Many of you may wonder: how do we shower at anchor? Even though our head has a sink faucet that turns into a shower wand, we are not big fans of making our entire bathroom soak and wet (because the whole thing technically becomes the shower itself). So we use something else!
The Super Solar Shower
Damian found the Super Solar Shower while he was browsing a sporting goods store with his friend Matt that was going out of business. He discovered this ingenious shower option and brought it home to show me his find. I was pretty thrilled with the price (less than $8, so my expectations were pretty low about how it would work for us. Boy, was I surprised!
Fill with water and lay out in the sunshine
The way it works is: First, you fill the 5-gallon bag with water from the hose at the dock before you set out on your voyage or you fill it with water from the water tanks through the sink if you are already underway. Then, you lay the bag full of water somewhere on the deck or in the cockpit where it will get lots of sunlight. And for the several daylight hours that you are sailing, the black side of the bag heats the water inside making it nice and hot. The perfect temperature for a shower later!
Hang from the rigging
Then after we have anchored for the night, we hang the shower bag from the standing rigging out on the deck. We prefer to take our showers in the evening after dinner, so we are nice and clean before heading to bed. We take our shampoo and shower items out on deck and wear our swimsuits if other boaters are anchored around or we are in a public spot. Then we have our own personal shower right on deck. The hose that runs out of the bag filters through a nozzle that sprays the water like a garden hose with pressure building from the weight of the water in the bag. There is a clamp that adjusts how much water will flow out of the hose at one time.
What we have learned
So far, we have been delighted with our Super Solar Shower and have only been disappointed if we forget to fill the bag early enough in the day. On those occasions, we have to settle for lukewarm shower water. Definitely not my favorite, but at least I am clean. Even though there is enough water in the 5 gallon bag for the two of us to take two separate showers, we are thinking about getting a second shower bag so that we can have our own. We shall see if another $8 purchase is in the budget!
What do you use to shower at anchor?
What works for you? Share your tips on taking a shower at anchor or under sail. I would love to hear your stories of what successes and failures you have had as you attempt to keep clean and live on board a vessel with low-water reserves.