Coastal Boating, Sailing, Cruising, Yachting, Racing, Coastal, Sailboat, Yacht, Fleet, Club, Regatta, Commodore, One design, Social, Long Island Sound, Narragansett Bay, Buzzards Bay, Chesapeake Bay, Island, Seamanship, NE waters, NOAA, NWS


Crew Briefing

Sample Tip Sheet

Sample Head Operating Instructions

Sample instruction sheet for head and water systems

Feel Free to copy and modify for your own use

You may also download our pdf: pdf

Hung on the back of the head doors for reference.


To operate forward toilet:

  1. Do your duty, but remember that nothing goes into the toilet that didn’t go into your mouth first…except the smallest bit of toilet paper you can get away with.  Large quantities of toilet paper will clog the toilet and that is not pretty.  Facial tissue and napkins will also clog the toilet.  Sanitary items will most assuredly clog the toilet. If in doubt, throw it out in the trash. Beware!  Anyone who clogs the toilet cleans the mess!
  2. Set valve to “Flush”.  Pump 2-3 times to get some water in the bowl.  If you are in harbor, you can put some water in the bowl before doing your duty.  Sometimes works better.
  3. Set valve to “Dry” and pump 10 or so times to empty it all the way through the hoses into the tank. 


  • Use as little water as possible so you don’t fill up the holding tank too quickly.  We only have enough for one day’s storage in the tank.  Then we either have to call the pump out boat or sail away from the no discharge zone.
  • Leave on dry when not in use or it will flood with sea water.
  • Please use shore-side facilities whenever possible when we’re at the dock.  Use the forward toilet while anchored in the harbor or at night.  Use the aft toilet while underway.  We ask that men “pee seated” while underway. 

To operate aft toilet:

  1. The principle is the same except the controls are a little different.  There is a lever behind the toilet that controls saltwater in.  Raise that to horizontal position.  Step on foot peddle in front of toilet and pump the handle several times to let water in. 
  2. To empty toilet dry, release foot pedal and return water intake lever to closed position.


  • This toilet has the tendency to “burp”.  To protect yourself, shut the lid while pumping it dry. 

To operate sink:

  1. Water is precious.  Please NEVER let water just run.  Use it to rinse and shut off in between while soaping.  Please make sure it does not drip after you close the faucet.
  2. If the water doesn’t run when you open the tap, close the tap and switch on the “water pump” at the nav station.  Also turn on the “sump pump forward” while you’re at it.  Close both when you’re done.
  3. The “gray” water from the sink and shower drains into a catch basin under the floor of the head.  You must empty that after each use.  Pull the knob next to the toilet paper holder in the forward head or above the soap in the aft head to operate the sump pump.  Keep it on only as long as it takes to get close to empty.  If you run any pump dry, it will destroy the pump impeller.
  4. Hot water is available only after the engine or generator has heated up the water in the tank.  We will often run the genset for a while in the morning to provide warm water for washing up.


  • Although the water is clean from supplies we know were acceptable, it is best not to drink the water from the freshwater holding tank unless you boil it first because it sits there for a long time.  Bottled water is available on board.

To operate shower:

  1. Make sure water pump is on.
  2. Close all doors and enclose yourself in the shower curtain.
  3. Pull the knob behind the toilet and turn to activate shower system.
  4. To activate water flow, press button on shower head. 
  5. Wet yourself down then shut it off to lather.  Activate again to rinse. 
  6. Empty water from catch basin. (See above instructions).
  7. Shut the shower off behind the toilet.
  8. As a courtesy to your ship mates, please dry off the surfaces especially wood that may have been splashed during your shower
  9. Hang towels outside to dry to avoid mold.


  • Do not let the water run the entire time you are in the shower.  Conserve generously. Use only what you need. 
  • Schedule hot showers when hot water is available.
  • Shower ashore when in port.
  • Soap that works in salt water is available onboard.  If you go swimming, you can wash yourself off and then rinse in fresh water.  This is the most efficient way to conserve fresh water on a boat.

To operate sink in galley:

  1. Make sure water pump is on.
  2. Lift lever like normal sink.
  3. Pump water out of sink with the hand pump as we are below the water line here.
  4. Foot pump to the left of sink is for salt water. Use this first to rinse if something is likely to be hard to clean.
  5. Small lever to the left of the main lever is for filtered water. This is for drinking water only.


  • Do not let the water run while you are washing dishes. Rinse, turn it off. Wash with sponge. Rinse again.
  • If there are lots of dishes, it is easier to fill a basin with soapy water then rinse off when clean.

Joy of sailingCoastal Boating (Reg. in Ireland No. 443222) is a division of Knowledge Clinic Ltd.
Port Aleria, Rosnakilly, Kilmeena, Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland - USA: PO Box 726, Mahwah, NJ 07430
All content on this site is subject to Copyright© - All rights reserved.
Contact us - Advertising - Privacy - Terms & Conditions - Copyright & Trademark - Webmaster