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Smiling kids with sunglasses on a Bennington pontoon boat

When You Just Gotta Go


It’s a beautiful sunny day. You’re out in the middle of the water, miles from the shoreline. The lake is gently swaying your pontoon beneath you as you fish over the edge. And then it hits you: the urge to go. What’s a person to do? A portable toilet can be a great solution.

The Pros of the Potty

A portable toilet offers many benefits to the boater. When boating with anyone who has a small bladder, whether child or adult, a portable toilet provides a quick and easy answer when nature calls. If you frequent lakes with few accessible restrooms, having a toilet on board keeps you from the temptation of just going in the water. Not only is this more sanitary for you, but it prevents the spread of bacteria that naturally resides in waste.

Even if the shoreline is equipped with accessible facilities, taking the time to get to them, dock the pontoon, do your thing and then get back out on the water is time consuming. You lose valuable relaxation time. Having your own facilities right there on board also saves fuel costs from making numerous trips back and forth to the shore.

The Cons of the John

Having a portable toilet within easy reach has its advantages, but there’s also a downside. Portability doesn’t necessarily equal stability. If the lid doesn’t lock closed, at best you’ll be smelling some undesired scents; at worst you may spill more than potty words if waves or weather cause the toilet to overturn. Secure the toilet to prevent it from sliding and spilling. You may have to get creative to find spots for bungee cords or straps.

Another disadvantage is what goes in must come out. A portable toilet doesn’t flush. You’ll have to plan ahead to properly dispose of the toilet’s contents once you get back to shore. This is one time that discount trash bags won’t do the trick. If you use plastic bags as liners, either purchase the ones made especially for your brand of toilet, or use heavy-duty trash bags to prevent rips or tears.

Some Privacy Please

If you’re a little shy, a privacy screen can shield you from embarrassment. Privacy screens come in a variety of styles. Some screens stretch overhead, like a cover. Others hang around you like a shower curtain. Some have panels and set up similar to a fence around the toilet. Pop-up screens that completely surround you like a tent are also available. Choose one that fits your needs and you’ll be well on your way to a more enjoyable time on the go.