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Free water

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by All U Get, Jan 11, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. All U Get

    All U Get

    Joined Oct 2, 2008
    2,728 posts, 402 likes
    Pearson/ 530
    US Strafford, NH
    Hi all,

    We just had three inches of rain this week in the Abaco’s and I decided we could use this free water. After catching a few buckets full I got an idea to catch more. The deck was clean so I opened the deck cap. This gotta work.

    All U Get

    47C6E60E-7D4E-4C01-83DB-58344428DCE1.jpeg
     


    Simon Sexton likes this.
  2. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    9,655 posts, 2,707 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Did you really do that???
     


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  3. Simon Sexton

    Simon Sexton

    Joined Nov 1, 2017
    348 posts, 142 likes
    Catalina 25 Tall Rig
    Valiant US Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
    I have heard it is unhealthy to drink rain water, but it can't be any worse than hose water in my opinion.
     


  4. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy

    Joined Feb 20, 2011
    6,740 posts, 1,063 likes
    Island Packet 35
    US Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
    You can run it through a couple of filters.
     


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  5. Parsons

    Parsons

    Joined Jul 12, 2011
    642 posts, 232 likes
    Catalina 36
    US Bay City, MI
    Depends on what you use your water for, doesn't it? If it's only indirectly used for human consumption (boiling food, dishwashing, washing, etc.) then clean enough is good enough. You certainly aren't going to get enough heavy metals or bacteria from your decks that you aren't exposed to at the same level from the inside of the tank anyhow. Perhaps I'd throw a splash of chlorine bleach in the tank for safety, but then again, I never directly drink anything from a boat tank. Most of my boat fresh water runs out the bottom as grey water anyhow.
     


  6. gettinthere

    gettinthere

    Joined Nov 26, 2008
    1,832 posts, 139 likes
    Endeavour 42
    US Cruisin
    lots of cruisers do that.

    Throughout the Bahamas, you find homes with giant cisterns that collect rain from roof tops
     


  7. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    9,655 posts, 2,707 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    But into their potable water tanks?
     


  8. Ron20324

    Ron20324

    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    6,496 posts, 701 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Annapolis MD
    Having the deck washed well before filling the water tank is the ocean-going way to renew your supply. There is also letting the rain run down the main sail and fill the jugs from a fold in the sail. IIRC there was an analysis of rainwater (or was it the yellow snow?), and they found MINUTE traces of desert sand and camel dung had been carried across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. .
     


    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  9. Sailm8

    Sailm8

    Joined Feb 21, 2008
    1,561 posts, 218 likes
    Hunter 29.5
    US Punta Gorda
    have read about sailors using modeling clay to make dams to catch deck water.I
     


  10. Gunni

    Gunni

    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    5,567 posts, 1,265 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    Haa! I’ll just warn you yankee dandies that if you ever travel down island in the Carib and need water you have a better than even chance you will be shipping rain water that was collected from someone’s roof! Heck, most of the resorts use rainwater collection. Search the forum and you will find some posts detailing how to make water safe to drink in the third world, and potentially in your own backyard when your home water supply becomes contaminated.
     


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  11. pateco

    pateco

    Joined Aug 12, 2014
    2,179 posts, 614 likes
    Hunter 31 (1983)
    US Pompano Beach FL
    Yes.

    I know a restaurant (Carker Ps Bar and Grill) Located on Lubber Quarters off of Marsh Harbor Abaco that supplies all the water for their restaurant with a 40,000 gallon cistern that collects water off of the roof for the whole facility. He even has a12 volt backup water pump system so that the restaurant can stay open when the power from Abaco is out.
     


  12. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy

    Joined Feb 20, 2011
    6,740 posts, 1,063 likes
    Island Packet 35
    US Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
    That's usually been decanted in the cistern, allowing the grit and "camel dung" to drop to the bottom. :wink:
     


  13. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    9,655 posts, 2,707 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    That's my point. They DO take steps to make it safe. Not the same as opening a deck fill.
     


  14. pateco

    pateco

    Joined Aug 12, 2014
    2,179 posts, 614 likes
    Hunter 31 (1983)
    US Pompano Beach FL
    If you want to drink it after deck collection, you could always run it through a Britta faucet filter.
     


  15. thinwater

    thinwater

    Joined Mar 26, 2011
    2,129 posts, 462 likes
    Corsair F-24 MK I
    US Deale, MD
    Really? I think it is less different than you think. Texas and Austrailia too. In fact, I would lay odds the deck is cleaner than the roof and the tanks is cleaned more often.

    I've used rainwater off my hardtop continuously, as my sole source for long periods. I do filter 1 micron to keep the tank clean, and I chlorinate/dechlorinate. The resulting tap water has tested very well, better than muni. But in truth, my process is more for aesthetics than safety.
     


    jwing likes this.
  16. jwing

    jwing

    Joined Jun 5, 2014
    436 posts, 183 likes
    ODay Mariner
    US Guntersville
    Don't believe everything you hear.
     


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  17. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    9,655 posts, 2,707 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Very interesting, thanks. I was always taught not to contaminate potable water tanks in any way, but it might not be as important as I was let to beleve.
     


  18. JamesG161

    JamesG161

    Joined Feb 14, 2014
    3,313 posts, 1,096 likes
    Hunter 430
    US Waveland, MS


  19. Charlie Jones s/v Tehani

    Charlie Jones s/v Tehani

    Joined Mar 1, 2012
    1,518 posts, 456 likes
    1961 Rhodes Meridian 25
    us Texas coast
    Simply do not understand keeping water tanks aboard a boat, that you don't use for drinking. Keep the things clean!! I've used tank water in every cruising boat I have owned, and have live aboard several.. I also have awnings set with drains so water can be collected into jugs to put into the tanks. I do have a pretty effective inline filter on board, that all the water used as food stuff goes through an d change those filters regularly.
     


  20. Parsons

    Parsons

    Joined Jul 12, 2011
    642 posts, 232 likes
    Catalina 36
    US Bay City, MI
    For safety sake, I always add a carefully measured 75 ml of water treatment to my water at the tap. It goes by the brand names "Bombay" or "Mount Gay". It may not stop bacteria, but it can't hurt.
    upload_2018-1-11_14-18-6.jpeg upload_2018-1-11_14-20-52.jpeg
     



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