PS Advisor: 11/15/05
I'm planning to install a holding tank in my Pearson Vanguard. I've spent a little time researching the options, but I'm having trouble understanding if I should opt for a stainless tank, a bladder tank, or one of those plastic tanks. Can you advise me?
Depending upon the space available, we'd use a polyethelyene holding tank. You'll find they compare most favorably regarding price. If you can find the size you need (and the configuration) among the offerings from SeaLand, that's the way to go because the tanks from this company are thicker-walled than the others. And past Practical Sailor tests have determined that Sealand's Odor Safe PVC hose is the best of the white sanitation hoses for containing odors. The only product we've found that is better for this purpose is rigid PVC pipe. However, routing rigid PVC pipe on board a boat is much more cumbersome than doing the same with flexible hose.
Years ago, we replumbed the sanitation system on one of the PS test boats and used rigid PVC pipe in as many locations as possible. That made a tremendous difference regarding odors down below. We also installed a SeaLand discharge pump at the time. We used that on occasion for emptying the tank (legally) outside the three-mile limit.