Ideas For a Boat Mini Rest-Room For The Ladies
Nature calls are something we all have, as they somehow seem to to be a critical part of life, so we/they do not really need to be ashamed of this natural involuntary urge to relieve ourselves. Men have the definite advantage when it comes to urination with their outside plumbing. And the modern women who usually wear jeans during any outdoor activity, will usually need that they at least partially dis-robe, possibly creating a modesty/privacy issue. And some women may be more sensitive than others to the lack of privacy (even if shielded), if doing it in the presence of others onboard, men especially. Not that I am in any way trying to be demeaning to them here, it's just a matter of fact of human behavior.
I have an old time fishing friend, who calls this "Pumping The Bilge".
The problem may not really be whether the receptacle is unorthodox, clean and/or functional, but it's the issue of dropping clothes to do the job at hand, which could expose large amounts of skin at some point in the process. Not so bad if it's just hubby, but with close quarters combat fishing, or a boat full of guys, it's not going to happen as she will hold it as long as possible and be miserable the rest of the day. And a miserable woman is usually, WELL YOU FILL IN THE DOTS !!
For the average fisherman who may take a female along on a fishing trip, not having made provisions for facilities of any kind, could be an embarrassing issue at a most inopportune time. As you, the male operator of the boat may seem totally out of connection with the real world. Yes, you need to consider their modesty, BUT sometimes this can become ridiclous depending on the situation, where some will only relieve themselves in a established clean toilet or Honey Bucket ashore. The bad part about this, some really non-familiar fisherwomen may not understand that returning to shore during a prime tide change, you could loose the whole timing for the best most possible fishing productivity time of the day. In this case, you might as well, while you are back at the dock, pull the boat out of the water and go home for the day.
Also the situation will be different depending on the size of your boat and/or if it is a cabin/cuddy cabin or an open boat, AND also the location of other boaters who may be in close proximity to each other on the water. Then add to that whether you and the wife are fishing alone or with some of your buddies/invitees may make a difference.
In the header photos above, are two examples of what can be part of the answer. The LH photo being a Port-A-Potty. In the RH photo of the 5 gallon plastic bucket, the full plywood lid is just that, making it also a spare seat if needed, and not seen is another lid with a large center hole and enough outer ring for body support as when used in relationship for the purpose intended in this article. As you can see, it also is used for storage making it considerably more practical on a small boat. Here you can also use a 13 gallon plastic kitchen garbage liner, or just use your deck brush to scrub the inside immediately after usage.
I am sure that many of us have "Been There-Done that"
as to not having any kind of a facility onboard at one time or another. So, if you value her company, you need
to at least consider some accommodations in your boat for a female
Many years ago, my uncle had an expression when he relieved himself over the gunnel of his boat at Westport, "They may see what I'm doing, but they can't see what I'm doing it with" and then my mother had one, "If they have never seen it before, they don't know what it is, but if they have, then it is nothing new". However most men seem to have a slightly different view on the subject than women do.
Boat Type ;
(1) Cabin Boat ;
Obviously this type of boat will usually have accommodations in the cabin for a "Marine Head", which could be a actual marine toilet or even a Port-A-Potty and a closeable door leading into the cabin. Problem solved.
(2) Convertible Boat ;
This type of boat is usually smaller than a cabin boat, and probably one of the most common, at least in my area here in the Pacific Northwest. Here we may have to get creative, but there are a lot of options. Many times the helm and passenger seats are located on top of metal storage boxes. These boxes are an ideal location to store a Coleman Port-A-Potty. If there is not enough room there, then possibly in the storage area under the bow.
You need to consider the privacy thing for her, which
in this case could simply be a large beach towel or two to act as a screen
(these are 27" X 58"). You/she can facilitate this by simply draping
one sideways over the top of the boat's folding front seats. Another towel can be
draped over the metal tubing on the inside of the convertible top. This gives
her some privacy like if you are
sitting in a Hog Line with other boats 40' apart (or less) on the Columbia River salmon fishing.
The neighbors may know what is happening, but their time may be next.
Another option, the $5 solution: Buy a plastic poncho, but not the flimsy, see-through kind, and it would be better if the color was somewhat neutral. These things slip over the head, both arms can slip inside so she can undo, drop, redo and emerge with dignity intact. However some ponchos may be so open sleeved that sewing the sleeved closed may be advisable. Pair that with a large cup or pint plastic bottle container, or the old time standard, a 5 quart plastic painter's bucket, or even a 5 gal plastic bucket for the sitters. What-ever your/her decision, you might suggest having her practice once or twice in the shower stall (fully dressed in fishing gear) to gain some confidence. Problem solved. For the standers (men), about anything seems to function, even kneeling on the floor using a piss bottle.
A suggestion to you boat owner men, do not forge ahead and create this plan on your own, but discus it with the Admiral, (her) ahead of time and ask for advice from her point of view, you/she might just come up with a rather simple solution.
One word of caution/information, The US Coast Guard's drowning report shows that over 70% of the men who drown, have their zippers down when the body is recovered.
(3) Open Boat ;
One answer here can also the poncho method mentioned above.
One fisher says that they use a large mouthed plastic bottle and an umbrella that when opened fits over the open bow rail section with room for her to squat under, great privacy and everyone is happy.
Another option that may be worth some consideration is the female urination device, female urination aid, or stand-to-pee device (STP) is a device which aids a female to urinate while standing upright, which could be combined with the poncho. Variations include basic disposable funnels to more elaborate reusable plastic designs. Female urination devices have increased in popularity since the 1990s. They can be used for many outdoor pursuits, or for medical reasons. One version of this is the SheWee as seen in the LH photo below swells for $9.95 at Cabela's. There are other names of manufacturers attached to this device, one being GoGirl, another Lady J, so they are something else to consider carrying aboard just for her. She might not like it, but sometimes necessity over rules modesty. However, do not have it onboard without at least letting her try it beforehand. One place to look for these when considering a purchase is a Truck Stop.
|SheWee, a Female Urination Device||Nuff Said|
Probably most of the time the nature call will be #1, (urination), HOWEVER #2 can also be an issue, same basic problem for both sexes, so the ladies are not totally alone in this aspect. And if you do prepare, it may just also be something you may some day use yourself if an emergency occurs. But do not forget at least a partial roll of toilet paper sealed in a Zip-Loc baggy.
Personal Experiences ;
When I take anyone out in my boats, before leaving the dock/launch, I do an orientation and explain the location of the life jackets, operation of the motor if I happen to become incapacitated AND the location of the Port-A-Potty and/or piss bottle/bucket (or as the Coast Guard labels it, an auxiliary de-watering device).
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Originated 05-07-2016, Last updated
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