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The Thetford Porta Potti

Feb 19, 2008
200
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
This is my 3rd season owning my 1995 Capri 18. I was surprised to see that the Porta-Potti was made about 2miles from my house, I guess it had to be made somewhere.

It’s clean and has no smell. It’s possible it’s never been used. I‘ve prepped it several times in the last three years (filled the tank with water and added the blue stuff). So far no one has needed to use it.

This year’s plans include spending a night at anchor, which certainly means someone is going to need to use the head.

Have you used the porta-potti?
im considering the 3 gallon bucket option, it seems cleaner and easier, and I like the idea of being able to put the waste in a trash bag and tie it to the foredeck, instead of sleeping with my head in close proximity to the used porta-potti.

im speaking input on how to handle output.

jk
 
Nov 6, 2006
9,209
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
I had a porta potty in my 23 foot boat. Wife and I used the potty many times in the 15 or so years we had the boat. There is no odor when the valve is closed, so we never had a problem with that. We emptied the tank past the three mile limit a few times but mostly emptied into the marina toilet. Some marinas are sensitive to that, but we always made sure that no mess was left behind.
 
Dec 2, 1997
8,097
- - LIttle Rock
The last thing you want is atrash bag full of waste tied to your foredeck to flap in the wind and/or bounce around and spring a leak!

A camping portapotty from Sears or Walmart might stink, but the Thetford won't except MAYBE for as long as the "trapdoor" in the bottom of the bowl is open to flush it, which is only a few seconds and there are tank products that can minimize that.

As for emptying it...you're on inland waters, so you don't have the option of emptying it over the side outside the 3 mile limit...you'd have to be in open ocean to do that. So you'll have to carry the tank off the boat to empty it down a toilet, either in marina or at home. So you definitely want the smaller 3 gallon size cuz waste weighs 8.333 lbs/gallon and 25 lbs is about all you want to have to carry.

However it IS legal to pee over the rail in inland waters...just make sure you're on the LEE side of the boat!

--Peggie
 

Tedd

.
Jul 25, 2013
455
Between Boats near Vancouver, BC
We got a Sani-Potty with our boat, which looks like the one that Dometic now sells. We use it quite a bit. It took me a while to convince my wife to use it, though. She preferred the bags that campers and hikers use, but I seem to have finally converted her to the port-a-potty. I'm the designated port-a-potty handler, so it's not like she has to deal with the ouput, as you put it. I empty it at home, which works perfectly fine. We've done as much as five days, with two adults, without coming close to its capacity.

We had two minor problems in the beginning. One was a broken clamp, which was easily replaced. The other was that, for some reason, neither the fresh water cap nor the effluent cap had a rubber seal. No idea where they went, but you do need those seals, especially on the effluent cap!
 
Feb 19, 2008
200
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
I think the backpacker bags are similar to the luggable loo I was looking at.
The concept is “bucket and chuck-it.” You can just put it in any trashcan when you get back to shore, instead of making the walk of shame to the marina toilet.

good feedback on the porta-potti @Peggie Hall HeadMistress.
I’ll stick with what I’ve got for now, if we hate it we can try a bucket next year.

or just stick with marinas.
 
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Tedd

.
Jul 25, 2013
455
Between Boats near Vancouver, BC
...instead of making the walk of shame to the marina toilet.
Of the many advantages of a trailerable sailboat, that's one I just took for granted. When I get home from a trip the port-a-potty is right there in my driveway, ready to be emptied.
 
Feb 26, 2004
21,909
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
We had one on our Catalina 22, 1981 boat, from 1983 to 1987, and on our Catalina 25, 1981, 1987 to 1998. Sailed both SF Bay (and Clear Lake with the 22). Never an issue, even when we slept in the V berth before we did the settee conversion and slept athwartships on the 22. The 25 had its own space for the head, close but not underneath our faces.

Even now on this boat since 1998, I do know what "Time for you to do an anchor watch!" means when she says it. :):):)
 
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Feb 19, 2008
200
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
[QUOTE="Stu Jackson, post: 1704664, member: 74093

Even now on this boat since 1998, I do know what "Time for you to do an anchor watch!" means when she says it. :):):)
[/QUOTE]

I had to read it several times to figure it out!

Yes, privacy. As I said, our cruising so far has been marina to marina, and neither of us have used the head. The 7 hours we spent in Grand Traverse Bay two years ago is kind of a record of sorts for me. At least since I've been in my 50s.
 
Feb 19, 2008
200
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
wait . . . @Tedd
You trailer the "full" potty?
I guess the highway is probably less bumpy than a hard chop on Lake Huron. :huh:
 

Tedd

.
Jul 25, 2013
455
Between Boats near Vancouver, BC
You trailer the "full" potty?
Yep. Never had a problem. The ride my trailer gives the boat is pretty smooth and, of course, I'm always careful. I suppose it would make a mess if I crashed the trailer, but that might not be at the top of my list of concerns, at that point.
[Edited to add: I do usually have something beside and in front of the port-a-potty that prevents it from sliding around, when the boat's on the trailer. But I've towed without doing that, too, without problems. My port-a-pottie sits on a rubber matt that does a good job of preventing it from sliding.]
 
Nov 22, 2011
960
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
wait . . . @Tedd
You trailer the "full" potty?
I guess the highway is probably less bumpy than a hard chop on Lake Huron. :huh:
Why not?

I have the Thetford 550p MSD, which on my boat is plumbed through a macerator for overboard discharge. At the end of a week-long Catalina trip it's not unusual for me to have the boat under sail with a mostly full porta potti--at least until I'm 3 miles out and can dump it.