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Old 14-04-2012, 07:36   #1
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Solar shower for when on the hook

I already have a water heater connected to my engine, but I'm too lazy to run it most of the time, and looking for ways to save diesel and the little bit of wear on the engine, so I was thinking of maybe getting a solar shower.

I've seen them mentioned more than a few times on the different forums. The problem is, when I look on Amazon, they all have horrible reviews for being **** quality, and not lasting long. What are the opinions here?
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Old 14-04-2012, 07:46   #2
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Re: Solar shower for when on the hook

Looks like the Advanced Elements and Stearns Solar showers get pretty good reviews.

I have a cheap coleman 2.5 gallon one that's several years old, but I've only used it about 10 times. No complaints.
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Old 14-04-2012, 07:53   #3
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Re: Solar shower for when on the hook

The Duckworks pump-up solar shower is da bomb:

Pump-up Solar Shower
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Old 14-04-2012, 07:53   #4
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Re: Solar shower for when on the hook

If you're willing to spend twice as much for something that will never wear out:
Amazon.com: MSR Dromedary Bag: Sports & Outdoors

Dromedary Bag Shower Kit by MSR

the system will cost $40 for the 10-liter water bag and another $20 for the shower attachment.
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Old 14-04-2012, 07:56   #5
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Re: Solar shower for when on the hook

I use 2L soft drink bottles. In summer they are too hot unless you move the into the shade. In winter I add some hot water from the kettle and check the temp with an infrared thermometer. The soft drink bottles glug out at just the right rate when you hold them above your head.
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Old 14-04-2012, 07:58   #6
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Re: Solar shower for when on the hook

They work great. I hang mine from the rigging and position it just above the head hatch so the hose can be routed inside. They roll up and take very little space stowed. Much better than running the engine just to heat water.

I also use them in addition to collapsible jugs just to transport water in the dinghy when we can't fill our fresh water tanks from a dock hose.
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Old 14-04-2012, 08:47   #7
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Re: Solar shower for when on the hook

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
I use 2L soft drink bottles. In summer they are too hot unless you move the into the shade. In winter I add some hot water from the kettle and check the temp with an infrared thermometer. The soft drink bottles glug out at just the right rate when you hold them above your head.
Good idea. I have a five gallon bucket on my stern that I dip a plastic cup into for rinse downs in summer. I've also have one or two solar showers on board. But, tend to just use the bucket most of the summer. When I was working and living on board in New York City I used the on board Paloma on demand heater and pressurized water to fill gallon jugs for showers down below. It helped keep an eye on water usage. If that Paloma ever dies I might go with something like this:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: In hot water?
as a replacement. It can also be used in the cockpit to provide hot water for drinks for the helmsman and crew on passages.
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Old 14-04-2012, 09:03   #8
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Re: Solar shower for when on the hook

We have two 4.0 gallon vinyl "Sun Showers" that we bought in 1987 at West Marine in Long Beach California. Ours have a clear side and somewhat of a pad with an aluminized reflector on the other. As an alternative to the shower's in the heads, we leave these on deck for an hour or two (which is quite enough in Southwest Florida) and suspend them from the end of the boom--for rinsing off after swimming--or above the forward head with the tube and nozzle extending into the compartment through the overhead hatch. (If the water gets too hot, one can dunk them in the sea for a few minutes which will cool them down sufficiently.)

On our old boat, a Cal 2-29, we would pour the water into a small garden sprayer modified with a "telephone" style nozzle from Home Depot that made a fine, pressurized shower.

Click on this: Sun Shower to see a similar product sold by Defender very inexpensively.

FWIW...
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Old 14-04-2012, 11:37   #9
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Re: Solar shower for when on the hook

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Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
When I was working and living on board in New York City I used the on board Paloma on demand heater and pressurized water to fill gallon jugs for showers down below.
When I lived in NYC, techincally Weehawken, I just used up all the hot water at the marina.
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Old 14-04-2012, 11:45   #10
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Re: Solar shower for when on the hook

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
If you're willing to spend twice as much for something that will never wear out:
Amazon.com: MSR Dromedary Bag: Sports & Outdoors

Dromedary Bag Shower Kit by MSR

the system will cost $40 for the 10-liter water bag and another $20 for the shower attachment.
Great suggestion. The problem is, it may be a little too small. This is mainly for the first mate, for washing her hair.
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Old 14-04-2012, 11:56   #11
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Re: Solar shower for when on the hook

we have both the hanging bag type solar shower and the duckworks pump sprayer type solar shower. the admiral definitely prefers the duckworks pump up. easier to use when it's cold out as you can partially fill it with hot water from the teapot and then add cold water. also doesn't need to be hung from anything....
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Old 14-04-2012, 12:04   #12
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Re: Solar shower for when on the hook

I find it pretty easy to use, just tie around the boom and have a sit-down shower in the cockpit. Flip the hose on and off as needed... The 2.5 gallon one is more than enough for me, but I can imagine a lady would want the 4-5 gallon versions.

Pump sprayer looks like a good idea, but would require a lot more storage space. So I think that will depend on your boat and personal preference. I thought about getting one to use as an anchor/deck washdown pump, but in the end I just don't have enough extra space, unless I lash it to a stanchion or something, but my deck is cluttered enough as it is...
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Old 14-04-2012, 12:22   #13
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Re: Solar shower for when on the hook

We've found the plastic bag solar showers awkward to hang and fill and also subject to damage and leaks. We find it much simpler to keep water in a dark bucket that heats fairly well on the stern. We bathe by dipping cups of water from the bucket. During colder times we can add heated water to the bucket, but we tend to stay in warm areas. We often bathe overboard and rinse with fresh water from the bucket.
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Old 14-04-2012, 14:47   #14
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Re: Solar shower for when on the hook

I bought my boat with one of those engine exchanger H2O heatera. I'm yanking it out, going ondemand propane and the pump up weed sprayer.
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Old 14-04-2012, 15:16   #15
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Re: Solar shower for when on the hook

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cormorant View Post
The Duckworks pump-up solar shower is da bomb:

Pump-up Solar Shower
+1

Can be used for many different things on a boat. Cost around $50 with s/h. Pricey but I thought it was worth it.
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