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Old 12-04-2008, 14:23   #1
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Shower solutions!

We just got back from 8 days on board our new to us '81 Stevens 47 in St. John. Love the boat (she sails GREAT) but the showering situation was, lets say.... interesting.

The prior owner and his wife apparently believed that sudsing off with Joy liquid in salt water was all that you needed and thats all they did. The heads in the boat have sinks and showers (they are "wet heads", no separate shower stall) that drain straight to the bilge. They did not use the showers at all and they put bowls in the sinks and poured the water into the toilets to be pumped overboard.

Well, we like fresh water showers! This was an immediate problem...

I refused to use the showers below as I did not want the bilge to become a foul mess.

The boat came with a fresh water shower on the aft deck. This consisted of two stainless steel round covers over two fittings. One covered a bronze gate valve and the other a simple pull out shower head. Ok, thats good... BUT, the fitting had long since corroded off the gate valve and the shower hose and head was the most foul looking thing you have ever seen.

Ahhhhh boat project number one: I got a new bronze gate valve, a length of hose and a new shower head plus some hardware and I replaced the old stuff. So we had a rudimentary fresh water shower on the aft deck. The only problem is that the only gate valves available had a much shorter neck that the one originally on the boat meaning the opening/close fitting barely protruded above deck and was VERY hard to turn on and off AND we only had access to cold water. But so what, it worked fine for a week.

Still, I have to have a permanent solution. I will post a separate thread on the bigger picture solution for the heads below, but for the immediate project we want a really nice hot and cold water aft deck shower.

I have been looking at this:

ATTWOOD AFT DECK SHOWER SYSTEM - Shower Equipment by Discount Marine Supplies

I have concerns. I would not mount this on the transom and it would be to hard to reach and would weaken things. If I wanted to mount it flush on the aft deck through the aft lazerette this would work, and it could probably go where the existing fittings are located. BUT... it would require a much larger mounting hole in the deck to install and this entire thing is plastic. That scares me. What if it UV degrades and falls apart when a large wave breaks over the stern in heavy weather? Now I have a big hole in the aft deck. Is that realistic?

I searched and tried to find something similar in 316 stainless but no luck. I have also though about having a stainless mounting bracket made with a lip and a stainless cover plate for use when going offshore.... this may work.

Or I could mount this thing on the aft side of the cockpit coaming (boat is center cockpit) perhaps?

Ideas? Comments? Solutions?


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Old 12-04-2008, 14:43   #2

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Not solving your problem, sorry... but pointing out that the previous owners must have been aboard a while. The longer you live aboard boats, the less you want to get moisture inside the hull from showers (making mold).

Eventually, you will probably come around too.

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Old 12-04-2008, 14:49   #3
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What about using a sump for the shower? We squeegie the shower dry into the sump to avoid the moisture
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Old 12-04-2008, 16:02   #4
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Run the shower drains to a sump box with a float switch and pump built in then set up a thru-hull at just above the waterline for the sump to discharge. Now you have a normal working shower and do as we do and wipe down with a chamois after showers.
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Old 12-04-2008, 16:34   #5
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Yes yes..... for the showers down below, I will run to a sump box.

ATTWOOD SHOWER SUMP SYSTEM - Shower Equipment by Discount Marine Supplies

I will add 2 small through hulls to the sump box so the sinks can drain to the same place and the pump will operate via the float switch and will have a dedicated breaker. I am actually going to re-arrange the forward head and create a separate shower stall. All thats in the plans...

But, I was posting this thread about possible deck shower arrangements only. No reason to route a drain for the deck shower to a sump box in the bilge, the water can just drain overboard. Regardless of how great a permanent shower I build below, I still want a hot and cold water deck shower arrangement. I LIKE showering on deck, IF I have hot water!

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Old 12-04-2008, 19:06   #6
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Why can't you just hang a solar shower bag?
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Old 12-04-2008, 19:52   #7
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Hello Tspringer, from a fellow Stevens 47 owner. We've had Totem for a year. They really are a great design. The plumbing however, leave something to be desired -don't get me started on the water and fuel vents...

I'm about 5 months into significant tweaking; and 6 weeks from moving aboard with my wife and 3 kids. I'd like to connect more with Stevens owners. At the moment however, I just got back from 14 hours of tweaking. I'll drop you an email when I'm somehwat recovered. For now, it's time for wine -for medicinal purposes.

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Old 12-04-2008, 20:07   #8
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if your back, I would install a stand-under stainless shower on the aft deck, should be easy with water there.
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Old 15-04-2008, 15:19   #9
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We have a center cockpit boat. What we did was mount the shower in the cockpit well on the side of the cockpit locker underneath the lid. We did this because we could not figure out how to mount it properly on the aft deck and run the hoses back there.

Now the hot and cold hoses are all routed inside the locker. The pump and the hot water tank are also in the locker.

While the hose is long enough to go to the aft deck or the side deck, it is still a compromise because you might have to go from whereever you are to the cockpit to adjust the water temperature. On the other hand, you can take a shower in the cockpit or use the hose to clean the cockpit.

The other downside is that you have to be careful climbing down into the lcoker because the innards of the shower are there.
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Old 17-04-2008, 18:02   #10
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Hello Terry. Congratulations on your new purchase. We have the 1986 Stevens 47 on Lake Lanier. If you would like to come and check out our shower and how it is plumbed, let us know.
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Old 19-04-2008, 16:26   #11
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I wonder if just a 3-5 gallon pressurized garden sprayer would work? Maybe a bit extra hose, a valve and have the nozzle in a clip. This is just a rudimentary washdown setup.
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Old 21-04-2008, 03:46   #12
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Solar showers can be Gravity or Pump fed.
They're relatively cheap to purchase (ready made), or you can build your own.
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"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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