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Old 09-09-2007, 06:04 AM   #1
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The topic "More Or Less Number Of Below Water Thru-hulls" Here;, prompted me to ask a question I have been thinking about, as I look at and study boats in my search for the "perfect boat". It seems many have two heads, and some offer three.

That is perplexing. With space seeming to be at a premium, especially on a cruising vessel, why would anybody want more than one?

* Less space

* More cost

* More maintenance

* More thru hulls

It seems one to four people could reasonably share one head, and maybe up to six with some minor planning and cooperation.

What are your thoughts and experiences?
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Old 09-09-2007, 07:09 AM   #2
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SV Watermelon, at 39' was a reasonably comfortable boat that originally was designed with two heads. The head that we used was on the port side forward, just aft of the forward V-berth. The second head, in the space forward of the startboard aft berth (walk through the head to get into the berth) was never installed, and Peter converted the space into a small tool "room" and safe dry space for our SSB radio. We heard people comment that they like two heads set up on either side of the boat because then one will always be on the leeward side, though we never had any problem using our single head no matter what the point of sail.

We needed a space to store spare line, tools, and our SSB radio more than we needed the extra work of a second head to keep clean. With guests on board, there was less privacy, but I'm not sure that the extra work of a second head, and loss of good storage space, was a reasonable trade-off to providing more privacy for the relatively few times there were guests on board.

I think that our setup was a reasonable compromise. We didn't modify the space that the second head was designed to occupy until we had owned and sailed the boat offshore for several years. By then, the day-to-day convenience of our radio and tool/extra line setup was obvious to us. We had also had guests aboard and did not find a single head to be a discomfort or inconvenience for either us or our guests.

Each boat owner has his/her own priorities and comfort level. I think that our "go slow" approach to modifying the boat made it easier for us to accept the compromises that we made.
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Old 09-09-2007, 07:45 AM   #3
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I have not owned a boat with more than one head. It has never been a problem, has never caused concern and I had not once contemplated a second. I only have one toilet at home and it seems to do the job quite nicely.

This is pure speculation, but I think the idea of a second dunny was a concession to the charter market. Storage space on most voyaging yachts is always needed and it seems unnecessary to create such a wonderful space for storage (a la Jeanne and Peter) then put a second toilet in it, instead of altogether more useful things that need a temporary home.

David.
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:53 AM   #4
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Jeff,

My boat where I had the most guests aboard for any length of time was a large catamaran with a single separate head and wash hand basin - a separate bath with a shower. There were times that as many as 12 people had to take turns at one function or another - it never seemed to be a problem.

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Old 09-09-2007, 07:50 PM   #5
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Two heads will be required when there are more than one female aboard for extended time, else we gents would never get access to the head two hours prior to going ashore.
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:35 PM   #6
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My husband would say two heads are necessary when you have me on board!
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:36 PM   #7
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Two heads aboard?? Hey- in my 66 years I've never even lived in a HOUSE with two heads!!! Even when raising the kids. Why on earth would I need more than one on board a boat? Well, maybe it it was a HUGE catamaran where it was a major trip from one hull to the other or if you were engaged in charter trade. Otherwise no.
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:34 PM   #8
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Since we do have a place for it (where the 2nd head has always been on the boat) we're talking about having a second head that can be anything from a Pardey style bucket to a Microphor, composting head, portapotty, or airhead. The reason for this is first--if the main head has a problem, there's a second head. The other reason is because I've decided that the few family/friends we've had visit us cannot be trusted to operate a normal (pump flush) marine head. I'm not dealing well with this. We explain, we leave "instructions" in the head, we SHOW them how it works. I'm not joking in saying that I've told my husband that if we keep having "issues" with our visitors, they will either be "not visiting" (they can stay at a hotel) OR they'll be peeing in a bucket. We've had things clog, we've had them leave the pump in what I call the "open" to the sea position, we've had one guest who flushed so much on her numerous trips to the head that she FILLED a holding tank in less than 8 hours. This was albieit a small tank on our Rawson, but we'd pumped out right before the day trip and couldn't believe it when the tank was FULL at the end of the day trip.

Hubby says its mean of me to think of making them using something less nice than the regular marine head, but seriously, I don't even want to let these folks USE my regular marine head. LOL!
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbopeep View Post
Hubby says its mean of me to think of making them using something less nice than the regular marine head, but seriously, I don't even want to let these folks USE my regular marine head. LOL!
At face value, Hubby sums it up !

If the regular marine head is of such a design that it can only be used by one person, then consideration could be given to replacing it with one that is safer and is capable of being used without blocking. EG a Laval and a Henderson Pump.

A caveat , amongst the standard hardware on a cruising yacht will be found many items that require careful explanation to guests and the crew as to their use and care. The skipper has that responsibility.
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Old 09-12-2007, 02:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
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At face value, Hubby sums it up !

If the regular marine head is of such a design that it can only be used by one person, then consideration could be given to replacing it with one that is safer and is capable of being used without blocking. EG a Laval and a Henderson Pump.

A caveat , amongst the standard hardware on a cruising yacht will be found many items that require careful explanation to guests and the crew as to their use and care. The skipper has that responsibility.
Ours is a "normal" marine head like those I've used on many boats here in the USA. Many hundreds, thousands of mariners have used toilets just like ours. It doesn't take rocket science.

So, after explaining how to use it, after explaining where the water comes from and where it goes, etc. Why can't the guests use it properly? And, after posting in the head a list of what cannot be flushed...those very items still end up there.

There is only one explanation--we must have nothing but dense land-lubber friends
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Old 09-12-2007, 02:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
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There is only one explanation--we must have nothing but dense land-lubber friends
Edward de Bono's advice might offer an alternative to "only one explanation"

http://www.edwdebono.com/debono/lateral.htm
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Old 09-12-2007, 03:43 AM   #12
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Redbopeep- after the first time, I'd tell 'em my toilet was malfunctionaing and hand 'em a durn bucket!!!

There's really no excuse for things like what you mention, other than they just plain don't give a damn. NOBODY is dumb enough to not understand , given a careful explanation. It's another example of the "not my fault" "not my problem" trend in our society I'm afraid.
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Old 09-12-2007, 03:57 AM   #13
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We mounted the pump handle for the Lavac high on a bulkhead (only place that worked well for the pump). I like that it gives me a bit of a workout--first pump with the right arm, second set with the left...you know, keeps me young! A young female guest said, "You mean, you can't just flush?" She's not weak (she works out daily) but this whole idea seemed just a little too primitive for her. So...one guest who'd prefer a hotel when she flies to meet us! Not that we don't want guests...

We have a porta-potty for times on the hard. Now that threw my son off. They're dropping like flies...
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:23 AM   #14
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I can think of several arguments for having 2 heads on a boat, especially one which reguarly accommodates more than 3 or 4 people. Having said that, my boat has only 1 head (and that is unlikely to change). If I had a five million dollar budget to get a boat built and could lay it out however my want, it would probably still only have 1 head (but boy, would it be a doozy!).
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