DIY Foredeck Rain Catcher

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A small foredeck awning configured to catch rain is an easy way to augment your water supply

Sometimes it can be difficult to refill water tanks while cruising. Local water may be unsuitable, expensive or simply unavailable. Watermakers can also come up short, as you shouldn’t run harbor water through them. That’s why it is smart to carry a rain-catcher. I’ve always had a large deck awning for my ketch, Silverheels, that doubles as a high-volume rain-catcher. However, it’s too cumbersome to put up and take down again during short layovers.

To solve this problem I devised a small easy-to-deploy Sunbrella awning/rain-catcher that I can string up over the foredeck in a minute. What it lacks in capacity it makes up for in frequency of use. I often put it up right after anchoring, just for the night, or even when a single rain squall is approaching. Of course, it also shades the forward deck hatch when the sun is shining. Mine measures 5ft 6in x 6ft, with a half-dozen tie-down grommets, battens and lift rings at each end, and a hose barb fitting secured through a reinforced hole. 

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