What is the issue?When sailing in areas where water supply is uncertain or a scarce resource people have reservations about using the vessels on board pressurised water system reserve for personal showers. The problem with the system is it is impossible to quantify the water being used which leads to great unease and concern about drawing off water for showers.
Why address this?There is nothing more pleasant and refreshing than a warm shower at the end of a hot day of sailing. However concerns about water usage will cause showers to be rationed down to the minimum and each a parsimonious uneasy affair. Heating the water is another matter.
How to address this?It is surprising how good a shower you can have on a modest amount of water. The key to this is to quantify the amount of water dedicated to the task and to make the best of it.
An excellent approach to address this is to buy a low cost two gallon plastic insecticide spray bottle with an integral pump and dedicated to the task of a shower bottle. The discharge spray wand that comes with off-the-shelf products are not effective for showering. However substitute this for a plastic hose fitted with a common variable, trigger controlled, garden spray head and an excellent system can be achieved – see figure 1.
Depending on your preferences just over a gallon provides for a good shower. Especially once pressurised using the integral pump. To have warm water all that is required is to place it in a black plastic bag and leave it out in the sun – a copper pipe inside aids circulation and water heating. Alternatively it can be warmed immediately by pouring in some boiled water heated on the galley stove. In either case shake the container well and carefully check the temperature before spraying down - a small thermometer can be dipped in if you want to fine tune the temperature.
The primary benefits of this system is the exact amount of water drawn off the main tanks and allocated to bathing can be quantified. Each individual has equal measure, and as the plastic sprayer is marked they can see how much water they have available as they rinse, soap up and shampoo.
Once it can be measured, it can be managed, and with warm pressurised bathing thereby more frequently available a happy crew entails.
With thanks to:Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession
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