The Boat Shower

By John Catmull, Australian Seacraft, Jan 79, p. 70 - Australia

Reprinted from Australian Seacraft

If cleanliness is next to Godliness, John Catmull can show you cruising types how to improve your prospects just a little by using a pressurised pest spray as a shower.

One of the slightly more awkward aspects of yacht cruising is the difficulty of getting one's body washed at least twice a week.

I would dearly love to have a pressure system that showered me with gallons of steaming hot water. I would also like to have the space for the gallons of water and the dozen batteries to make it steaming, plus the six cylinder Lister to charge the batteries, not forgetting the 60 footer to carry it all.

Unfortunately my bank has decreed that I own a smaller boat with only 20 gallons of water, two batteries and cold dabs with a wet flannel, until now.

I have discovered something that does the job well enough with no electric power. It uses just two litres of water to give you a shower. I have used this shower in June [in Australia] when the temperature outside was five degrees and the inside 12. I must say that things were a little chilly drying off but the shower itself was all right.

The unit is a Hills pesticide spray pack of 12 pint capacity. It sells for $28.00 (October 1978) and has a shower head that, while small, does the job for a few extra dollars.

Big hardware stores or specialised gardening stores should have them. I have also found the unit handy for giving the motor and bilges a good wash down. In this case I fill it with water and detergent.

There is a built in pressure pump and it takes only 20-30 swift pumps I of the handle to build up pressure enough for a fine spray.

Some of you rich hedonists may find the routine a little tedious, so I say don't read any further, lest you feel faint.

For the outdoor types, such as myself, all you do is place a litre of cold water in the unit, heat up another litre on the stove (takes no time at all) and when it boils pour the water into the container, screw on the lid and give the handle a pump.

Shower using another heat source.

There is no need to do the preparation work in the "all together" as the water will stay hot till you are ready for it.

I then turn on the little tap and adjust the nozzle to a fine spray. Don't expect a deluge of water to knock you off your feet. What you get is a fine mist that wets you completely in about half a minute and once wet, you can soap up thoroughly.

When you are ready, rinse off, then coast the rest of way, luxuriating in the final pint and a half.

If you find the pressure falling off towards the end then give the handle a few quick pumps and you are on your way again.

As far as the temperature of the water and length of the shower goes you can add or subtract to suit.

Remember to pump out the bilge, if you are using inside the boat.

There are other similar units to the one I describe above which could do the job but they all seem to be made out of tin and brass and are more expensive. Anyway the idea is there if you want to apply it to bigger and better units.

Shower using solar energy.


Duckworks has a solar version of the shower here.


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