Preparing to liveaboard a sailboat for a year entails many considerations. With an endless budget a boat could be designed and built to make life as comfortable on board as it is on land. There are boats available that do just that. Those were beyond our budget.
Transforming Second Star from an able coastal cruiser sailing from marina to marina with short stays on anchor entailed consideration of our daily activities and how to make them comfortable. Activities that were frequent, daily or more often rose to the top of the list, less frequent activities fell lower on the list. Landing at the top were sleeping, eating, and eliminating.
Traditionally small boat sailors used a bucket for many purposes, chief among them a receptacle for bodily waste. The bucket was a multi-tasker. Eventually as sailors demanded more creature comforts crammed into a small space, the recreational marine toilet was developed. Boat builders and buyers were more desirous of living and sleeping space; thus, the head was crammed into whatever space was left over. This practice dictated a small bowl a traditional marine head could fit into a space less than 18” wide. The compact marine toilet worked, however, no adult ever said its round, 13” diameter seat was comfortable, a seat barely larger than a 5 gallon bucket.
Doing the math, we realized the seat would be used in the neighbor of 360 times in the upcoming year for one of us and many more times for the other. It was an easy decision to replace the head.
Fortunately, we did not have to replace the entire head, Raritan makes replacement bowls in a standard household size. Not inexpensive, but considerably less than replacing the entire head. The bowl is usually a special-order item, we ordered one from the store at SailboatOwners.com. Easily installed with just four bolts, Second Star’s comfort level realized a big improvement.