Handling rubbish aboard yachts when cruising with the owner or with charterers can be something of a headache, particularly when you’re exploring a remote coastline, undertaking longer passages or heading into the wilds off the beaten track. Various solutions exists, from waste compactors to refrigerated garbage lockers where full bin bags can be stored until a suitable off-loading point is reached, but even then the rapid accumulation of waste can pose significant logistical and hygienic problems.
Enter the Marinaut system, a compact vacuum device that seals garbage bags while reducing their volume by up to 50 per cent. Originally developed by German company Theocare to bring a solution to the care home industry – where rubbish disposal is charged by volume rather than weight – the Marinaut presents an interesting proposition to yachts of all sizes looking to better manage their own garbage processing and storage. “In the care home sector, if you can make the garbage bag smaller you pay less,” says David Gates, managing director of Complete Yacht Solutions which is representing Theocare in the superyacht market. “Also they want the bags to extrude no smell – those two benefits are highly applicable to yachts.”
The system is very straightforward – the small Marinaut vacuum and filter unit is hung on brackets mounted on a wall or bulkhead, and the twin-film, double-sealed garbage bag is clipped into the unit for vacuum air extraction. A specially developed filter contained within the master unit ensures that only clean, non-odorous air is expelled. Further, the device requires no classification society type approval, meaning adding it to the yacht’s arsenal of equipment is straightforward.
“I think this product will resonate with crew because it’s very compact, it’s very quiet in operation, it shrinks the bags by approximately 50 per cent and it withholds any smells,” Gates states. “It’s a very clever product – I took it to show some German shipyards recently and they were wowed by it, because it’s not like a compactor that sits underneath the crew mess that takes up lots of space and has to be integrated into the vessel. One of the limitations on boats is space, and we’ve just sold one to a large refit project in Hong Kong – they store it in a locker, and when they need to use it they bring it out and hang it on its bracket, only using it when the bags start to pile up.”
Gates also cites another recent installation in a project in New Zealand where the only space for the hanging brackets was high up on a bulkhead. “They asked Theocare to move the control panel – which sits on top of the machine – down to the foot of the machine so they could operate it while it was on the wall,” he says. “While they won’t do anything crazy, Theocare will do anything in their power to meet the client’s or the yacht’s needs. It’s a key factor for me because each boat’s requirements are so different.” Gates says that several yachts have already bought Marinaut units, and he is talking to various yachts from 40m to 100m+ about installing one on board.
The Marinaut is supplied with approximately a year’s worth of the special double-layered bags, which can be supplemented through Complete Superyacht Solutions when stock runs low or which can be sourced direct by the crew. Normal garbage bags can also be used, although they are more prone to puncture and therefore re-inflation. The Marinaut costs approximately €9,600 including shipping and the year's supply of bags, and installation is a straightforward process on board. If you’d like to take a closer look at the machine in action, Gates will be demonstrating the Marinaut unit at the MYBA Charter Show in Barcelona from 24 to 27 April 2017.