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Old 12-04-2006, 09:09   #1
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Fitting a shower

Having written a quick few words on fitting a shower in my boat for another forum, I thought it might be of interest here:


I constructed a shower in my boat a couple of years ago. I dont have any problems with mildew so far, or of smell. I dont have any problems with damp either - you just need to do a decent job and eliminate any problems like those as a part of the design process.

Hot water - where are you going to get enough water at the right temperature and sufficient pressure to make a shower work

this may need an increase in cold water tankage
I heat mine through a gas water heater
the standard hot water system provides enough pressure, and I vary the temp by actually varying the water temperature on the heater.

shower enclosure. My heads is big enough for a domestic shower curtain rail and for a standard nylon curtain to protect the rest of the heads (especially the loo paper). I sited this underneath a mushroom vent which I insist is open during showering to minimise condensation problems. The floor was a GRP moulding with a large wooden cut out for access to the stop cocks. I sealed the wood in having cut out a circular panel which I filled with a large dinghy access panel, and also fitted a domestic plastic shower drain with U bend. On top of the wood and surrounding deck, I installed a plastic grating material designed for swimming pool floors. On top of this (cause the grating was uncomfortable) I installed a caravan padded shower base material (v nice it is too).

Draining the water. I have already mentioned the standard shower drain and U bend, beneath this and in the bilge I installed a proper Johnson shower sump
[image]http://www.yachtbits.com/i/prod/139_1.jpg[/image]
and tapped into the wash basin outlet to pump out the grey water.

result a more than adequate shower at a minimal cost using a standard home shower spray (adjustable in height) and with as much space to soap and rinse as in a normal shower at home. After the shower I need to pass a couple of jugs of clean water through the drain to remove dirty residue (and stop subsequent smells) and also hang up the grating and shower base to dry underneath.

I can then move into the main dressing area, where I have an eberspacher (=espar) outlet to dress in comfort. (all this in a 29 ft boat (ok it is a cat))
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Old 12-04-2006, 16:30   #2
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Fitting a decent hot shower on my boat is a real priority for me before I do any extended (i.e. 6 months+) live-aboard crusing. I have probably 5 - 7 years before I take off crusing full time, so it is not an urgent requirement, so I can afford to ponder it and do some homework for a goodly while (and save some $$$s too, heh heh).

I don't even have a hot water cylinder at the moment, so that is stage 1. I am thinking around 30 litre (7.5 US gals?). At the moment, I think engine heat exchanger + 240V AC is going to be the way to go, but ideally I'd like a system that will run off engine, 240V AC, 115V AC, 12V DC and gas! I don't think that they make them yet...

I will run the plumbing to the shower (almost certainly in the head) at the same time as fitting the HW cylinder.
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Old 12-04-2006, 17:19   #3
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One thing worth adding is an acumulator tank. It smooths out the water flow and makes controlling the hot water easier. It also reduces the cycling on and off of the pump. Jabsco makes a small one that works well for us.
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Old 13-04-2006, 01:27   #4
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IIRC espar's newest water heater is driven by gas, but also has an emmersion system which enables it to be run by mains. If you normally run from 115v then select that and have a 240/115v ac converter.
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Old 13-04-2006, 01:51   #5
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An accumulator tank is essential. Although Jabsco do have a new pump on the market that is not supposed to need one. But for any other pump, an accumulator will solve many problems with water systems, that you didn't even know existed. But essentialy, it protects over use of the pressure switch and stops "hammering" which can damage the swtich and other components. If you have a Gas Califont, an Accumulator is essential for smooth hot water flow and stopping the Califont from cycling in and out. Nothing worse than getting into a hot shower and having it then go cold on you.

Weyalan, I would hate to think of what sort of current draw a 12V element of sufficient size required to heat a 30ltr tank would be. But why not a 115V/Gas water tank. Then you can run it on the 115V, on an 115V inverter for 12V, and have a step down Trany for when your boat is connected to 240V systems.
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