Do Pontoon Boats Need Bathrooms?

If you are on the market looking for a pontoon boat, you might be wondering whether your new beauty has all the commodities you’re looking for. And since we are all humans, the first things we would need to have access to for a fully comfortable experience are 1) food, 2) a place to rest, and 3) a bathroom for when nature calls. And since you can bring your own food and drinks on the pontoon, and any boat is equipped with at least one seating area, you’re left wondering about the third most important thing – the bathroom. You won’t find any information about a bathroom area on most boat listings, and here’s why:

Most personal-use pontoons you can find on the market do not have one. However, most of them do have space under the Bimini top, where you can hang a changing curtain and hide a portable/combusting toilet behind it. Bigger pontoons, such as Party Huts and Party Cruisers, have built-in heads where you can, again, hang a changing curtain and hide your potty.

The main reasons why pontoons don’t usually come with a built-in bathroom area is that personal use boats are not big enough for a holding tank. However, you can easily hack the system with said changing curtain and one of those combusting toilets that are popular among campers. It’s a really easy DIY project to do – both the curtain and the portable toilet are available on Amazon, and they are extremely easy to install. On top of that, your future self and your family and friends who will accompany you on the boat will thank you for not having to jump in the water just to answer the call of nature.

All you need to do to get a pontoon bathroom going is:

  1. Get a pop-up changing room or a Bimini top curtain. We have a guide on how to choose the perfect one for your pontoon here. Generally, I’d recommend going with a Bimini curtain if you have a Bimini top, as those pop-up changing rooms feel a bit too thin and unstable sometimes.
  2. Get a portable toilet. You can find a great portable toilet guide here. Most of them do the exact same thing in my opinion, so don’t spend too much time looking into features and whatnot – at the end of the day, it’s just a toilet. Just go for something that has relatively good reviews and you’ll be good to go.
  3. Hang your curtain or put up your collapsible changing room, and place your toilet behind or inside it. You’re good to go, just don’t forget to clean it after every weekend out on the boat!

In my opinion, having a toilet on your deck is your #1 priority, especially if you plan to spend the whole day out on the lake with more than you and a fishing rod on board. Besides, it’s a really easy DIY project to do, and it will make your time on the boat twice as comfortable and fun.

Jerry Brookes

Hi I'm Jerry, founder of I've been pontooning for over 30 years believe it or not and have learned a thing or two about pontoons. As my passion project Pontoon Helper is aimed at educating any reader on all the different things you need to know before pontooning. I consider myself somewhat of an expert in this industry as it has become my life since retirement. Feel free to submit a comment or question on the website and I'll try to get back to you.

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