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National Maritime Day is a US observation held each May 22nd to recognize the importance of the maritime industry. The day commemorates the sailing in 1819 of the Savannah, the first ship to undertake a transoceanic voyage using steam power, and was officially declared a day of observation on in 1933.

Boat plumbing

While National Maritime Day may not be the most wildly anticipated day of the year, it is celebrated with boat tours and family picnics at the Port of San Diego and other traditional memorial ceremonies in the different ports.

The celebration of National Maritime Day provides the nation an opportunity to focus on the importance of the shipping industry, especially in the areas of safety and clean maritime environment. And since we love all things plumbing, let’s dive in and explore the world of boat plumbing.

Any discussion on the topic of clean maritime environments would not be complete without touching on boat plumbing, an essential aspect of maintaining the cleanliness of the ships and the oceans.

Boat plumbing is a lot different from home plumbing. Depending on the boat, boat plumbing, in many instances, will instead use flexible hosing or tubes. Or, PVC with polyester braid reinforcement may be used for vent connections and tank fills.

Another type of material is common for boat plumbing is polyethylene tubing; semi-rigid tubing that has long been popular in recreational vehicle plumbing. This type of tubing has become popular because of the fittings that easily connect. It is made of opaque or semi-translucent material that prevents the growth of algae, a common problem of clear hoses. The polyethylene tubing comes color-coded – red for hot water and blue for cold water.

Water Tanks

Waters tanks, because of their weight, need to be mounted in the lower part of the boat for greater stability. Water tanks in a boat are usually made of rigid polyethylene or a bladder tank and have three ports; outlet, vent hose, and fill hose. The inlet port connects to the on-deck fill; the vent port connects to the vent fitting on the upper part of the boat, and the outlet connects to the pump to a manifold.

Water Pumps

Boats often use an electric pump. Electric pumps pressurize the entire boat water system. Electric pumps operate with a pressure switch engages when the pressure falls below set pressure measurements. For example, once a faucet is turned on the pressure will drop and kick the pump on until the required pressure is reached, turning the pump off.

Unique Plumbing System

A boat’s structure and its water environment require water systems to be designed differently from a typical house water system. Boats have unique plumbing systems because their constant movement requires them to be strong and flexible.