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Old 07-10-2011, 06:35   #1
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How Big Should My Hot Water Tank Be ?

Restoring a 41 ft. S&S sail boat she is old so not much room down below. We plan on living on her its just the two of us and our two cats. We aren't sure how big the hot water tank should be. Have a suggestion. Thanks
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:43   #2
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Re: how big should my hot water tank be

Six gallons is fine. Cats won't use much hot water.
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:49   #3
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Re: how big should my hot water tank be

Probably 6 gals is more than enough, as Rick said. Make sure you have a mixer value on the tank. That will effectively increase the amount of hot water you have and avoid the scalding from 160*F water.
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:58   #4
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Re: how big should my hot water tank be

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, maureen beltram.

What Rick & Paul said.
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Old 07-10-2011, 07:51   #5
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Re: how big should my hot water tank be

Welcome to the forum maureen.
6 gal is very common and seems to be adequate.
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:17   #6
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Re: how big should my hot water tank be

We have 50 liters -- about 14 gallons. IF we are on shore power and can get the water up to nearly boiling, then it's enough for a few showers (we sleep up to seven or eight people, and sometimes have that many people on board). That's because, as others have said, the nearly boiling water is diluted at the outlet of the calorifier to "stretch" the hot water.

If, on the other hand, we are heating water using the central heating system, it does not get up to nearly boiling, and doesn't go as far.

Six gallons would be ok, probably, for two people who are reasonably careful with water. If you think you will have more people on board, however, you might think about more capacity, IMHO.
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:42   #7
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Re: how big should my hot water tank be

my cat refuses to use hot water so my solar showers are fine. i donot use a hot water heater--i find they always leak, some sooner than others/. the ones i removed were 5 or 6 gallons.
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Old 08-10-2011, 19:26   #8
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Re: How Big Should My Hot Water Tank Be ?

If you have a wife or other significant female onboard who is used to land life - go with the bigger tanks as suggested by Dockhead. Unless you like or need cold showers.
- - In reality the size of the tank will be limited by the space where you can put it. And it needs to be bolted down so it cannot move. Boats rock and roll and water is quite heavy.
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Old 08-10-2011, 19:36   #9
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Re: How Big Should My Hot Water Tank Be ?

Wife and I have lived aboard and cruised for 20 years and both boats had 6 gallon hot water heaters. Chuck
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Old 08-10-2011, 19:39   #10
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Re: How Big Should My Hot Water Tank Be ?

We have an 11 gallon tank that has been plenty for the two of us, my wife like to use a lot more than I think is appropriate.
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Old 08-10-2011, 19:52   #11
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Re: How Big Should My Hot Water Tank Be ?

We have a 10 gal we bought cheap at Home Depot which is plenty for the two of us and our cat.
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Old 08-10-2011, 20:32   #12
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Re: How Big Should My Hot Water Tank Be ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaunJ View Post
We have an 11 gallon tank that has been plenty for the two of us, my wife like to use a lot more than I think is appropriate.
And there is lies a problem if you liveaboard and cruise, unless you plan to be at the dock all the time with plenty of water available. Water conservation becomes very important and if you have twice as much hot water someone might spend twice as much time in the shower. If the hot water runs out, the showers become very short. But with 6 gallons we take average showers and wash dishes with hot water to spare. Doesn't sound like you have room for a large tank. Just a thought. Chuck
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Old 08-10-2011, 20:47   #13
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Re: How Big Should My Hot Water Tank Be ?

Waterwayguy, I think you are right on. What if I put a foot pump in the shower like I have at the sink. I have convinced the wife to use it at the sink, so why not in the shower.
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Old 08-10-2011, 21:11   #14
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Re: How Big Should My Hot Water Tank Be ?

Shaun, There is a difference between cruising and camping out, IMO. Although if the wife does not object you would save a lot of water. The foot pump will not give you much pressure to rinse off soap etc. but I am sure there are some out there that might use this. Chuck
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Old 08-10-2011, 21:19   #15
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Re: How Big Should My Hot Water Tank Be ?

Might want to try an on demand propane water heater. Hot water only limited by your boats water capacity and very little waste running the hotwater to a distant fixture. They take up very little space in the head which leaves the rest of the boatg free of a tank. Never felt the need for hotwater in the galley.
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