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Old 04-07-2010, 05:18   #16
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I currenty carry 100 gals of water and it lasts what would be about 6 weeks for 2 people (adjusted for the time we spend on the boat). But if I keep this boat I'm going to reduce the water to 80 gals and convert 1 water tank location to fuel because I currently only carry 38 gals of fuel.

So a watermaker is on the long term plan. Even now I go into the docks more for water than anything else.

In my thinking a watermaker and 100-150 gal water tank is about perfect for a 40-45' boat. Enough for 2 to live easy on quite a while so even if the unit breaks not going to die anytime soon. And not so much space taken up by the water tanks that can put to better uses.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:54   #17
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Nothing worse than running out of water miles from the next tap.......all it takes is someone to leave a tap running, pop a fitting etc... also I hate always having to chase guests on water useage. For me the water maker is key to me being able to relax when the high maintenance team of hot blonde crew members showers naked on the back deck after a sweaty day of hard sailing...............? ahhhhhhhh I love my water maker!
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:07   #18
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In my thinking a watermaker and 100-150 gal water tank is about perfect for a 40-45' boat. Enough for 2 to live easy on quite a while so even if the unit breaks not going to die anytime soon.
800-1200 pounds of water sounds less than "perfect" to me. But tanks around that size are not a bad idea if you have the room. If underway, without the pretty deck meat, I'd reduce the water load when the watermaker can be relied on based on some computation of emergency water needs, distance to port, etc.

I've said here before that I'd prefer a slow efficient watermaker running much of the time and small tanks to a large seldom-run watermaker and large tanks.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:34   #19
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We're around 120 gallons plus external tanks. We switched everything to manual pumps and gutted the pressure system. It's made a big difference in usage. Somethings gobble water really quickly, like making pasta.

If you have the discipline and desire (and weather) two solar showers can work well. One with salt water that you can obviously go crazy with, and then a smaller one with fresh water to do the rinse off.

I'm certainly looking towards a water maker. Several reasons for it, one of the big ones being the simple cost of water. In some places it's $0.50 a gallon, so at $60 a fillup plus having to haul water back and forth, the watermaker looks better and better.

For those of us with teak decks, we rinse the decks with seawater. After a rain, a bucket of seawater goes over them.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:47   #20
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Greg….. I have yet to hear of any cruiser including MarkJ admit that if they had the option to install and use a water maker, they would refuse it!
Yup. Part of the cruising deal with the Admiral was that there would be at least one hot fresh water REAL shower per day per person. Since the boat only had 65 gallon tanks, we went the watermaker route:

Two REAL 5 minute showers used about 15 gallons. This number will vary depending on your shower head and water pressure system.

And, uh, usually one of us required less than 5 minutes - actual shower usage was closer to 10-12 gallons per day. Add this to your other water requirements and without a watermaker, you will need BIG tanks.
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Old 07-07-2010, 13:26   #21
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Perhaps a good rule of thumb might be to figure out as close as possible what your absolute minimum requirements are, then double that because you will probably have overlooked something and its best to have a goodly margin for error.
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Old 07-07-2010, 13:26   #22
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Maybe we're just grubby. We have about 800 litres in (stainless steel) tanks (in the keel), plus we carry 80 litres in jerries on deck. These do us, with spit and polish washes alternating with good hot (navy) showers one every two or three days. When we can find a good cheap shower ashore we often use it - or rather Pip does as she has very long hair which takes a lot of rinsing. In hot weather we often freshwater shower on deck after swimming and use saltwater shampoo/soap while in the sea.

On this basis our tanks do us for two to four weeks - 14-28 litres each a day, so very generous.

In the western Med we have not (yet) had to pay for water, but it won't be far off.

And no - we don't want a watermaker. We've known far too many cruisers losing cruising time to fixing their watermaker. And we don't want to give up the space or need the power. The jerries are great when at anchor and just need a top up as they go easily in the dinghy. Otherwise we try and time arrivals at 'harbour' stops with empty tanks! Or find a quay (like Ajaccio) which allows you to fill up with water for free.

We've coped for four years cruising this way.
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Old 07-07-2010, 14:26   #23
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The answers to my original post have all been interesting and , of course varied but I haven't heard from anyone about the usefulness of deck fills for catching rainwater. The boat has them, I just don't know how useful they will be. Does anyone have any experience with them? The boatbuilder says you just let the rainwater wash the decks for half an hour before opening the valves which diverts the water from going overboard into the tanks in the bilge. I am interested to know from people who use this system if half an hour is enough to get the salt off the decks.

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Old 07-07-2010, 14:40   #24
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I did the Pardey's deal where you run a funnel of sorts (made of cloth) in the first roll of the main with a reef in. Let the water rinse all the grossness off for a bit before you plumb the line into the deck fill port.
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Old 07-07-2010, 14:40   #25
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We use about 700 liters per week. No doubt the freshwater heads have a great deal to do with that.
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Old 07-07-2010, 15:14   #26
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I am interested to know from people who use this system if half an hour is enough to get the salt off the decks.
In my experience the salt is gone in half a minute. The squall is often gone in 20 minutes.

The trick lies in getting a useful amount of water actually into the tank. Often takes some considerable preparation.

I take my shampoo out and skip the transit thru the tank. Shower in the rain. Same with rinsing laundry. Timing is tough though.
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Old 07-07-2010, 16:23   #27
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We had an awning with two downspouts you could tie a hose to and sailed the eastern pacific and Carribean. We only made water with the watermaker in Mexico during the dry season. The rest of the time we caught water and often took 2-3 showers a day just because we could.
We would get out in the rain and take a brush and wash the deck at the beginning of the rain as that was always needed. Once we washed and the soap had rinsed off we put some towels behind our deck fills to make a dam and collect the deck water and by that time we were pretty comfortable the awning was clean enough to put the hoses on and run those in. We then went below and took showers to make as much room as we could because they filled up pretty fast with the usual tropical downpours.
While it does seem like work talking about it now we actually looked forward to those little squalls as the boat got clean and we restarted with water and usually had good wind for electric too so a movie was occasionally in order if there was any extra. Ah, the good times.

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Old 07-07-2010, 16:33   #28
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Time should not be an issue when cruising so a little maintenance time on the watermaker should not be an issue. Like engines they give very little trouble when looked after but neglect will cause issues. Having to constantly worry about water issue would spoil the cruise so a watermaker is high on my list. Having experienced the hassle of reminding the crew of their over usage is another issue I can live without. MOST people like to be comfortable & safe when cruising so this is a criteria for me when making $$ decisions.
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Old 07-07-2010, 16:38   #29
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I carry 700 litres in five tanks plus 60 litres drinking water. I would expect three people to comfortably pass a couple of weeks without too much difficulty and daily showers with a demand/press handle.

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Old 21-08-2010, 08:10   #30
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As an aside, if you want to see some clever ways to extend the use of water, check out some of the boards dealing with the Burning Man festival like Tribe.net. For those of you unfamiliar, the festival becomes the third largest city in Nevada for about five days each year, and takes place on a dry, alkaline lake bed (up to 120F in the day, freezing at night sometimes, and no services of any kind). As all water must be trucked in and the waste trucked out, they get creative.
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