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Old 03-04-2009, 05:08   #16
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Wherever you can find a fuel dock, you can get water. It generally will cost you US$0.10 to 0.15 per gallon. In Admiralty Harbour, Bequia, Dafodil will even bring it to your boat while you swing at anchor.

We needed to replenish the tank about every week and a half, so I'd plan ahead so that we were somewhere with water available when we needed it. The only place where we would have had to jerry-jug water was in the Spanish Virgins, but a good friend with a water maker traded me 40 gallons for a bottle of wine.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:25   #17
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First of all, October is the shoulder of the hurricane season. Be advised.

I found no problem with laundry as I had so little. Mostly wore T shirts and shorts, both easy to wash on board if necessary and hang on the life lines.

I used one of the Laundry ladies in English Harbor which was more or less my base. Drop it off and pick it up nicely folded etc. and it helps Mavis who can surely use some income. There are similar or laundramats on other islands. Towels need to be cleaned of course, but you'd be amaszed at how little clothes you need in the tropics.

You cannot run a AC without a genset for a 50' yacht regardless of how many panels you think you could place on it. Never gonna work.

You cannot run AC without a genset for a 50 yacht regardless of how many solar panels.

For climate control you need ventilation - decent hatches, perhaps dorades and definitely fans. If you have them strategically placed, such as over bunks sleeping is not a problem. I used the over priced Hella fans had one over my bearth, and two in the main which could swivel for the salon or the van and galley.

Finally a large awning will drop the temps in the boat 10 - amazing but true. Get one easy to rig so it does't become a chore. It allows you to keep hatches open when it rains. I live aboard 3 yrs in the Caribe and there were hot days but it was actually cooler aboard and tolerable without AC. There's usually a 15k or more trade wind blowing if you can anchor somewhere to enjoy it.

The deal with water is that you pay for it as Hud mentioned but it means you need to come to a fuel dock to top off. This means you need to be adroit at docking and anchoring without a hassle. If you can doing these two things and it's simple, not a chore, then doing a run to a fuel dock is no biggie.

Since you anchor out 99% of the time the anchor thing now becomes part of your water strategy as well as docking etc. here are few marinas so you might never have to come along side... except to top off water and fuel. Many ferry with jerry cans, but I think that's silly if you can do what I mentioned above.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:32   #18
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You won[t be able to run AC without a genset and expect to cool a 50' yacht. Never gonna happen and acres of solar and tons of lead batteries.

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Old 03-04-2009, 07:04   #19
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There is a 12 V AC that is very reliable and will help to keep the master cabin cool on those unbereable hot days while the Kids get dirty playing around...I think Spectra makes very good watermakers.

Your kids will appreciate for life the gift you are about to give them, they will grow as sensible human beings, sensible to nature, to the elements and to other human beings.

If every parent took their kids for a year sailing we wouldn't have so many Madoffe's around doing crazy things at 70.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:50   #20
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I find AC on a boat offensive. Is AC part of nature? You wall yourself off from nature in an artificial environment, might as well stay home. And nothing like listening to gennys running at anchor. Whenever we've sailed in the Carib we've adapted to the hot within a week despite being from the great frozen north. In looking at boats to buy down south there are many with AC and it will be the first thing I rip out to get more storage space and simplify systems.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:00   #21
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We have all three and spend each Winter in the Carbbean. Summer winds are less strong and temperatures are higher but I have no experience of how hot it could get. We spend little time in Marinas but will use our AC when plugged in. At anchor , we never use it and at night may need a blanket. My wife prefers to take the laundry ashore for cleaning rather than festooning the boat with laundry to dry. The Slendido un-vented machine is a much better washer than dryer and uses alot of water in the drying cycle. Water makers - a toss up. I run the genset about two hours/day to recharge batteries and use invertor for most electrical needs. We use more fuel for the genset than the engine.Water will be a problem for you with kids. I run the water maker every third day with two of us on the boat making about 50 gallons ne production. As long as the genset is already running to charge the batteries, the water doesn't cost much. Watermakers according to surveys are the most unreliable units on the boat and are expensive to maintain. I ordered three new membranes yesterday ($750) after 5 years use. The cost of the machine and maintence has to be factured in to the cost of water it makes. Water is available of variable cost and quality. I filled the tank in Antigua and got water that was nearly unusable but most water is the same your water maker makes as it is made the same way. If you, like us, don't want to have to go into marinas every week for water, then, a water maker is for you. It must be one that makes water fast enoughthough - at least 25 g/hr.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:06   #22
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Don't get too large or too small a genset. They like to run at around 75% load so 7-9 kw is plenty. Stay away from the small, fast running units such as Fisher-Panda or Mastervolt. I threw away a Fisher-Panda after spending over 3k on repairs and replaced it with a massive Northern Lights last year and it has run without the problems I had with the much more compact unit
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:28   #23
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I never found a/c even a thought in the carribean Oct through May, a little sticky a few times but really moderate most the time. There's always the quick jump in the water to cool off. Living on the boat in the boatyard in Trinidad was another story! Getting water can be a real hassle and it tends to force you to structure when you move, where you anchor, pick up the anchor the day after a crossing to go to the dock etc.. If you're willing to spend the money for a/c and a generator a far better choice for that money (especially with the family) would be a good water maker. Engine drive would be an excellent choice making 25 gal per hour.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:42   #24
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There are no natural springs. Potable water is either brought in or collected rain water in custerns. Not recommended for consumtion, at least not if you are not used to it. You will to have to pay for water by the gallon. Every faucet in the marinas will have a meter installed, at least the ones I saw. Water is a lot more salty down there, as is the air, you may have the urge to rinse off more often, especially after dipping in the water.
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:01   #25
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Even paying for water, it is affordable especially since you learn to use less than you do ashore. Figure liberal use will cost $0.40 -$0.50 per day per person.
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Old 13-04-2009, 04:28   #26
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just curious what the water from a watermaker tastes like?
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Old 13-04-2009, 05:16   #27
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I had a Power Survivor which I used for offshore passages and the water tasted great - no taste at all! But I didn't use it in coastal waters, in harbors etc and so I sold it because maintaining it was a PITA.
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Old 13-04-2009, 05:55   #28
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SailingYoungs,

I sold my old boat (with a genset & AC) to a family of 4, with 2 children aged 10 and 12. They only occasionally use the AC, mainly when they need to do homework belowdecks during the day and the wind isn't blowing. Apart from that the AC sees little use, and I have run mine on the new boat only day and have been cruising since December (I needed to work in the bilges and it was just too hot).
I have been watching the new boat owners and, while they try to ration water, it is the main reason for them to have to go to dock every 10-14 days (750l water); I haven't been to a dock on my new and watermaker equipped one since December (well, once if fueling is considered dockage). A genset with watermaker is their dream and it would certainly be at the top of their list of items to get. One boat owner I met had the watermaker hooked up directly to the engine and thus got around having to put in a generator. Spectra makes a DC powered watermaker, the others are AC powered. Mine uses 10A at 230V, which would equate to a 2300W load or almost 20A DC; that kind of a load would need a very large battery bank to power for the several hours of operation required (the systems use a fresh-water flush after operating, so it makes sense to do one long run versus several short ones).

A washing machine and drier combo is a nice luxury, but it really sees duty for cleaning sheets, as everything else usually worn aboard can be quickly hand-washed in a bucket and hung out to dry. But as mentioned before, without a watermaker the washing machine is useless.
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Old 13-04-2009, 06:04   #29
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The water from my water maker tastes about the same as high quality bottled water. Much better than anything I have ever gotten from a tap. But, this assumes the water maker is functioning properly. I had one of the motors quit on me once. The water then had a slightly salty taste. Not undrinkable, but definitely not the quality we were used to. (We have a Spectra unit. A tip, it is not necessary to buy membranes from Spectra for most of their units! They can be had a LOT less expensively!)
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Old 13-04-2009, 15:59   #30
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I watermaker would save a lot of weight, important on a cat.

with filling tanks from different places, I would think some kind of good filter would be needed for drinking.
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