The poop fairy

On a boat, like on land for our dogs, there is no poop fairy. What goes in must be handled responsibility when it comes out.

On SWALLOW I have a Thetford 550 portable potti. This has a five gallon holding tank which stores a week to nine days of ‘used’ coffee and food.


I’m not terribly bothered by the dumping chore. What bothers me is lack if good quality porta potty dumping locations. In the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound the number of locations has increased and many are in good working order. Some are not – Blake Island, near Seattle, and Reid Harbor at Stuart Island, San Juan Islands, are examples of non-functional (Blake) and poorly maintained (Reid).

The Gulf Islands, Canada, have almost no porta potty dumping locations.

These above situations mean I need to plan a route and where I stay so I’m able to do the right thing and responsibly disposing waste.

Some people find that the potti is a problem –

The above shows why boat life isn’t for everyone.

4 thoughts on “The poop fairy

  1. Dave, are the composting marine toilets a realistic option? Sailing friend lives aboard a larger (?49ft) sailboat during the ice free months. For the past few seasons commenting about wishing he had a composting toilet. Has not made the change over. Outside of cost, guessing there are some negative aspects of composting toilets to balance against a conventional marine toilet.

    If available is disposal of porta potti waste into the marina restroom toilets considered bad manners?


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