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FantasyTrimaran

Can a shower be installed into a small sailboat?

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By small something between 21 feet and 27 feet perhaps?

If it can have a toilet in it, can it have a shower? Most boats in this range that I've seen online don't seem to have anything like a shower - toilet and sink yes, but nothing like a shower, so far as I can tell.. Is there a pre-existing system that people use to install some sort of shower or are such boats in the 21 to 27 feet range presumed too small to be properly live-able in? Are such boats meant to be slept in really?

 

I wonder if a shower with warm water could be installed, for that matter?

 

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24 minutes ago, FantasyTrimaran said:

By small something between 21 feet and 27 feet perhaps?

If it can have a toilet in it, can it have a shower? Most boats in this range that I've seen online don't seem to have anything like a shower - toilet and sink yes, but nothing like a shower, so far as I can tell.. Is there a pre-existing system that people use to install some sort of shower or are such boats in the 21 to 27 feet range presumed too small to be properly live-able in? Are such boats meant to be slept in really?

 

I wonder if a shower with warm water could be installed, for that matter?

 

Sure. You need 3 key ingredients:

1- Physical; the cubic space for the shower itself, the plumbing including a water tank, ít's possible to set up such a system to not need a pump but it's a bit more difficult so figure to have a 12V pump, then the soapy shower water needs to go somewhere too. A lot of small boats accomplish this by putting the shower in the head compartment where the shower-er actually sits on the head; others put a shower out in the cockpit which simplifies everything but modesty and what to do when it's cold outside.

2- Engineering; firstly the capability of the boat to carry the weight of all the above stuff, and the planning of exactly what stuff and where to put it without impairing other vital functions, battery capacity or other source of power for it all, and of course the water tank.

3- cash to make all the above happen

Small portable water heaters aren't expensive

One from Wal-Mart for $129

A fancy Coleman one for $250

Both of these units are amazingly cheap in boat dollars, because of course they are made for and marketed to frugal campers not rich sailors.

It all kind of emphasizes how much hidden engineering goes into our ideas of a liveable comfortable dwelling and difficulty of putting "all that"into anything as impractical as a sailboat

FB- Doug

 

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I did a little engineering on the Rinsekit;.  It needs to be charged from a water source with sufficient pressure, like a house tap.  Or you could fill it, then use an air compressor or pump. And I guess you could fill it with warm water.  There was talk of a built in heater, but I don't know if they ever did it. 

The really cheap version is a solar shower; put it on deck and run the hose through a port. 

Bigger issue is where does the water go?  I'd be tempted to shower in the cockpit, even if it scares the neighbors. 

 

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Sure. If you need an inside shower get the following:

1) Shower curtain. RV makers have very small aluminum track  you can bend to a tight radius. Or just use 4 straight sections.

049762_1.jpg?sw=1350&sh=1000&sm=fit

2) Something to pump out the water. Typically a closed drain box with an inlet strainer to catch hairs, a float switch, and a small pump. Assuming the boat has a fiberglass liner, you cut a hole in the head floor and install a floor drain fitting and a length of hose to where ever you've got room for your sump.  No liner? Install a Whale low profile pump in the lowest part of the head floor. Don't even fit a float switch, just an on/off switch. These pumps can run dry for a short period of time

61qU68KCPTS._AC_SL1500_.jpg

Low profile pump

supersub_smart_650.jpg

 

3) Hot water.

- Simplest is a solar shower with the hose running through a hatch or portlight. If it's not sunny, boil a kettle on the stove and add it to the solar shower.

- next up in complexity (marginally) is a weed sprayer that you fill with hot water (kettle) + cold water. Pump it up and affix a cheap plastic RV shower nozzle to the end with an on/off button

- propane gas on demand heater (lots of cheap chinese ones on EBay for $100-200) but you need pressure water for it to work

- 120/240V electric hot water heater but you need shore power or a portable generator, and again, pressure water to get water from tank to shower

 

Honestly showering in the cockpit while seated (put up a towel on either side of the lifelines if you're modest American) with a solar shower works for lots of folks

OR stay at marinas with showers!

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You can simplify your life dramatically if you're willing to shower in the cockpit.  Even moreso if you're willing to use a sun shower.  

People do live on such small boats, and have circumnavigated them as well.  

If you're looking for a marina livaboard some marinas have minimum size requirements (my marina limits it to 36'+ I believe).  

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One (actually a series) of these worked for me for about 15 years on my 42' trimaran. Usually in the cockpit but occasionally while sitting on the head if it was chilly topsides. Sitting in the sun all day makes it plenty warm in you throw a towel on it before sundown and a couple of qts hot water heated on the stove if you don't. KISS

Image result for solar shower

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On the cruising boat I have a nice shower stall, pressure cold and hot water, a transom shower and I still use a solar shower at times. You can even take it ashore. Definitely worth having around.

Lots of long term cruisers use garden boss setups. They are useful things around the boat, too.

Only nice thing I can see about the rinsekit is the swimsuit model.

All of the above have the advantage that they don't draw from the main water supply. Water management is always a thing. If you are going to go for pressure water it might be worth considering a separate supply with a recirculating system. You could set it up in the heads or out in the cockpit. eg:

 

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8 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Sure. You need 3 key ingredients:

1- Physical; the cubic space for the shower itself, the plumbing including a water tank, ít's possible to set up such a system to not need a pump but it's a bit more difficult so figure to have a 12V pump, then the soapy shower water needs to go somewhere too. A lot of small boats accomplish this by putting the shower in the head compartment where the shower-er actually sits on the head; others put a shower out in the cockpit which simplifies everything but modesty and what to do when it's cold outside.

2- Engineering; firstly the capability of the boat to carry the weight of all the above stuff, and the planning of exactly what stuff and where to put it without impairing other vital functions, battery capacity or other source of power for it all, and of course the water tank.

3- cash to make all the above happen

Small portable water heaters aren't expensive

One from Wal-Mart for $129

A fancy Coleman one for $250

Both of these units are amazingly cheap in boat dollars, because of course they are made for and marketed to frugal campers not rich sailors.

It all kind of emphasizes how much hidden engineering goes into our ideas of a liveable comfortable dwelling and difficulty of putting "all that"into anything as impractical as a sailboat

FB- Doug

 

Ignoring the first three valid pojnts by Steam, 

I think both of these units are designed for outdoor use.  Indoor/inside use on a small 21' to 27' boat could prove to be deadly. 

Tankless on demand type  propane gas fueled water heaters must be installed in a dedicated locker separated from the accommodations and provided with dedicated intake and exhaust ventilation.  That's going to be hard to achieve on a typical smaller boat.  Not impossible but hard.  

One would be wise to consult with American Boat and Yacht Council recommendation before proceeding.

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8 hours ago, Rasputin22 said:

One (actually a series) of these worked for me for about 15 years on my 42' trimaran. Usually in the cockpit but occasionally while sitting on the head if it was chilly topsides. Sitting in the sun all day makes it plenty warm in you throw a towel on it before sundown and a couple of qts hot water heated on the stove if you don't. KISS

Image result for solar shower

+1000!

My 38’ boat had a shower, but I used a good old Sun Shower virtually all the time instead. Simple, did not need to run an engine or generator to heat water, didn’t have to clean up the inside shower afterwards, it was 100% silent and it got plenty hot.

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Why would you need a shower inside the boat? I live in my sailboat 4-6 weeks every year (2-4 weeks when I had a 22' boat, the same 4-6 weeks when I had 28' boat, mostly with family of 4). There is warm water and place for the shower in the current boat (35'), but I haven't installed the pumping system to remove water. I do have a shower in the cockpit, but I don't use it for more than cleaning the anchor and the cockpit. 

Many of my friends have a shower in the head, but none of them use it. Some use the one in the cockpit.

There are showers or saunas in the marinas or you can wash yourself in the sea.

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VWAP is a winner, but can be beat.

1. Don't shower, use a sponge or cloth and add vinegar or perfume as required.

2. Jump over the side and go for a swim. Finish off with vwap if salt bothers you.

3. When sailing at over 2 knots, make and use a canvas draw- bucket.

Canvas-bucket-363x400.jpg.3d6caff09f500492d43de2acea04abbd.jpg

4. Whenever it rains, enjoy it.

5. If too cold for all above, use environmental friendly wipes:

F_77917.jpg.3b5720017e19051ec1315ae529e4a257.jpg

6. KISS, do nothing.

PS. Finally, use a bottle with sea water to clean your arse, it really works. Can also be used as after shave, or to bleach your hair if you are so inclined.

 

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5 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

 

 

what the fuck is wrong with u. take your crap to sa

seriously, u need a hobby

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Another concern about showering in a small boat is the humidity factor.   Splashing all that water about may make the boat damp inside with the associated increased risk of mold growth.  

I'm with the others that suggest outdoor showers or swimming.   

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6 minutes ago, VWAP said:

what the fuck is wrong with u. take your crap to sa

seriously, u need a hobby

Hook line a sinker...hook buried so deep had to cut off your head.

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2 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

Hook line a sinker...hook buried so deep had to cut off your head.

ummmmm golly gosh "your" pointing at yerself again

Zoooooooooommmmmmm  ZZZZooooooooooooommmmmmmm zooooommmmmmmmmmm

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That thing in front of you is a remarkable invention called a trolling mirror. Stick with your titty thing junior, you don't want to get out of your depth.

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8 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

That thing in front of you is a remarkable invention called a trolling mirror.

and there are douche bags all over the place .. look in your mirror you'll see one

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Tankless on demand type  propane gas fueled water heaters must be installed in a dedicated locker separated from the accommodations and provided with dedicated intake and exhaust ventilation.  That's going to be hard to achieve on a typical smaller boat.  Not impossible but hard.

Why a dedicated locker? Is this a new ABYC requirement? Fully agree with a dedicated exhaust vent but why can't it draw air from the cabin if a companionway or hatch is open. We had one in our head with a dedicated exhaust.

I do know people have killed themselves with these on boats but I think they were not properly vented. CO buildup will kill but not lack of intake air.

This is the style of cheap Chinese made one we had (actually had 2; one died from salt water ingestion when the mushroom vent was not closed).

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/18L-4-8-GPM-Propane-Gas-LPG-Instant-Hot-Water-Heater-Tankless-Boiler-w-Shower/282964434290?hash=item41e1fe9d72:g:GL4AAOSwGKBdhKLm&redirect=mobile

 

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My Pearson 28-2 (just over your size range) came with a water heater and shower from the factory.  These are not that hard to find (especially on US east coast) and I think they all had that feature.  I never used it and removed it as an owner.

There was a drain in the floor with a diaphram pump mounted on a bulkhead to run it.

Standard Raritan 5 gallon hot water tank took up a chunk of the cockpit locker (and added a lot of weight off center).  I removed it to get space back.

The sink had a hose shower head attachment.  There was a shower curtain that looped around the whole head.  Standing headroom in there (just around 6'), I expect lack of standing room is why this wouldn't be popular on smaller boats.

Pearson 28-2 are very nice small cruisers that came with a lot of big boat features: cabin heat, hot water, and water pump were all standard.  They are also really well built and sail nicely.  There is a ton of hidden storage for a small boat -- I spent most of a summer on it and didn't have any bags or obvious gear sitting out.  I made shelves for the hanging locker and could store a lot of clothes in there.  I had many great adventures on that boat and would have kept it if it were faster and more fun to race.  I think it would make a pretty comfortable liveaboard for 1.  Good ventilation -- 1 big hatch over the V-berth, 1 small one in the head and 1 small one in the quarterberth.  Opening windows everywhere.  Easy boat to get parts for to, and easy access to everything (all tanks were easily removed for service, a rare feature).  

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1 hour ago, Zonker said:

Why a dedicated locker? Is this a new ABYC requirement? Fully agree with a dedicated exhaust vent but why can't it draw air from the cabin if a companionway or hatch is open. We had one in our head with a dedicated exhaust.

I do know people have killed themselves with these on boats but I think they were not properly vented. CO buildup will kill but not lack of intake air.

This is the style of cheap Chinese made one we had (actually had 2; one died from salt water ingestion when the mushroom vent was not closed).

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/18L-4-8-GPM-Propane-Gas-LPG-Instant-Hot-Water-Heater-Tankless-Boiler-w-Shower/282964434290?hash=item41e1fe9d72:g:GL4AAOSwGKBdhKLm&redirect=mobile

 

Properly vented is absolutely key for several reasons. Proper fuel storage and piping (including valving) is also absolutley necessary, which is partly why I suggested a camper solution used out-of-doors might be a lot easier to implement safely.

Any heater or combustion apparatus should draw it's air supply from outside the cabin, too. It's easier to isolate the cabin from fumes that way and prevents the cold draft of sucking in outside air thru the hatches/ports (btw I'm confident Zonker knows this too, but one cannot put everything in one post).

FB- Doug

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1 hour ago, Zonker said:

Why a dedicated locker? Is this a new ABYC requirement? Fully agree with a dedicated exhaust vent but why can't it draw air from the cabin if a companionway or hatch is open. We had one in our head with a dedicated exhaust.

I do know people have killed themselves with these on boats but I think they were not properly vented. CO buildup will kill but not lack of intake air.

This is the style of cheap Chinese made one we had (actually had 2; one died from salt water ingestion when the mushroom vent was not closed).

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/18L-4-8-GPM-Propane-Gas-LPG-Instant-Hot-Water-Heater-Tankless-Boiler-w-Shower/282964434290?hash=item41e1fe9d72:g:GL4AAOSwGKBdhKLm&redirect=mobile

 

Zonker.  I can't speak to the age of the standard.  The last update to ABYC A-26 is noted as July 2018.  But, I'm pretty sure this standard has been in effect well before that last update.

Water heaters are considered to be an "Unattended Appliance" defined as appliances intended to function without frequent attention by an operator, and that may cycle on and off automatically, such as refrigerators, thermostatically controlled cabin heaters, and water-heaters.

As such they are to be fitted with a "Room Sealed Combustion System"  which is defined as  - a combustion system in which incoming air, the combustion chamber,

and the outgoing products of combustion are sealed from the boat interior.

 

 

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I think ABYC is thinking of a storage water heater, rather than this type which is clearly meant to operated by the user and not "set and forget". I think they are quite safe if properly installed and operated  but  I do know some surveyors and insurance companies don't like them.

Except for the amount of gas they burn they are no different than a vented propane heater. Which is installed inside a cabin, has an exhaust vent, but no dedicated combustion air intake (well some do, some do not).

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2 hours ago, Zonker said:

I think ABYC is thinking of a storage water heater, rather than this type which is clearly meant to operated by the user and not "set and forget".

Possibly.  Although I can't recall ever seeing a gas fired storage water heater on a boat.  I've seen many tankless water heater installations though.

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