Mailport: June 2013
In regards to your porta-potty review in the March 2013 issue: I question the negatives attributed to the Thetford 550P, specifically, that its size renders it unwieldy and too heavy when full and that the amount of waste it contains at disposal potentially running afoul, as it were, of marina management. Yet these same negatives werenít mentioned in the summations of the West Marine Cruiser and the Thetford Curve, each near-identical in size and capacity to the 550P, and both of which you recommend for folks desiring a larger platform who arenít deterred by the extra weight when full.
Whatever the cause, I can attest to the 550Pís versatility and ease of use, having installed one in my 25-foot powerboat two seasons ago. All the positives you cited for its smaller sibling, the Thetford 260, are just as evident in this larger model. And at 16.5 inches tall, it makes for a much more comfortable platform when seated. While itís very likely that some of your readers might be frail and/or physically challenged enough to make manhandling a full 5.5-gallon tank impossible (and for them, the 260 would be the way to go), itís my belief that the average boater can deal easily enough with the 45 to 50 pounds of the 550ís full tank.
As an aside: I believe that any porta-potty is a great solution to providing on-board facilities. The inherent complexity and aromatics of a plumbed MSD are virtually eliminated, while a portable unit is not subject to the mandatory Coast Guard inspection of installed systems. Yes, disposing of the waste is a slightly unpleasant chore, but a lot less so than opening the cabin door to that all-too-familiar acrid, nasty odor.
Hard Tail, Sea Sport Explorer
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