Which Catamarans Have Heads (Toilets) Onboard?

Whether you’re going out on your friend’s boat, going for a day cruise on a sailing catamaran, or traveling between islands on a large power catamaran, when nature gives a call, you want to make sure that you can answer!

Almost all Catamarans have heads (toilets) on board, no matter if it’s a charter sailboat, catamaran ferry, your friend’s weekend sailboat, or a power cat. There are a few exceptions; those are beach cats and other small catamarans under 20ft. Keep reading to understand what you must know before using one!

Since most catamarans are quite large and spacious, they usually have room for multiple rooms or cabins in boat language. This means that at least one area will be dedicated to personal hygiene, such as using the head.

What Types Are There And How Do You Operate Them?

Although there is a toilet, you should be aware that boat toilets differ from those you are used to on land. There are basically two types, the electric and the manual.

An electric setup with a push button

The electric head is activated through a button and uses a motor to push the waste into either a tank (black water tank) or directly into the surrounding waters. The electric heads are usually a little more sensitive to the amount of waste thrown into and will often get blocked, resulting in some nasty repairs (usually involving some type of flexible stick and awful smells).

So be wary when using an electric head not to clog it! 

The other common type is the manual pump; this one is the more trusted of the two and rarely clogs up or breaks. It is activated through a lever, and after a few repetitions, the waste is never to be seen again!

Manual pump system

Tips for the beginner!

Make sure you have the correct setting; if you are in a marina or close to land, it should be set up to put the waste into the black water tank for disposal at a later date.

If you are out at sea, it can be set to flushing it out in the ocean; if you are unsure, ask the captain! And dont worry, on a boat, this is not a weird question!

Check out this video for a view of the inside of a catamaran, including the head!

Dont throw anything in the toilet! If you have ever been to a South American toilet, you know that if you start throwing anything else but your own poo poo, then you’ll be spending the rest of the day as a plumber!

This is also true on boats; the most common is to have a separate bin for toilet paper or any other waste the didn’t exit your body!

For shorter trips, I would recommend that you use the toilet on land so that you do not have to use the one on the boat. Marine toilets are usually excellent, but there is also the tricky part of using them while being at sea, especially during bad weather and high seas. If I can choose, ill do my needs before heading out!

Before you use the head, check with the captain or crew if there are any special maneuvers with this specific unit, this will reduce the risk of you doing something that you will regret later on 🙂 Usually, this is included in the pre-departure walk-through, but if it is not, the captain will be delighted if you ask your questions!


Owner of CatamaranFreedom.com. A minimalist that has lived in a caravan in Sweden, 35ft Monohull in the Bahamas, and right now in his self-built Van. He just started the next adventure, to circumnavigate the world on a Catamaran!

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