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Old 04-11-2013
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Installing a transom shower

OK, so I still need to get my boat working, and this may not turn out to be a 2013 project, but...has anyone installed a transom shower? How difficult was it? Are you pleased with it? I was thinking of something like this:

WHALE PUMPS Shower at West Marine

We do mostly daysailing, and mostly stay at marinas with fresh water, so having water in our tank that we can use to rinse off shouldn't be a problem once I disinfect the tank and clean the hoses. We do have a shower in the head, but I like the idea of rinsing my kids off in the cockpit rather than trapsing them down into the cabin, dripping all the way. We also have a hot water heater, though I'm not sure whether/how it works when away from shore power.
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Old 04-11-2013
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Re: Installing a transom shower

Most hot water tanks will heat up with the engine coolant, or shore power if connected. It usually takes 20-30 mins at cruising speed to heat up a water tank, and if it's well insulated that water will stay quite warm throughout the day. If you only motor 5 mins to sails up and 5 mins at the end of the day this will not be effective for you.

A transom shower is a neat idea, but a good solar shower does the trick when the weather cooperates and it doesn't need any power, nor does it cut into your on-board fresh water tank reserves - it's like carrying extra water. In the event it's not sunny you can heat up a kettle and warm it up that way.

This is a good one.

Amazon.com: Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower: Sports & Outdoors Amazon.com: Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower: Sports & Outdoors


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Re: Installing a transom shower

We already had a cold water transom shower. I added a mixer to it so we could take hot showers. When cruising we mainly shower on the transom. We also use it to rinse after swimming. It is nice to have hot water after swimming or bathing in 65° water.

We used a Scandvik mixer. It was easy to connect to our existing system(Qest fittings). I also added a longer hose to the shower wand so it could be used to rinse the cockpit or used inside our enclosure.

See the Projects link below.
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Last edited by Tim R.; 04-11-2013 at 12:13 PM.
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Re: Installing a transom shower

Faster, thanks for the feedback on the hot water heater. I wasn't sure how long it would stay warm. Regarding the solar heater, I thought about something like that, but I worried that 5 gallons wouldn't be enough (we're a family of 4, and my have guests, too). Plus, since I have kids involved, I was afraid that the water in the little tank would potentially get TOO hot for them. Was a 5 gallon sufficient for your purposes?

Tim, I like hte idea of being able to adjust the temperature, even if it's one relatively fixed temperature.
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Re: Installing a transom shower

We carry 2 of the 5 gal bags... the two of us can shower 2-3 times each per bag. You'd be amazed at how little you really need - and maybe how much someone can use up carelessly.. you have to remember you're not at home. They CAN get too hot, but just drop them into the drink for a few minutes and it'll take the edge off.

The shower you posted will allow you to temper your water just as you would at the sink.. but of course will use up your precious hot AND cold reserves for the galley.
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Re: Installing a transom shower

Solar showers are so cheap that you should try one and see. They work well for me, and 5 gallons does 2 showers (including washing hair, and my wife has long hair) pretty easily.
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Re: Installing a transom shower

Another issue with a pressure water shower is that your pressure pump is one of the greediest amp gobblers on the boat.. running it for numerous showers is going to up your power budget too...
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Re: Installing a transom shower

I have been relatively pleased with my solar shower(s). Here's some thoughts.

A 5 gallon solar shower weighs 50 lbs when full. that is a pain in the ass to lift to hang somewhere, and takes a long time to warm up. Use 2 shower bags, half full- it will warm faster, is easier to work with and you can add cold water to the bag if necessary to cool the temp. the only downside is that the spray is anemic at best. Always fill the bags first thing in the morning. Remind yourself. there is nothing worse than wanting a shower and realizing you forgot to fill the bags, and they do take a few hours to really warm up.

Another idea that I may consider this season is to build a pressurized shower out of a garden sprayer. paint the sprayer reservoir black to improve heat absorption, lengthen the sprayer wand hose, and it can be permanently fastened to the stern rail. fill, let it warm, pump the tank and boom, a hot shower with some water pressure.
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Re: Installing a transom shower

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
We carry 2 of the 5 gal bags... the two of us can shower 2-3 times each per bag. You'd be amazed at how little you really need - and maybe how much someone can use up carelessly.. you have to remember you're not at home. They CAN get too hot, but just drop them into the drink for a few minutes and it'll take the edge off.

The shower you posted will allow you to temper your water just as you would at the sink.. but of course will use up your precious hot AND cold reserves for the galley.
Hey I have nothing against solar showers and have used them at times in the cockpit until we added a cockpit shower.

The shower on our boat only uses 1.5 gallons per person. We use a fine aerated water saving nozzle. Its wet...off..soap and shampoo....rinse..off.

As far as the power usage. The amp usage is 1.2 amp per person for the water pressure pump and if in the head using the shower another 1 amp for the shower sump pump. Total power usage is 2.5 amps, not really a killer.

We also have foot pumps in the galley for both fresh and outside water to help conserve water.

Having a shower either solar or plumbed is one of life's little pleasures.
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Re: Installing a transom shower

Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
Another idea that I may consider this season is to build a pressurized shower out of a garden sprayer. paint the sprayer reservoir black to improve heat absorption, lengthen the sprayer wand hose, and it can be permanently fastened to the stern rail. fill, let it warm, pump the tank and boom, a hot shower with some water pressure.
That exists already... posted just last week in another thread..

Pump-up Solar Shower

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
As far as the power usage. The amp usage is 1.2 amp per person for the water pressure pump and if in the head using the shower another 1 amp for the shower sump pump. Total power usage is 2.5 amps, not really a killer.
Well, Fine!.. if you put it that way! I always shudder when I see the ammeter rip up to 10-12 amps anytime the water pump kicks in.... but yeah, that's per hour....
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Last edited by Faster; 04-11-2013 at 11:47 PM.
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