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Thread: "Putting In A Shower On A W32"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Putting In A Shower On A W32

I would like to put in a shower on my w32.
And would like any advise, books, kits, etc that you could recommend. One problem is that right now there are two thru-hulls where the stumpt should go.
Robert KNox

Bud Taplin


On most of the Westsail 32's there was a molded fiberglass showerpan in the passageway, with a drain to the bilge. For a shower, a grate can be put over the pan, or you can stand in the pan, with a curtain on a track on the overhead. The drain can be connected to a sump box with float switch and pump rather than draining into the bilge.


thanks for your response. It sounds like you would recommend putting the shower in the passageway and not the head area. I have never seen a shower in a W32 and assumed it would go in the head area. About the Thru-hulls for the head. It does not seem like a good idea to put them on the floor of the head. I seems like a better idea to raise them up off the floor and put them on the side of the hull somewhere. Would you agree?

If you did raise the floor in the head high enough to put in a sump, there might not be enough room to stand up unless you very short.



i have recenly put in a shower a whale faucet/shower put in over the sink in the head you can then stand over the sump in the companionway the sump is connected to a shower sump system placed forward of the water tanks the outlet for the sink is also connected to this sump the outlet for the sump is takek to a new hull fitting in the side of the boat approximately opposite the bottom of the sink you can also put the shower rose through the port hole and shower on deck

I'm in the process of buying a 32, and I couldn't help but notice that there wasn't a shower -- seemed like a strange thing to leave out! Short term, I plan to use a Sun Shower bag, and either shower on deck or in the passageway; long term, I'll plumb a shower and rig a shower sump with a pump to pump the water either out a throughhull or into the sink, which would avoid having to cut a hole in the boat. Sound like a workable plan?


When I first bought my westsail 32 I had planned to install a shower in the head area. However having lived aboard now for over 1 year I realised that a shower inside the boat is not necessary for me. When I am at the marina I use their facilities. I do plan to install a shower in the cockpit. My neighbour has a fantastic setup on his W32 where he has a hot & cold tap recessed in the side wall of the cockpit. When on anchor he simply attaches his shower hose and has a hot shower. The cockpit is protected by the dodger and side curtains. I will not put a shower inside my boat now as I think it just causes more problems with moisture, dampness, junk in the bilge (depending on how you are draining it) and overall it is not a comfortable way to shower in such a cramped area. The cockpit shower for me seems like a far better solution unless you are cruising in very cold climates where showering outside would be uncomfortable. I would seriously consider whether you really need a shower inside the boat.
Hope this assists.


Hi, We are about to become live-aboards on our Kendall 32 & an indoor shower was one of my must-haves, for those crowded harbours which only have scuzzy showers full of cockroaches & spiders. We did it very simply by cutting the floorboards out in our head, building a sump with a bilge pump that pumps the water somewhere (have to check with the boat boy on that one!) and placing a teak grate over it. Our shower itself is one of those camping ones which have a bilge pump in a bucket and is powered by a cigarette lighter plug with a shower rose with hand operated on/off controls on the other end. Like this one.. http://www.vidcam.com.au/sales/shower.html This means we heat up water on the stove, get the water in the bucket to the right temperature and go for it. No need to install a hot water/pressurised water system & it can be used in the cockpit when the anchorages aren't so crowded (our accessory plug is by the companionway as our head is opposite the galley so it reaches both areas). We also have a solar shower for the sunny/uncrowded days. Cheers, Jill


Jill's method sounds great and easily adaptable for indoor/outdoor use. We are planning a system much like Rod's neighbors (but somewhat simpler) with a curtain ring which hangs from the boom. There was much discussion on the "cold in the cockpit" shower question at last month's norcal rendezvous and one westsailor managed to close the discussion with the revelation that he had lived for many years with an outdoor shower in Humboldt county, and found that if wind protection was sufficient and water was hot, one was never uncomfortable. Of course he was not a woman showering in the cockpit in a crowded "working" harbor ! I'll take the cockroaches! --christie


Christie, we have a shower pan in our boat with a one pass propane heater and use it all the time in cold climates and sometimes in hot. It's nice to be able to shower almost as good as home. We are going to try to use solar showers when we go to Mexico next year. Although we are home this weekend, our boat is in Monterey and we are going to try to get to Mooss Landing.

Jim & Julie


Hi Bud, two things. First I am upgrading Mellow`s 23 hp Volvo MD11C with a 33hp Sole. Any ideas or have you experience of a similar task where you have to put in new bearers for the front engine mounts to raise them? Second is best type of wood to use to replace the two rear spars supporting backstay mount? Cheers


bud, can i get 2 stainless bow sprit chain plates, i bent one banging into another boat, should i hav one made or can i get them ready made thanks

Bud Taplin

Chuck, see previous post. Contact me at btaplin@westsail.com


to get back on the shower topic, my boat came with a shower pan (although I had to re-plumb the drain to the aft sump). A removeable 'hatch' in the sole exposes the pan/tub. Cool (I thought).

I tried it a couple times got tired of it taking as long to clean/mop up the remaining water on the walls, doors, etc. as it took to shower.

I made up an 'industrial strength' sun-shower. I picked up a large (10 liter?) Dromedary bag from REI. Being made of a lined, coated fabric it's much more more rugged than the plain ol vinyl/plastic sunshowers. Plus, it's black which absorbs the heat really well (sometimes TOO well). I simply stuck a sun-shower nozzle to the end of some 1/2" plastic tubing, stuck the other end to the Dromedary valve and Voila!.

I find it's easier to shower on deck. While nudity isn't flaunted, outside the states showering on deck just seems the natural thing to do. If modesty is needed/required, I hang the sunshower on the gallows or boom and sit in the cockpit 'tub' and bathe.


Hi Gang,
A late note here, as in 4 years late. I just found a shower pan tucked away on my "new" W32. Was about to post a question for discussion, but obviously have everyone's opinions on it from these old 2004 comments.
Think I'll plan on going outside to shower. That also gets that relatively big and heavy shower pan off the boat and has got to seriously reduce the moisture load inside the boat. Tahnks for the tips.


I'm not near my boat right now, so i can't look for myself, but was wondering if the shower pan is easily removed. We've never used it in the two years owning the boat and have thought that easy access to the space underneath would be more useful.

Bud Taplin

The shower pan is not able to be removed because it is part of the molded fiberglass cabin sole liner. You can cut out the center though to gain access to the space below it.



For cutting out the center, it is the easyest to use a jigsaw after drilling pilot hole. Sanding is needed after the cutout is completed.
Remember to leave the lip so that your grate or hatch can have something to sit on.

This has worked well for myself.


Thanks Bud and Norm. I thought it looked like it was part of the boat.

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