Do Pontoon Boats Have Bathrooms Or Toilets? (plus HOW to install one)

In short, only the largest, “luxury-type” pontoon boats come with built-in bathrooms. However, with most pontoon boats, you can add a portable porta-potty along with a privacy curtain and create your own bathroom. 

To help you out with ensuring a fun trip for everyone, here’s how to install a toilet on your pontoon boat if it doesn’t have one.

Here’s an example of what a pontoon boat “bathroom” might look like:

By the way, as an Amazon Associate, I earn when buying qualified products through links on my site.

Rich's Dad showing us the pontoon boat's bathroom!

Do Pontoon Boats Have Bathrooms?

Most pontoon boats do not have bathrooms or toilets. Only a few of the premium, most expensive pontoon boats come with bathrooms, but these are the biggest boats on the market. Fortunately, adding a toilet and even a private space is an easy DIY project for the boat owner.

bathrooms on pontoons

For some people hopping into the water would be the easiest, yet certainly not the most approved option when they need to go. Even if you can get away with this while doing your number 1 business, things are different when you have to go for number 2.

Some smaller models have space where you can raise a curtain under the Bimini top and set up a portable toilet. Some bigger models have built-in heads. A dedicated room for a bathroom will only be found on bigger and more expensive pontoon boats.

The majority of the pontoon boats you see on the lake won’t have room for a real bathroom. However, you can still overcome this problem by setting up a special custom-made bathroom. This will guarantee that everyone on the boat will enjoy their time for as long as they want.

Why Do You Need to Have a Bathroom on a Pontoon Boat?

If you’re spending a few hours on your pontoon boat, things can be fun and games as long as nature doesn’t call. If you’re cruising around, you can always take your boat to the marina or docks where you can find a public bathroom and relieve yourself.

However, if you’re spending a whole day or several days on the boat, this becomes impossible. Here are some other situations where having bathroom facilities on a boat is essential.

You’re Traveling with Kids

Taking your kids on a trip on your pontoon boat is an excellent opportunity to teach them about nature. It’s also a chance for the whole family to bond while spending time in the fresh air where your kids will not be fixated on their laptops, computer games, and mobile phones.

However, when kids start squirming because they have to go, you know that the fun is up. Kids need to go to the bathroom in the most inconvenient times. Although you might ask them to use the bathroom at home or the marina before leaving, they might still need to go after an hour or two.

When the weather is too hot, kids will start to drink more water to stay cool, and this means that they will need to use the bathroom more often. Staying hydrated is essential, especially if you’re going to spend some time in the sun or hot weather. This is why you can’t tell your kids not to drink water, soda, or juice because there are no bathroom facilities.

You’re in the Middle of the Water

Of course, when you’re near the marina, you can always take your boat back, and use a public bathroom if you need to. This might not be the most convenient option, but it will work if a group of adults uses the pontoon boat together and can agree on bathroom breaks. You can even spend that time buying a few things that you might need while enjoying your time on the pontoon boat.

However, if you’re exploring a large body of water like a big lake or if you’re taking your pontoon boat to the sea or ocean, this might not be doable. You can’t sail back and forth to the marina whenever someone needs to use the bathroom. In this case, installing a bathroom will be more practical.

You’re Boating at Night

If you’re taking your pontoon boat on a river or lake, where there’s land nearby, you might be tempted to go back to land whenever you need to go. After all, going in nature is actually good for the plants and trees. However, going into the night isn’t the safest option.

Even if you’re not afraid of the dark, there are lots of bugs and nocturnal animals that you might not be aware of. Being alone with nothing but a flashlight isn’t probably the most fun idea.

You Have a Medical Condition

It’s a shame if there’s someone in your family or friends who has to miss out on the fun because they know that they need to use the bathroom more often. Some medical conditions like diabetes force people to use the bathroom more frequently. Someone might be too embarrassed to cause inconvenience that they might decide to skip the trip altogether.

If you have a pregnant friend, she will definitely need to use the bathroom more often. As the baby grows, the uterus pushes on the other organs, including the bladder, so your pregnant friend will need easy access to a bathroom at all times.

Elderly people and those with disabilities will appreciate the presence of a bathroom on your pontoon boat, even if they can go back and forth to the marina. This will make things easier and more enjoyable. If you’re looking forward to a family vacation or quality time with all your friends, having a bathroom would be a big plus to help everyone enjoy their time a little bit more.

boating toilet

How to Set Up a Bathroom on Your Boat

People like to have fun, and this doesn’t mean that you should suffer without the comfort modern life offers. If you’re spending a long time on your pontoon boat, you need access to food, a place to rest, and a place to relieve yourself.

If you’re renting a pontoon boat for a family trip or a vacation with your friends, you might be able to get one with a bathroom. Most bigger pontoon boats will have a dedicated area for a bathroom, making the overall experience more comfortable, especially if you’re traveling with several people.

Most personal use pontoon boats don’t come with bathrooms because there’s no space for the holding tank. However, you can still overcome this problem and create a custom-made bathroom area using a portable potty or a portable bathroom.

This DIY project involves buying and installing a portable bathroom. It’s a great investment if you have the space to set it up, and will definitely add to the value of your pontoon boat if you want to sell it in the future. Here is what to do if there’s no bathroom on your boat.

Set Up a Changing Room

The good thing about portable changing rooms is that they’re easy to set up and take away. You can buy a high-quality privacy shelter or changing room and set it where you want to build your bathroom.

Here’s a popup privacy shelter you can use on your boat:

Make sure to double check that you have enough square footage available to make this work.

Most of these changing rooms are designed to be used outdoors, so the fabric will be resistant to UV rays to guarantee that the changing room will last. While these rooms aren’t really spacious, they would be a practical solution if you don’t have a place to install a tank.

Setting up a changing room where you can keep your portable toilet is exceptionally straightforward. However, these rooms need to be secured if you think that you will be sailing in windy weather. If you’re taking your boat on the lake, this might work for you.

If you have a Bimini top, you can install Bimini curtains to create a private spot. These are more practical than the pop up changing rooms that might be too thin or too narrow.

An example of a Bimini top you can find on Amazon:

Here is an example of a privacy curtain you can install on a bimini:

This option is more affordable and easier to maintain because you can use the curtain and remove it whenever you need to. It won’t occupy much space as much as a changing room or a privacy shelter.

Investing in a Bimini curtain or a changing room comes with a lot of pros. You can use it for other purposes, like changing clothes or setting up a portable shower.

Buy a Portable Toilet

Once you’ve created the right spot, you can set up a portable toilet to ensure that everyone is comfortable. There are lots of models on the market, and you should make sure that you’re picking the most suitable one.

Here’s an example of a portable toilet you can find on Amazon that’s fairly affordable:

Look for a durable model to withstand being used by multiple people in the most challenging situations, and make sure that the tank is big enough. This means that you will have to worry less about emptying the tank. Most of these toilets are designed to suit everyone in the family, so they will represent an excellent investment.

Some of these portable toilets are also called chemical toilets (see some examples on Amazon). These are designed to treat human waste and control odor, so your trip will definitely be more fun. You can buy some of these chemicals to help control the odor when you’re enjoying a long trip on your pontoon boat.

Here are some Port-a-Potty chemicals used for deoderizing and solidifying:

Portable toilets are usually quite easy to set up. No installation is required as the toilet comes with a built-in tank for flushing and another one to keep the waste. Once you’ve reached the dock area or the marina, it’s time to deal with the toilet waste.

  • Make sure that you lock the toilet very well before attempting to transfer it.
  • Carry the tank to a public toilet. You can choose to keep the tank until you reach home if there’s no public toilet nearby.
  • Empty your portable toilet into a public or private toilet.
  • Clean your portable toilet thoroughly before storing it away.

Another super economical option if you don’t want to use a chemical toilet is a portable camp toilet and toilet bags. This is basically just a 5 gallon bucket with a toilet seat; just don’t forget the bags to go with it (also Amazon), no one wants to clean the bucket afterwards.


A trip on your pontoon boat might be what you need to clear your head while enjoying quality time with your friends and family. However, being in the middle of the water, and having to go for number 1 or number 2 can make your trip less fun.

Even if your pontoon boat doesn’t have a dedicated bathroom area, you can easily overcome this problem. You need to set up a privacy shelter or a changing room if you have space for one. If you don’t, you can install a Bimini curtain to create a space for your portable toilet.

Next, you need to invest in a high-quality portable toilet to guarantee the comfort of everyone on board. Luckily, there are lots of good options on the market, and you can find a suitable model that fits your pontoon boat.


Peter is a software developer who loves to take every opportunity to go outside that he can get. Peter grew up going on long backpacking excursions with his family every Summer and now enjoys staying at the beautiful Texas State Parks and swimming in the amazing Texas Rivers.

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