A Solid Seat

If you plan to sail offshore please consider doing this one. I’ve been on several trips on my boat and others where the toilet seat hinges either break or the hinge screws pull out of the seat. The seat becomes unusable. If it’s a long trip, this will be a real pain in the ass, literally.
The way that this happens is that someone will have a seat, then the boat will shift or roll, and the seat goes with the posterior of the sitter. I’ve seen it happen on both athwart ships and on fore and aft facing heads. The twisting force is more than the plastic hinges are made to withstand.
To repair a seat on one trip, I had a crew member that was flying in buy the cheapest toilet seat they could find back home. I had them remove the hinges and bring them in their luggage. These hinge assemblies must be universal because they worked perfectly. Problem solved. Another time I fashioned a repair of the hinge using a spoon lure that I bent and screwed into the seat and old hinge base. That worked too. But the best thing to do is to prevent this from happening on your boat.
I came up with a solution for this, and then found the same idea in Cruising World’s “Workbench” book on page 95. This is a great book full of ideas and how to’s. What you do is install a “block” of wood or plastic material on the underside of the seat so that the block just fits inside the rim of the bowl. This keeps the seat from moving around. The “Workbench” details show a 1”x1”x3” long block.

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My fix is using white starboard material, in a 7/8” thickness. My blocks are a couple of inches long, and I screwed and glued them in place. The screws can be counter sunk from the underside of the block and screwed into the seat. I was careful when installing the screws not to drill too deep into the seat.

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As a toilet seat is a real comfort for the crew, you can imagine the let down if someone breaks the seat early on in the voyage. It can be challenging enough just to use the head in normal circumstances with the boat rolling, just imagine it with a broken or no seat. If you have ladies aboard, chances are that you’ll hear about this one for long time if you screw it up.

One comment

  • Len Berkstresser

    Great idea Bill… It has happened to me too. When we delivered Wildfire from Houston to Tampa, the aft head seat broke on the second day out. We were left to “balance” it on the toilet and hope for the best… Make for interesting Nature Calls…

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