Reply To: Collecting Rain Water at Sea

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Frank Scott

    The obvious trouble with rain as source of fresh water is that you cannot rely on it. Moreover, if the downpour is accompanied by a serious strength of wind, then the sea spray generated will pollute the rain water too much. In any case you need to let the water run for quite a while to clear the salt residue from the rigging & decks, only then can you block the scuppers and set up water butts. It is thus not surprising that all the cases quoted were all in the tropics.
    Whilst I cannot turn my hand to them at this moment, I have come across quite a few examples of rain water collected by commercial sailing ships.
    Worth noting that even the Peking, which as a training ship was comparatively heavily manned with a crew of 76, had much less of a fresh water problem that Pasley faced in the Jupiter, with a crew of some 350.
    I have spent quite a lot of time operating around the Caribbean Islands, and would certainly not have liked to rely on rain, rather than regular watering stops. At sea my experience was that tropical rain showers were as likely to pass you by, as they were to give you enough time for a quick upper deck shower (always a delight), let alone replenish your water supplies to any significant extent.