Historical question: toilet on small yacht? - SailNet Community

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Old 09-13-2013
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Historical question: toilet on small yacht?

Hello, I'm no sailor but what I learned is today we have laws and all that regarding sanitation and waste disposal, etc, which makes for some complex systems in place.

My question is what was it like if you go say, a hundred years back? I'm interested in small sailing boats with a few crew members or something, not big steamers and what have you.

So would those boats have a head like we do today, just not as complicated working maybe? And importantly: Where would it be situated? If not, and I'm sorry if this is a bit... But how would the crew then go about doing their business at sea?

Also, what about ladies on board? Seeing how in those ages people had very different ideas about decency and so on than today?

Any help much appreciated
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Old 09-13-2013
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Re: Historical question: toilet on small yacht?

They were a little simpler than today: You go to the bow of the boat, called the Heads. Put your bum over the side. Poop. Then pull up a length of rope with a frayed end and wipe your bum. Then drop the rope back in the water for nature to clean it.
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Old 09-13-2013
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Re: Historical question: toilet on small yacht?

bucket
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Old 09-13-2013
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Re: Historical question: toilet on small yacht?

I present to you-The herreshoff Bucket:



my boat is 50 years old.. it had a head like the now outlawed ones.
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Old 09-13-2013
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Re: Historical question: toilet on small yacht?

Thats a pretty sh**ty first post on the forum . Welcome!
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Old 09-13-2013
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Re: Historical question: toilet on small yacht?

Mark Has it right but I am not going to push the like button.
They didn't let women on their boats. Fore yee might have mighty bad luck there at sea.
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Old 09-13-2013
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Re: Historical question: toilet on small yacht?

I used the old bucket method on my little sailboat a few times in the past. It is not pretty or pleasant, but it is simple and works rather well. I now use a somewhat larger bucket with peat moss, sawdust, wood shavings and call it a 'composting head'. It is not too awful.
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Old 09-13-2013
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Re: Historical question: toilet on small yacht?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
They were a little simpler than today: You go to the bow of the boat, called the Heads. Put your bum over the side. Poop. Then pull up a length of rope with a frayed end and wipe your bum. Then drop the rope back in the water for nature to clean it.
Yer sure they didn't go to the "poop" deck?
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Old 09-13-2013
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Re: Historical question: toilet on small yacht?

We singlehanders know all about the old cedar (spackle) bucket. It sometimes ain't possible to get below to the fancy ac-commode-ations:-)
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Old 09-13-2013
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Re: Historical question: toilet on small yacht?

"Seeing how in those ages people had very different ideas about decency "

Yargh. Which is why decent folks didn't let their daughters associate with sailor trash, and Yachtsmen hired other people to empty the buckets.
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