When you first board your yacht at The Yacht Week, regardless of your route, your skipper will give a you number of "rules". One of them will be labeled S.O.S. You may find this to be an international code signal of extreme distress, and you STILL may find that to be true once you're in your situation, because in this case, it means Shit On Shore.
I'm here to share what they don't tell you on their website: how and where people go #2 on The Yacht Week.
First of all, let me start by saying, if you are on a monohull, not a catamaran, God's speed.
Rest assured you will still have an amazing week. I went to "save money" my first route, heading to Greece, and went on a lovely monohull. After going once and upgrading to the largest catamaran in the fleet on the BVI route, I can share I will NEVER go back to a monohull for The Yacht Week if I can help it. Again, still one of the best weeks of my life, but the money you will spend on an upgrade is worth every penny, in my opinion. We were tight as a group of 12, my bunk bed should have been called a shelf, and the air-con broke for a few days.
Back to the toilets. On all of the yachts, you will come into the bathroom, a very tight space regardless of the yacht, and find that there will be no water (or very little) in the toilet bowl itself.
On a monohull, your toilets are like most boats and will have have a hand pump. It's like a vertical black handle that once you pee, let's say, you then pump up and down to flush a little bit of the boat water in as your pee and the water go down into the pump together.
I'll stop here and clarify that they will tell you that NO TOILET PAPER or anything that is not liquid should be going down the drain. You and your crew will put down a deposit before you hop on the boat. That $$ covers everything that happens to the yacht - inside and out. So if you clog your drains, not only will it start to back-up into the toilets, but your bathrooms and then your yacht will stink. And then, it could cost you. Hence the rule of "Shit On Shore".
Let's talk about stink. No toilet paper goes in the toilet, so where does it go? You will put all your toilet paper in a tiny little trashcan within in each bathroom. On larger yachts (catamarans) you may get lucky and the trashcan will be in a hull under the sink (much like a vanity you would find at home), on smaller yachts the trashcan will sit next to the toilet. Don't fret as GOOD hostesses (if you paid for one and YOU SHOULD!!) will go around and help take out the trash frequently. If yours doesn't, be an adult and help change it out yourself. The yacht will come with rolls of trash bags, big and little or you can grab them at the store.
SHOPPING TIP: I know some girls who have bought off Amazon, mini diaper trash bags that block all scents, originally used for baby diapers. I have never found that necessary, but if you are ballin' on no budget and have the bag space, go for it.
"But what if I have to poop", you say? Let's get back to that.
To ease your mind, remember that everybody poops. So the good news, you are all in the same boat. Pun intended. And on almost every route you touch land frequently, whether it's to go shopping, restocking or at a party. And at all those places there are toilets, restaurants, and facilities with running water. HOORAY!!
"But what if I am a morning pooper and we are not onshore yet", you ask?
Sorry, your f*cked. You will have to poop your pants, everyone will hear about it and you will forever be the legend who shit her/his pants to save the yacht deposit and never returned to TYW.
Kidding. Of course people have gone #2 on their yacht. Now I'm not going to lie to you, depending on your personality and how well you know your crew you could be terrified that it will not go down that tiny little drain hole, you will make your yacht stink, etc, and you could. But if you have to go, you are going to go. Just have a plan for your TP and be courteous to your crew. Double bag, take it out, do whatever fits your needs. You will not die. You will be fine. You will go on living the best week of your life.
If you are on a catamaran, the toilets flush with a button. The suction is MUCH stronger, much like an airplane toilet. Still, don't be the one to put things down there because you think you can, even though your peace of mind maybe a little better.
The bathrooms will inevitably not be somewhere you want to hang out, but I hope this has helped make you feel a little more relieved. And know that THOUSANDS have gone to The Yacht Week before you, have pooped, and have come out living their best lives.
I can not speak on the other tails of the "aquadump", but I've also seen that happen. And I will say, that is not my speed. But do you boo. Lastly, if you're still paranoid, just stop yourself up for a day or two with an over the counter like Immodium.
Best of luck friend. Have an embarrassing question? DM me @lacey_does on IG.