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Thread: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

  1. #1
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    Default How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    Bucket? Dump it when no one is looking? Hold it for a few days? Garbage bag? Delicate balance on the stern?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    Bucket? Dump it when no one is looking? Hold it for a few days? Garbage bag? Delicate balance on the stern?
    Yes.

    Context and details are everything. How waste is handled is different in a close anchorage amongst other boats versus offshore to proivide both ends of the spectrum. Another factor is whether we are talking pee or poo. And what kind of boat?

    For number one, bucket and chuck it, or peeing over the side discreetly, is my motto. For number two, out in the ocean, same.

    For inshore/ crowds, poop should be stored. Use a porta john. Or, a bucket with sawdust and a tight fitting lid. Or, " wag bags" sold at camping supply, that can then be stored in the bucket with the lid and carried ashore at end of your trip.

    Or, if you are in wilderness areas, go ashore, dig a hole at least two hundred feet from water, a road or a trail, and do your " duty" in the hole, covering it over when done.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    I would not trust any storage means other than a holding tank built for that purpose. If you don't have a head, you're going to be throwing it over the side.
    "Where you live in the world should not determine whether you live in the world." - Bono

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    The little porta potties from marine stores are reasonably cheap and work fine. We used one for years on a 24 footer, weekends and occasionally longer.

    When remodelling our bathroom it got use as a home toilet too.

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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    Hah, I'm planning to do a 4-5 day sail next year with an Eun Na Mara and been scratching my head on the best option. This is on the Salish sea

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    As I type this there is an advertisement for a smart toilet at the bottom of the page....

    But on my boat #1 goes discretely over the side #2 goes into a wag bag with some poo powder and waits for onshore disposal.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    As I type this there is an advertisement for a smart toilet at the bottom of the page....

    But on my boat #1 goes discretely over the side #2 goes into a wag bag with some poo powder and waits for onshore disposal.
    Funny mine is for an e-bike

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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    Wag bag - is that originally for dog s__t? Or the same item as usually used for dog s__t?
    A society predicated on the assumption that everyone in it should want to get rich is not well situated to become either ethical or imaginative.

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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    To foreigners, a Yankee is an American.
    To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner.
    To Northerners, a Yankee is an Easterner.
    To Easterners, a Yankee is a New Englander.
    To New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter.
    And in Vermont, a Yankee is somebody who eats pie for breakfast.
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    If you bag it, invest in some thick bags. Regular kitchen bags stink up the place. And some sawdust or kitty litter. And keep as dry as possible.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    It probably comes down to space. If you have a spot to tuck a porta potty when not in use I think most crew would prefer to use that over a plastic bag. There are lots of dump stations available in the salish sea so it can be emptied regularly for free. Not the most fun job on board, but reasonably easy.

    Ladies don't like to pee over the edge in a crowded anchorage....

  12. #12
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    As I understand it, peeing over the side is completely legal. But when you pee in a bucket, the bucket just became an MSD, and is subject to all the rules. Ditto for peeing into the scuppers. Dunno if you’re allowed to squat over the rail and drop a load.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    So, after participating in this thread, the ad served to me at the bottom of the page is:

    Screen Shot 2022-08-19 at 9.29.13 PM.jpg

    If you are not familiar, its a device to allow a woman to stand up and pee. They used to sell them in marine supply with some catchy name that I cannot now recall. Had a seagull embossed on it,

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    i eat more meat when on the boat so they sink
    my normal diet produces floaters

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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    1C650C82-E349-4E17-B592-388F93035DA1.jpg

    The ads here are always so helpful.
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    Yeadon is right, of course.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    My recommended diet for boating according to the ads

    Screen Shot 2022-08-19 at 9.10.50 PM.jpg

  17. #17
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    I use the 3-gallon bucket head from Duckworks (the lid is nice, I don't bother with the toilet seat or the base), with camping toilet bags (similar to wag bags) filled with some poo powder (never enough to completely deodorize--I'll experiment with baking soda kitty litter deoderizer next). These can be used 2-3 times, maybe more, if you're careful. The inner bag then rolls closed and gets stowed inside an attached HEAVY plastic bag with a Ziplock-type seal, and gets stowed in the bucket for later disposal in the regular trash (the powder apparently makes this legal). On longer trips, they don't all fit in the bucket. Luckily, I have a sealed storage/flotation compartment in the very bow of the boat, under a thwart-level flat that now serves as a "poop deck" of sorts.

    It's important not to pee in the bucket--pee first, then sit on the bucket. Otherwise the odor gets bad very very quickly.

    I've come to the (somewhat reluctant) conclusion that in most small boat cruising grounds (talking wilderness cruising here), digging a cathole ashore is no longer a responsible option. Much of my cruises happen in the Canadian Shield (lots of bare granite, not much soil), and on islands it can be very hard to get far enough away from water.

    Having a bucket head hasn't really proven inconvenient at all.

    Tom
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    The traditional setup was a surplus rocket box. It was called a groover because it left two deep creases in your bum.

    River runners catalogs and websites have a choice of better crappers.

    I've got a 3-gl. plastic bucket with a seat/lid that attaches with wee bungie cords. The travel top locks in place and has a pinhole pressure relief valve. It's the white bucket at the stern of my pack cat, on an Escalante River trip. I rigged it so it could be used without taking it off the boat. Just pull it up on the bank and heave-ho.



    I've used it with WAG bags and without (draining and washing at an RV waste dump after the trip).

    On a small boat in any sort of sea, balance can be an issue. It would help to locate it near some grabirons or a railing.
    Last edited by Chip-skiff; 08-20-2022 at 01:05 AM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    Used a porta potty for 30 years before switching to a composting unit for the most recent ten years. The composter ain't cheap, but we like it a lot better.

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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    Plank with a hole over the stern with a cleat to hang on to.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    After having 2 kids my wife’s bladder ain’t quite what it was and she bought a plastic portapotty for her hangar. Result: it worked, but stank.
    So I made her a wooden box with a removable lid that has a crapper hole cut into it. The box was sized for a green garbage bag. Then we dumped in about 10 gals of dry peat moss. Result: works perfectly. There’s been no smell and the peat seems to deal with the limited amount of deposit that a hangar toilet gets.

    For guys’ pee, it’s simplest to use a 5-qt oil jug. But women don’t want anything to do with that. They want a sit-down place.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    little plastic loo with a number of plastic kitchen bags pre loaded with kitty litter. Use a bag, tie it off, set up a new bag for the next use. pee of course just goes over the side.


    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    oh a built in paper holder !!!

  24. #24
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    oh a built in paper holder !!!
    Nothing but the finest, like everything else about my boat.
    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    The feminal is useful for both (all) genders: https://www.amazon.com/Feminal-Femal.../dp/B084MBNKSG
    To foreigners, a Yankee is an American.
    To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner.
    To Northerners, a Yankee is an Easterner.
    To Easterners, a Yankee is a New Englander.
    To New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter.
    And in Vermont, a Yankee is somebody who eats pie for breakfast.
    - Attributed to E.B. White

  26. #26
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    Cool Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    Keep calm, persistence beats resistance.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    Plank with a hole over the stern with a cleat to hang on to.
    I think I'd want it out past the stern, myself...

    What are you doing about it?




  28. #28
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Orca View Post
    I think I'd want it out past the stern, myself...
    i'd want those pinky schooner bulwarks surrounding me
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    i'd want those pinky schooner bulwarks surrounding me


    Just wear a poncho. Smile and wave at any boat nearby. They will have no idea what is going on( nor will they care).

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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head


  32. #32
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    I've read that in submarines, before they worked out underwater heads, they used a bucket partly full of Diesel fuel. Pee and poop should sink, thus, somewhat, containing the smell. Submarines of that real were, however, called 'pig boats.'

  33. #33
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy W View Post
    Now there's a blast from the past!

    What are you doing about it?




  34. #34
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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    Quote Originally Posted by skerry View Post
    Bucket? Dump it when no one is looking? Hold it for a few days? Garbage bag? Delicate balance on the stern?
    Bucket and chuck it.
    __________________________________________________ ________________________

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    Default Re: How do you all manage to use the restroom when your boat doesn't have a head

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy W View Post

    Nice little Duckworks article. Rob sure was enthusiastic about his composting system. Interestingly, he never mentions separating urine from solids. I have to think that if he separated urine from his bucket he would be even more pleased with his arrangement. His comments about expensive composting toilets are right on in my opinion, but all of the 1000 buck compost toilet buyers seem to swear by them.
    Last edited by Dave Wright; 08-23-2022 at 08:38 PM. Reason: Wrong name

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