Our holding tank sits on the port side of Emet right under the v-berth.  Jodi was given her pick of the the side of the bed she wanted.  She picked that side.

There had always been a slight holding tank odor emanating from the front of the boat.  Most times it wasn’t bad and was really only noticeable if a drawer, locker, or bilge compartment was opened.  Through all my reading, I got the impression that it was just something that boats had to deal with.  Nevertheless, we were trying different things to eliminate it.

One of the things that I did was replace the holding tank vent hose.  The hose that was on Emet when we purchased her was the clear vinyl hose.  It was pretty disgusting looking and had long ago been permeated by the odor.  We went to the local West Marine and purchased 10 feet of 5/8″ sanitation hose.  I think the stuff was $3 or $4 a foot.  It wasn’t inexpensive.  Anyway, I installed it and the odor was minimized . . . for a while.  After several months, it resurfaced-with a vengeance.

Any time a drawer under the v-berth was opened, we were met with the malodorous aroma.  And it was beginning to imbue our clothes as well.

The vent hose runs from the top of the holding tank, under the v-berth, into the chain locker, and then up and out right under the hull to deck joint.  I opened the chain locker door and was immediately met with the smell.  A quick sniff of the “new” hose revealed that it was definitely the source.  Or at least it was the culprit.  Of course the true source was the holding tank itself, even though we use Tank Tamer on a regular basis.

There are plenty of posts, discussions, and arguments about the best way to deal with holding tank odors.  I had read that the very type of “sanitation” hose that we purchased should be “outlawed”.  Well, that’s great, but it isn’t and it’s pretty much all that is sold in the 5/8″ size.  The good sanitation hose only comes in 1″ or 1.5″ sizes.

Here’s what I found while browsing some forums:  http://www.sailnet.com/forums/allmand/102163-head-hoses.html

Rant On….

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do yourselves a favor and STOP USING THE WHITE PVC SANITATION HOSE. Unless you want to throw your hard earned money straight out the window this stuff is PURE GARBAGE. It can odor permeate in as little as 12 months but almost always in less than 2 years.

Trident #148
Trident #140
Shields #144
Shields #148
Clear PVC Anything

The above hoses are pure unadulterated JUNK and a wallet draining rip off. Please stop supporting the companies that make this crap by purchasing it. It is NOT a sanitation hose no matter what they tell you.. If you want your vessel to smell like a cess-pool go for it, otherwise use Trident #101 or Trident #102.

Do Use:
Trident #101 (black)
Trident #102 (white)

Then if you can’t get #101 or #102:
Shields Poly X
Raritan Sani/Flex Hose (this may be the new “best” sanitation hose but we need more years of data to prove it)
Shields #101 (this is NOT the same quality hose as Trident #101/102 but far better than any of the white PVC junk)

Just spent all day last week in a boat with “new hose” which was 1.5 season old Shields #148. It is totally odor permeated. It was so bad I opened every port and hatch and still felt nauseous. The boat yard charged him 3k for a brand new holding tank and 100% new hoses, 16 months ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With our brand new 2005 Catalina 310 the crappy factory white PVC hose was permeating by the early summer of 2006 (less than 12 months) and we use Odorlos religiously.

We are on our 7th season with Trident #101 and ZERO, ZERO, ZERO boat odor……. If you want your boat to smell its best Trident #101 or #102 are the ONLY time-proven hoses that can do so.

Rant off…..

P.S. For the 5/8″ vent hose Trident series 100 (wet-exhaust hose) in either wire reinforced or non-wire is a very similar construction to Trident #101 and will easily last 7-12 + years.. Any Trident wet exhaust hose will outperform ANY of the crappy white PVC “sanitation” hoses by about 3 – 5 times. Trident #101/102 however is even better.

Well, that wonderful Trident series 100 5/8″ hose is like $10 a foot.  $100 for a vent hose?!?!  That’s criminal.  Literally.

I don’t remember where I read it, but it was on one of the forums, a poster said that he wrapped all of his holding tanks hoses with the aluminum HVAC tape and it worked like a charm.  It’s a lot less expensive than $100.

So, I gave it a shot.  I pulled the vent hose out and wrapped the entire length with the aluminum tape.



5 days later, we have NO smell.  Zero.  Sweet!!  Of course, I still have “crappy white PVC hose”, but it has been upgraded in a way and is working so far.

Published On: 2016 December 8

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