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View Poll Results: how do you have hot water when not on shore power
run the engine 18 33.33%
run an installed generator 10 18.52%
run a potable generator (i.e. a Honda etc) 2 3.70%
heat it on the stove 16 29.63%
Batteries via inverter or 12v element 3 5.56%
do without 2 3.70%
something else 14 25.93%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 54. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 27-01-2013, 20:37   #16
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Re: Hot Water

During the summer, my battery bank is often fully charged by noon. When this happens, I'll often run the water heater off the inverter for an hour. That said, I'm a big proponent of solar showers, and my MSR Dromedary system rocks.

In the winter, it's all about the kettle.

Having just changed over from a Force 10 water heater to Isotherm, let me also stipulate that having a well-insulated tank in the water heater is huge.

Not sure how to answer the poll; I use numerous systems to generate hot water.
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Old 27-01-2013, 21:37   #17
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Re: Hot Water

Ahh the old days at anchor were so easy !! ya run the engine once a day to make water, heat water, charge batterys, and drop the freazer down! all done, then showers taken ect !! These days with everything haveing to be electric seems to be a little backwards ! Of course your engine has to be dependable, and ya have to be able to fix if needed ! just my old 2 cents worth lol
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Old 27-01-2013, 21:47   #18
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[QUOTE="bobconnie;1141549"]! These days with everything haveing to be electric seems to be a little backwards ! [QUOTE]

Backwards! How glorious to be able to spend a couple weeks on the hook without ever once having to listen to the engine!
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Old 27-01-2013, 22:02   #19
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Re: Hot Water

PBO (February 2013) has a nice article on a self constructed solar water heater. The author fabricated a 50 x 50cm panel for about GBP 155.00 which mounts on the stern arch. The solar heated water is pumped to the storage tank (which can also be heated by the engine). For a boat without a Genset this seems like a pretty nice setup.
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Old 28-01-2013, 01:12   #20
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Re: Hot Water

We did the on the stove for consumption, in a bag for years. Our "new" 21 yr. old boat has a "flash" propane heater for showers. We do not use it for heating dishwater. I'm cool with the arrangement. Having hot showers below decks is a luxury, in my book, not a need. YMMV

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Old 28-01-2013, 03:30   #21
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Re: Hot Water

Don:

Besides nuclear electric is the most expensive way to boil water. My boat has an on demand propane hot water heater. I have not used it in a few years though. I usually do cockpit showers or Joy showers off the stern during the season using solar hot water bags. Though the on board propane unit would have come in handy after Hurricane Sandy hit the area in late October and I moved back on board for a week. Had I not run out of propane. Doh! So I used the tea kettle and gallon jug method as needed. But, if this on demand unit on board ever needs replacing I might move toward something like this:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: In hot water?
Price is right and it's portable could be used at home too when power gets knocked out there too. I already carry some small propane canisters as for backup cooking so it would fit right in.
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Old 28-01-2013, 04:17   #22
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Re: Hot Water

I do without, away from the slip. Dont think of it as cold. Think "bracing".

On shore power i use one of rhose electric shower heads that are so popular in third world countries. Draws 30 amps in use but Thats only for a few minutes..cost me $19.50 on ebay.
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Old 28-01-2013, 05:05   #23
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Re: Hot Water

I find ten mins running the little honda eu200i gives me a full tank of hot water and also charges the batteries a little at the same time. we started out using solar showers but they tear easily and are a pain to use.
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Old 28-01-2013, 06:25   #24
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Re: Hot Water

Growley, I saw one of those electric showerheads on House Hunters International. The realtor called it a suicide shower and advised the buyer to get rid of it. Wonder what that was all about.
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Old 28-01-2013, 06:33   #25
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Re: Hot Water

I voted other since we use our propane instant heater at the dock and at anchor.
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Old 28-01-2013, 08:10   #26
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Re: Hot Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve W View Post
Growley, I saw one of those electric showerheads on House Hunters International. The realtor called it a suicide shower and advised the buyer to get rid of it. Wonder what that was all about.
If you don't have a proper GFCI breaker, a malfunction could deliver you a lethal shock, I suppose. I have a GFCI shore power breaker so my whole system is protected. It is the type of breaker commonly used in outdoor electric spas, where you would be facing a similar risk in the event of a malfunction without GFCI protection. These devices are very common in Belize, Brazil, and parts of Mexico. There are some limitations... you must not energize the unit without water in it, and you should never let it run dry. Calcium in the water will coat the heater part and cause a failure called, "white death" lol. Not much to do then but toss it and buy another one for $30 or so. I have never heard of anyone getting shocked by one of these water heaters.

I have used one before, in people's houses, but when I took my first shower under mine, yeah, I was just a little nervous in spite of the GFCI which of course I tested before using it. Long story short, I survived my piping hot shower. There is no adjustment other than the water flow. Higher flow = cooler water. Want it steaming hot? throttle down the valve a bit. Very economical and doesn't take up any space on my little boat. I did have to completely re-do my 110 system in anticipation of the 30 amp load as my old shore power breaker was a 30a breaker so I would have had to turn off my air conditioner to take a shower and still have a chance of tripping the breaker.

On GFCI breakers: there are two standards for protection. You want the more rigid standard that trips after like 10 milliseconds max at some number of milli-amps. This is a human-safe rating. The looser rating could still leave you less than adequately protected. Any competent electrician can explain it better than me.

The only real problem is it can be hard to find them for 110v. 220v is more common. You need to know a little about electricity and wiring before installing, and otherwise I would definitely consult with an electrician just to be safe.

In-line makes sense to me on a boat. A water tank wastes space and you have to remember to turn it on ahead of time, and you might be wasting kw/hrs heating more water than you need. Of course the 30a draw is problematic when running off batteries. Need a BIG inverter and a pretty husky battery bank. So I usually do without hot water away from shore power. Propane is not an option for me. The only propane I have is my Magma grill on the pushpit rail, and I keep the cannisters outside. I want to some day get rid of the gas engine and go diesel, and not have any explosion hazard at all on Mr Wiggles.

As for the solar showerbags, I find them a bit fragile, too, but you can also make a solar heater by painting a 5gal bucket black, including the lid. Use a plastic through-hull, like you might use to send your bilge pump discharge overboard, and seal it good in the side of the bucket, near the bottom. Clamp a long hose to the through-hull connect to a valve and a shower head of some sort, fill it, hoist it up your mast, and let the sun do its work. You could even have one for salt, and one for a fresh water rinse. Might be a problem in an exposed anchorage but should work okay in calm waters. The lid is important. It helps hold the heat in. Up the mast gives you good head pressure. I had a similar setup on my farm in Belize and it worked pretty good. Of course, back then I had a wife to fill the bucket and hoist it for me.
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Old 28-01-2013, 08:21   #27
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Re: Hot Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
I'll agree that 1500 watts for 7 minutes is about 20 amp hours at 12v, but it is only going to heat your 4 gallons up about 18 degrees fahrenheit. If you start with 60 degree water, the result is a tepid 78 degrees.
The water heater is usually plugged into shore power and the water is hot prior to us leaving the dock. The tank is very well insulated, so it stays hot for hours without power. The water is usually in the 80 degree range when I flip the switch.
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Old 28-01-2013, 09:19   #28
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Re: Hot Water

[QUOTE=Bash;1141555][QUOTE="bobconnie;1141549"]! These days with everything haveing to be electric seems to be a little backwards !
Quote:

Backwards! How glorious to be able to spend a couple weeks on the hook without ever once having to listen to the engine!
+1000 !
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Old 28-01-2013, 09:23   #29
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Re: Hot Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by muskoka View Post
PBO (February 2013) has a nice article on a self constructed solar water heater. The author fabricated a 50 x 50cm panel for about GBP 155.00 which mounts on the stern arch. The solar heated water is pumped to the storage tank (which can also be heated by the engine). For a boat without a Genset this seems like a pretty nice setup.
We did exactly that on our previous boat.
2x4 feet area installed in our solar array.
It worked great with a differential controller for the March pump, but it needed burping at the panel about every week or so.
I installed a small valve in the highest spot.
People in the anchorage could never figure out how I got water to spray out of the back edge of our solar array ! lol
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Old 28-01-2013, 10:36   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrowleyMonster View Post

If you don't have a proper GFCI breaker, a malfunction could deliver you a lethal shock, I suppose. I have a GFCI shore power breaker so my whole system is protected. It is the type of breaker commonly used in outdoor electric spas, where you would be facing a similar risk in the event of a malfunction without GFCI protection. These devices are very common in Belize, Brazil, and parts of Mexico. There are some limitations... you must not energize the unit without water in it, and you should never let it run dry. Calcium in the water will coat the heater part and cause a failure called, "white death" lol. Not much to do then but toss it and buy another one for $30 or so. I have never heard of anyone getting shocked by one of these water heaters.

I have used one before, in people's houses, but when I took my first shower under mine, yeah, I was just a little nervous in spite of the GFCI which of course I tested before using it. Long story short, I survived my piping hot shower. There is no adjustment other than the water flow. Higher flow = cooler water. Want it steaming hot? throttle down the valve a bit. Very economical and doesn't take up any space on my little boat. I did have to completely re-do my 110 system in anticipation of the 30 amp load as my old shore power breaker was a 30a breaker so I would have had to turn off my air conditioner to take a shower and still have a chance of tripping the breaker.

On GFCI breakers: there are two standards for protection. You want the more rigid standard that trips after like 10 milliseconds max at some number of milli-amps. This is a human-safe rating. The looser rating could still leave you less than adequately protected. Any competent electrician can explain it better than me.

The only real problem is it can be hard to find them for 110v. 220v is more common. You need to know a little about electricity and wiring before installing, and otherwise I would definitely consult with an electrician just to be safe.

In-line makes sense to me on a boat. A water tank wastes space and you have to remember to turn it on ahead of time, and you might be wasting kw/hrs heating more water than you need. Of course the 30a draw is problematic when running off batteries. Need a BIG inverter and a pretty husky battery bank. So I usually do without hot water away from shore power. Propane is not an option for me. The only propane I have is my Magma grill on the pushpit rail, and I keep the cannisters outside. I want to some day get rid of the gas engine and go diesel, and not have any explosion hazard at all on Mr Wiggles.

As for the solar showerbags, I find them a bit fragile, too, but you can also make a solar heater by painting a 5gal bucket black, including the lid. Use a plastic through-hull, like you might use to send your bilge pump discharge overboard, and seal it good in the side of the bucket, near the bottom. Clamp a long hose to the through-hull connect to a valve and a shower head of some sort, fill it, hoist it up your mast, and let the sun do its work. You could even have one for salt, and one for a fresh water rinse. Might be a problem in an exposed anchorage but should work okay in calm waters. The lid is important. It helps hold the heat in. Up the mast gives you good head pressure. I had a similar setup on my farm in Belize and it worked pretty good. Of course, back then I had a wife to fill the bucket and hoist it for me.

I've gotten zapped by one of those. No fun! Hurts. If I wasn't wearing sandals, and avoided the shower handle until out of the water flow, it would probably have ended poorly.
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