Okay, it’s only in the boat yard, but we’re pretty excited: last night was the first night we spent aboard our new boat!! Yes, we’re living aboard her now!!
And so come the inevitable questions. I’ve written before about living on the hard more from a galley perspective, but there is one question I get pretty frequently from those about to try living aboard on the hard for the first time. Sane thing when we tell a non-cruiser that we’re living on the boat while we’re working on her in the yard.
We get a few sheepish looks and then the question, “so what if you need to, uh, pee in the middle of the night?” Yeah, we can’t really use the toilet. During the day, it’s pretty simple to use the yard bathrooms. But do you really want to do that in the middle of the night?
The first time we lived in the boat yard — just a few days for bottom painting — we’d climb down the ladder, cross the yard and use the facilities in the shower house.
The next time we were in the yard, we were doing some major work on our first boat, Que Tal, and would be on the hard for 4 months. Dave’s one of those guys who gets up several times a night and he said “no way” to going down the ladder every time.
Solution: the pee bottle and its corollary, the pee bucket.
We put a 5-gallon bucket in the head for me and simply took it out and dumped it it in the toilet in the morning if I’d used it. To be honest, it’s rare that I get up in the middle of the night, so Dave wanted something easier to take down the ladder the other days.
He tried several different jars and bottles, but for various reasons (volume and watertight threads being the main problems) the ones we salvaged from the trash just weren’t right.
Then one day Dave saw a Nalgene canteen used by campers and backpackers and got one. It holds 96 ounces, has a wide mouth and is designed to carry water in backpacks and daypacks, so it’s engineered not to break or leak. I can vouch that it has never leaked — the big concern for a pee bottle!
And now, considering that the head is in the opposite hull from our cabin in the new boat, I’m guessing it may get used no matter where we are.