Thanks for the unanimous advice.
Right now I'm just digging myself out of debt and trying to save up, hoping I'll have the ships bells to buy a boat and go once I'm debt free. (18 more months) Because of my situation, I'm looking in the 20k and under range, which is rather insanely low for a real cruising boat, but the Tartan 30 and Pearson Triton both have a number of models in range, the Tartan even has the possibility of a shower. I've been looking for Cape Dory 25d's but can't find a one in my price range. I've also not sailed on a CD25d, whereas I've been able to find people who took me out on Tritons and Tartan 30's and had a great time. Fun boats.
CruisingDad, While the heads on the boats I'm looking at are "forward" as opposed to by the companionway, with the exception of the CD, their aft bulkheads are right under the mast. This seems to be a really popular configuration in earlier boats, I'm presuming because the rules of the day rewarded skinny boats with low waterline lengths that wouldn't have the extra beam farther back like the modern boats?
I found it hilarious, in a sad way, that the one boat which seemed willing to dedicate some space to "personal maintenance" puts it so far into the forepeak that I can only imagine it's all but useless while under way.
Anyway, for the sucker who wants a hot water shower, and wants one on a boat he can get for next to nothing ($20k or less goal) what is the hot tip?
I've sailed a few Tritons (west coast) and I like them. I'm sure it's a sign of my own inexperience, but a small boat like the Triton makes me feel more confident when docking, etc. Also, since they seem to be found in decent condition for $10k-ish, that gives me more money to fix/customize etc.
I was looking at just putting in a shower, and while the drainage, pressure water, heater, etc are all big space issues, (doubly so on a small boat) but even if I did all of those, on, eg, a Triton, there's not room to stand up and turn around, not even in that "on a boat" sense.
Technically I think I can do the hardware installs, but the question of having room to shower is more "interesting".
I thought "moving" it aft would solve this, as well as place it in a more convenient space, but from the looks of it, this would turn into way more project then I want.
Regarding the shower (And actually having room to shower)
I've decided long ago that I really need to decide what makes and breaks my own comfort when I'm doing things, and if that's what keeps me awake, alert, and happy, then my trips going to be safer and better all around. This is why I have good boots, this is why I carry more bedding in alpine environments than weight would dictate, and I'm happy with my choices in that front. Is this still practical on THIS front?
At this point it looks like my question really becomes how much do I care about having room to take a belowdecks shower, and can I do it in my price range without sacraficing seaworthiness?
The answer may be a bigger budget for a boat, but that scares me too, as every time the budget goes up, the "departure" date goes back.
Thanks for the advice. My search continues