Mystery of the Missing Water

Not long ago we went out for the first overnight outing of the year. We had done a pre-run to the break water a few days earlier and all systems checked out. Somehow if you haven’t run a boat in a while problems seem to manifest by themselves.

The ocean was calm and smooth. It wasn’t swimsuit weather, but it was still comfortable. The fishing wasn’t good. We tried and tried, but there were tons of bait fish, which were stuffing themselves on swarms of little red crayfish.  (See the video on my Facebook page published on 3/21/2016)

Second morning I got up and went to the galley sink to wash my hands and start breakfast; no water came out. I checked to make sure the water pump was on, and still no water. When I went into the aft cabin head, I could get a small stream of water. When we checked the water tank by knocking on it, the hollow reverberation sound was evident. We were out of water. We hold 300 gallons of water. It takes 20 minutes of running the hose at full stream to fill the tank.

We immediately checked the engine room to make sure that we didn’t have water in the bottom of the boat. Couldn’t find any extra water.

Luckily we were only planning a two day outing, and we always take a few gallons of filtered reverse osmosis water as well as bottled water for cooking and drinking. Finding out we had no fresh water would have been difficult for washing hands and dishes for a longer outing, but it really didn’t affect our trip.

We’ve had a situation once where the mini blind next to the kitchen faucet hooked the on lever and turned the water on while we were traveling. We had been up on the bridge for a while so we weren’t really sure how long the water ran. We were really conservative on that outing and didn’t run out. We learned to pull the blind up to make sure that it couldn’t happen again.

We never saw or heard the bilge pump on, and through the night we didn’t hear the air pump come on either. Gary says it’s because we can hear the pump for the bait tank and thinks that that covered the sound of the other pump. We found a small and slow leak in one of the pipes from our bathroom, but I still don’t think that’s where the water went.

I recently read a story by The Boat Gallery, where she explains why she likes to keep the pump off except for when she’s using the water. I can see how it makes sense while you’re in transit, or at night, but I would hate to be having to constantly be running back and forth to the breaker switch. As far as I’m concerned we still have a mystery. I hate mysteries like this, but I hope the problem is resolved and that it won’t happen again. Always keep some bottled water aboard for drinking and be safe out there!