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How to Sail a Sailboat : How to Use a Sailboat Toilet

September 3, 2019


On a boat, they call the toilet the head.
So on this boat, this is what we call a head. It has the toilet in it and it has also a
dual purpose shower. Now toilets or heads on sailboats are kind of a little complex
animals, so there’s two parts to it. You have to be able to get fresh water in to flush
the head and then you need to be able to flush it and the water needs to go somewhere. The
majority of places in the United States require that you put all the waste from your toilet
into a holding tank. They will not let you pump it out of the boat into the water. You
need to be quite a ways offshore before they’ll ever let you do that. So on all the boats,
there’s usually a valve like this one is this gray valve. That one switches between allowing
the toilet waste to go into the holding tank versus overboard and its always set for the
holding tank. So the other thing we have to do is make sure we can get fresh water in.
And all the hoses on a boat like this have valves and you need to turn the valve and
open up the water that goes to the toilet and we’ve done that. That’s down here. Perpendicular.
So, every hose on a sailboat that goes out the boat through a through hole has a valve
on it so you can prevent water from accidentally coming back in. This hose goes to the sink.
Right now the valve is perpendicular to the hose that’s closed when you pull it up in
line with the hose, it?s now open. So what we need to do before we use the head is take
the hose that brings fresh water to the toilet which is down here in the corner and open
that up which is already been done. So to use the head, it?s a three step process. First
we switch out valve to let water in. It brings some water in to fill up the bowl. Then we
can use the head and then to flush, we will pump the head clean using twelve pumps. Then
we turn it to dry and we pump all the water out of the head. Then we’re done and then
we’d go back to our hoses and we would shut the fresh water valve off so that the water
doesn’t run into the toilet accidentally.

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