Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-09-2009, 16:04   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 54
Extended Cruising - the Cockpit Head

This is one of those subjects that I'm not sure I should post about, due to some people's sensitivities, but what the heck, it's a useful tip for women sailors on long cruises. It all came about through an extended offshore cruise (6 months) on a catamaran with electric heads and three women on board. Electric heads are great, but maintenance through wear and tear is frequent -and not much fun.

The vast majority of flushes are just for pee, it's fine for guys, they often just go over the side, but even that's sometimes fraught with danger in heavy seas.

Prompted by one of the girls stating they wish they could do that easily we developed the 'pee tube' concept.

Simple, just a small funnel (heated in boiling water and squashed so the top is oblong, much longer than wide - for fit- see below) and enough plastic tube to lead either to the scuppers, or anywhere overboard in a straight run. It can be fixed permanently, or just got out when needed, we set ours up permanenety, without the funnel on.

A small digression on hygiene first to correct some misconceptions - urine is basically sterile, and usually contains far less bacteria than the water in your water tanks, and definitely far less than your dishcloth!

OK the frank bit

For women to use the pee tube is simple, and can easily be done very discretely wearing a swimming costume, even a skirt or shorts with wide legs. Using with jeans etc only needs the front ondone and loosened - not taken down. Just stand feet slightly apart, pull aside your knickers at the front only, and place the funnel against you in the right place and go. A small piece of tissue can be used to wipe, and then overboard as it's quite biodegradable. or just a drip wipe against the funnel edge -remember it's sterile. Then a little sea water down the funnel and its ready to go again.

Advantages? Simple, quick and easy. Ideal, and safer, for solo women sailors, or when you're on night watch to avoid having to go below - usually at the most inconvenient times. Saves a lot of wear and tear on head pumps..i.e. on our boat 3 women 3 times a day for 6 months - 1620 flushes saved on the pump and valves.

It's also safer for guys to use than just going over the side - I'm told more than few MOB have their flies open!

The practicalities of use in reality? One of the girls on board preferred it so much from an ease and convenience point of view, she'd even use it in port - in full view from the waist up (high cockpit sides) without anyone noticing. Even n the cockpit you can'r see anything from behind, just a girl standing against the cockpit side.

Simple, discrete, and safe.

BTW the ideal funnel has a top about 3" across, and can easily be heated and bent to be abut an inch wide. Cut the tip off at the point the inside diameter is about 1/3rd of an ich to ensure enough flow. The connecting tube should ideally go straight down and be relatively short, on our boat we had a cockpit drain that was perfect - about 6" from the cockpit side.

I'm sure some women will be horrified at the thought of a pee tube, but those who actually do cruise offshore for extended periods will understand how useful it can be.
__________________

__________________
kiwiradical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2009, 16:23   #2
Registered User
 
moonrsn's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Puget Sound
Boat: Islander 37 'Taku Wind'
Posts: 44
Go to 'West Marine' and spend $16 for a 'little john' and 'lady j adapter'. End story...
__________________

__________________
Noel Edwards
Faster horses, younger women, Older whiskey, and more money...
moonrsn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2009, 16:30   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,152
Freshette
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2009, 17:29   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 54
Not quite the end of story....actually we had a similar device to the Freshette on board, but it was never popular, whereas the above soon became the default.

There's some very interesting psychology here, even with an all woman crew...when using the Freshette clone, as it was portable, normal social conditioning dictated that it be taken and used in at least a semi private way, and the usual thing was to go forward, out of the cockpit view. As soon as it was anything other than calm, or was raining, that became too much trouble, and it was just easier to use the head. Consequently the 'habit' of using it never developed and it soon was never used at all.

With the P tube, as the only place to use it was defined by its position, that place was by default socially acceptable, and once the initial reservations were over-come it was used in all weathers as it was safe, and out of any rain/spray, and in the end in preference to the head.

Even women guests on board were shown the fitting, and instructed in its use it became so much the default.

So logic is not always straight forward as it seems.
__________________
kiwiradical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2009, 18:13   #5
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25

Thats not life as I know it. Nor is it life that I aspire to.

There is no reason on earth why someone can't take a minute and go below.

It also gives a nice little break in the shift.

Whilst cruising in Asia we notice people indiscriminately do their business in the street. Cruising does not mean we need to do the same. We don't need to regress just because its possible.

Keep the discipline and dignity of modern people


__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2009, 18:54   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: CA
Boat: Cal 34
Posts: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Thats not life as I know it. Nor is it life that I aspire to.

There is no reason on earth why someone can't take a minute and go below.

It also gives a nice little break in the shift.

Whilst cruising in Asia we notice people indiscriminately do their business in the street. Cruising does not mean we need to do the same. We don't need to regress just because its possible.

Keep the discipline and dignity of modern people


Ultimately, if you're tanking and dumping it anyway, what's the difference, except more wear on the heads?
__________________
HobieFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2009, 19:02   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
nautical62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
Posts: 2,264
Images: 12
I've known a few women who pee off the back without the need for any special devices.
__________________
nautical62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2009, 19:18   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
Therapy's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: W Florida
Boat: The Jon boat still, plus a 2007 SeaCat.
Posts: 6,894
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post




Whilst cruising in Asia we notice people indiscriminately do their business in the street. Cruising does not mean we need to do the same. We don't need to regress just because its possible.




And everything I have read, and I mean everything, has ascribed to the "When in Rome" ideal and that visitors should be very careful to respect and emulate local customs, actions, ideals etc.

When did you toss that out Mark?
























__________________
Therapy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2009, 19:56   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 54
nautical62: any woman can, few do, and it can get very messy in heavy weather.....for men too.

MarkJ: Regress??? that's an interesting moral judgement. By the way I've heard some cruisers even swim nude from their boats....how could they regress so far? :-) Oh, and remember never, ever touch food with your left hand, that will completely gross out many of the people in the area you're in....but they'll be too polite to show it.
__________________
kiwiradical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2009, 19:58   #10
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Therapy View Post
"When in Rome" ideal and that visitors should be very careful to respect and emulate local customs,
That whas when Rome was the centre of civilisation of the world. Not the other way around.


Maybe you are thinking of the concept of the Noble Savage? [ "noble savage" expresses a concept of the universal essential humanity as unencumbered by civilization; the normal essence of an unfettered human. - Wikipaedia]


You may like a piss bucket.
I prefer my Pith helmet
__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2009, 20:55   #11
Registered User
 
CalebD's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SE NY
Boat: Tartan 27' - 'Odalisque'
Posts: 135
Noble? No. Savage? Perhaps.
When all else fails I bet you could use the galley sink as a pee receptacle if you have something to rinse it out with. Sea water followed by fresh comes to mind.
A bucket with a lanyard attached to it is a wonderful thing as are PFD's, harnesses and tethers if you know how to use them.
In a tough situation even those wearing Pith helmets may still find that necessity is the mother of invention. I, for one, am happy to hear what inventions others have found suitable for such an unspeakable situation.
Someone please pinch me to remind me that we are not still living in the Victorian age!
__________________
CalebD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2009, 21:40   #12
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
could use the galley sink !
One could. But do people realllllllly aspire to a life piddeling into a bucket, the kitchen sink or a tube in the cockpit?

I would prefer to stay at work for an extra week to afford a dunny that the Romans invented 4,000 yars ago.


__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2009, 22:26   #13
Registered User
 
CalebD's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SE NY
Boat: Tartan 27' - 'Odalisque'
Posts: 135
Do people realllly aspire to working in the corporate fridge all their lives to afford an extra head or two or three or four for their boats? If so, many would not be able to cast off their dock lines often enough to actually get out there.
Did the Romans have porta-potties on their sailing vessels 2000 years ago? Did the Royal Navy have MSDs (marine sanitation devices)? No, they located the head over the stern of their boats mostly and I doubt that the Romans had anything better. Apparently this did not kill them all, yet your Victorian sense of what is right seems to indicate that somehow I am below your class. Perhaps that is the case and maybe I should live in OZ as the original poster does but perhaps you have fairly strong opinions about yourself.
You must enjoy your sense of entitlement and superiority to even rebut my comment.
It is also interesting to note that you seem to enjoy trying to correct the world on how 'you' (meaning: we) should behave.
What is good for the goose is not always good for the gander and why should you care?
In many parts of the world there are no 'NDZ' (no discharge zones) even though there should be. The Caribbean in particular seems to lack the regulations most westerners are used to. I am not sure where you have a 'dog in this fight'?
I wont debate that the head is the best and safest way to take care of our necessities in a seaway but I question your references to the Romans who also suffered from plagues, syphillis and many other problems. You must be British at heart.
Wishing you well for the most part.
__________________
CalebD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2009, 22:46   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 54
Um..back to the original post, it wasn't about were to do your ablutions generally, or not having a head, just something that's been found useful to save wear an tear on heads, give more safety (did you hear about the solo woman sailor who went below to use the loo and got hit by a freighter?), and believe it or not is actually a very commonsense solution.

Oh, it would also be nice to have a woman's perspective..seems all the posts are from men. I've found women that actually use it, after a couple of times like the freedom it gives a lot.
__________________
kiwiradical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2009, 22:50   #15
Registered User
 
CalebD's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SE NY
Boat: Tartan 27' - 'Odalisque'
Posts: 135
"British at heart" it is as your boat is clearly registered in OZ from the pic I saw on your profile, Sydney in fact. To my ear your accent is vaguely similar to British although I can distinguish the two, face to face, mouth through air to ear, even from South African and possibly even NZ.
I would guess that you are a commodities trader or some sort of mucky muck and good for you. Not everyone is so lucky.
G'day or is it G'night?
My best.
__________________

__________________
CalebD is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
extended cruising

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Center Cockpit vs Aft Cockpit MaDouleur Monohull Sailboats 48 12-08-2017 06:56
Center Cockpit Sailboats and Blue Water Cruising Songlines Seamanship & Boat Handling 70 05-08-2012 21:02
Center cockpit vrs aft cockpit Panamajames Monohull Sailboats 54 24-03-2009 16:00
On extended cruising, relationships, and cruise logs.... Mark424 Liveaboard's Forum 16 24-04-2008 18:58
Opinions, please, on refitting for extended Caribbean cruising? speedoo Atlantic & the Caribbean 21 06-11-2007 18:01



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:18.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.