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Old 04-15-2007
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Shower sumps

I am researching various issues concerning an upcoming boat purchase. Could you guys provide your wisdom concerning the Catalina 30 and the Ericson 30: For these two boats, does the used shower water drain into the bilge or into something else, and if so, what?

The reason I ask, I have read where in some boats the used shower water drains into the bilges and ferments into a repellant stew. And I should wish to avoid that. Thanks for your comments.
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Old 04-15-2007
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I cannot comment on the C30 or Ericson 30 bilge setup, but our boat did not originally have a shower sump separate from the keel bilge, resulting in a repulsive cocktail of decomposing skin cells and hair fermenting with engine oil.

This vile soup was regularly ejected overboard and into our slip, whenever we showered onboard. Aside from being against marina regs, due to zero oil and fuel discharge, the stench was nauseating.

My solution was to install a self-contained shower sump unit in an available cavity beneath the sole boards. The hose which connected the shower drain to the keel bilge was rerouted to this compartment, which looked similar to this . . .



I connected a new hose from the outlet to an existing (and unused) bronze through hull - located above the waterline. Although the pump is automatically activated by an integrated float switch, the electrical connection was wired to a remote switch and circuit breaker. This is a simple installation if your boat has the space and through-hull - making for a much improved onboard experience.
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Old 04-15-2007
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Marlinspike-

Most boats this size, unless very new, only had the shower sump as a user installed option—so it is going to vary quite a bit, depending on what the previous owners have done.

When you get the boat surveyed, how the shower sump is plumbed, if at all, should be fairly obvious. If it is designed to drain into the bilge, correcting it is not all that expensive a task, as they do have pre-fabricated shower sump modules now.
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Super info, and it is greatly appreciated. Fair winds to yee, M6.
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Old 04-15-2007
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My CS34 has the same. There is a separate shower that drains under the sole in front of the toilet and sink. Attached to that drain is a sump and pump that is activated by a switch on the bulkhead. It then pumps directly overboard, when we are out of the NDZ.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bestfriend
It then pumps directly overboard, when we are out of the NDZ.
Must you be outside a NDZ to discharge shower water? We have the same setup as Trueblue, but we discharge directly overboard no matter where we are. It's soap and water.....no different from washing the boat.

Roger
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Hey, you know I bet you are right. I never gave it much thought because we use the marina showers. You can wash your boat, why not?
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Old 04-15-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoutwench
Must you be outside a NDZ to discharge shower water? We have the same setup as Trueblue, but we discharge directly overboard no matter where we are. It's soap and water.....no different from washing the boat.

Roger
AFAIK, NDZ regulations only apply to black water--basically the holding tank--not grey water, such as the shower sump. That may change in the future.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue
My solution was to install a self-contained shower sump unit in an available cavity beneath the sole boards. The hose which connected the shower drain to the keel bilge was rerouted to this compartment, which looked similar to this . . .



I connected a new hose from the outlet to an existing (and unused) bronze through hull - located above the waterline. Although the pump is automatically activated by an integrated float switch, the electrical connection was wired to a remote switch and circuit breaker. This is a simple installation if your boat has the space and through-hull - making for a much improved onboard experience.
TB: looks good. I want something similar because water has no place in a steel boat's bilge. And I have plenty of room because I have seven feet of headroom...if the bilge is too shallow, I'll raise the shower stall floor!

Seriously, though, it's a good idea, particularly as the shower (which will be more a half-wall enclosed/curtained affair...to hell with privacy!...will be our general hanging wet locker and sea boot containment facility.
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Hey Marlinespike,
Good to hear from you and hope you're well! The C30, at least the older ones, drains from the head compartment to the bilge. I rarely use the shower, and only to clean up things I can get under the sink. Great to hear from you.
Best,
Sailhog
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