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Old 08-02-2012, 00:42   #1
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Fridge vs Watermaker

Hi i am just planning the next step in renovation of my 44 feet boat which will include solar panel, batteries etc . One main question which we discuss since long is do we need a fridge and / or water maker ?

The last 10 years sailing we did not need any of both but we spent the time in the north of germany / denmark / sweden.

I like to keep it simple, i have no pressurized water system as example, but good sails, a decent small sabb engine, propane cooker with 4 bootles of propane, enough diesel and water storage etc.

We will sail down to the med and carib starting next year . Reg. fridge i know everyone has one but as we do not eat butter /margarine or cheese, we prefer rum or redwine over beer, we eat a lot veg, we store veg and eggs allways outside a fridge we wonder if we really need one.

Fish or meat one can buy fres and used right away or cook your own cans.

Any longterm experience ? Maybe a activ ventilated dark cabinet would be better for storing your veg, eggs etc.

reg watermaker i think it really will help to saty healthy in the tropics and a 20-30 liter maker should be enough so we can it run quite frequently which is good for the system. with a watermaker i maybe will install a pressurized outside shower.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:16   #2
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Re: fridge vs watermaker

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).
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:18   #3
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Re: fridge vs watermaker

Hi, good to hear that there are some basic cruiser still arround...... i have a solar shower bag and just bought the garden sprayer to use hot water this year..... actually i can load 1000 l water and with a decent treatment and a good waterfilter it should be ok. I really like the easy way to go and easy things to fix, like my simple gusher footpumps. My wife doesnt like any cold drinks at all and prefer tea so actually the fridge might be switch off most of the time. Only after catching fish i think i will miss the possibilty to it store one / two days.

Even after i bought my hard dinghy lasz yera with a 5 sqmeter sail i dont need the outboard any more. sailing and rowing is so much better
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:06   #4
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Re: fridge vs watermaker

reg. provision and infos. Luckily i decided to sail the world when i was 15 which is 30 years ago and i bought at that time many books which i still have and at that time a fridge was a luxury gadget for motorboats and many advice how to store veg and eggs etc are found in such books, ie Hal Roth
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:49   #5
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Re: fridge vs watermaker

If you can afford it you should get! Sure you can do without both, but you wouldn't have even asked the question if you didn't already know life would better with them.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:00   #6
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Re: Fridge vs Watermaker

OK, I live in a desert, but I have NEVER seen a boat without a fridge or a coolbox onboard. At least a fridge, when it breaks, can be used as a coolbox with the addition of a few lumps of ice from the local fishermen!

Watermakers are not so common, but I think the added value certainly makes them worthwhile considering if you can afford one - financially and space wise.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:09   #7
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pirate Re: Fridge vs Watermaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaucySailoress View Post
OK, I live in a desert, but I have NEVER seen a boat without a fridge or a coolbox onboard. At least a fridge, when it breaks, can be used as a coolbox with the addition of a few lumps of ice from the local fishermen!

Watermakers are not so common, but I think the added value certainly makes them worthwhile considering if you can afford one - financially and space wise.
Well... your obviously in the High Maintainance set...
But then thats the Middle East for ya....
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:32   #8
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Re: Fridge vs Watermaker

You definitely do not need a refrigerator or water maker. I lived for years on boats without either. But, if you can afford (both the cost and space on the boat) and don't mind occasional maintenance they can make life aboard a little more comfortable.

I got pretty good at finding fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods that lived without refrigeration but it did limit your options at times and occasionally when on a long passage or away from sources of fresh food would be down to mostly dried or canned food for a while. Certain things like salads, fresh broccoli and such were occasional luxuries since they did not last long at all without cool.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:16   #9
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Re: Fridge vs Watermaker

We anchor out most of the time so having both a fridge and watermaker makes our cruising more enjoyable and comfortable.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:52   #10
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Re: Fridge vs Watermaker

I find myself deeply suspicious of anyone who might willingly forgo the solace of cold beer.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:32   #11
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Re: Fridge vs Watermaker

Im with Bash on this one so for me the fridge is not a luxury but a requirement. Maybe not so for you.

As for the watermaker I would encourage you to research and find out just how many gallons or liters the watermaker will likely produce in its useful life ask owners not salesmen. Then add up the cost of purchase, install, and maintennance over this useful life. Now divide the total financial outlay by the number of gallons and see what you are paying per gallon for water. Then decide if it makes sense. I suspect you will find that while a watermaker is a very nice luxury it makes for rather expensive water. Of course your cruising grounds may also dictate the need for a watermaker.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:33   #12
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Re: Fridge vs Watermaker

Of course I'm a bit biased, but you don't really need a fridge or watermaker. But then you don't really need a boat either.
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Old 08-02-2012, 14:15   #13
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Re: Fridge vs Watermaker

I need a frig for vegetables and holding meat for 2-3 days and a water maker to save my back from 20 lt jugs. I use the frig (freezer also only when needed) all the time and planned my solar wind with it in mind. I use excess power (from my solar and wind but also when I have to run the engine for a few hours travelling) for making water and I get some excess power every week so I have lots of water.
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Old 08-02-2012, 14:31   #14
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While both would be nice, you can live without refrigeration, you cannot live without water.

My vote: watermaker now, refrigeration later.

Darby
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