This was a bold move but only time will tell if we made the right decisions. We replaced both toilets with electric toilets. These were on sale at Burnsco in New Zealand for NZ$299 and then we got the GST knocked off so they were NZ$265 each. Both toilets cost plus a spare motor/pump unit cost less than we planned to pay for one basic electric toilet. We had decided to install one electric toilet on the back head so the waste would be macerated before it was discharged from the head as the plumbing and holding tank that follows is prone to clogging. We also thought that an electric toilet would get us to flush more water with each flush and help reduce the build-up that occurs in the waste lines.
So far the toilets have been functioning for 3 months and they have worked good even in very rough conditions. They are noisy. They draw about 15 amps when they run. There is always water in the bowl because we also installed vented loops on both toilets. The Island Packet was built with the toilets above the waterline but with a full load of cruising gear this has changed somewhat. We were having a problem with the old toilets. We had to close the front toilet underway because we had plumbed it out up front and the bow wave put it too low. Even with the vented loop we close it underway because we don't use that head. It is too rough up there.
The plumbing for the vented loops makes it look a lot less tidy. The front head is the worst but no one will ever see it (Doh!). I struggled with the vented loop on the supply side. It leaked air when the toilet ran. Ray Roberts performed a marine survey on our boat for insurance purposes and he pointed out that the loop should be between the pump and the toilet. Duh! But now there are 4 hoses running to the toilet instead of a short hose between the pump and the toilet bowl. It doesn't look great but it works great.
We will update this page with a progress report on our toilets but for now we feel we made the right choice.