For many sailors, the showers on their boats are important when determining which model to buy.
Some sailors will mock those who want a shower, claiming that a bucket in the cockpit is all the shower you need. Still, the reasons for wanting a real shower can range from convenience for a liveaboard to the functional layout for an extended cruise with a large family.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some sailboats of various sizes that have dedicated showers for whatever your needs are:
Consider the Size of the Sailboat
Most boats less than 35 feet in length will not have true shower facilities on board.
Instead, assuming they have showering ability, they have what is known as a “wet head.”
The wet head is a hand-held nozzle attached to a water hose that may be used while standing beside or on the toilet. This gets the entire head area wet, though – hence the name.
For this reason, all of the boats we look at in this article will be on the larger size, as they will have the separate stall that an owner looking to take a shower in comfort will expect.
Let’s start with a popular sailboat that is in production. The Marlow-Hunter 47 is a luxury sailboat that features three staterooms set into its spacious interior.
The forward stateroom has a bathroom to starboard and a separate shower stall to port.
The shower is large enough to stand in, but it also features a wooden seat if you prefer to sit down or shower amid swells.
Being dedicated and apart from the toilet area, there is plenty of room to turn or sit.
There is another head to service the other two staterooms; this one has a shower but no stall; it is a wet head.
Like most Hunter sailboats of recent vintage, this model is a blend of performance and having an eye toward comfort.
Hunter 37 Cherubini Cutter
The Hunter 37 was designed by John Cherubini, and the first models were produced in 1978.
It was in production until 1984, and just over 400 models were built. It is a cutter-rigged boat with the staysail on a boom, and it has a shoal-draft keel, allowing it to venture into a lot of anchorages a boat of its size would not be able to get into.
The boat has two private cabins, and it has one bathroom with a separate shower stall.
This boat has the shower stall divided by a contoured wall from the rest of the head, though it requires a curtain to be drawn across the opening rather than having a door.
You can stand up or use the built-in seat to recline on while taking a shower. There is a wooden floorboard with large square holes to allow drainage while remaining decorative and easy on the feet.
Beneteau Oceanis 41.1
This is another model currently in production, the first year being 2017. It packs a lot of luxury into a smaller package.
It features two staterooms, one forward and one aft. The enclosed head is beside the aft stateroom.
This head has a dedicated shower stall. It is a stand-up shower without a seat, but a wide shelf supports soaps, shampoos, and washcloths.
It has a plexiglass door on hinges that completely shut the shower apart from the rest of the head.
Over 550 boasts have been sold of this model, and it is popular as a charter boat worldwide. It comes in differing deck layouts and either a shoal draft or a deep draft keel.
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440
Another boat currently being produced, the Sun Odyssey 440, was introduced in 2016.
The Sun Odyssey line features clean, walk-around decks above and spacious interiors that allow lots of sunlight through windows and hatches.
The boat is offered in multiple interior configurations, specifically from 2 to 4 staterooms. Each variation features two heads.
The head features a shower/sink area separated from the toilet by a clear plexiglass wall with a door. The sink is wide, and beneath it is a storage compartment with a shelf on top that will hold toiletries or towels while you shower.
There is a large mirror above the sink. A window above the sink and a hatch over the shower compartment to let in natural light.
The shower compartment is large enough to move around without getting items on the sink or shelf wet. There is not a seat.
Several Pearson sailboat models in this size range shared a similar hull.
The most successful and popular bluewater cruiser was the Pearson 424. It is still a boat that many experienced offshore sailors favor.
It was produced in a cutter rig from 1978 until 1984 and a ketch rig from 1981 to 1985. The exact rig dimensions would vary on these models from boat to boat, driving sailmakers everywhere crazy, and there were even different interior layouts from year to year.
But they all feature a nicely laid-out enclosed head on the starboard side of the boat. The shower stall is separated from the toilet and sink area.
The shower stall is rather narrow, but it does have standing room for a tall person, and there is a seat for showering while reclining. There is storage in the wall above the seat for toiletries and towels.
The compartment did not have a door originally; instead, it came with a curtain to draw between the two areas of the head. Some owners have retrofitted a door across the compartment. There is a porthole above the seat to let in natural light.
This is the smallest boat we will look at, 36’2″ long. It replaced the Sabre 36 with hull number 107 in 1993 and continued until hull number 227 a couple of years later.
This was a popular boat with cruisers and racers that unfortunately was introduced when the market was shrinking.
While it emphasized performance, like most Sabres at the time, it was also designed with a fair amount of luxury for the size. This boat was known for its spacious head area and smaller navigation area.
The shower area is 30 inches wide and separated from the rest of the head by a dark plexiglass sliding door.
The showerhead is on an extended chord for easy manipulation.
There is a low seat built into the side of the area and a teak handrail for support in rough seas. There is a porthole above the seat for letting in natural light.
Candela Lagoon Luxury 40 Catamaran
Lagoon catamarans have been a popular brand with luxury cruisers for decades. They are stable and relatively easy to handle, and they are widespread in the charter trade, particularly in the Caribbean.
Catamarans have far more space interior-wise than a monohull of a similar length could ever have. Most larger ones will have huge galleys and lounges, as well as staterooms.
The Lagoon 40 has been made in several different models, each with different layout options. The Luxury model has 3 staterooms and 4 private heads featuring shower compartments.
Each head has a toilet, sink, and a separate dedicated shower stall. The shower is roomy but stand-up only.
It has a plexiglass door to keep water out of the rest of the head while showering.
There is a mirror with ample lighting in the shower and a hatch above for natural light.
Sunreef 50 Catamaran
Let’s look at a yacht that is all-luxury.
The Sunreef 50 features electric-powered sail controls for push-button sailing. It comes in several layouts, most featuring three or four massive staterooms, a crew berth, and the enormous galley/lounge.
All staterooms house queen-size beds and widescreen televisions and have their private bathrooms. These heads have sinks, toilets, storage compartments, and separate shower stalls.
The shower stalls are enclosed by plexiglass doors and have marble walls. They have dual recessed lighting fixtures in the ceiling.
There is also an option to equip the bathroom of the master bedroom with a full bathtub instead of the shower stall.
The Sunreef 50 is currently in production and sells for $1.7 million.
For many sailors living aboard or sailing offshore, showers are an important element of the boat they will choose. Whether from simple necessity or desire for luxury, dedicated showers can make a boat feel like home.
The good news is, there are boats with nice showers for sailors on a spectrum of budgets. Some of the older sailboats listed here can be had for under $20,000, though you may have to be willing to do some maintenance and perhaps rebuilding.
If you want to charter a boat, particularly with other people, then a dedicated shower can make the voyage easier. Boats like the Lagoon 40 and the Beneteau Oceanis 41.1 are popular in the charter trade.