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Wednesday, 29 March 2006


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Rita Glynn

Have there been any more narrow boats fitted with a composting toilet since the start of this blog? How satisfied are you with it if YOU have one. 2011 will be the time of my 'special' eco friendly narrow boat launch, so need good info for my recearch. Do YOU have any?

Martin Ward

What do you do with the paper???

David Pointon

Dear Andrew

I installed an Envirolet composter on my Ocean30 motor cruiser a bout two years ago. I use the boat on Norfolk Broads and in sporadic times. Use the boayt for a couple of weeks or so then it gets left for a month or so. Had no problems so far except for its size, restricts the space in the head. As far as I know it is the only one on the Broads.

Please contact me if you have specific questions.

Andrew Denny

craxzypony:  Envirolet is very active on the web.  I  recommend you go to their blog and ask them for pictures - they have plenty.


hi i would like to see some photos please.. i don't know where to find your email address?? so mine is i'm trying to decide what sort of toilet to use on my boat, would love to beable to compost.. thanks

John & Helen Cooper

This is to Sue & Graham Russell,
Thanks for the info about the composting toilet system. Are you still using it? How is it going? We are bying a boat in January and were thinking about installing one of these toilets. Are you still on The King? Does anyone else have one that give us a comment about them please? Hope someone can help.

We live in Western Australia and we're semi retired, coming to the UK again in January.

best wishes John & Helen


Hi I have fitted a enviolet on my narrow boat and I am having a nightmare with it. I have only had it three month. The contents callapsed into the bottom tray which went unnoticed, this caused a major spillage. I have now cleaned the system out. Can anyone give me advice on re starting the system, as I think I got it all wrong initally. Thanks in advance. Les.

Graham & Sue Russell

Sue & I own the FMC ex Steamer "The King" - 72' rivetted iron hull built launched in April 1905. She is from the same fleet as "The President", but 4 years older.

When we purchased the boat in November 2004 it needed to have a complete interior/exterior refurbishment and upgrading etc., which involved 6 months in dry & wet dock. As part of the internal work we had an Envirolit Composting Toilet fitted, which was supplied by Wilton Marina chandlery. At the time, as far as the chandlers knew, there was only one - possibly two - other boats on the canals with such a system.

Previously we had always had "pump out" systems, but had become concerned about (i) the ever rising costs of a pump out and (ii) the effect on the environment.

Because the internal refit work involved moving bulkheads around we were able to provide enough space for the toilet to have a room "across the boat" of its own. It is quite large and takes up quite a bit of space, therefore it would not be suitable for craft where the existing bathroom space is limited. Also there is a "breather" pipe that goes from the back of the toilet and up through the roof of the boat.

Initially we were a bit worried about if or how it would "work". After 2 years, I can honestly say that it's a piece of cake (pardon the pun) and it works extremely well, with no problems at all!!! There is absolutely NO smell after you have "used" the toilet - nor is there a smell in the boat when no one has been on board for several weeks, i.e. over the winter.

As our boat has full 240v electrics, we have the "mains" version - there is a 12v alternative. There is a small fan, inside the toilet, that we run when on board and the 240v version also has a heater that helps to speed up the composting process. The fan evaporates the "liquid" up through the breather pipe - no matter what human waste you put into the toilet, most of it is water. There is NO smell outside the boat from this pipe.

The "solids" break down over time, just like in your garden compost - but slower. Every week you sprinkle a little composting "activator" inside the bowl (we use Garotter from a Garden Centre), mixed with 2 or 3 pints of warm water. You need to keep everything "moist" and "warm" for the natural process to be effective.

Once a year (or when the toilet looks full) you pull a bar at the base in and out several times - to give everythng a rake - and the "compost" falls into a tray. Put it in a plastic bag, take it home amd put it on the garden. If the composting process has taken plae correctly there is ABSOLUTELY NO SMELL AT ALL.

If you have the space on your boat - and are either concerned about costs or the environment - I would fully recommend you considering this alternative.

I have some photos of the Toilet in situ - in "The King's Throne Room". Send me an e-mail and I would be happy to forward them - or answer any other questions etc.


Graham Russell


I've a friend with a composting toilet on his boat Great Western
His name is Alan. Email
I think it's still current

Andrew Denny

Thanks for reminding me, Peter. Nope, the blog stops on Jan 4th, and there's no hint as to whether they ever did get it fitted.


Hi Andrew,

I remember reading a reference to a composting toilet on the blog Ninereeds. I am not sure if they managed to fit one or not.


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