Our current rain collection system is exceedingly simple.

I was having morning coffee and lounging in the cockpit chatting on the phone with Gayle. I could see the rain coming…a lot of rain. I signed off and sure enough it was a real gullywasher.

I loosened up the cool-a-roo mesh panels and slacked the 5×5 sunbrella sun awning so it would sag in the middle. I caught some water by pulling the edge of the tarp down and letting the water run into a bucket. But I needed a better system. So, I slacked one side of the tarp a bit more than the other and tied off a funnel under the low spot then tied the line to a PVC pipe and placed it through the bucket handles. It worked well enough. Water was pouring into the bucket at a rapid rate. In a short time I had topped off the water tanks, filled the solar shower, and filled two five gallon collapsible jugs. Probably 30-35 gallons total. Of course, since my rain collection “system” is just cobbled together I probably lost twice as much as I caught.

There is plenty of room for improvement. Over the last few years I have sketched out a few ideas about the best way to capture pure clean rainwater. Sure, adding an integrated udder, either canvas or a plastic through hull to which a hose can be attached would help a great deal but there are some other ideas that could contribute to capturing a lot of water quickly and efficiently. However, further improvements will have to wait till I return home.

In the meantime I think “General Jack Ripper” would be pleased with our success capturing pure rain water and protecting our “precious bodily fluids.”

PS. There is apparently some discussion in the blogosphere that sunbrella is not a good choice for rain water collection as the chemical treatment used to make it water resistant can contaminate the collected water. If true, I will have to find a more suitable material. Many tropical showers are intense but brief. So I don’t think a dedicated rain-collection tarp is the solution as if it’s not already up when it starts raining but the time you dig the tarp out and set it up the opportunity has past.