AC power. If you have a shore power connector there's a temptation to hook up to it, I don't intend to ever fit one. And running off a genny or through an inverter would blow the power budget out the window. In fact I wouldn't keep anything aboard - apart from spares - that was only used once in 8 months.
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:15 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by water sign View Post
It's definitely a lifestyle choice!! Be an eaudamonist, create your own happiness!! We are all so simple & yet so complex, the dichotomy of life!!
Damn, it's a long time since someone used a word I didn't know.

Show me de money? You de money!
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:44 AM   #18
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OK, moving right along here. Some thoughts on the next few items I listed back at this earlier post: http://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/f12...html#post35028

Health costs (medical and dental):

Here in Australia basic health care is covered by a national system of bulk billing. It can be difficult to find doctors who offer this, but in an emergency you can visit the outpatients section of a public hospital for treatment. It's not great care, but it's available and covers 98% of the stuff that's likely to need fixing. If your leg breaks or your appendix is about to pop, they'll fix it. OTOH if you're in pain from gallstones, this is seen as "elective surgery" and you better find $5000 to have it removed, or start drinking litres of oil and lemon juice in the hope it can be flushed out.

Emergency dental treatment can be had at any major city dental hospital, where students will perform the basics required. You won't get a root canal, but if it's busted they will pull a tooth or fix a cavity, depending on the condition of the remaining stump.

In Queensland basic dental care is free in all areas, and at most you'll wait 4 hours.

If visiting the USA you better have private health care. Most other parts of the world are either cheap or free.

Alcohol and cigarettes:

A budget of $500/month doesn't include such luxuries, although you may be able to squeeze in the occasional drink aboard. The answer is to home brew, or live where such things aren't taxed into oblivion.

Clothing:

Shopping in thrift stores such as The Salvation Army (aka Salvos) or St. Vincent de Paul (Vinnies) can minimize this cost. I recently bought a pullover in pure wool for $8 at the start of winter, and they also had used wetsuits really cheap. Also, living in the tropics will eliminate much of this cost.

Haulouts for cleaning and repairs:

Bilge keeler, trimaran or cat, no problem - find a beach. Keel boats can careen, lay against a pylon while the tide goes out or use stands to avoid the cost of hauling. Emergency repairs due to damage are not covered in the $500 budget target, but regular cleaning and antifouling is. For standard haulouts and antifouling the budget is $50/month out of our kitty, assuming once every 3 years at $1800 total cost.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:02 AM   #19
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Insurance:

Since we're not staying in marinas this cost is entirely optional, and so no allowance has been made. Third party property damage insurance should be available for about $200/year anyhow, unless you're sailing the Queen Mary.

Sail maintenance and replacement:

I'd allow $50/month against this item. Assumes the sails are almost new to begin with, and that all repairs are done by the owner. The budget covers eventual replacement and materials for patching.

Fuel including diesel, petrol, kerosene and LPG:

Since the yacht will be sailed most of the time, and since no outboard has been specified, the costs here will be fairly good. Some diesel for motoring (NOT to recharge batteries, run pumps or cool your food!!) plus kerosene/paraffin or LPG/propane for cooking should be around $50/month.

Bribes to officials:

An unpredictable expense but it happens in the real world.

Licences including passport, ship registration and radio:

Basic costs in Australia are for the Ship Station (Class B unassigned) licence, which is $54/year or about $4.50/month, and state registration at $228/year or $19/month. Additional expenses might be a Ham Radio licence ($72/year) if needed. Total allowance $25/month for budget cruising. If you only carry VHF radio then the first licence isn't necessary but that would be pretty dangerous.

I can't recall what it cost last time I had my passport renewed but it wasn't much anyhow. Maybe the cost of photos and postage.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:08 AM   #20
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Redbopeep

The edited post says "did you find a need" to fix the T-Tender. I kinda ***-umed you might have overhauled it initially in your meticulous way of overhauling Mahdee and inadvertently I became the *** in the saga. Why does that always happen? To me??

There may be an air leak at the "top fitting"? It really is only an open ended small-bore capillary tube that is weighted or fixed to the lowest part of the tank. The fitting you talk of is perhaps a connector to make dis-assembly easier. As well as providing one more point to leak pressure from ! Designed to fail.

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Old 08-27-2012, 06:22 AM   #21
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Summary of the budget cruiser's monthly costs:

$150 - Food, including occasional restaurant meals
$0 - Sightseeing costs
$0 - Mooring costs
$50 - Entry and exit fees
$100 - Repairs and maintenance, including replacing spares as they are used
$0 - Health costs (medical, dental)
$0 - Alcohol and cigarettes
$10 - Clothing
$50 - Haulouts for cleaning and repairs
$0 - Insurance
$50 - Sail replacement
$50 - Fuel including diesel, petrol, kerosene and LPG
$? - Bribes to officials
$25 - Licences including passport, ship registration and radio

Total: $485/month out of a $500/month budget

The remainder can be spent on bribes, booze and entertainment. Yes, this is a TIGHT budget but since the cruiser will often be at sea for weeks at a time it's quite doable, even in Australia, provided restraint and planning are used.

Note that if there are no entry/exit fees one month, the money can be used in other ways such as staying at a cheap marina for a day or buying yourself a bottle or two of cheap hooch. Likewise if you're not motoring much, the cost of diesel will be low and thus free some change for visiting places that have an entry fee. It's not set in stone here, be fluid in your thinking but stick to the target.

With secondhand yachts available in the $5,000 range and with $5k-10k of repairs and spares, one could set up for a frugal but interesting lifestyle costing a mere $6,000 a year. Any extra available from income sources can then be invested, and at my age the best place for it would be superannuation, thus reducing tax on my income to zero. A self-managed super fund could, in fact, buy the yacht in the first place.

Other ways to simplify life:

As someone with no fixed address (i.e. either afloat or living in a van) you can, in Australia, change your AEC voting registration to show this. Voting at elections is then totally optional.

Further cost saving ideas:

Grow bean sprouts, herbs and tomatoes aboard.
Use the internet in town libraries.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:50 AM   #22
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Ivo--

Oh, I figured you must be one of the people who have been reading our blog posts for the past 6 years and you remembered something I didn't about our install of the Tank Tender! That happens--I get an email from someone and I have NO CLUE about what they're referring to until I go back and re-read something I wrote 3 or 4 years ago!

There is a little metal fitting that is used at the top of each tank. Its purpose is to mechanically secure the hose to the tank itself, at a minimum. The rather stiff hose which goes straight down into the tank is attached to the little metal fitting and the flexible hose which is routed to the tank tender and used for sending the puff of air is attached to the little metal fitting on the outside of the tank. Pretty simple and yes, it is a place where one could conceivably lose air pressure. However, it is quite accessible, simple (ah, you're just sending air) and easy to get at if you need to replace it. Compared to all the other tank measurement systems one might install (uh, besides a nut on a string...) including site glass, this is pretty robust, simple, and reliable.

Our repair--according to Hubby, we did have a problem with one fitting and it had a bit of plastic sitting in it or some such thing. He can't recall now (it's been a couple years) because it wasn't a big deal once he took a close look at it.

Fair winds,

Haiqu,

You're focused on cost. Don't be. I repeat, simplicty and cost are not the same thing. One can live a frugal life that is very complicated because one is being so frugal. On the other hand, one can live a simple life that is very expensive because the person has chosen expensive but simple things to have in their life. Cost and simplicty aren't the same thing all the time.

We really enjoy the boat--we find it a wonderful experience to live aboard and sail. Believe it or not, compared to many cruisers we know, our boat and our life is pretty simple. We're really not doing things in "style" as far as the average cruiser is concerned! No "regular" marine head, no refrigeration, no pressure water, no chart plotter, no radar (at present), no hot water, no electric winches, no outboard, no propane stove (we've got kero), no microwave, no coffeemaker...it's a long list of what we don't have that almost everyone does expect to have aboard for comfort. Style? no...we're doing things in "deep, deep retro" style which isn't exactly "in." LOL.

You are right that the bigger the boat the more expensive things become in terms of sheer quantity of materials (sail cloth) or equipment (eg that anchor windlass if purchased new would cost more than a cruising boat we used to own and sold to a friend who is now cruising it in Mexico. Of course, I don't see us buying that windlass new...). The cost of the equipment for a larger boat doesn't make it any more complex a piece of equipment though--it's just larger or more powerful thus costing more. So, cruising on larger boats need not necessarily be "less simple" and more complex at all even though the cost of bigger X is usually more than smaller X. When I think of the cost of replacing some of the larger items on the boat, I swallow and hope that we will never have to do so. It's a big dent.

I'd suggest that anyone who is thinking about living a simple life also think about what simple really means.
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:29 PM   #23
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RBP and Haiqu

RBP, yup, that connection might have been the problem. The principle of the system itself is genial. Hardly any moving parts, no electricity or electrical interference issues, lightning-proof and almost nothing to corrode. I'm surprised they can still ask like $700 for one but they must be getting it. Perhaps due to a very well written patent and salivating swarms of sea-lawyersters.

The beauty of the TT is that a single pressure gauge will measure any kind of fluid. Usually the Tank Tender is calibrated for inches of water, diesel and gas(liquid) pressure. Mine is called "Tank Sight" and Homeland Security comes snooping every time I google it to see if the defunct mfr. of it still exists. It uses the same principle but I do not know who's the knock-off, both makes look like brother and sister.

Haiku: short, strong, deep.

You obviously enjoy great health to enable your very strict but still do-able regimen. There are others that I guess are less fortunate or worry more. You may be at one end of the spectrum when it comes to optimism and budgeting. I'm also very much like that yet perhaps am a bit more sanguine and realistic about costs.

Bobeep is right in saying that stuff will cost SOMETHING and that there are some basic minimal things most cruisers should have aboard. If not for their own but for other's sake. The Pardees travelled motorless and so did Columbus, but do WE want to hoe that path? Your under $10K figure for a 35-40 (my guess) ft sized cruiser is I think utopia. Figure perhaps 30-60k for anything that you will not have to spend at least as much more on. Yet, there might be that lucky buy out there. Anything below 35' is in my opinion too small to carry all your cruising accoutrements. Youse ain't Lewis and Clark.

Searching far and wide I found my boat. Very good bones, most systems already installed but a few "huh?" ideas too. Owner lost interest and the fixes needed were enough to put off other buyers. That kind of vessel is a very good choice for a cash-poor but resourceful cruiser wanna be, as you will pay pennies on the dollar. You WILL put in a lot of elbow grease and work though. It's Cash, G or A** no-one rides for free.

The used sailing materials stores like in Ft. Lauderdale, St. Augustines, Annapolis etc. are great resources, as are ebay and the marina flea markets and bulletin boards. Put together a shopping list with the idea of only buying at well below new cost and give yourself a year or two to fill it. No rush, stuff will come up. Even obsolete items that you need to repair or find parts for.

Parts: Mfrs. buy the cheapest, commonest parts they can find, slap the label "marine" on it, jump up the price and voila, they have created wealth. Your job is to find the same part under a different name, used in a common tractor engine perhaps, and priced as such. Then repairs and sailing on a tight budget are possible.

Ivo s/v Linnupesa
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:35 PM   #24
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This is a tread that complements very well what I'm investigating.
See, in reference to ports. I have understood that there is a significant difference when the boat is over 40 feet in the daily cost of mooring. It is in this way?

PD: Amazing pictures! TK
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:10 PM   #25
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You're focused on cost. Don't be. I repeat, simplicty and cost are not the same thing. One can live a frugal life that is very complicated because one is being so frugal. On the other hand, one can live a simple life that is very expensive because the person has chosen expensive but simple things to have in their life. Cost and simplicty aren't the same thing all the time.
Everything has a cost. That may be in terms of money, skills learned to do something yourself or time taken to figure it out as and when needed. Being cash poor and somewhat rich in terms of available time and skills, my focus is on maximizing the ability to stay aboard and cruise rather than going back to the rat race in search of further funds.

It behooves anyone contemplating cruising to do a budget of minimum cash costs, and I'm sure there are many who haven't gotten as far as analyzing this in any great depth.

As for "cost and simplicity aren't the same thing all the time", I have no disagreement there and the point seems to be laboured. However, one can only choose to live a simple life that is very expensive if one is wealthy.

@Linnupesa: The Pardees had a very liberal budget in today's terms. I don't see them as being anything to emulate at all. Likewise, Slocum was treated like a king almost everywhere he went, from free tows into port to lunches at the governor's house. Sure won't get that kind of treatment any more on a cruise.

As for the figure to buy the boat being utopian, I for one will be keeping under $12k for a fully prepared and outfitted 35' ferro, but I did search for 2 years for the right bargain and haggled, and I'll be doing all the work myself. Really depends on what you settle for here, if I had gone for GRP or steel the price might be $15k higher for the same size. Classic timber ... could be $20k higher again and way more work.

Totally agree about shopping around for parts, there's nothing so expensive as the item you need right away.

Rob
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:41 PM   #26
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The Pardeys are a good example of living a simple cruising life. They were realistic in terms of their wants, needs, and desires. They sailed two different small boats under 30', they did average about half the time working and the other half sailing over their cruising of 3+ decades. Their boat(s) didn't have electrical system, engine, no shower, no toilet (yes, they're bucket people), no outboard for the dingy, nothing fancy. They used kero running lights and had a battery for their VHF with small folding solar panel to keep it charged. I believe by now they've got regular electric running lights. Well, the life they've chosen aboard is quite simple and because they've always chosen to live very small, it is easier to keep it simple. They published their cruising costs back in the 1970's early 80's maybe to be something like $500/mo including sails and all. They did all boat maintenance themselves. If you put in inflation, that $500/mo would be somewhere between $12K and $18K per year these days. The lives they lived for many years cruising were "hard work" but do fit in the description of "simple" because they didn't try to install and maintain a bunch of different systems. They tried to be as simple as possible in method and to use the highest quality materials to make things last as long as possible.


OK, I guess I wasn't really clear. There are so many things to think about when contemplating what is the simple cruising life that Aussee started the conversation with. The things which can make one cruisers' life simple might actually really complicate the life of another cruiser. All very individual.

For example, choosing to sail in places where the sailing is relatively "easy" and one is not likely to get into heavy weather is one way of simplifying one's cruising life. This happens when people leave the US and sail around in Mexico. Similarly, there are reasons why many, many people bounce around the Caribbean for years. In both those locations, one may readily find shallow anchorages (easy to pull up the anchor by hand) and warm to hot weather (easy to forgo hot water for a solar shower). Yet, it is hot enough that most cruisers there want to have refrigeration and thus won't forgo that as a system even though it might come with the headache of finding ways to keep it running. The cruiser will want to think about binini, dodger, and all-boat covers to stay out of the hot sun and may need to have the complication of big water tankage and/or a watermaker since rain collection ops will be few. On the other hand, if one chooses to sail in higher latitudes, one will be forced to consider a heating system aboard, perhaps better ground tackle for the expected deeper anchorages, one might readily foregoe the refrigeration system and boat shade canvas and even the water maker (and capture rain water or fog on the sails instead).

Simple isn't so simple to describe all the time.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:09 PM   #27
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One of my favorite "simple" things is LED lights. They don't burn out, they don't rust, they don't suck your batteries. I've replaced almost all mine with LEDs.

The nav lights don't look as good and are probably more coherent in frequency than I would prefer, but they always work and they are much brighter for much less draw.

This makes a smaller battery system possible which makes the charging system simpler, too. I don't have to worry about running cabin lights at night.

I consider a reliable stove to be a necessity along with decent cooking gear.

I am sinfully attached to pressurized salt-water. Mine is rigged to take input from the bilge in an emergency. My engine is, too.

I like good hand tools.

I like good plastic boxes.

I love my wool blankets and clothes.

GPS - I admit it: I'm too lazy to learn sextant navigation. A cheap backup sealed with fresh batteries is good enough for me. My main system has moving maps with tide information and keeps me out of trouble.

I have a 10 inch DVD player as a luxury. I love to watch movies at night.

Really good anchoring gear. I can bring it up with my jib halyard winch, but I can't keep it down with anything but a good hook, good chain, and good line.

My dodger is a luxury I won't give up.

I have a head and tank and I hate them. The tank and the plumbing take up too much space and require too much maintenance and seldom smell quite right. I would prefer a bucket, but that excludes me from too many places.

The "bucket" I envision would be under a sturdy toilet seat and built with stability in mind. It would have a sealing cover so it could be conveniently carried ashore and washed out.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:59 PM   #28
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One of my favorite "simple" things is LED lights. They don't burn out, they don't rust, they don't suck your batteries. I've replaced almost all mine with LEDs.

The nav lights don't look as good and are probably more coherent in frequency than I would prefer, but they always work and they are much brighter for much less draw.


We love our LED lights as well. Masthead is LED for use when sailing but our deck level nav lights (can't legally use the tricolor masthead while motoring or motor sailing) remain the old-fashioned high energy use ones simply because we ONLY use them when motoring--and when motoring we can be charging batteries so it doesn't matter that we're using less efficient lighting.

This makes a smaller battery system possible which makes the charging system simpler, too. I don't have to worry about running cabin lights at night.


We are retrofitting the interior 12V Perko lights with warm white LED and really like them as well. There are nice 12V compact fluoresent lights available (more internationally than in the USA) which are more energy efficient (and cheaper up front) for the given level of light than the LED lights are. You may consider a combination of both as we have both.

I consider a reliable stove to be a necessity along with decent cooking gear.


Yep.

I am sinfully attached to pressurized salt-water. Mine is rigged to take input from the bilge in an emergency. My engine is, too.

Same here.

I like good hand tools.

I like good plastic boxes.

I love my wool blankets and clothes.


Yep, yep, yep.

Really good anchoring gear. I can bring it up with my jib halyard winch, but I can't keep it down with anything but a good hook, good chain, and good line.


Yep. Boat size dependent though and to think "simple"--most boats small enough for the jib halyard winch to bring up the anchor chain don't even need the complexity of a jib halyard winch--they could make do with a Laurent Giles type block setup at the masthead and/or maybe a jig on the halyard. Our mainsheet winches can be used to break out and bring in a 95# danforth in Delta mud (have done it when using that as a stern anchor and didn't feel like running the line forward to get the whole boat muddy by using the foredeck windlass.... but my back was in pain afterwards) but in general its a smart and simple move to have a windlass in place for use.

My dodger is a luxury I won't give up.

I'm a fair-skinned girl--bought a boat with a charthouse to avoid thinking about needing that dodger. Wouldn't give up the charthouse, no, and it shields the forward part of the cockpit from winds nicely as well.

I have a head and tank and I hate them. The tank and the plumbing take up too much space and require too much maintenance and seldom smell quite right. I would prefer a bucket, but that excludes me from too many places.

The "bucket" I envision would be under a sturdy toilet seat and built with stability in mind. It would have a sealing cover so it could be conveniently carried ashore and washed out.


We're with you there--holding tanks and associate plumbing are a hassle. Consider the composting head option--it really is small, simple, and deals with everything nicely and legally.
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