The Sailboat Project – Part #6

The Crapper – I plan to use this Sailboat for weekend (or longer) getaways.  A way for me to get out there, do some fishing, and have some solitude.  I do not want to row to shore or hang my butt over the side every time I have to poo.  So I looked into what alternatives there are.  There are a lot of people out there using Tiny Houses or even just doing sustainable living and do not have plumbing.  They typically use what is called a Composting Toilet.  If you know anything about compost and anything about toilets, this may sound like a VERY bad idea. However, I have done a lot of research on this and determined that it may not be as bad as it sounds and I am building one for the sailboat.

Essentially a composting toilet is a bucket that you go in and cover up the waste with sawdust and/or peat moss.  Since I have an ample supply of sawdust from working on wood projects, I plan to mostly use that and mix in a little peat moss.  The reason for the peat moss is most of my research has shown that to be the best option to eliminate the smell.  Now, because I want this to look decent, I am not just going to throw a bucket in the corner and label it “The Shitter”.  For lack of better explanation, I am going to build a box and place the bucket into the box then add a toilet seat and lid to make it look a bit more civilized.

I started this project with a sheet of 3/4 in birch plywood.  This stuff isn’t cheap by any means but I got a deal on this one because when I went to the big box store to get it, there was no price.  The guy helping me didn’t seem to care and just gave me the same price as the cheapest 3/4 inch plywood they had available.  Birch plywood typically stains nice compared to other plywood.  And since it is already sanded this will be a lot less work for me.

I first cut the top by measuring the space available and transferred that to the plywood.  Once the top was cut I found what height I wanted it to be at, screwed in some supports I cut off of a 2×4 (I believe they were about 1×1.5). I made sure it was all level then marked the next piece of plywood for the front.  After adding supports for the front part and screwing it in place, I took the top back off and cut the hole for the seat.  I ran up to Lowes and bought a 5 gallon bucket and a super cheap seat that would fit in the spot.  I added a couple blocks of wood to the bottom board to make sure the bucket stays in place.  After putting the seat on I actually wish I had moved the whole thing out a little more so the seat lid would work better when put up.  But it functions fine as is so I won’t redesign the whole thing. I took everything apart, stained the wood, then put it all back together.

Overall I think it looks really good. I didn’t put a back on it because I want to put the peat moss and sawdust back there while still keeping it easy to get to.  Also the lid wouldn’t open right if there was a panel there unless I moved the whole seat forward.  I do not think this is needed even though it would look better.  I am more about functionality and space saving than the looks.


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