A Tour of Moonrise, Part 3

   In this post I’ll be talking about a subject that is close to my heart. This part of the boat is both luxury and necessity. I speak, of course, about the bathroom, otherwise known as ‘the head’. Such an intuitive name for this part of the boat, no? No? Okay, well it’s called that because in ye olde sailing times, sailors relieved themselves over the side or through a platform at ‘the head’ of the boat, meaning the pointy part. I’m imagining they chose this position so that the wind would blow their foul stench out to sea, not into the faces of their fellow sailors. Unfortunately today’s modern boats don’t have this feature (unless you are at least 3 miles offshore, in which case they might, but be careful.)

No, today’s luxury yachts require one to travel with sewage. Let’s not put too fine a point on it. If we’re old enough to read and write, we’re old enough to know at least some of the less savory facts of life. I’m actually quite proud of the head on Moonrise. As marine toilets go, this one is a dandy. It has the look and feel of a land lubber potty, right down to the porcelain bowl. But the similarities stop there.

We would probably have a lot more guests on the Moonrise if it weren’t for the issue of  sharing facilities. People who know me know that I am frankly a pretty private person in most respects. I’ll share my business, but on my own terms, and generally not this kind of business, if you know what I mean. And most of my women friends feel the same way. I believe that if there were better designed marine heads, more women would agree to their husband’s dream of sailing away. I don’t think many women would be satisfied with a slop bucket, but I’m willing to be wrong about this. To be fair, these designers don’t have much to work with considering that they have little choice in terms of getting rid of the waste. It pretty much has to stay on the boat until you can pump it out at a designated station.

So let’s just say I feel lucky to have such a pretty head. Never mind that using this facility is a several step process that involves filling the bowl with water, making the deposit in the porcelain bank, then pumping it dry, then cleaning the bowl. It’s worth it because there is literally nothing that fills me with more loathing than the idea of being stuck somewhere without a potty. I have middle age and two childbirths to my credit.  I’ve earned a good toilet on a boat, and Mike has replaced the vent hoses and made a dandy air filter so we  live with a lot less stench than other people. If our boat has ‘boatitosis’ neither of us is happy.

Our head is located between the salon and the V berth. It’s separated from those two spaces by two doors, so there is complete privacy, at least visually. Walk through the door from the salon and to port is the potty, to starboard the sink with a deep cabinets for supplies both above the sink and below. Behind the toilet is a hanging locker for wet items.

There is a wooden grate covering the sole in the head. I installed this grate to make the floor a flat surface and to create a storage space underneath. It is easily removed for cleaning or to access that storage space, which was wasted before. There is a similar grate in the v-berth.



In Part 4, I’ll talk about the quarter berths and, my personal favorite area, the V berth.


12 thoughts on “A Tour of Moonrise, Part 3

  1. Well I am one of those people from Eastern Washington. 🙂 I appreciate the difficulties with regards too showering 😉 If you still have the solar shower I might recommend pouring warm to hot water in it and just use it as a vessel that is what we do while winter camping. Great Blog
    Best Regards

  2. That’s a good idea. I’ll see if we still have the thing. As I recall, the last time I tried to use it, I tried hanging it from the mast and threading the tube down the hatch in the v berth. I can’t remember why. I see you have a blog. I look forward to checking it out! How did you find us? I’m always curious about how people find each other’s blogs. I know there must be many out there that we haven’t run across yet.

    • Hi Melissa I found you by searching the tag downsizing. I am always looking for people who have “already done it or are doing it” so that I might find helpful ideas. You have a great blog and great infomation. I am a fan. 🙂

  3. Oh, serious blushing here! Well, we’re happy to have you. We, too are always looking for people involved in their own plan for clearing their lives of the ties that bind them in ways that don’t serve them anymore. There are so many blogs from people who are already living on their boats. Right now I’m more interested in how they GOT there than in what it’s like.

  4. Thank you for the trip down memory lane! I forget how I stumbled across your blog, but I’ve owned both a Cal 34 and a Cal 36. Upgraded to the 36 after going through a very nasty blow off Hatteras in the 34, deciding at that point, that the boat was not an ocean boat. The 36 however, I trusted with my life. Yeah, that head/shower thing…try the tropics; you’ll want nothing more than the solar shower on deck in an uncrowded anchorage!

  5. OOh, actually that gives me the willies. We’ve been in some nasty weather in Moonrise, but around here there isn’t anything that’s going to get THAT nasty. Too much land between us and the Pacific.
    When I get to the tropics (that’s When, not If), I will definitely be showering in the cockpit. No problem there!

  6. Moonrise looks like a lovely boat! Really like the bookcase/table set up you have, I need a much bigger bookcase for all my books, skipper says I have too many but that’s just not possible. Am so jealous of the lovely head you’ve got on Moonrise, the whole concept of marine toilets terrifies me but i’m known for my neurotic and irrational fears. Yours looks so nice and calming with the nice white walls and the wooden lid and little sink, ours isn’t too bad compared to some we saw when boat shopping, but it’s still going to take some getting used to, especially the horrific sound it makes when emptying.
    I’m enjoying reading your posts and enjoy your sense of humour, keep them coming! And good luck selling Moonrise, she’ll make the right person a lovely home.

    • Welcome, Sarah! Just finished reading your blog and I love your boat and the wildlife photos! I wonder if you are happy with having a steel hull? We consider those a lot because they really can take you anywhere you’d like to go. I am determined to sail to Australia aboard whatever boat we have because the last time we were there I didn’t get to see the Great Barrier Reef and I’ve regretted it ever since.
      Yes, I am happy with our ‘head’, although it’s a fairly common type around here. The simpler the better, I say.

      • Thanks for the kind words about our blog and my photos! We haven’t done much sailing in Tygress yet but we figured a steel hull would be more forgiving to novice sailors and the inevitable bumps and scrapes we’ll have and it keeps a little cooler in summer. The flip side is we have to be really vigilant about rust which can make you a bit paranoid. Like the other day I lost an embroidery needle that defied all efforts to find it, I’m now convinced it’s found it’s way to the hull and is presently attracting rust and creating a hole that will inevitably be the sinking of us.

  7. That IS a nice head! I have the same model toilet and have been looking for a wooden seat like you have, but no luck. Where did you get yours?

  8. Pingback: A Tour of Moonrise, Part 2 | Little Cunning Plan

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