Home' Afloat : September 2013 Contents Take monthly with water September 2013 7
Letter of the month
The Editor 's choice for letter of the month will
receive a 28" Yachtsman's Waterproof Bag.
Made from tough double
coated PVC fabric with
seams sewn and tape
welded the Burke bag is
This month's prize goes to
from Lake Macquarie, NSW.
Got Something to Say?
PO BOX 709 WILLOUGHBY 2068
web forum: www.afloat.com.au
Please keep your letters short. Letters longer than 250 words are
liable to sub-editing at the Editor's discretion.
Your yacht not
Then list it with us.
We've sold heaps and need
Call Sydney: 0414 236 337 or
Brisbane: 0417 286 233 for more details...
We're particularly looking to list
good production and cruising yachts.
Is this your Production yacht?
(We sold this Jeanneau 33i
in only 4 days)
Catalina 34 Mk11
Top boat, only $112,000
(Contact Derek in Brisbane)
"Going" over the side
Without doubt, the most dangerous thing a person can do
is pee over the side of a boat.
Apart from rock fisherman being swept into the water and
small dinghies overturning, there are probably more drowning
from people falling overboard while relieving themselves.
Statistics have been taken by the American Coast Guard ...
and Australian sailors can't be that much more agile than their
counterparts in the States.
Why is the habit so well formed? In the bad old days of sail
and rowing galleys the slaves chained to the benches went where
they sat and eventually the waste was thrown over the side. The
free sailors took the liberty of doing it over the side as did sailors
on square riggers who had a seat fashioned for them so they
would not be lost overboard. So the habit goes back probably
thousands of years and might even be in our DNA!
So why in a modern yacht or power boat does the habit
I remember my first sail on a 63ft ketch on Sydney Harbour
-- four novices including the skipper owner. He did not want to
turn on the heads as he didn't know how they worked. So as we
drank and taught ourselves how to sail (with bad habits it took
years to get rid of) we also taught ourselves the other bad habit
of going over the side.
Once I started racing the same thing applied. "No time to turn
on the loo and I don't want you all moving about below deck"
said the skipper. At the end of each yacht race it is a common
sight to see crew crowding over the back rail doing their thing,
they can't wait to get to shore and don't go below as it is a bit
"girlie" to do so.
I might add here that the most comfortable way for a man
to pee in a small space like we have on yachts is to sit down.
Particularly if going to windward in a blow. Kid's sailing dinghies
soon learn to overturn their boat, go, then right the dinghy and
I have just discovered a fascinating alternative. We have all
heard of shoe horns and seen drinking horns but recently in a
small almost private museum on the Estonian Island of Hiiumaa
in its capital town I was introduced to a most intriguing object.
Made from a ram's horn and hollow throughout, about seven
inches long it had a small hole in the narrow end and the thick
end was completely unblocked. I was told by the lady who ran the
house that it was a special ladies piece of seagoing equipment.
Where men could "dangle" at sea from the lee side, women
were obliged to go below for a leak. They would often miss
conversation and were concerned they might be talked about in
their absence: So the piss horn was invented. It simply slipped
up between the thighs and without exposing themselves a lady
could stand and piss like a man straight over the side of the boat.
Solo sailorstakethis safetyfactor veryseriously.Theyusethe
old sailor's potty, "bucket & chuck it". Another piece of equipment
to be used on deck is the piss-a-phone. A plastic bottle with the
bottom cut out and a hose on the screw top end. Drop the hose
through the cockpit drain hole and pee into the top of the bottle.
I have seen these elaborately lined with plastic hose around the
top to prevent cutting and rubbing. A small bottle of sea water
rinses the residue and the bottle is ready for the next person.
Of course today we are not allowed to go straight into the
sea anyway. We have to hold all our waste in a tank and loose
it at a "convenient" pump out station. Now try to convince a
racing skipper he needs to hold the twenty or thirty litres his
crew develops during a race!
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