Design and operation of a manual flush yacht toilet
Denis Korablev
  • 19.04.2021
  • 283

Design and operation of a manual flush yacht toilet

Everyone who has ever traveled on a yacht, in the first days of the trip, faced one delicate problem - the peculiarities of the toilet. On a yacht, the toilet is of great importance, but at the same time it is considered the most frequently broken element in the composition of the vessel.

You are not on this page by chance, with a high degree of probability it can be argued that you have not been on board a yacht yet and are just going to go on your first voyage, gaining advice and recommendations from experienced 2yachtsyachtsmen. We dare to assure you that you have come where you need to, and the information in this article can rightfully be considered useful for beginners, since using a toilet on board a pleasure boat is far from the same as using a bathroom in a city apartment. In this article, we will look at the design and operation of a manual flush toilet, as well as how you can avoid damage to it and make your yacht charter holiday more comfortable.

Toilet device

When examining a yacht from the outside, it is difficult to imagine how compact everything inside is, a lavatory with a washbasin and a shower in it is often combined and this unit in nautical practice is usually referred to as "latrine" (a foreign word meaning "bow of a ship"). Most of the rented yachts use a manual flushing system, in which a toilet with a manual pump is installed instead of the familiar toilet with a cistern. This system is installed on modern cruising and sports yachts.

Having used the latrine, at some point you suddenly realize that you do not know how to use a manual pump (and the system as a whole), and you are extremely reluctant to ask questions on this delicate topic. So, let's consider the features of the structure and operation of the yacht latrine.

Principle of operation

A toilet with a hand pump has an unpretentious scheme of work, and for proper use you need to understand it. The pump is located on the right, it has a flush handle and a switch between modes. When the position is "to the right" (this is what is called "standby mode"), no flushing water is supplied from the outside, and the valve is reliably blocked.

The switch must be set to the "left" position, and then 10-15 vigorous pumping with the handle of the pump should be performed, at this time seawater is supplied to the toilet bowl. After bleeding, put the switch to the "right" position and also carry out several pumpings. Then the contents of the toilet will begin to flow into the faecal tanker or directly into the surrounding aquatic environment.

This cycle must be repeated at least two to three times in order to achieve a complete cleaning of the drain system. Since the drain hose is curved and very long, some effort is required to complete the process efficiently. After you realize that you have pumped enough, just in case, you should carry out the entire sequence of actions one more time. In conclusion, it is imperative to set the flush switch to the closed position (Lock) in order to prevent sea water from entering the toilet on the principle of communicating vessels.

It is very important not to rush leaving the latrine, even if you are very limited in time, if you do not effectively clean the system, after a couple of hours there will be a persistent unpleasant odor on the boat. Another rule is that under no circumstances should anything be thrown into the toilet, even thin paper, this will quickly clog it, and cleaning it will become a whole problem for the whole team. Things that are prohibited to be thrown into the toilet include cigarettes, chewing gum, all kinds of hygiene products and other solid waste. Any technical liquids, including oil, diesel, gasoline, any solvents, hot water is also prohibited to be drained into the toilet.

Also, remember that many yacht rental companies take substantial compensation from the deposit for clogged toilets, the amount of which starts from hundreds of euros (after all, to remove the clog, you have to completely disassemble the system). We advise you to make sure that there is always a plastic garbage bag in the toilet, which will need to be replaced as it fills.

If the yacht is equipped with a faecal tank, then when accepting the vessel, pay attention to the position of the kingstones (valves that block access to the ship's system communicating with the seawater). Before using the latrine, open the kingstones. For safety reasons, it is imperative to make sure that everyone on board understands how a manual flush toilet works and knows how to use it correctly.

Attention! It is necessary to inform the elderly and children on board in advance that the kingston must be closed after using the toilet.


Despite the seemingly complicated device, you can use a manual yacht toilet quite quickly, you just need to get used to handling the pump and follow the safety rules. Having wished you a pleasant sailing, we will not fail to remind you that nothing should be thrown into the toilet, and the kingstones (even if no one is on the boat for a short period of time) must always be securely closed.

If you need advice on the possibility of purchasing or renting yachts in the selected region, use the services of 2yachts. We can guarantee the provision of timely information assistance and support both during the search for suitable offers and during the period of the transaction.