Holding Tank Horror Stories

My friend Craig Edwards has a Young 88 called Flying Machine. We spend lots of time cruising with these guys up and down the South Island coastline and attempting to race them around Lyttelton Harbour. Craig has got a wicked sense of humour and tells some fantastic stories which get me rolling around in fits of laughter.


One of his best stories relates to his adventures with the small holding tank on Flying Machine. I managed to twist his arm and get him to write a guest post on the blog for me, it was so good, he submitted to Boating New Zealand – and this was published in their April 2017 edition.

Click here to read on the Boating New Zealand website.

I’ve had my fair share of toilet troubles on boats, I broke the seat on the beautiful Esther Louise when we were in rough conditions in New Caledonia last year, and I have also purchased a She Wee which means I can pee standing up! Read more about that here.



Thanks Craig for allowing me to share your stories on the blog! Have you got any holding tank horror stories to tell? We all love a bit of toilet humour. Please post them in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “Holding Tank Horror Stories

  1. We once had a holding tank valve stuck due to barnacle build up in the through hull fitting. The valve was stuck in the open position and we couldn’t close it. The pipe was jammed with barnacle growth. We hauled the boat to do some work on the prop. While still in the lift, I took a pipe and poked it into all the through hulls to clean them. I forgot the aft head valve was open. When I cleared the blockage 60 liters of raw sewage spilled onto the nice clean concrete surface of the boat yard, They were not happy,


    Mark and Cindy
    sv Cream Puff

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We were cruising down the east coast of the North Island about 20 miles off the coast on a delivery trip. Sitting in the cockpit enjoying nice weather and watching the horizon when there was a sudden spray of smelly moisture all over us!!
    Our only female crew member had just pumped the toilet and it all blew out the overflow and all over us.
    We stunk and had to clean everything we wore, touched, sat on etc.. The holding tank was discovered to be jammed full of paper from the past owner and nothing was coming out the exit pipe. From then on (4 more days) we had to hang over the side or plan our flushing based on the wind direction until we could get into port and have the holding tank cleaned out. Phew.


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