Should a new loo be fore and aft or face across the boat?

jollysailor17

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I have seen marine wc's fitted fore and aft and more usually facing across the boat. I am considering a combined wc/shower compartment and the fore and aft position would work best. Before I do this, I thought I would ask which works best, or is it just a matter of personal choice and what happens to fit into the confined space?
 

Salty John

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Fore and aft puts a heavy load on the hinges when the boat heels as the seat (with occupant) tends to try to slide off one way or the other.
Across the boat is comfortable on one tack but precarious on the other. Ideal would be two heads, one for each tack, otherwise you need an understanding skipper who will tack for your convenience!
 

30boat

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Both are raised with foot platforms for sitters. Gents can't miss from short range.

On my boat there's a strictly enforced sit down rule.The head is accross the boat and I'm thinking of fitting a handhold to stop people from going through the door in rough weather.
 

Quandary

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Heads.

The fore and aft aligned pan is a relatively recent innovation. For years, the accepted wisdom in boat design was that trying to stay in position on a head sloped sideways at 30 degrees with your buttocks clenched to stay aboard meant that it was virtually impossible to go. Nowadays it is no longer regarded as problem, probably because no body spends days bashing to windward any more. Ours is now fore and aft and the sheets are eased if anyone decides to use it, would never have been considered in our offshore racing days.
I once did an offshore race with a hot dinghy sailor who was unable to go below to use the head, we only discovered this on the second morning as his discomfort increased to the point where he thought we should retire,we offered to let him use a bucket in the cockpit as our only viable solution, he tried his best but no cigar; both claustrophobic and bashful.
 

oldvarnish

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The sideways forces on the weak hinges of a marine loo seat can be substantial in a seaway.

One tip I have read, but not yet got round to, is to fix two small blocks on the underside of the seat. These run up against the rim of the pan when the seat is down and take the strain (so to speak).

Not wishing to hijack the thread, but how would you fix them? Would epoxy work on that stuff loo seats are made from?
 

jollysailor17

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Fascinating, thanks for your feedback. I too have heady memories of days beating to weather on stripped out racers hurtling across the Bay of Biscay, where the humble bucket was seen as the only way to go, but these days as I meander my way gently across the oceans with only the vaguest idea of an eventual land fall, the bucket is now relegated to mere deck washing or the revisiting of my lunch in turbulent seas.
Nowadays the sheer luxury of sitting on a fixed loo seat, rather than mounting the rodeo bucket in the pitching foc'sle, perhaps joined with dare I say the convenience of a holding tank, would I know be seen by younger faster sailors as too much weight and an unnecessary indulgence. However, as I have seen my spring and summer years slip away and now enjoy sailing in my autumn years, my joints are not what they were and if I can make my daily ablutions that bit more comfortable then so be it.
Having thought about this some more, I can see that trying to complete the paper work on a plastic seat at 30 degrees would indeed put stress on the hinges, but why not build a pine shelf over the top, rather like the outside privee and hinge this up when you want to flush. No amount of heel would be a problem in that case.
 

westernman

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I have seen marine wc's fitted fore and aft and more usually facing across the boat. I am considering a combined wc/shower compartment and the fore and aft position would work best. Before I do this, I thought I would ask which works best, or is it just a matter of personal choice and what happens to fit into the confined space?

Most boats I have seen the loo is across the boat. I don't think it matters much and will in most cases be determined by other constraints. However, if you do have the choice, I would have thought fore and aft mounted would be better.
The most comfortable would be in the middle of the boat, but I guess you have better use to make of the space there......
 

mlthomas

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We have two heads, the aft faces forward but at 45 degrees across the boat and the forward heads faces aft with not quite as much turn into the boat. If there was a design fault it would be they are both on the same side!!
 

BlueChip

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I have 2 heads, one fore & aft, one athwartships. Never had a problem using either. ;)

Both are raised with foot platforms for sitters. Gents can't miss from short range.


+1 It also helps if you can wedge yourself in somehow, maybe add hand rails somewhere.
By preference I use the fore and aft heads at sea, but that may just be because it is nearer the cockpit. We have a rule that gents wash down the heads and pump out the shower tray when at sea. Saves a lot of unpleasantness later.
 

caribbeancat

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I would have thought a good wall to lean on, on either tack would be an important consideration in a fore and aft scenario. Somewhere to put feet, or lean back when facing across the boat?
 

prv

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Stavros is equipped with half a dozen lavatories, facing in various directions. When heeled hard over for a week, I generally select a bog that has me leaning back to leeward, although facing fore-and-aft is fine too. What you don't want is to be facing downhill, as it will tend to bring the contents of the bowl into uncomfortable proximity to dangling appendages. Indeed, on my last trip but one, one of the ladies went one better than that and had the entire solids content of the pot emptied into her oilskin trousers by a particularly vigorous roll.

Given the above, on a yacht where one does not have the luxury of choosing a crapper according to tack, I would tend to go for fore-and-aft positioning, with strengthening of the seat if needs be.

Pete
 

Resolution

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The sideways forces on the weak hinges of a marine loo seat can be substantial in a seaway.

One tip I have read, but not yet got round to, is to fix two small blocks on the underside of the seat. These run up against the rim of the pan when the seat is down and take the strain (so to speak).

Not wishing to hijack the thread, but how would you fix them? Would epoxy work on that stuff loo seats are made from?

I have just been sailing on a friend's two year old French built J122 which had exactly that. In addition to the usual white plastic "bumps" fixed to the underside of the seat, there were two white plastic L-shaped pieces screwed to the underside such that the vertical bit of the L fitted just inside the rim. Whole thing was neat and there was no flexing on the hinges as a result.
 

johnalison

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I've used fore-&-aft loos and athwartships ones and seen but not used diagonal ones. On balance I would go for fore-&-aft as the problems are about the same on each tack. This is one of those occasions where having a small boat scores, since wedging yourself in is the most important facility. My Par/Jabsco toilet has a wooden seat and has never given me any anxiety about its strength, though I had to change the base-metal screws to stainless.

There was a "confessional" in YM a few years ago about someone who had been thrown out of his athwartships seat in something like a Sadler 29 and ended up helplessly wedged in a locker on the other side of the boat, which I could well imagine.
 
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Rival 41 Brochure Shows Fore and Aft Loo

The fore and aft aligned pan is a relatively recent innovation.....

The brochure for the early (mid 1970's) Rival 41's showed the forward heads as a fore and aft loo to one side of the centre line. The head's had a longitudinal partition from the saloon bulkhead forward, then the door, splitting that area into two. To starboard was a passage to the forecabin and to port the heads. This allowed the user to lean against the partition on port tack, or the vanity unit on starboard tack. In front of the loo was the shower.

My own Rival has the heads athwartships where the shower would be on on the brochure version. The partition is the saloon door and of course there is no passage to the forecabin, just one big head with a forecabin door. The end result is a massive heads where one does have to stretch for a surefooted brace.

I have always thought that the narrow head with fore and aft was a good idea that made sensible use of space. The aft cabin loo is athwartship but as that is a narrow compartment it is much easier to use and brace.
 
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