Tell me Paul, can you reach the sparker when you are naked and standing in the shower? If not it is not forgetful old folks proof!
You bet I can It is located on the same bulkhead as the shower valve. It is a self venting unit since it has it's own OPD shutoff so you don't end up dead and wet with the water running. The only issue I have is that it is an old unit so getting the pilot to light is not as easy as it used to be. It can take a little longer to heat up the thermocouple that opens the main burner. Of course any failure closes the main valve since the valve is only opened actively.
To start it you slide the lever to the first position then pressing the interlock button you twist the sparker. The sight glass lets you know if it is lit. You hold it until it heats up enough and then slide the lever to the final position and check to see if the pilot stays lit. From then on it fires the burner as required.
I don't leave it lit all the time. You don;t need hot water all that much and in the heat of summer I don't even need it for a shower. The Admiral likes a little for the dinner dishes. If you crack a port open during a shower the vent heat tends to dry the head
up a lot faster and it is comfortable when it is cold outside.