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  #21  
Old 01-19-2007
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Our shower has a dedicated sump and a dedicated pump separate from the bilge pump, the drain for the icebox also drained into it. This than drains directly overboard.

As far as the ventilation goes, I would think that the propane water heater would draw oxygen in the same way that my bulkhead mounted propane cabin heater does.

The flute or chimmney has two chambers, a sleeve with in a sleeve. One draws air in from outside of the cabin and one exhausts out. This set up should never become a problem.
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  #22  
Old 01-19-2007
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Captlar, the issue is not the "legality" of the Paloma - it is quite legal. The insurance company is simply protecting themselves from having to make a large payment when you OR A GUEST dies from this. But think about this! It is literally a life or death issue. People get killed when they make a mistake. The normal usage of a Paloma is not the problem. It is that things can go wrong too easily and the consequences are severe. There are much less threatening ways to get a hot shower.

A comment about shower sumps. The packaged sumps from the store usually have a pretty wimpy bilge pump in them. It might not be able to lift the water high enough to get it out of the boat. I mention this because it happened to me. I had to replace the pump in a new sump unit (actually the store I bought it at recognized the problem and supplied a larger pump). But I agree totally about not letting the shower drain into the bilge.
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  #23  
Old 01-19-2007
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Shower on board

I really like the pleasure of a good shower. Our shower drains into the bilge and gets pumped out from there with the bilge pump. After a shower we wipe down all the walls and fixtures in the head thus sanitizing the same, then we use the bilge pump override switch to run the pump until it drains almost every last drop out of the bilge. We have a fresh smelling boat and have never experienced any scum or problems of any kind. At the dock or prior to leaving the boat for a time we'll use a wet dry vac to get out every last drop and hand wipe the bilge then we will treat it with a little citris cleaner so the bilge will self clean under way. The drippless shaft coupling has greatly reduced the smell from the sour brackish water that we slip our boat in. Cleanlyness is everything when you share living in a confined space.

Just my .02 ¢

Fair Winds,

Bill
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Old 01-19-2007
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As was mentioned, the modern marine-rated propane water heaters, are quite safe. ABYC standards require all onboard gas appliances to have proper venting, an electronic pilot and safety gas shutoff features. It's also wise to have a propane sniffer and CO alarm onboard.

We have a Junkers unit, currently built by Bosch - a German company, but the units, service and parts are widely available in the US. It's mounted directly on the bulkhead between our galley and the upper pilothouse - with a through-venting feature, incorporating a stainless steel hood and directly connected to an exterior, anodized aluminum damper, which can be closed if desired, especially useful when sailing in heavy weather.

Here's a pre-purchase photo, showing the heater over the galley sink cover:




All gas lines on the boat are copper and our two 10# tanks are contained in approved exterior lockers. With the 140 gal water tank, we have unlimited hot water between fill-ups, without the need for shore power or the engine running. We've had electric/engine heated heaters on past boats and feel this really is the best system to use on a cruising boat.

We have two enclosed heads each with a shower and on many occasions have had two guests showering at once while at anchor. We've never experienced any loss in temperature, volume or water pressure - using the PAR belt-driven pumps. I do need to keep the thermometer set at the halfway mark - otherwise the water would be scalding.
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Last edited by TrueBlue; 01-19-2007 at 03:03 PM.
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  #25  
Old 01-19-2007
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gc1111 - you are probably correct concerning use of the word "legal". Here in the States, it is an insurance issue. Of course, we live in such a litigious world these days, installing a product that the manufacturer specifically states is not to be used on boats or campers is an open door. Obviously they are trying to avoid liability.
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I went digging and found that Bosch now offers a unit - the RV500 - which they claim is the "only one" approved for boat and RV use. Promotion aside, it appears they have come up with units that they say are "approved". I would still check with your insurance underwriter. Unfortunately, it is always easier for insurance companies to say no, but installing without notifying may leave you exposed. I'm not an attorney. Seems everyone else in the USA is.
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Old 01-19-2007
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Here is one of the Bosch models (anybody actually have one?):


http://ca.binnacle.com/product_info....oducts_id=2420

They seem to be quite popular in Europe...

Mark
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  #28  
Old 01-20-2007
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Larry-
"This change came from someone who showered so long without ventilation, they ran out of oxygen and died. Most of us would never let anyone shower that long so it must have been a BIG boat. "
I'm not sure that anyone actually died, but I do know firsthand one of the folks who was involved in a near death. He passed out in the shower on a 45' sloop, and the issue involved the venting of the heater unit. Fortunately the owner was an MD and was aboard. I don't recall if the problem as monoxide from the burner or oxygen exhaustion, just that it was one of the first instances and the industry became very alert to installation/venting issues as a result of this and a few others.
These units *are* perfectly safe *if* properly installed and vented, the same as home units.

Paul-
If your water tank is 22 years old, it may be time to change it anyway. Hot water tanks usually leak in half that time, unless they are plastic. Can I live without hot water, sure. Is a nice hot shower to clean up or ease sore muscles a wonderful luxury? Sure again. So if you can afford the luxury, I'd vote for it. If you need the space, or you don't run the engine, or you plan to tie up where there are always facilities...not so necessary. Even if your engine is raw-water cooled with a 140F thermostat, a properly plumbed hot water tank should get plenty hot enough. There's often a valve or fitting or other five dollar plumbing part that's not working properly. Usually installed in between the tank and the hull where you can't see or reach it.
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hellosailor - thanks for the more accurate information. My version came 2nd hand from my surveyor when I originally learned of the problem of keeping the Paloma (which I hope I have made clear was a unit that was not and could not be vented out). The surveyor said the generally accepted standard now was to accept instant heaters IF they were vented out. The 3 insurance companies I applied to ALL said no way to ANY instant gas appliance. That was over a year ago so who knows what they want today. While the ins co were flexible with some other "unreasonable" wants, they would not move on this issue.
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Old 01-20-2007
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Insurance companies tend to be a bit conservative, and lag behind the times. But, as my gas company kept telling me, gas explodes, it's really really dangerous. (They kept warning me about pilot lights I might have, for things like a gas refrigerator, too. Ah, not in this town, not for fifty years or more.)

There's such a thing as being too conservative, too. Unless your insurnace policy was cleverly enough written to ban flash heaters, that's the kind of question you might just not want to bring up next time around.
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