Timer helps keep the boat afloat
To the editor: Jeff Merrill’s recent article on the care and feeding of onboard freshwater systems (“Wanderer’s water,” September 2014) was most excellent. His comments about connecting directly to shore water were particularly pertinent to those who find a range of shore power pressure, some quite strong, outside U.S. waters. When we are wintering over (we live aboard and have been in Europe), we connect to shoreside water directly. This is very convenient, allowing the tanks to be empty and thereby getting the waterline a bit higher as well as other benefits.
Jeff is absolutely correct in suggesting that one of the more embarrassing ways to sink your boat is to fill it with shoreside water through an internal broken fitting or loose hose. We made this less likely by fitting a common “sprinkler” timer into the hose from the shore. In this way we can flip the timer on for a few minutes and the boat’s accumulator will “charge” up. This amount of water can last a half-day or so. If it’s time for showers or evening dishes, flip the timer on for an hour. In this way, for a large bulk of the time (and all the time you are off the boat) the shore water is blocked by the timer before it gets into the boat.
—Dick Stevenson and his wife Ginger live aboard their Valiant 42 Alchemy.