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post #61 of 141 Old 03-08-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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For us less-initiated, please explain the equipment you use to accomplish your hot shower.
Boat has a 6 gal hot water heater which uses engine heat to heat the water.

We typically use the engine a few hours a day... which both makes hot water and drives the compressor and cools the fridge.

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post #62 of 141 Old 03-08-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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Boat has a 6 gal hot water heater which uses engine heat to heat the water.

We typically use the engine a few hours a day... which both makes hot water and drives the compressor and cools the fridge.
Thanks. Mllrna had mentioned a hot shower in the wake of speaking of a generator...thus I wondered if the generator was somehow utilized to heat water for a shower. I was wondering how big a generator it would take to power a small on-demand hot water heater.
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post #63 of 141 Old 03-08-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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Thanks. Mllrna had mentioned a hot shower in the wake of speaking of a generator...thus I wondered if the generator was somehow utilized to heat water for a shower. I was wondering how big a generator it would take to power a small on-demand hot water heater.
When you are burning fuel... you are making heat as a by product.

Your engine or a generator can:

make hot water
drive a compressor
generate electricity
make noise and smoke

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post #64 of 141 Old 03-09-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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...thus I wondered if the generator was somehow utilized to heat water for a shower. ....
Boats often have the same kind of small electric hot water heater found in small apartments. Ours is a 10 gallon hot water heater, whose 110v heating element is powered by the generator or shore power. It also has a recirculating circuit, like SO indicated, which pulls heat off a running engine. I actually find the recirculator makes it too hot, when underway.


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post #65 of 141 Old 03-09-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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Boats often have the same kind of small electric hot water heater found in small apartments. Ours is a 10 gallon hot water heater, whose 110v heating element is powered by the generator or shore power. It also has a recirculating circuit, like SO indicated, which pulls heat off a running engine. I actually find the recirculator makes it too hot, when underway.
It is extremely hot... but you have to mix it with cold water with you faucet mixing valves. :-) Our Raritan has a 110v heating element but we are not using it because we are not hooked up to shore power and don't use a genset and the heating element draws too many amps for our inverter. All our 110v loads are small and the inverter can handle them... with one exception... the heat gun. We don't run out of hot water unless a land lubber is aboard and showers. ;-)

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post #66 of 141 Old 03-09-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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It is extremely hot... but you have to mix it with cold water with you faucet mixing valves. :-) ....
We have a dedicated shower, as opposed to a wet head. I have a feeling there is some sort of odd mixing arrangement buried behind the faucet. One faucet is for temp, the other is for on/off. I like the set up, as you theoretically get the temp right set and should not screw it up, turning it on and off. I'm guessing it is preset to assume one would never want strictly cold water in the shower. Even set to it's coldest setting, it's uncomfortably hot (not scalding), if one showers immediately upon a long diesel running arrival. With just the electric element, at the slip, it requires a setting closer to 80% hot to be right.

It calms down pretty quickly, when too hot, as cold water backfills the hot water tank and the electric element doesn't maintain it. Of course, with the good heat soaking of that recirculator, the electric element can keep up much more efficiently than when we turn on the genset and try to warm up the water from stone cold.


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post #67 of 141 Old 03-09-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

Why not use s solar heater,

I like to have simple things on my boat, so no complex fuel eating noise making generator or main engine feeding heat to a pressurised tank, instead I have a bag with a clear side and a black side with a hose.

Leave in the sun and free hot water.

WARNING 3 hours at mid day can get the water too hot to use for a shower.
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

Solar showers are great. I've used them. Not the same as running hot water in a real shower. Ours will also keep up with 6 or 8 guests aboard (not an uncommon thing) with only a short recovery period between.

When the genset comes on, it always multi-tasks. House bank charging, device charging, ice making, laundry, occasional air conditioning, the dreaded hair dryer. I actually insist it do more than just make hot water.
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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Why not use s solar heater,

I like to have simple things on my boat, so no complex fuel eating noise making generator or main engine feeding heat to a pressurised tank, instead I have a bag with a clear side and a black side with a hose.

Leave in the sun and free hot water.

WARNING 3 hours at mid day can get the water too hot to use for a shower.
Every sailboat owner hates using their diesel. But the reality is that they have to... getting in and out of the marina... motoring in a channel... getting to and from the mooring. I found that on a typical day we sail... we always use the engine a few hours.

Why waste the heat? A heat with a heat exchanger USES the heat created by the engine when it is used for OTHER purposes. We don't run the diesel to make hot water. We make hot water when the diesel runs.

Our shower is a hand shower which doubles as the sink faucet. We can mix the temp to please and the handle has a shut off valve. Showers don't use much water or electricity... we don't have to mess with a plastic bag with a hose thru the hatch.

Solar showers are clearly not as good for many reasons as the one we have. Our head IS the shower and so when we are done we wipe down the walls and we have cleaned the head too.

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post #70 of 141 Old 03-09-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

Not all sailboat owners hate to burn diesel. I was aboard a 70 ft boat last year, with her full time Captain. He told me the generator runs 24/7, when the owner is aboard, which was really a comment on how reliable he found it. All home style systems available all the time for mommy and daddy.

Sounded ridiculous to me, although, this is quite common in the very large boat crowd. This sailboat carried 700 gallons of diesel!!

p.s. I asked around and learned the owner doesn't even know how to sail. His Captain was very loyal and didn't give him up.


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Last edited by Minnewaska; 03-09-2019 at 03:20 PM.
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