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Old 12-12-2019, 09:46   #1
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Dock water safety

What is the best approach to connect high pressure dock water systems to the boat? Our marina upgraded the water pressure a few weeks ago and yesterday, as I was leaving the boat I noticed the bulge pump running constantly. It turned out one of the water heater connections had come off completely and the boat was flooding (slowly). I do have a pressure regulator and I did go over all the connections once, replacing them with quick connects where possible and tightening the hose clamps. Still, I feel uneasy leaving the boat unattended with the water pressure on. (One always forgets to turn the dock tap off).

What is best practice? I have been thinking about a relay valve with a timer, set to two hours for example. Every two hours I would need to push a button to enable dock water on the boat but at least it will give me a piece of mind. Any other ideas? May be a flow meter that cuts off the water after x gallons?

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Old 12-12-2019, 09:53   #2
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Re: Dock water safety

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Originally Posted by Pizzazz View Post
W

What is best practice?
For me it is to NEVER use that stupid dock water fitting!!!!!!!!! Really just how hard is it, while at a dock, to just fill the water tanks once in a while? The plus is the water in the tanks doesn't just sit there forever.
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Old 12-12-2019, 09:59   #3
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Re: Dock water safety

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For me it is to NEVER use that stupid dock water fitting!!!!!!!!! Really just how hard is it, while at a dock, to just fill the water tanks once in a while? The plus is the water in the tanks doesn't just sit there forever.





Very good advice. Exactly what i do.
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:09   #4
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Re: Dock water safety

That is a good point and to some extent it depends on the size of your water tanks but if you use the boat a lot (say you have kids over the weekend, take showers, laundry (15 gallons per wash)), the tank needs to be refilled daily and this is an effort.
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:10   #5
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Re: Dock water safety

Here's another vote for NEVER connecting dock water to a boat!
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:20   #6
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Re: Dock water safety

According to Boat/US more boats are sunk with tap water than sea water. You are very lucky to have caught it in time. Never connect city water to your boat. Use tank water and refill.
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:42   #7
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Re: Dock water safety

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Originally Posted by Pizzazz View Post
That is a good point and to some extent it depends on the size of your water tanks but if you use the boat a lot (say you have kids over the weekend, take showers, laundry (15 gallons per wash)), the tank needs to be refilled daily and this is an effort.
really???????????????


BTW - you have a washing machine that uses 15-gal of water on a 31' boat, wow
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:46   #8
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Re: Dock water safety

We spend a lot of time at the dock in summer when it’s not good weather to sail and the hassle of filling tanks would be a constant annoyance if not impractical.
Dock water is a great convenience and what minimal risk if any exists is manageable as do most of our dock neighbors and they are still afloat too.

If you are worried about it, put your car keys next to the shutoff. You won’t get far before remembering... Last I checked, high water alarms are available too.

Given all the “feel good” filters people depend upon to ensure the quality of potable tank water, many of which do little except filter particulates, the potential health risk trumps the paranoia of a leaking fitting.
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:50   #9
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Re: Dock water safety

BTW - if you insist on using dock water and it is real high pressure just get a pressure regulating valve
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:59   #10
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Re: Dock water safety

I have seen 4 boats sink at the dock. Three of them were because of hard connections to freshwater. It is a dangerous idea, but the danger can be managed.

First, be sure you have a pressure regulator. Second, have a sprinkler "timer" in the hose line. It's not actually a timer, but rather a gallon counter. It will allow the set number of gallons to run through it, then shut off. It requires a trip up on deck to reset, but that's not a big deal.
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Old 12-12-2019, 12:08   #11
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Re: Dock water safety

I was a liveaboard for 4-5 years back at the turn of the millenium and never connected to dock water on my boat, just filled the water tank once a week. During that time I saw 6 boats sink because of failed city water connections on board. For me its not a good choice, specially if you're not on the boat daily. Even in the winter it wasn't too much of a hassle (unless the water supply hose froze solid!)
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Old 19-12-2019, 13:20   #12
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Re: Dock water safety

I have an AC solenoid operated by a 60 min mechanical timer.
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Old 19-12-2019, 13:54   #13
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Re: Dock water safety

We have never used a hard connection to dock water.

The fundamental reason is that we do not want to rely in dockside connections to be comfortable; it tends to make us reluctant to leave the dock.

And, aside from the obvious danger of sinking the boat, it is (in my mind) just one more connection to the dock which I have to deal with to get underway. We prefer to be attached minimally to the dock.

So we have engineered everything on the boat to work the same at sea or anchor as we do at the dock. We fill our tanks and we are good for month, longer with the watermaker. There is no inclination to stay tied up (one exception is the Air Conditioner, which requires shore power. And that does result the unwanted inclination to stay at the dock, regretfully, but that is only is use 4 months of the year, and we bite the bullet and still go sailing.)

If you have to refill your tanks every day then you don't do much cruising. I'd say, "Take out the washing machine and add some tankage"
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Old 19-12-2019, 15:15   #14
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Re: Dock water safety

Our boat is connected to shore water.
When leaving the boat I do 2 things:
1- Open the tap of the water in the galley, water flows down the drain.
2 - After closing the boat turn off shore water.

I can forget 1, OK no problem I will do 2
I forget 2, I will use water but not flood the boat

If a person intentionally or not opens the shorewater, our boat will not fill.
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Old 20-12-2019, 04:48   #15
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Re: Dock water safety

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I was a liveaboard for 4-5 years back at the turn of the millenium and never connected to dock water on my boat, just filled the water tank once a week ...
When we lived aboard, and didnít connect to dock water, I filled twice a week, and replaced burned out HWT heating element twice a month.
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