Easy Water Fill

Do you fill your water tanks from 5-gallon containers – either jerry cans or purchased water?

If so, you’ll appreciate this idea for a funnel, from Dennis and Susan Ross of Ross Marine Services in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Dennis takes a one-gallon water bottle, cuts out the bottom, and screws the top into his deck fill.

“The size is perfect, and although the threads don’t match exactly, the plastic is soft enough that they cross thread easily.” The funnel stands up by itself without a second person having to hold it — yep, lots better than the “deck fill funnels” you can buy and the only expense is a gallon of water!Easy Water Fill -- it can be a real pain to fill your water tank from jerry cans or 5-gallon jugs. Our friends Dennis and Susan figured out a very simple and cheap funnel that will even stand up by itself -- no need for a second person to hold it!

We used Dennis’ method a couple of times when we couldn’t use our watermaker and the local water was suspect.  Yes, it really IS that simple!

We spent several months buddy-boating with Dennis and Susan aboard Two Can Play and they are both very knowledgeable cruisers. They taught us a lot about cooking seafood . . . and also introduced us to CSI (they had a few seasons on DVD).

Since then, we’ve crossed paths many times and they’ve begun Ross Marine Services in La Paz — Dennis is a surveyor, they provide boat watching services (we used them while Que Tal was up for sale) and will also manage major projects and repairs.  They don’t have a website, but did give me a copy of their brochure detailing their services — see Ross Marine Services — La Paz (PDF including contact information).

I just love finding simple solutions like this to nagging little irritations!

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14 Comments
  • Candy Ann Williams on Facebook
    Posted at 27 February 2012 Reply

    Another GREAT idea!! Thanks so much.

  • Sue Waudby
    Posted at 08 August 2012 Reply

    Dennis and Susan are fabulous and I would not think twice about having them watch our boat. Book early if you know you are leaving your boat in La Paz. They are a wealth of information and just very nice. Great idea on the funnel.

  • Ken Arnold
    Posted at 08 August 2012 Reply

    My water fill is almost the same size (makes it a perfect fit) as the 3 or 5 gallon jug I have and you only lose 1-2
    cups when turning it over.

    Walmart has the empty bottles w/ a carry handle for $5 (3 gal.) and $7 (5 gal..)

  • Mid-Life Cruising!
    Posted at 09 August 2012 Reply

    Wow, what a simple tip! Some things are so easy that we just don’t think about it … thanks!

  • Sue
    Posted at 10 December 2013 Reply

    /the drink bottle funnel is a good idea. Plenty of those around. If it breaks drink some more.
    Hi there, to get water from shore (only when we are sure of the quality of the water) to our boat we use a bladder like they use in wake-boarding boats. It has a little pump and holds about 200 litres. We put it in the bottom of the dinghy and fill it up, back to the”mothership” and pump it into the tank filler on the deck. This saves the backbreaking work of hauling loads of jerry jugs of water to fill up our 1000 litres. We don’t have a watermaker. This was a much cheaper option.

  • Heather Reimer
    Posted at 14 November 2014 Reply

    Been using one of these for years, and it’s held up with no issues. Better yet, is that if something does happen, it’s easy to find a replacement. Ours DOES screw in perfectly to our fill cap, funnily enough.

  • Rob
    Posted at 20 July 2016 Reply

    We use a siphon. Then we’re not lifting and holding the bottle while it empties. To start the flow, we put the siphon in place, cup our hands around the neck of the bottle to make a seal, and blow between our fingers to bump up the pressure in the full bottle. As soon as it starts, relax and it self empties.

  • Jesse K On Smitty
    Posted at 20 July 2016 Reply

    We have a shaker siphon dedicated to drinking water. I think I remember you writing about the shaker siphon for fuel before. We have one for that purpose too.

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 21 July 2016 Reply

      Shaker siphons are great — love them for both fuel and water.

  • Robert Gray
    Posted at 21 July 2016 Reply

    I just through one out…will save the next one!!

  • Carlos R. Escandel
    Posted at 21 July 2016 Reply

  • Vickie Tillman
    Posted at 21 July 2016 Reply

    Even better get the jiggler—a fool proof siphon. No pouring needed. Just shake and wait for the jiggler to do the transfer. We have two, one for water and one for fuel.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 21 July 2016 Reply

      I’ve written about the shaker siphons — — you’re right, they’re great. But sometimes you don’t have one . . .

  • Dave Skolnick (S/V Auspicious)
    Posted at 22 July 2016 Reply

    I use the same general approach as Sue. I use Spectre 20l jugs. My spare fresh water pump (which incidentally is the same make and model as my shower sump) has long wire leads and I use it to pump water from the jugs (still in the dinghy) into boat tanks. It takes a while but its easy and I don’t have to stand there and stare at the horizon while the water transfers. I CAN, but I don’t HAVE to.

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