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Old 16-12-2006, 14:23   #46
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After years of "camping", we love our on board shower an hot water. When we had our place in the Santa Cruz Mountains, we hauled in water, and showers consisted of a teapot, and an extra hand. When we first moved aboard, we really enjoyed the luxury of the marina shower, but that cold walk on a winter morning got really old. Heating water to do dishes also got old. When we installed the shower sump, and the hot water heater, after about 6 years of living without, it was like Christmas. Having to deal with mold, and clean the sump once in awhile is a small price to pay. Yea, I was raised by Amercan standards, and developed the habit of showering every day, but I have done it my whole life, and am not going to stop now. It is about comfort for me.
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Old 16-12-2006, 15:26   #47
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Seconded.

I keep falling back on the fact that the same people who say daily showers are a "luxury" might have a laptop and chartplotter that they feel is a "requirement".

A list of needs should basically entail everything required to (honestly) get you through your journey. That includes safety, seamanship, emotional happiness, financial preperation, and morale. Maybe there's a few more on that list.

But for me, having a hot shower is something that makes me very happy, and will repair me from all but the hardest days in a matter of minutes. It's also something that makes my girlfriend feel happy and clean, which easily puts it into my "requirements" category.
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Old 16-12-2006, 16:07   #48
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rebel heart: Exactly. That's what I meant before when I had said that you can't have everything on a boat. You must pick and choose your battles. I have a laptop that is also a chartplotter. I choose to have that as a tool, rather than a luxury, but I did choose it all the same.

I guess I've turned into a dirty sea hippie since the old suit wearing days of running a company in Manhattan. Don't miss a thing about land life either.


But your point is what I was trying to say in my last post... you just phrased it much more eloquently.
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Old 18-12-2006, 06:05   #49
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I have a shower stall seperated from the rest of the head by a folding plexiglass door. Water drains into a shower sump under a teak grating. The sump pump is manually operated by a switch on the bulkhead. The grating and head door is the only wood in the head.

I liveaboard and still have a suit & tie job so I shower every day.


The marina I was in last summer didn't have very nice facilities, and I didn't like showering there. Where I am know the showers are 1/4 mile from the boat; I just don't want to start my day by dragging all my gear up there and back.

On board, I wipe down the walls of the shower and the floor after use. Ventilation is not the best (an opening port; no dorade, hatch, or vent). I've found leaving the head door open all the time and running a small fan in the head from the time I finish showering until I leave for work avoids mold and smells.
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Old 18-12-2006, 07:53   #50
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soapy water left in the shower bilge is the worst culprit for smells. I always add some additional water to the shower bilge after the shower to help flush this through.
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Old 18-12-2006, 08:48   #51
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Sean, aren't you in Maine yet??

"a squeegie and chamois " I've also had the pleasure to squeegie after showers, and if the shower space is designed to be kept dry (simple fiberglass walls, no complicated plumbing and nooks and crannies) it honestly can be that simple, with a solar vent fan helping it along. Incredible pleasure when it gets that simple.<G>

I think the problem is the typical marine shower is in the head, and there are just too many places for The Crud to establish a foothold in that more complicated terrain. That "shower-x" type spray sold for home showers actually helps a great deal--but that would also probably kill teak.

All too many marina showers are too funky and neglected, if you know anyone who's gotten toenail fungus from public showers--it ain't pretty, and the only medicine that really cures it is also really toxic. Me, I'm impressed when I find someplace that really bothers to keep their showers CLEAN. (If anyone else ever read the original "What Color is Your Parachute" book, that's one of their tips about interviewing prospective employers. Look at the bathroom, if they're not taking care of that...they aren't taking care of the employees, either.)
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Old 18-12-2006, 09:17   #52
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Hi Hellosailor. I'm not in Maine yet. I'm in your area, although a bit further south... in Jersey. I'll be going up to Maine in the spring.

Your post reminds me of my time aboard megayachts. We used to have to squeegee the shower every day. There was a squeegee hanging in there with the soap and shampoo. That is a very effective way to remove moisture.
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Old 19-12-2006, 20:52   #53
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I think I might keep adding to this thread, and taking some pictures along the way, since it's something that I'm currently working on. My current issues:

- Install a seat. Showering underway while standing is about as safe as playing Russian Roulette with a semi automatic pistol.

- Create hot water. I'm taking a two phases approach to the hot water situation. If it's warm enough outside, I figure I wont be running the diesel cabin heater, and can throw a solar shower on deck, and just run the hose into the head. Nice and easy: no pumps, no external heat source. On cold days when the solar shower wont work, I'll probably have the cabin heater on, so I'm looking at the heat exchangers that Force 10 (I think) makes. Then I'm faced with housing the hot water, supplying fresh water to the tank, and installing a pump of some type (probably foot) to pump the hot water onto your head. I'll get a teak pedal for the standard Gusher foot pump, since I figure barefoot that will be nicer than the little rubber knob regularly used.

- Flush valve. Other posters are right; if you don't flush that shower sump out, it smells like something died in there very quickly. It's below the water line, so plumbing (carefully regulated and built safe as hell) some sea water into the sump when done showering should make a huge difference.

Most of the work will just be logistical, the only parts I think I need are:

- ss tubes to move the hot water around
- hot water tank (already have one)
- heat exchanger
- another footpump
- a 2"x4"x1" teak "pedal"
- teak seat
- 10' of 1/2" tubing
- a T valve

If my engineering skills are on par with my imagination, I might be able to cough up about $500 (the pump alone is $100) and have a showering system with one moving part (the foot pump).
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Old 03-03-2007, 14:29   #54
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Nonsuch boats also have separate shower stalls with seat. Check out the 30 foot Ultra...excellent cruising boat.

Our boat ( CS ) has the shower in the head, but the entire thing is a molded piece of fibreglass - the only teak is the grating over the sump. Has a separate pump and overboard or holding tank option. Most of the CS boats that had showers were built like this.

Regardless of where your shower is, if you are going to use it underway, you need to be able to sit. If it's in the head, you can sit on the toilet seat, if not, then a teak or fibreglass seat is a necessity.
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Old 03-03-2007, 15:55   #55
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Some of the Pearson 424's have a starboard "deluxe" head with separate shower stall. It is fully separated from the head--which is in the same compartment but totally separated by a curtain athwartships.

On the concept of showering underway...HA! Not me. I've learned that anytime I go below when a boat is underway, SOMETHING is going to happen that need me up "now". I'll drop my trousers, sure, but go below and get naked and covered in suds? Hell no, the USN would probably mistake whatever I was on for a Japanese trawler and surface under us, just when I got the shampoo in.
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Old 08-03-2007, 12:24   #56
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You have to love those Cabo Rico's. Heck if you're building new with them they'll put whatever you want in the darn thing!
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:59   #57
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Re: An Actual Shower stall

I like the catalina 375's head, a place to stand or sit separate from rest of the area but not overly big, dedicated grey water, sail cloth curtain.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:37   #58
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Hellosailor is right about the Pearson 424s. My 424 (a 1983) has an aft separate shower stall. I put a precision temp on demand hot water system in the aft lazarette. Uses very little propane and makes nice hot showers.

The shower stall is pretty big. I shower in it just fine and am 6'5" ( I do have to tilt my head a bit, but I'd need a 55 footer to avoid that anyway :-). My guests have no issues at all with it either.

The Pearsons are pretty affordable and solid boats.
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Old 09-06-2011, 13:30   #59
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Re: An Actual Shower stall

The smallest boat that I know of with a dedicated shower stall, is the Pearson 365. IT's NICE!

On the other hand... While tropical cruising, we've found that the best bet is to use a 2.5 gal. black plastic garden sprayer, with a dish washing, thumb actuated nozzle. This provides enough water for two good cockpit showers, including washing hair. If warmth is needed, (like right after sun down), It is better if it sat in the sun a couple of hours before use. (Adding a kettle of hot water works in winter, or well after dark).

This controls water usage beautifully, keeps moisture OUT from down below, making it more comfortable, AND it does double duty for washing dive gear.

Since it can be refilled from jugs, rather than just tanks, you can utilize "mostly" clean water that you caught in your dinghy and jugged, after a good rain.

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Old 09-06-2011, 13:48   #60
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Re: An Actual Shower stall

Another great use of the shower base is the stomp method of washing clothes as suggested in some guidebooks I've seen. It works splendidly and kills two seagulls (on your radar dome) with one stone.
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