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Old 04-08-2019, 14:02   #31
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Re: Water System Trick Question

For a liveaboard, there is an awful lot of negative feedback here. I would tie-in in a heart beat. I am both cautious and an engineer.


1. Install a pressure regulator outside the boat. Set it about the same as the boat pump and leave the boat pump off. You could set it just a little higher and leave the boat pump on, as an automatic back up, but I would not. No need. Heck, if you go for a day sail you probably won't even need water while you're out.

2. Back flow into the tank? Not at all likely. If the check valves in the pump were that lame you would never build pressure and the pump would cycle constantly. But here is almost certainly a ball valve on the suction side of the pump; close it.
3. Turn the water off EVERY time you leave the boat, just like turning out the lights and locking the door. EVERY time. This is important.


I lived on the boat for limited periods, and I never bothered to turn the water pump off. It won't cycle if you aren't using it and the holding pressure is harmless to decent plumbing. If I had been living a the dock for more than a few weeks at a time, I would have added a shore water tie-in with an external regulator. It's nice to run the sink as much as you like.
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:52   #32
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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
Yet boats come with the external fitting already installed . Mine has one and the thought scares me enough that I have never used it (even though I've never had a fresh water line in the boat break/leak).

I just haven't found it too much trouble to just refill the tanks every couple of weeks and just use the boat's potable water pump.
This is the same solution I had,I left the outside line connected but turned off... used water in tanks then every couple weeks in the evening while I am chilling & can pay attention to it just turn on the valve for a bit, all good....
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:41   #33
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Re: Water System Trick Question

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Good evening,

I'm happy to say I finally have started the live aboard life. I've been aboard a month now and settled in just fine. I'm working on various projects, one of which is the water system. I'm trying to come up with a cheap and dirty way to provide the boat with limitless water without completely changing the water system. My idea was to tie into an old outdoor shower line,
Our system, at least, has an overflow. So, if you continue to fill the tank from a shore source, it simply continues to run overboard.

Don't see how connecting a shore source that's continually ON would be a great idea, but mebbe I'm missin sumthin here.
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:53   #34
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Re: Water System Trick Question

I have this exact setup in my boat, and never have had a problem with water feeding back through the on board pump. In a worst case situation, even if it did, after the tank became full all that would happen would be the excess would drain overboard just as it does when I fill the tanks via the deck fill port.
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:52   #35
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Re: Water System Trick Question

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Originally Posted by NathanNoonan View Post
Good evening,

I'm happy to say I finally have started the live aboard life. I've been aboard a month now and settled in just fine. I'm working on various projects, one of which is the water system. I'm trying to come up with a cheap and dirty way to provide the boat with limitless water without completely changing the water system. My idea was to tie into an old outdoor shower line, and providing water from the slip tap directly into the system. A gather that as long as I don't overdo the PSI, it should be able to feed the taps without having to run the pump and drain the tanks.

I have a small crappy diagram to explain further. Let me know if you have any experience in this and/or if I'm not accounting for something. The only concern I have is the water pressure going back through the pump, filling up and the tanks and overflowing them.

https://imgur.com/nVy4e29.png
Think hose clamps.

Many boats' water system uses hoses and hose clamps for the plumbing. Hose clamps fail, releasing the hose and opening up the boat for flooding.

I don't have shore water attachment but I got so tired of hose clamps spontaneously breaking I bought a couple of boxes and replaced all of them.

But there is another consideration. If you become dependent on the dock water supply, or at least used to it, that is one more incentive to stay tied up.

When we moved aboard we made it a policy that nothing on the boat was dependent on being at the dock, and getting away was as simple as untying.

We want to be as comfortable and normal at sea or at anchor as we were at the dock. We wanted there to be no reluctance to going out.

Other than air conditioning, (which proves my point) we're still that way. The boat is out of the slip at least 30 times a year.

Get your water system up to snuff, fill you tanks when they are empty, and cast off those dock lines.
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Old 09-08-2019, 15:09   #36
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Re: Water System Trick Question

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That's how I normally do it. I don't even shower on the boat and I turn the water pump off when not using the sink. Even with a 30 gallon bow tank and 17 gallon starboard side tank, I seem to go through a lot of a single person. I guess I'll just have to watch my use.
You will conserve water more after you experience kayaking to shore with your Jerry cans that have to be walked a few hundred feet to the nearest tap that works only some of the time.
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Old 09-08-2019, 19:58   #37
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Re: Water System Trick Question

My mum once said - that I was soooo lucky - if it was raining film stars - I would get Lassie!!
Plumbed my boat into the mains water on jetty and as I am at the ned - pressure is quite low - so was not overly concerned about a hose blowing. Worked fine for three years -with me always turning off the tap on the jetty when ever leaving for more than several hours.
Went to look after a friend's dog one weekend - pouring with rain - ran off along jetty and only remembered not turning the tap off on the Saturday. Still raining - will do it tomorrow. Sunday - still raining - ok I will be back on the boat tomorrow no probs.

'7.30 Monday morning 'Your boats sitting at the bottom of the pen!'

Charter boat in opposite pen went out Sunday at 4 'Didn't see any problems' Back at 10 'Didn't notice anything wrong' sooo - between Sunday afternoon - hose slid off tap in bathroom and poured water into bilge. Pumps finally went flat - water kept flowing - reached all skin fittings, more coming in than out - so down she went to rest on her keel - down to deck.

She is a 55' Chris Craft Constellation - so we reckon nearly 3' of water through the bottom before the equilibrium turned --

For three years it was fine - just waited until I left --- If it was raining film stars ----
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Old 09-08-2019, 22:01   #38
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Re: Water System Trick Question

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Concern, yes exactly. Just fill the tank. Fresh water from shore sinks boats.


Your right. Iíve seen it happen too.
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Old 10-08-2019, 00:11   #39
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Re: Water System Trick Question

Apart from what's mentioned above, you might want to check whether there are any local regulations regarding plumbing into your municipal supply. I can see a future where you need to get a plumber to do work on your boat and/or someone might condemn the lack of backflow prevention or (heaven forbid) fresh water connected to your heads...
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:39   #40
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Re: Water System Trick Question

If you are living aboard means you are ready to cut the water embilica cord. Do you have a water maker yet.
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:26   #41
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Re: Water System Trick Question

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Originally Posted by waterman46 View Post
Any electrical bilge pump wprh putting into a boat has way more than enough capacity to pump out what will come from a 5/8 hose at 25psi (you will install a regulator on the hose at the dock spigot). So as long as the bilge pumps and the battery charger are working and the dock has power and nobody disturbs your power cord and the circuit breaker has not tripped, your boat won't sink. I guess I just made a good case for always turning off the dock valve whenever you leave the boat! ...
I guess you did!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Paul.
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Old 18-08-2019, 07:26   #42
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Re: Water System Trick Question

Personally, I treat the shore water hookup as having one useful purpose: when spending a few nights docked somewhere that has not-great water (not dangerous, but with a funky taste or something), it allows for just hooking up instead of having to put the less desirable water in the tanks.

As far as leaks, if hooked up, the boat shouldn't be left unattended for more than a few minutes without turning the hose off. But at the same time, while a failed line may make a mess, it shouldn't sink a boat. I've never seen a standard hose reach 20 gal / minute of flow in a marina and if your bilge pumps can't keep up with that, you're seriously under-pumped already.

As a comparison point, a failed 1" engine intake thru-hull 2 feet below the water line will put about 28 gal / minute of water into the boat. And IMO, bilge pumps should be sized to keep up with a failure of the largest underwater fitting on a boat, at least until power supply becomes an issue (which should provide plenty of time to find the problem and reduce the flow rate).
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Old 18-08-2019, 08:30   #43
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