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Showering / washing on board?

ImageA forum to discuss issues related to living aboard your boat here. This is the place for "doing it" rather than "planning to do it".

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Cool Beans
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Showering / washing on board?

Unread postby Cool Beans » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:20 pm

Figure this would help make the boat feel a bit more "homey". . .cleaning up on board in the morning conveniently and regularly and eliminating the daily morning trudge to the marina shower would, I think at least, help make this all less of a chore. But I can only find a 3 gallon heater that fits where I would want to put it:

http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?pat ... &id=864752

Is 3 gallons enough? In a pinch I've had to clean up in the boat before. Basically what I call a sitz bath. Soapy rag to wash, couple applications of a clean wet rag to rinse. . .washed hair in the sink with a sprayer. Water was COLD though :P Like this, water in the heads "shower pan" was minimal, just toweled it up. What else would I need to make this nice?

Thanks!
The Perfect is the enemy of the Good

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Jaxfishgyd
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Re: Showering / washing on board?

Unread postby Jaxfishgyd » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:33 pm

I know some boaters who get by nicely on a 6 gal water heater.... We only have a 12 gal one on our boat but have always had plenty of hot water for nice showers.... I got mine at Lowes and it was on sale for $69 almost 10 yrs ago now.... But we also have diesel so it's not a danger.....
Capt Charlie Freeman
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ka8uet
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Re: Showering / washing on board?

Unread postby ka8uet » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:08 pm

I'm not sure that an electric water heater is the way to go. If you have propane for cooking, why not also use it to heat water for showers?
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CaptForce
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Re: Showering / washing on board?

Unread postby CaptForce » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:32 am

We also have a 12 gallon water heater, but I can see potential for success with a 3 gallon water heater. Keeping the heater on the highest temperature setting will double the gallons of suitable water for showering beore it turns cold. Mixing enough tolerable cold water into your selection for showering can, still again, stretch you volume. Soaking..... scrubbing with water off..... then rinsing, will again double the available warm water need. I don't think any of these practices lessen the quality of the shower.
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Re: Showering / washing on board?

Unread postby Islandtime38 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:40 am

We've been living aboard for almost 4 years now. In our previous boat we had an 11 gallon water heater. We bought our current boat about 1-1/2 years ago and the PO had just put in a new stainless 6 gallon water heater. My immediate thought was since we lived aboard, there would be no way we could get by with 6 gallons. I was wrong. Granted we don't have a washing machine on board, but we do take all showers on board. Even with guests aboard it is just fine. I guess the smaller water heaters heat the water pretty fast.
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Re: Showering / washing on board?

Unread postby tex » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:20 pm

My Manatee 36 has what looks to be the original 6 gallon unit and just keeps on going. If it goes out, I'll likely replace it with another 6 gallon. Haven't run out of hot water in any situation yet. Typically, when I'm staying aboard the boat I heat the water before bed, shut it off and shower with the 7 hour old hot water in the morning, still plenty.
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Re: Showering / washing on board?

Unread postby bobbymo » Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:16 pm

6-gallon electric on my boat. It's the original, and on my list of things to replace "someday". Have never run out of hot water, although it get's close if I run the washer before taking a shower (dumb). Would not have anything but electric since it can run from the dock, genset, or ven the inverter in a pinch. Nothing that makes a flame on my boat. Also have one of those "instant hot" water taps in the galley that I never believed in until I tried it. Have no use for it so the breaker is off.
Still looking for one of those wooden barrel hot tubs................. :roll:
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Cool Beans
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Re: Showering / washing on board?

Unread postby Cool Beans » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:47 pm

Going to make a mock-up of the 3 gallon and a 6 gallon and see where I can stick them. How do I deal with the shower runoff? Currently there is just a series of drain holes that dump into the forward bilge. . .
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Re: Showering / washing on board?

Unread postby tex » Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:24 pm

Just for the heck of it, I switched on my 6 gallon hot-water heater this morning for the first time in about 48 hours, so from dead cold, it generated enough hot water in 15 minutes for a 6 minute shower at where I like it (hot) before the temperature tapered off to cold in about one minute. If I leave it on for an hour and shut it down at around 9 AM, it still gives me a 5 minute hot shower the next morning. Not bad for the original appliance from 1987.
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Re: Showering / washing on board?

Unread postby ka8uet » Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:39 am

Tex, I wonder how that water heater will cope when you and the Admiral are both aboard and showering, etc.?
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tex
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Re: Showering / washing on board?

Unread postby tex » Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:28 am

ka8uet wrote:Tex, I wonder how that water heater will cope when you and the Admiral are both aboard and showering, etc.?


That's easy, Helen. My Admiral knows a little about conservation and being aboard a boat for extended periods of time will be like going to conservation college. I'm working to make our boat as independent and self-contained as possible, but novelty will likely morph into responsibility before long. Towing the shoe barge will be the biggest challenge. :D :roll:
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Re: Showering / washing on board?

Unread postby Wingysails » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:14 pm

I myself find that Propane is my favorite choice , mainly because I spend so much time off shore power and on the hook , I am able to take hot showers no matter when or where I Find my self . also bonus is that I am not burning up my battery banks heating water up for dishes and other such things .

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Re: Showering / washing on board?

Unread postby ka8uet » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:04 pm

Tex, I hope someday to meet you and your lady in person. Once she finds that she doesn't wear shoes very much any more, you will be able to ditch the barge!
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tex
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Re: Showering / washing on board?

Unread postby tex » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:17 pm

ka8uet wrote:Tex, I hope someday to meet you and your lady in person. Once she finds that she doesn't wear shoes very much any more, you will be able to ditch the barge!


I hope so too, Helen. Why don't you load up your Mom in her side of YOUR CATAMARAN, and head down here via the loop. Eventually, after cruising the big-bend of FL, you'll find us right there in Longboat Key. This is the same island, by-the-way, that I came to to look at that twin diesel Endeavour 30 we spoke about two years ago.
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Re: Showering / washing on board?

Unread postby ka8uet » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:05 pm

I remember that it was! I wish I could get my mom to do that, but so far, no luck. There is nothing quite so stubborn as a 95 year old lady of German extraction who has her mind made up!

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