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Old 20-10-2014, 14:33   #1
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Rain Collection "Wings"

I'm planning on getting all my potable water from rain. I've done the math with average rainfall, surface area on the boat, wastage - in relation to my water budget - and I think I should be okay. Nonetheless, I'd like to have an option for collecting extra water from time to time.

I was thinking about increasing surface area with "wings" hung off the side(s), which could be put on or removed as needed. They would be made from some kind of tarp or cloth, held in a rectangular frame (say 3' out from the side by 10' down the length of the boat). They could be attached to the stanchions. They'd only be used at anchor in low wind. They'd be shaped to dump their water on deck (where it ends up in the scuppers along with the rain that usually falls on deck).

Thoughts? Anyone doing something like this?
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Old 20-10-2014, 14:51   #2
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Re: Rain Collection "Wings"

Sure, this or something similar is pretty common. If you put a thruhull in the middle of your proposed catchment, then you could attach a hose to put the water into anywhere you want. You can even put a filter in-line. We have gutters along the sides of our 14'x11' bimini that serves this purpose.

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Old 20-10-2014, 15:21   #3
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Re: Rain Collection "Wings"

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Sure, this or something similar is pretty common. If you put a thruhull in the middle of your proposed catchment, then you could attach a hose to put the water into anywhere you want. You can even put a filter in-line. We have gutters along the sides of our 14'x11' bimini that serves this purpose.

Mark
Nice, good idea.

On a different note, I'd like to throw another question into the mix.

How high are toe rails typically? I would think you'd collect more on deck with higher toe rails (doesn't slosh off when boat is moving), but on the other hand I wouldn't want them so high as to impair the ability of the boat to shed sea water. Must you have slots in a toerail to let the salt water flow out better?
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Old 20-10-2014, 17:18   #4
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Re: Rain Collection "Wings"

They range from an inch or two to much higher bulwarks, depending on the boat design.

Most typical production boats have them an inch or two. Many heavy older designs had high bulwarks.

If you want to use them to catch water, it seems like they do not need to be very high. All they do is guide the rapidly moving water to the spot you tap.

Normal boat movement at anchor or calmer sailing wouldn't diminish this. You wouldn't be catching rain water when underway with the rail down.

You need reliefs in the rail somewhere, or a drain scupper, if you don't want the water standing on deck or in the cockpit or lockers - it has to leave the deck somewhere.

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Old 20-10-2014, 17:32   #5
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Re: Rain Collection "Wings"

KISS,

Friends would wash their decks in the beginning of the squall, then use the boat as the catcher. A rolled up towel directed the flow down the deck into short hoses that hung out over the topsides, and the flow into the buckets.

We use our cockpit awning for our rain catchment, let it rinse off well, then at the low points, we have large funnels, tied up through grommets we installed at the aft interface of the dodger and awning (done with a #10YKK zipper). Three quarter inch hoses connect to the funnels. If your boat has deck fills, the hoses could lead there. In our case they lead to collapsible water jugs, so we can inspect the water before putting it in the tanks. At one time we made a cockpit awning that had a sewn-in funnel at the low point for catchment, that could also be uphauled for its more common shade usage. It was not a simple rectangle, but made of 4 triangle shapes, so as to make shape to the catchment, rather than relying on fabric stretch or bagging for the shape.

As you become more experienced, you'll find that some methods transfer among some boats, but not all methods. It is the ideas that you can play with and then consider relative to the specific boat.

I have also seen a flap added to dodgers, to create a "gutter", so as to use the top of the dodger or bimini as the catchment, then develop from there.

Cheers,

Ann
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Old 20-10-2014, 18:00   #6
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Re: Rain Collection "Wings"

Our boat has a set of Y valves plumbed into a set of deck drains (midships, thru - hull well above the water line) that lead to the tanks. The tanks are normally isolated, and a PO had a filtration system for the galley sink.

I have to admit that I've used them to fill a water tank because it was faster to throw the valve than move all the junk off the chart table and get the deck fill key... That's about the only use they'll see here in southern California. We've forgotten what rain is...

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Old 20-10-2014, 18:06   #7
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Re: Rain Collection "Wings"

Another couple of ideas, for water gathering while under way.

If you have a shelf foot main, you can put a through hull fitting in it, or have the sailmaker put in a sewn funnel, then hose to *whatever*.

Also have hung a bucket from the gooseneck. The mainsail is a large catcher.

JRM, you guys are REALLY hurting for rain, and i suppose dlimate change could affect KISS's projections of rainfall along his planned routes...

Ann
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Old 20-10-2014, 18:35   #8
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Re: Rain Collection "Wings"

If you have outboard mounted solars, you can add gutters below them. Then just attach pvc pipes when it rains and collect.

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Old 20-10-2014, 18:52   #9
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Re: Rain Collection "Wings"

Good stuff everyone, thanks, lots of things to ponder.

Re climate change, I assumed 2" monthly rain in my calculation. This was supposed to be a very conservative estimate - it was based on the driest month of the year in one of the drier parts of the Caribbean (I forget which, actually, may have been the Bahamas).

For surface area, I used the standard L x B x .75 formula, which for a 30'L and 9'B boat yields 202ft2. Convert that to inches, multiply by two, convert the product from cubic inches to gallons, and we get 251 gallons.

I then applied a 2/3 wastage factor, to get 83 gallons.

I estimated that I need 75 gallons potable water per month.
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Old 20-10-2014, 22:31   #10
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Re: Rain Collection "Wings"

We used the awning that stretched from the mast to the stern to collect water. Put two through hulls on either side and ran the water to the tanks in the bilge via hose. It supplied all our water for a year in French Polynesia. Our water consumption was little more than a gallon a day for two adults. Had a saltwater pump in the galley and used salt water for everything that we could. Spent so much time in the water a shower was never an issue. If we did want a clean up would wash down with salt water and rinse with a pan of fresh water. As Rahm Emanuel says, we never wasted a good rain to showwer.

Collecting water on deck would be an elegant way to do it. Don't worry about the height of the toe rail, it would have to really really high to be a problem. The motion of the boat will dump water off the deck right quick. Our boat had bulwarks that had to be higher than 8" with only a 1 1/2" drain for each side.
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Old 21-10-2014, 10:25   #11
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Re: Rain Collection "Wings"

Some good ideas written down here, and of course plenty more to be shared! It's one of those things I can imagine one ponder about underway.

The Pardeys claim they had their "Eureka!" moment underway, looking at the mainsail and the cover of their mainsail (see picture)

http://www.scherpzeilen.nl/productie...cryl-bl325.jpg

If you were to tie this thing under the boom so it catches the watter dribbing down, and fabricate some sort of funnel at the gooseneck end, you have yourself one giant raincatcher .
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Old 21-10-2014, 17:59   #12
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Re: Rain Collection "Wings"

Ya know, KISS, I'm wondering where on earth you'll stow the components of such wings underway? Also, would it not be better if whatever kind of catchment you use has more than one job on the boat?

With your hypothetical 30 ft. boat, there will be many storage issues. For this reason, the space usage ones, I also question your 3 separate sea swing stoves. IMO, one reasonably small 2 burner propane stove would be a better deal. Storing lots of propane canisters on a boat with low freeboard that is likely to be wet leads to rust issues.

A.
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Old 22-10-2014, 13:14   #13
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Re: Rain Collection "Wings"

@Ann

Yea that might be a problem. Storage space will limit the size of the wings. I was thinking I might try to make them so they can be folded up or taken apart. Not sure how I'd do that, have to think on it some more.
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Old 22-10-2014, 16:09   #14
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Re: Rain Collection "Wings"

I don't know how sturdy you need them to be, but you could make them out of PVC pipe with join fittings and put shock cord through them. Then just pull them apart and fold them together into a long bundle.

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Old 22-10-2014, 16:21   #15
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Re: Rain Collection "Wings"

Thanks, some good ideas here. I think I will look at using our 4 solar panels above the tender davits as a catcher. Should only require some sort of lip around three sides and then a place to attach a plastic pipe to lead into some 20 litre containers which I could then transfer to the tanks (the inlets are higher).
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