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post #11 of 24 Old 12-27-2019
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Re: Small pocket cruiser with marine head

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Originally Posted by Minnesail View Post
The big question is if the pocket cruiser in question has sufficient space. It works for me in my Catalina 22, but if I were 6’ or taller I don’t think it would.
I sailed a Catalina 22 for a few years in Puget Sound with a Porta Potti, often to places with no pump out service . Works out fine and there’s room. Not a lot of privacy but hey it’s a boat; you can sort of “pretend privacy”. Also cruised all over northern Lake Michigan with a Tanzer 22 and a porta potti. Worked out great. So you should be set!
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post #12 of 24 Old 12-27-2019
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Re: Small pocket cruiser with marine head

Yorkville, I don't see your location. Here on Monterey and San Francisco Bays, we have a Santana 22. We cruise this section of the coast and camp out on the boat two or three times a year. Our One Design racing rules require a head or a weight penalty. We have a Porta-potty to meet the requirements and have had occasion to use it. Not very convenient, but it does work. At about 7 pounds empty and a little more with flush water and deodorant it is light, compact (fits under the V berth) and not too much trouble to empty. There are a lot of Catalina/Capri 22s around that would also fit the bill. Take a class if you are nervous about boat handling. If you can sail a dingy to the dock, you can sail these boats as well.
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post #13 of 24 Old 12-28-2019
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Re: Small pocket cruiser with marine head

i think my yamaha 25 makes a superb pocket cruiser. its snug but doable for 4 overnight, with 2 real quarter berths and a generously sized v-berth. they came with a porta potty in the US, but the molds were designed for a head and there's a suitable compartment to build a modest holding tank. i understand some owners have made that mod. like most others boats in this size, you don't get much privacy, but the curtain they put in actually gives pretty good privacy for using the porta-potty sight-wise. can't do much about sounds and odors on a small boat though. there is decent ventilation with the forehatch open though.

downsides are the fairly deep draft - 5.5' makes for a well balanced boat under sail, but its not much use in florida and not suited to trailering. it's just fine in the puget sound, where i sail. it sails nicely enough for a cruiser, and the 1-lunger yanmar that came standard is reliable and economical.
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post #14 of 24 Old 12-29-2019
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Re: Small pocket cruiser with marine head

I had a Catalina 250 for 7 years. It has a very nice enclosed head for such a small boat (including a sink), and an open cabin layout that allows multipurpose use of interior space. Also a nice, queen-size berth under the cockpit. We did a couple of overnights every year on it, sometimes sleeping in the bow, sometimes in the aft berth. The default configuration out of the factory had a Porta-Potti in the head, but mine had a marine head with holding tank. This is a very different design from the ubiquitous Catalina 25, which also has its fans.

Regardless of what boat you get, I would suggest that you get some clarification on the exact policy that is actually enforced. Are people able to get away with a Porta-Potti? Your best bet might be to talk to other marina tenants to see what they actually enforce, since I think the difference between a Porta-Potti and full head is negligible for one-night stays. And how do they actually enforce their policy against overnight stays for non-compliant boats? I doubt they do bed checks.

I do recall that my prior marina had signs promising immediate eviction for anyone who emptied their Porta Potti in the marina bathrooms. Maybe they have a similar policy, so if you're able to get away with just a Porta Potti, you may need to take the tank home with you to dispose of it.

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Last edited by TakeFive; 12-30-2019 at 02:43 PM.
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post #15 of 24 Old 12-30-2019
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Re: Small pocket cruiser with marine head

Good point TakeFive. Is the porta potty allowed as a holding tank and do they check? Almost all marinas with heads on shore also have a pump out. That is where the porta potty is supposed to be emptied.
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post #16 of 24 Old 12-30-2019
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Re: Small pocket cruiser with marine head

Never knew that, never had a porta potty?

What is the difference between pumping it out and putting it into a toilet in the bathroom?
Not all pump outs are easily accessible plus pump outs in MD cost.


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post #17 of 24 Old 12-30-2019
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Re: Small pocket cruiser with marine head

Not everyone is as careful as you might wish dumping contents into a public toilet. There is also a possibility of objects plugging the toilet. Not a good scene. The pump out is not easily plugged. In California some of the state sales taxes, fishing gear, a portion of the marine fuel tax, etc. are applied to boating improvements. Almost all pumpouts in the state are free. There is a phone app that shows their location. If the nozzle fits your deck fitting, it should fit the porta potty.
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Re: Small pocket cruiser with marine head

So it’s a matter of someone might be messy.....not that it’s illegal.
Like I said in Md not every marina has a pump out, and also there is at least a $5 charge to use it.


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post #19 of 24 Old 12-30-2019
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Re: Small pocket cruiser with marine head

I had a Thetford Porta-Potti for my fishing boat. Still have it in the basement (thoroughly disinfected). Mine is designed to pour out the stuff, not to be sucked by a pump out wand. I’m not sure you could pump it out if you tried.

Marinas are private businesses and can set their policies. They may not want someone dumping several gallons of days-old black water into their toilets. The smell and splashing would be far more than any single person taking a dump. Would you want to use a bathroom after someone had just made such a mess?

If you go with a Porta-Potty, plan to take it home to empty it. One person can ruin it for everyone.

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Re: Small pocket cruiser with marine head

I understand it isn’t pleasant. And there is potential for spillage.
Our marina doesn’t have that kind of restriction and there are plenty of small sailboats with porta potties.
So if you have one....do you have to take it home?
Boats aren’t the only ones facing porta potties...RVs do also.
I don’t see cesspool bathrooms all over the place.
It is a private business so they can set their own rules.


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