Being the source for your water needs

Published on February 2nd, 2022

by Bill Wiggins
When Ashley Maltempo and I purchased Wings, our J/121 in June of 2020, we promised ourselves that we would try to be as green as possible while being practical as well. In doing so, we needed a way to reduce the number of single use plastic containers when we go sailing.

Our answer was simpler than you would think. We began purchasing 5-Gallon Water Bottles of drinking water. These bottles can be purchased, returned, or swapped at most grocery stores and home improvement stores.

The number of bottles we purchased was based on the number of crew, the time on the water and a multiplier of .75-gallons per 24-hour period. Wings, generally sails with a crew of nine. If we sail a 2-day race, we need carry 13.5-gallons or 2.5 bottles.

We researched pumps to dispense the water at length and landed on an inexpensive rechargeable electric pump from Amazon. This pump will fill a 16-ounce container in about 15 seconds. Plus, the pump can be recharged with a mini-usb cord at the nav station.

We have also purchased an RV style water filter which can be used on any normal hose spicket at the dock and a clean hose to go with it.

Now, all we have to do is remind our team to bring their water bottles from home and we are good!

Storing the 42-lb bottles is a little challenging. Fortunately, the J/121 has a great little hanging locker just aft of the nav station which can hold 2-bottles. There are two more hanging lockers just forward of the forward bulkhead that can carry up to 2-bottles each as well. If it looks like we will be sailing in big breeze, we can store the extra bottles in the head (Starboard/Aft) and/or the Aft Cabin (Port Aft).

Don’t get me wrong, we do still carry a good number of single use aluminum cans in the fridge for Wednesday night races. We just can’t convince ourselves that carrying a beer keg would be worth it.


Wings was purchased by Ashley Maltempo and Bill Wiggins in 2020 from J/Boats. She has raced over 4500 miles as of this writing, including winning their division at 2021 Block Island Race Week. Currently, she is preparing for the RORC Caribbean 600 and five other major Caribbean Sailing Association events before heading north for the Newport Bermuda Race. Though Ashley and Bill love sailing with their regular, Charleston Based team, they offer this speedster for charter at major certain events. For details, contact Bill Wiggins.

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