Toilets for cruising comfort on

It always seems strange to hear charter companies in the Whitsundays advise skippers on VHF radio when finishing their bareboat charter and returning to Abel Point marina at Airlie Beach to “Please ensure your holding tanks are emptied before reaching Pioneer Rocks” ( in the passage and about 4nm from Airlie Beach). Doubly strange since the marina has facilities for pumpout and sanivac for porta-potties. Perhaps the massive tidal flow up and down the coast ensures that “The solution to pollution is dilution”. All the large skippered cruise vessels use the pumpout facility and as bareboat charter is typically weekend to weekend with rapid cleaning and turnaround it would be logistically impossible to accommodate these at the single facility.
Having broached the unmentionable topic and having spent many extended cruises in the Whitsundays with periods offshore of up to 15 days, the following is what works for us. A Porta-potti charged with Aqua-Kem blue for No2 and emptied out in the passage and/or at Abel Point marina on return. This might accommodate two people 5-7 days between emptying and given the bareboat charter practice we don’t feel too bad about our minor contribution. A baking dish which fits perfectly in the Porta-potti …..almost seems like home for the women and is easily emptied overboard (to leeward). And so, to bed, with someone sleeping in the V-berth the Porta-potti is not so desirable however the 9 litre bailing bucket in the main cabin offers a surprisingly comfortable alternative to the baking dish.

2 comments to Toilets for cruising comfort on “Sure Thing”

  • stevospain

    We have the standard pump-it-out head? Is it just a case of removing the head, close off the pipes and replace with the porta potti? What model did you install?

  • Alan

    My NX25 as manufactured in 1990 did not have a pump-out head. It was fitted with a Porta Potti Model 245 mounted on the port side behind the bulkhead as shown in the photo. Current Porta Potti models may have slightly different dimensions, and should be checked. The holding tank clips into a plastic bracket fixed to the floor in that area. The model 245 has 15 litre fresh water tank and 12 litre waste holding tank.