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Old 11-10-2011, 21:02   #16
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

all good suggestions but too complicated. here's what we use;

Pump-up Solar Shower

i bought one two years ago and have since made one myself out of an
ordinary garden sprayer, kitchen sink sprayer, and a few washers. but the
admiral likes the 'store bought' one better.

here's the drill. in hot weather (we're in florida/bahamas) just use water at room temperature - feels good on a hot day. in cold weather, half fill the tank with tap water and then fill the rest with hot water from the tea kettle - feels good on a cold day.

now i should tell you the rest of the story. we have a 37 foot csy. it has a wonderful large fiberglass head that occupies the entire forepeak. it has a built in shower which we use in hot weather. but in cold weather we use the sprayer tank. the reason is that i removed the engine hot water heater a few years ago and have no plans of replacing it. the reason is simple; the heater is located near the stern of the boat and the built in shower near the bow of the boat. result? you need to run about a gallon of water through the shower line before you begin getting hot water (just like at home). big waste of water. and water on a cruising boat is like gold....
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:28   #17
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
I will just lend you my experience when I lived in Northern Ca. on my boat with my girlfriend at the dock. My boat at that time was a 34 footer with a shower in the head. I had a tank-less propane heater directly below the companionway that was vented through the 1/2 opened hatch which was under a hard dodger. After showers, the inside of the boat was a wet, cold like jungle. We started using the womens shower at the top of the docks to shower together (more fun). Ultimately, she had enough and left. So my suggestion is to wait until late spring and work her into it. To try to get something workable may be a recipe for disaster.
Good point for sure. If the OP's girlfriend is not a boater, trying a liveaboard at anchor in a NW winter will surely end in the OP living aboard alone. Take the time to get the boat setup well, move aboard in summer and get used to it before the hard part starts in the winter!What about heat on the boat?
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:31   #18
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Re: Showers in a small boat.

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Originally Posted by highseas View Post
Get the Coleman hotwater on demand camping unit from Can. Tire.Buy a longer hose for the shower wand and hang it from the boom or dodger in the cockpit when needed.
I think this poster meant to hang the unit outside but shower inside with a long hose...?
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:32   #19
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

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Originally Posted by Ti' Punch View Post
Of course, it would be tough to take a shower if you were rocking around that much anyway.
On a sailboat, a proper shower always makes provisions so that you can shower while seated.
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Old 12-10-2011, 13:15   #20
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail
I seriously don't think you will find a propane instant/demand water heater that is approved for use in the head/bathroom of a boat. Too many people have died from these units.
- - That said, there is nothing stopping you from locating the unit "outside" and plumbing the hot water into the head. Or using a remote unit in an engine room that is permanently vented to the outside.
- - It the unit itself is in the head, be it bolted to a bulkhead or hung from a hatch, there is the temptation to close that hatch when the first blast of cold air hits your girlfriend's naked body. And for sure she will have the head door closed to boot.
I keep hearing (reading) this but have never seen it shown.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Yeah, I think you're right about approvals. Never did understand that, an open flame cook stove is ok, a unit that has multiple safety features, auto shut down etc isnt....
The first one I used was in the boat I took to Mexico in 84/85. The new ones are even better.
I never understood this either. Even giving the size/area of use account.

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Old 12-10-2011, 13:18   #21
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
I will just lend you my experience when I lived in Northern Ca. on my boat with my girlfriend at the dock. My boat at that time was a 34 footer with a shower in the head. I had a tank-less propane heater directly below the companionway that was vented through the 1/2 opened hatch which was under a hard dodger. After showers, the inside of the boat was a wet, cold like jungle. We started using the womens shower at the top of the docks to shower together (more fun). Ultimately, she had enough and left. So my suggestion is to wait until late spring and work her into it. To try to get something workable may be a recipe for disaster.
Hmm, change shower...or Gf...
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Old 12-10-2011, 13:27   #22
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

My advice is to shower ashore.. Truckstops, marinas, friends, ect. Otherwise the boat will be always be damp and you will need to fill your water tanks often.
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Old 12-10-2011, 13:47   #23
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

I have a Paloma demand hot water heater unvented in the galley for hot water, both sinks and the shower in the head. It uses less gas to have a 5 min shower than cooking a 1.5hr stew. The galley is well vented for the propane cook stove (to get rid of moisture and gases) so the water heater is not reaching deadly levels of CO or CO2. That said I do have a CO detector which has never gone off. If you use propane for cooking then you are introducing CO and CO2 into your living space, just make sure it is adequately vented, it’s not like you are having a show for 8 hours while sleeping
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Old 12-10-2011, 14:04   #24
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

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Originally Posted by nwdiver View Post
I have a Paloma demand hot water heater unvented in the galley for hot water, both sinks and the shower in the head. It uses less gas to have a 5 min shower than cooking a 1.5hr stew. The galley is well vented for the propane cook stove (to get rid of moisture and gases) so the water heater is not reaching deadly levels of CO or CO2. That said I do have a CO detector which has never gone off. If you use propane for cooking then you are introducing CO and CO2 into your living space, just make sure it is adequately vented, it’s not like you are having a show for 8 hours while sleeping
I don't know... I reallllly love taking shower naps.
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Old 12-10-2011, 14:22   #25
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Stray thought about happy girlfriends and storing propane outdoors: IIRC propane gets lazy, doesn't vaporize, and refuses to come out of the tank somewhere around the time when water is freezing. Not as bad as butane, but might need a little encouragement in places where there is "winter".
Propane boils at about -42C. The pressure in the tank drops as it gets colder but I've barbecued at about -30C.
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Old 12-10-2011, 15:14   #26
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

I use the Coleman unit outside in the cockpit,set it up when needed.I have the luxury of a hard bimini with 6 ft 2 headroom which I can hang the (extended) wand hose and shower curtain hung by small hooks for privacy.The water comes from a 5 gall. blue jug,which is plenty for 2 showers.I even use it underway when it is smooth sailing,just don't bother with the curtain!I didn't want all the extra moisture inside the boat.I suppose you could run the hose into the galley when needed,when I do dishes I boil water in the kettle.One thing to watch is the dial on the unit is a bit flimsy,my first one broke and had to get a warranty unit.
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Old 12-10-2011, 15:30   #27
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

Now I haven't done this, but I thought it may work for someone who needs to shower on deck in a less than private place - if one had a bimini that could handle it, one could attach temporary walls that could roll up or zip off for when you need to shower, thus allowing for a more roomy and aerated bathing area. It shouldn't be too big of a deal getting the deck wet, it is a boat after all, and there would be less moisture or possible CO2 deaths to worry about.
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Old 06-11-2011, 01:16   #28
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

Nomdaica, I feel your pain. I am in the process of buying a 36-38’ cruising boat for liveaboard and cruising and have been racking my brain for months about hot water showers. We will be on the hook most of the time, my admiral will insist on a hot shower even in the tropics, and I do not want to turn the engine on just for hot water. I have lived on a boat previously, but what amounts to “camping” for 6 months becomes privation longer term. So, let’s accept that we all want a hot shower, and that we want it in the head or shower stall, not the cockpit. (I tried selling tickets to our cockpit shower shows, but people kept asking if we had change for a dollar.)
Looking at the posts in this thread and my research, it seems there are at least five options:
1. Use a water bag or, better still, the pump-up solar shower,mentioned by onestep, which does not need to be cranked up high for gravity feed in the shower stall - just add hot water from the stove.
+ cheap
+ effective
- slightly Inconvenient longer term

2. Use a gas camping style tankless heater, unvented, in the shower
+ cheap
+ effective
+ no more dangerous than a stove if doors and hatches are open
- possibly illegal, which means a registered gas-fitter will not do it (Ok, I can do DIY stuff, but like most DIYers, I get it right second time round. This is not something to get wrong the first time!)
** Can any resident gas experts comment further on this option? **

3. Use a gas camping style tankless heater, unvented, outside the boat
+ cheap
+ effective
- what a pain to disconnect and store each time one readies the boat for sailing.

4. Use a power-flued gas tankless heater
+ effective
+ permanent installation
- not so cheap (e.g. $1450 Precision Temp Boat Tankless Hot Water Heater. Gas Marine Water Heaters. Propane Boat Hot Water Heater)
- puts a 3” hole in the cabin for the flue. That hole must be somehow made watertight, like a dorade vent.
- yet another item vying for space in the boat.

5. Use an immersion heater in the existing (in most yachts) water heater, using 110v or 240v from the onboard invertor, batteries, or perhaps silent generator to shore up the batteries.
+ effective
+ uses existing equipment (if the current water heater does not have an immersion element, it should be cheap and easy to add)
+ no more space needed
- uses scarce amps

Here are some quick and dirty electrical calcs for option 5 (please check these – I am no sparky):
* Assume the immersion heater uses 1000 watts @ 110 volts (1000 / 110 = 9.1 amps @ 110 V).
* A Honda EU2000i produces 2000 watts at 120 V, so you could simply run a generator for the time it takes to heat the water.
* How long to heat the water? In cold areas (10⁰ C) to heat 25 litres of water to 55⁰ C would take 78 minutes (see Calorifier and Power Consumption - Yachting and Boating World Forums). In tropical areas, where the water is already around 27⁰ C, you may only need to raise the water temperature to 45⁰ C, so that would take about 38 minutes.
* Alternatively, if running off 12 volt batteries, the 1000 watts now needs 1000 / 12 * 1.15 (inefficiency factor of invertor etc) = 96 amps. For a cruising boat with a large battery bank, plenty of solar power, and a wind genny in the trades, this might be ok for 38 minutes. Beyond that… time for the generator.

My current plan is to use the (hopefully) existing water heater and see how that goes. If there are ever spare amps (rare with a watermaker, fridge, blah blah) then heat water opportunistically. Otherwise, if the batteries are low, run the generator for an hour to kill two birds with one stone. If that fails, I will look at the the pump-up solar shower.
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:49   #29
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, GypsyJohn.
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:51   #30
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

Some options:

1) shower in the cockpit,
2) find a boat like (e.g.) Vancouver 27/HCh33 - some have proper shower in the forepeak,
3) modify your boat and build a proper shower space.

I like option 2) best. We have option 1) only. So, when in the marina (or near one) we shower ashore.

You can get hot water from:
1) solar shower,
2) heat exchanger (boiler),
3) 2) plus a heating element (110/220 Volts).

Plenty of options but to me the best is a dedicated space designed into the boat plus an engine/exchanger hot water.

b.
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