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Old 11-10-2011, 12:10   #1
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Showering in a Small Boat

Hi Everyone,

I am just in the midst of purchasing a beautiful Alberg 30. My GF and I will be living aboard for 1.5 years to fix her up for some serious cruising.

We live in the PNW, so having a hot shower even every few days would be really nice.

Does any one have any interesting ideas or experiences with showers on a small vessel? I have seen a few riggs, but this is what I was thinking:

1) This as the base: http://downtheroad.org/imagesBBB/hilly/stemalt2.jpg
(I could dump the water, collapse it, and store it in the lazerette to avoid any humidity on the boat)

2) The shower would be a tankless propane. When finished it could be unhooked and stored in the laterette again. :CampingShowerWorld.com: Eccotemp L5, Eccotemp water heater

**Must make GF happy...must make boat happy. I think this may work for the next year before we leave to warmer waters....

Any thoughts/experiences?
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:21   #2
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Re: Showers in a small boat.

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.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:23   #3
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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.
Hmmm....I dont know if the lady would love showering in the cockpit when its -2 outside and pissing rain.

I am trying for a system that can be put up in 2-5 mins, and taken down...used indoors.

But yes, coleman has great stuff.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:27   #4
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Re: Showers in a small boat.

Are you talking about something at the dock with hose hook up or out haning on the hook? The differences in water availability and privacy may dictate what is best.

There's something to be said for the simplicity of just heating water on the stove and dumping it into a sunshower.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:30   #5
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Re: Showers in a small boat.

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Originally Posted by nautical62 View Post
Are you talking about something at the dock with hose hook up or out haning on the hook? The differences in water availability and privacy may dictate what is best.

There's something to be said for the simplicity of just heating water on the stove and dumping it into a sunshower.
**We would be on the hook...... and I have thought about heating water on the stove....very true. Probably less propane usage as well in a pressure cooker. Then I would just need my collapsible bucket to stand in.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:46   #6
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Re: Showers in a small boat.

best develope some friends on shore with a washing machine and bathroom during the winter.
other wise a big bowl that you can stand in in the saloon.
solar shower in the summer in the cockpit.
choices are a bit limited on a 30 ft boat.
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Old 11-10-2011, 13:13   #7
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

"1) This as the base: http://downtheroad.org/imagesBBB/hilly/stemalt2.jpg "
Seems to redirect to a rather large "error page".

Showering on a 31' boat usually means putting a shower in the head compartment, and ensuring everything else in the head can withstand the shower, i.e. dry tp holder and dry medicine chest, locker, etc. then using a squeegee and a solar vent (mandatory!) to dry out the head afterwards.

On hot water heaters, propane is nifty just make sure you've got a working CO detector onboard and the unit is properly vented, or better still, mounted outside the cabin. There's something to be said for what '62 said about using the stove. With a styrofoam six-pack cooler and some plumbing parts, you should be able to boil a gallon or two of water, pour it into basically an insulated bucket, and run that as your hot water supply. Whether you do gravity, pressure, mixing...many options, including showering ashore. Any cheap gym memberships around?
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Old 11-10-2011, 18:14   #8
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomdaica View Post
. . . 2) The shower would be a tankless propane. When finished it could be unhooked and stored in the laterette again. :CampingShowerWorld.com: Eccotemp L5, Eccotemp water heater

**Must make GF happy...must make boat happy. I think this may work for the next year before we leave to warmer waters....
Any thoughts/experiences?
Tankless propane heaters like the one you have a link to are not designed to be used indoors. Use it indoors for your girlfriend to take a shower and you will most likely be looking for a new girlfriend as the old one died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

- - However, you could hang it outside on deck very close to the head/shower compartment and simply extend the hose down into the shower area. That way she is inside and the water heater is outside.

- - You could even install a permanent hose with a coupling that passes through the deck and into the shower area. Install the other side of the coupling to the water heater and plug them together. That way the unit can be stored away when not needed and used "outdoors" where the CO hazard will not exist.
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Old 11-10-2011, 18:50   #9
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

You might want to check this unit out:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: In hot water?
Since it also makes on demand hot water you could also keep it in the cockpit near the helmsman in case they want a hot drink on an overnight passage. Price seems reasonable too!
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Old 11-10-2011, 19:04   #10
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

cant you set up a a shower in the head? The Eccotemp L5 is a great and not too large unit. Put one in my last boat. as with all propane, use it carefully. turn the propane on to it for use and off when not using. I mounted mine under a hatch to allow exhaust ventilation, although it shouldnt be any worse than using a propane cook stove... and will be used for a shorter period of time I imagine.
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Old 11-10-2011, 19:11   #11
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

The Coleman product looks good. In the video it says the unit automatically shuts down if it tips over. Depending on how sensitive the internal sensor is it may give you problems on a boat if you are rocking around. Of course, it would be tough to take a shower if you were rocking around that much anyway.
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Old 11-10-2011, 19:16   #12
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

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.
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Old 11-10-2011, 19:19   #13
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

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".
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Old 11-10-2011, 19:37   #14
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
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.
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.
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Old 11-10-2011, 19:51   #15
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Re: Showering in a Small Boat

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.
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