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Old 14-04-2013, 10:58   #1
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Water collection from fixed bimini

Thanks to all the good advice on solar panels, the hard bimini is under construction by S&S Marine in Chesapeake VA. With ~ 120 sq ft of area I have been thinking about rainwater collection by adding removable or folding sides sticking up 2-3 inches and putting collection points at each of the four corners with hose connections to lead the water to tankage.

Has anyone done this with success? Design suggestions appreciated.

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Old 14-04-2013, 16:36   #2
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Re: Water collection from fixed bimini

Hi, Utahsailor, Yes, have seen such a thing, actually on a soft dodger. If you have it raked so that the aft end is about 3 degrees higher than the forward end, then smallish gutters leading to the forward corner should do it. The drain holes forward should be about an inch in diameter, then you can jam the next size down hose into it, and all the way to the deck fill.

Good luck,


Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 14-04-2013, 17:13   #3
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Re: Water collection from fixed bimini

We had a forward sloping rigid bimini with about a permanent 3/4" lip sticking up all the way around. We installed a flush mounted hosebarb sticking down in each of the forward corners. On our rig the corners were just outside the dodger. All you had to do was stick a hose on the barb and lead to the deck fill. We used two dedicated clear hoses so we could make sure they were clean.
Don't forget to let it rain long enough to clean off the bimini before attaching the hoses.
Ours worked well. Once we installed it we found it also worked well at preventing rainstorms lol.
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Old 15-04-2013, 19:35   #4
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Re: Water collection from fixed bimini

Another way to collect water is from your main sail if you're a sailing boat. It's a huge area and an amazing amount of water runs off it.

All you need to do is sew 2 flaps along the foot (one for each side - maybe 10cm wide each) which curl up, creating a gutter each side. Sew an end cap piece at each end - effectively creating an enclosed gutter. Put a takeoff pipe fitting at the fwd end of each gutter. The gutter sides can be held up by putting small through-eyes in the mainsail every metre or so along it's length just higher than the gutter height, and tying the 2 edges of the gutter together with line. You could achieve the same thing with small loops sewn to each side of the sail if you don't want through-eyelets. It doesn't have to be perfect - just good enough to move most of the water to the take-off.

You'd be surprised how much water you can collect this way - much more than from the bimini.

We also collect from our soft bimini by having small stand-up cloth "gutters" on each side which direct the water to the aft corners.

Agree that you have to let it rain enough to wash the mainsail and bimini before going into your tank.

I'd also suggest that you filter the water at the galley sink if you're going to drink it - amazing how dirty rain water is these days.

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