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  #1  
Old 11-08-2011
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Collecting Rain water

We have been reading a lot of about cruisers collecting rain water and we have a few questions.

Keep in mind we are still a few yrs away from retiring and trading our power boat in for a live-aboard/cruising sail boat. As part of our plan we are trying to put together a list of systems we'd like to have. A water-maker seems to be considered by some as a unnecessary luxury. While others swear by them.

Our cruising plans are at first the US east and gulf coast before heading to the Islands, BVI etc. maybe after 3-5 yrs exp crossing the south pacific. Our plans do not include staying in marinas. So making our own water might be a issue.

Anyway our questions about collecting rain water, it seems simply enough but when you over think it maybe not.

Wouldn't you get all kinds of things besides rain water? Dust, bugs, salt spray, bird droppings etc?

Are you using a filter of some kind?

Are you not even putting the water in your fresh water storage tanks, maybe putting it in jugs topsides?

Do many ppl actually collect rain water? Just because we have seen stories about it online and in mags doesn't mean ppl really do. lol

I guess I'd be worried about getting things in the water tank that we can't get out.
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Old 11-08-2011
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few links to look at
Rainwater Collection - resources for cruising sailors
Going Green With Sailboat Rainwater Harvesting
Atom Voyages | Collecting rain water on deck
These should give you a few ideas
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Old 11-08-2011
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Part of the Rain collecting system is the Filters, also you might want to have a holding area to test the water before you let it in to the MAIN water tank.
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Old 11-08-2011
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Generally in the tropical/semi tropical areas you cruise in, when it rains (and it often does not for long periods so we have a water maker too) it rains hard so you can let the first half hour or so wash off the bugs/salt etc before you start collecting.

We have a regular household filter through which all the freshwater goes. We also have a Seagull filter (very impressive specs but very pricey too) in the galley for drinking water and cooking water.

To not worry about water supply you need in order of preference and cost:
1. A couple of jerry jugs for moving water from shore sources to the boat. You will not be at docks very often to get water so you need to bring it in jugs. We also have a hand-cart for moving jugs since they get heavy in a hurrry.
2. Water collection system - specifics depend on the boat.
3. Watermaker for the ultimate water security, but if you one you need to use it fairly regularly to keep the membranes happy. A watermaker is very nice to have but obviously expensive and adds an extra level of complexity to the boat.
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Old 11-08-2011
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Thanks for the input. I figured there must be some type of filtering used.
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Old 11-08-2011
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I think some people do not filter what they collect while others have two separate freshwater systems (with a manifold so they change capacities as needed) with one for drinking water and one for washing, etc. The latter is obviously pretty complicated.

It is not just rainwater that may be on dubious quality or not. We found in Papeete which is a major city for the Pacific (300,000?) that the water quality varied with how much rain they had had. After a really heavy rain the water was not particularly clean-looking although apparently biologically safe - you could smell the chlorine.
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I was thinking about that issue as well. The old saying "Don't drink the water". Water filters at the sink for drinking might be the best option?
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You could install this and if you are in fresh water you could just feed it through the through hole and remove the water tank completely with this in its place and maybe some extra storage

http://www.aquasafecanada.com/store/...hp5fre485mg8t2

edit: you would also have to have a strainer inline for pre filter and a pump for pressure.
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Along with good filters there is an ultra violet thingme you put in line to the drinking water outlet. Kills the bugs. Not that I recommend this but in India we bought ice for the beer and drained the water into the fresh water tank.We didn't get sick so it must have some merit.My experience with rain off the sails has always good.Never worried about it.
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Re: Collecting Rain water

Rainwater in the pacific is very pure, one just needs to keep it that way. I am a professional captain, sailed to over 45 countries. I use a product called Rainsnare , it goes up when or just before the rains and comes down once dry. Takes 2 minutes to setup, uses food grade materials. I have used this in many places, now cruising on my own boat in Queensland and use it as my main water supply ( am solo on a 7.5 meter Farr), really good to make beer with too.
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