To see as much of the world as we can,
Using the smallest carbon footprint we can,
Spending the least amount of money we can,
Making as many friends we can.

Team Red Cruising


Whitby's were designed to have almost 300 gallons of water aboard. Since our forward tank leaks, were down to only 200 or so gallons. Without any conservation effort, we think this might last us a month or more. We don't take long, lingering showers. We do our laundry in a bucket.

We might be able do even better. If we can only get the plumbing to actually work.

Cruisers suggest that there are two import conservation techniques that—by simply raising awareness—will tend to manage water usage.

  • Use a hand-pump. Eschew the sophisticated pressure-water system and count your pumps to cook and clean. You'll develop a sense of water use. With some practice, you'll have a "habitual" number of pumps for various jobs. This becomes your water budget.

  • Use sea water for scouring pots and pans. Rinse in fresh water.

For Red Ranger the second tip means adding a raw water pump in the galley.

We have a galley foot-pump. It's a big, sophisticated Whale Gusher MK III. Since it's big, it can take the punishment of saltwater.

We started by repurposing the existing foot pump. We removed it from the fresh water system. We'll connect it to the raw water system as soon as we install a new spigot. And drill a huge hole in the countertop.

The other part of this is to add a Whale vertical hand-pump. This is plumbed into the freshwater system.

Sadly, the new vertical pump didn't work very well.

The failure mode was disturbing. It messed up the freshwater system something fierce. The accumulator tank would no longer pressurize. The water pump ran endlessly.

Good News/Bad News

Sadly, it turns out that this new hand pump requires some kind of check valve. Without a check valve, the pressurized fresh-water system drains the water from hand pump line. This lets air into the system.

Happily, the plumbing spare-parts box had a Whale check valve. Sadly, it didn't fit well. Happily, I have lots of hose and hose clamps. See photo at the top of the page for the sad-looking results.

On the right is the gray ¼" ID supply line.

On the left is the clear ½" ID polyethylene tubing. I like food-grade polyethylene better than PVC hose; it stays clean essentially forever. However. It's hard to work with because it kinks and it doesn't stretch.

The jury rig goes like this: a short section of ½" ID PVC hose that slips over the gray supply and holds the Whale check valve; the check valve is jammed between two sections of 1/2" hose . To connect the ½" hose with the check valve to ½" hose up to the hand pump, I slipped a 5/8" sleeve over the outside.

It does work. We'll get a proper ½" hose-barb check valve from Shurflo. I'll still need the short piece of ½" hose wrapped around the supply as a hillbilly adapter. But the rest of that mess is interim plumbing only.