Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An evolving water system...

One of the reasons I no longer fly, another, and a sobering thought on an unrelated subject...

On all of our various boats we have what some might call a very simple low tech system where water is concerned (some might also say crude) which in essence is tankage consisting of Jerry cans, a short hose and a foot pump... Hmmm, it does seem a little crude when you put it that way, but it has worked for us with zero plumbing woes or trauma for a couple of decades now.

There is some method to our madness as years ago I found myself with seven other guys on a TransPac race halfway to Hawaii with only two jerry cans of drinkable water as somehow the boats ample tankage had become contaminated by diesel fuel. It made something of a lasting impression.

Over the years we have also cruised a lot of places where the only way to get water to your boat was by dinghy and Jerry can. So, water storage for the boat based on Jerry cans seems to make a certain amount of sense.

The thing is, I've always hated Jerry cans. Their size and shape, while fitting so well on the bumper of a Willys Jeep, do not exactly stow very well on any boat I've ever been around. While you could, of course, put them on deck like so many do, it falls way too close to the really-bad-idea category in general and, while un-seamanlike, it's also a great way to lose your water/Jerry cans/ stanchions in the process. Worse, at between five (44 pounds) to six gallons (52 pounds) a Jerry can is heavier than an evolved primate would care to lift on a regular basis!

So, over the years, I've been keeping an eye out for a variation on the theme of a Jerry can that would be a bit more boat and cruising friendly. A search, I might add, that has been not unlike the quest for the holy grail or an honest Congressman/Senator in Washington.

But, then again, miracles sometimes do happen!

The WaterBrick is a cross between a jerry can and a Lego brick which just may fit the bill.

The Lego side of things means they stack and stow well if you have a bunch of them... Anyone who has tried to dinghy four full Jerry cans through a surf line in a small dinghy knows that Jerry cans, as a rule, are somewhat less than docile cargo and just love to fall over or shift around without permission. A water container that actually stacks together makes all kinds of sense.

The WaterBrick is more compact than your run of the mill Jerry can which increases its stow-ability in and around a sailboat in a major way. Being a bit smaller they also weigh less when full and hold 3.5 gallons/13 liters (28+ pounds) which is a lot easier to carry from a village stand pipe, beach bar water source or humping up on deck from your dinghy.

I'll be picking up a six-pack of these and see how they work for the long term but for the moment color me seriously impressed.

Listening to The Flying Burrito Brothers

So it goes...