On board a ship, marine toilets are to as "the head." Marine toilets are made in manual or electric vacuum flush styles. On most pleasure boats, the head flushes to a holding tank, which has to be pumped out when full. Many boats also have a "Y-valve," which when flipped bypasses the holding tank for direct overboard discharge. It is only legal to discharge sewage overboard when more than 3 miles offshore, so before flushing your marine head make sure that the Y-valve is directed towards the holding tank.
Things You'll Need
- Manual or vacuum-flush marine head
- Marine-grade toilet paper
- Air freshener
Before using the toilet, turn the handle to "Wet" and pump a small amount of water into the bowl.
After using the toilet, add ample water to rinse the bowl and lines. (Note: Some manual toilets have a foot pump that draws saltwater in, rather than a "Wet" setting.)
Turn the handle to the "Dry" setting or use the manual handle to pump the bowl empty. Remember to close the thru-hull after using the head to prevent sea water from flowing back through the lines and filling the head while the boat is in motion.