Freshwater Tank: We think the best tanks are made of thick-walled, high-density polyethylene, but flexible tanks can work in an odd-shaped or inaccessible space. Tank size depends on the space available and your needs (anywhere from one to ten gallons per person per day might be consumed). Make sure your tank’s deck fill has a tight seal and that your tank’s vent terminates the boat so your drinking water supply won’t be fouled by outside water.
Hose: Most pumps and fixtures are designed for 1/2″ ID hose. Be sure the hose you choose can handle 35-40psi and is made from FDA-approved (nontoxic) materials. Hot-water hoses must be reinforced to withstand high temperatures.
Strainer: Any electric pump should be protected by a strainer or in-line filter. Water system and washdown pump manufacturers usually sell strainers that can be attached upstream from their pumps.
Accumulator Tank: A sealed air chamber combined with a water reservoir provides expansion volume to reduce pump cycling from minor pressure changes and give a steady flow. Larger tanks can store enough water to eliminate pump cycles when modest amounts of water are needed. Until a few years ago, this was the last word for functional pressure water systems aboard.
Municipal Water Inlet: By connecting a drinking-water-safe garden hose between a municipal water inlet and a faucet on shore, you’ll have a continuous source of pressurized water at the dock without ever having to fill the tank or operate the pump. To protect and isolate your pump and accumulator tank from potentially damaging high pressure, install a one-way check valve as shown in the diagram.
Water Heater: The water heaters we carry can be operated at the dock by AC power or underway by drawing heat from your engine’s cooling water. Even a small, 6-gallon heater is enough to provide hot water for washing dishes or taking a short shower.
Faucet/Shower: Showers, whether in the head or out on the swimstep, can greatly enhance your quality of life on board. Higher capacity pumps with large accumulator tanks will provide the most home-like shower. When adding an interior shower, it is necessary to have a shower sump so you don’t fill up your dry bilge with slimy water every time you bathe. Travis Palmer SA, ABYC, AIMU
Corsica River Marine Surveys
Information provided by West Marine