It was easy for me to do without the fridge, however it did take me about half a year to learn how to provision and cook "good" food
without a fridge. There was a period where everything I made was pretty awful combinations of canned food
, and I think my horrible cooking
helped keep one person on board seasick for an entire long passage
I feel that fruit and vegetables last long enough in the tropics without a fridge. We stored nearly everything in hammock net things, except for potatoes. The old cruising books
have a lot of tricks that work-- wrap certain things in newspaper, others in aluminum
foil, rotate them in the hammocks so they don't all ripen at once, and etc. I don't think darkness, or any more darkness than a normal sailboat down below, is necessary for most fruits and veggies. Eggs also seem to last as long as necessary-- we always ate them before they went bad.
Anyways, we were fine without a fridge. Fruit and vegetables are available nearly everywhere, and they last for long enough to get some place new to buy more. We ran out of fresh food on the way from Galapagos
to Marquessas, but that's because there wasn't very much to available in the Galapagos-- just onions, potatoes, and bananas.
I think the watermaker is a pretty cool luxury, especially in certain cruising grounds. Ours was broken for more than half of our last voyages, so ... it was nice while it worked, but we didn't feel like it was so important that we were going to have parts
expensively shipped to fix it, or even take time away from the adventure to repair it. I waited until we were back in civilization and then brought the whole thing to the dealer to fix. There were 3 or 4 people on board and we did fine with 120 gallons of water.
We used a pump up garden sprayer as an outdoor shower
. A neat thing about them is that you can just heat water on a tea kettle, instead of having to also install a water heater in the boat (or run the engine
to make it hot).