From “Our Sailing Houseboat Project”
No sir, our boat is going to be simple.
For starters no inboard. We are going to put a high thrust outboard on our boat. Yes, it will be gasoline powered, and yes it will be way more expensive to run. All the more reason to sail whenever possible, and when we are in calm water like Harrison lake we’ll use the Yuloh. The advantage with an outboard is when it breaks, out she comes and we fix it it in a warm shop. If it’s too far gone then we can replace it with another abundantly available outboard motor – any brand – because there are no compatibility issues.
No complex plumbing. We will use a simple ‘composting’ head that is basically a nicely dressed up Home Depot bucket lined with a bio degradable bag and cedar chips. No smell, a pleasure to use. Simple. But we don’t pee in it if possible. That gets collected separately.
Potable water will be in large jugs. I’ll have a spot to put the current one in under the sink with a tube/ footpump arrangement to a spigot. I will also install a larger water tank – probably RV surplus – for water for showers. Technically that will be potable as well, but we don’t have to be worrying about it since we will not generally be drinking it.
Hot water for showers: Aforementioned water tank will be accessed with another foot pump to a spigot.
Said spigot will be able to fill a dedicated water vessel made from S.S. – say a gallon or so – that sits permanently on a single propane burner on a galley counter (I have the space!). This vessel will have another spigot at its base so that no one will ever have to handle a vessel of this size. We don’t want to get scalded.
So showering will involve foot pumping desired amount of water into the heating vessel, heating it up with the propane burner, draining said vessel into a pump up garden sprayer (modified with a hand held shower nozzle). The ‘shower’ it self is a water proof sit down tub in under the ‘chart table’ forward of the head. Just lift up the cover and there is your shower or a place to hang wet gear otherwise. It gets drained overboard with another foot pump.
So we WILL have propane. I thought a lot about this and it makes the most sense for heating water and cooking. And since we both really like to cook, the next most complex thing on board besides the engine will be a Dickenson range with an oven.
We will heat the boat with a wood stove. Simple.