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Old 28-09-2010, 18:12   #1
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How Much Water ?

I just returned from a trip to the cabin.
Since I am paying attention to how many supplies everything takes these days, with a boat in mind, I was pleasantly surprised to see how little water I used up. Five days, five gallons. 4 gallons of water and a gallon of tea.
Is a gallon per person a day considered average usage?
How much for a single hander to stay out thirty days, to be safe and have a safety cushion?
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Old 28-09-2010, 18:30   #2
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I could probably get by on 2 gallons a day. I drink about a gallon here on the equator. Two or more showers per day, salt with fresh rinse. I seem to use more though. I go through 110g in under a month. Seems extraordinary. Singlehanding. It's really hot. I've not been especially careful recently as I've been close to harbors.

I could be more diligent collection rainwater. The bimini alone can collect 5 gallons in a squall. Now I just use the rainwater, collected in a pitcher, for Pastis and drinking.
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Old 28-09-2010, 20:56   #3
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It all depends on the temperature, the amount of work each individual is doing, the types of food you're eating, the type of kitchen and table ware you're using, and if you bathe or not.

I figure a minimum of 2 gallons/person/day on passage. Thats the minimum I keep, the watermaker takes care of excess. Thats minimal washing up, regular food, and frankly minimal exertion, in the temperate regions. In the tropics? 3 gallons a day.

I also plan on a passage taking twice as long as it should.

Now, in extremis, we could cut that down to 1 gallon or perhaps a bit less per day, but that would mean little to no washing up at all...,
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Old 28-09-2010, 22:39   #4
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A little added info:

I have 6 gallons in a jug as backup. In case a hose breaks and dumps the tanks into the bilge, or whatever.

And there is 2 gallons next to the ditch bag. And presumably more in the liferaft kit.

And there's a watermaker I suppose I could figure out, unpickle, and somehow make enough kilowatt hours of electricity for if I got desperate.

It's easier to just conserve, and away from port the seawater is so nice and clean for bathing and laundry.
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Old 29-09-2010, 00:55   #5
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............ and away from port the seawater is so nice and clean for bathing and laundry.

Just for myself, on the average I use around one quart a day for drink and food, in hot weather I'll use up to a gallon, then another gallon a day for dishes and such.

I have a pump that is hooked up with the motor inlet that goes to the kitchen sink. So most of the heavy rinsing is with saltwater and then i'll do a finish rinse with fresh water just to get the saltwater off.

As for laundry I'll rinse with fresh. Sea water always has little creatures. Once they die they start to decompose/rot making cloth stuff smell. And in the tropics, if the salt is still in the cloth it stays wet in high humidity.
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Old 29-09-2010, 01:21   #6
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A gallon of water per person, per day will be sufficient for cooking, drinking, and teeth brushing. Washing self, dishes, pots, clothes, flushing toilet, etc., would be in addition.
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Old 29-09-2010, 04:21   #7
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The sphere handbook is the bible as far as humanitarian aid is concerned. The basic premise is that Average water use for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene in any household is at least 15 litres per person per day.

This is further refined as:
the quantities of water needed for domestic use may vary according to the climate, the sanitation facilities available, people’s normal habits, their religious and cultural practices, the food they cook, the clothes they wear, and so on. Water consumption generally increases the nearer the water source is to the dwelling.
Simplified table of basic survival water needs
Survival needs: water intake (drinking and food)
2.5-3 litres per day
Depends on: the climate and individual physiology
Basic hygiene practices
2-6 litres per day
Depends on: social and cultural norms
Basic cooking needs
3-6 litres per day
Depends on: food type, social as well as cultural norms
Total basic water needs
7.5-15 litres per day


Note that this is per person!
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Old 29-09-2010, 07:47   #8
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The sphere handbook is the bible as far as humanitarian aid is concerned. The basic premise is that Average water use for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene in any household is at least 15 litres per person per day ...
Thanks for pointing us to Sphere!

Download the Sphere Handbook ➥ Sphere, Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response - Documents Database | Sphere Handbook

Read Sphere Handbook (2004 Edition) ➥ Sphere, Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response - Sphere Handbook

What’s new in the 2011 edition of the Sphere Handbook ➥ Sphere, Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response - Document details
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Old 29-09-2010, 08:44   #9
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What you need are vast quantities of Spray bottles!
One in each head, 2 at the kitchen sink, one in the cockpit for apres swiming.

Use as much fresh water as you like from Spray bottles. Because your hand falls off before your tank goes dry.

Have as many fresh water showers as you want! - as long as they are from the spray bottle!


The other thing to make fresh water last longer is to plumb salt water into the kitchen sink (or all sinks!). I wash dishes in salt and spray with fresh
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Old 29-09-2010, 08:56   #10
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Here:

1.5 liter per person (actual use, long term offshore in a minimalistic boat).

We will take only a small amt of overhead for short (up to 1000 miles) coastal trips. But we will take as much as we can carry for our crossings.

More is better (remember shower?). Huge tanks AND a watermaker a dream.

b.
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Old 29-09-2010, 13:42   #11
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Here: 1.5 liter per person (actual use, long term offshore in a minimalistic boat).b.
If that is in a hot climate you are risking a serious health problem.
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Old 29-09-2010, 14:09   #12
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If that is in a hot climate you are risking a serious health problem.
Oh really? So how come we have sailed RTW and we are still alive? In fact, I have been now getting ready for my first marathon ...

I think there may be relationship between body weight and how much water one needs. I am only 66 kg. Then there may be the issue of activity - I know they say it is a hard working day out there in the ocean but my sailing day is - sitting in the cockpit, reading and sleeping. Lastly, there can be the issue of the diet. Maybe meat-eaters need more than vegetarians?

Whatever the answers I have not seen any health issues in myself nor in my partner.

As I said in my post - more is better.

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Old 29-09-2010, 14:20   #13
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When we sailed to the Marquesas, the floor boards over the water tanks swelled so we couldn't get them up without destroying them. Without making any unusual effort to conserve water, we used less than a gallon a day. Still had water in a 40 gallon tank after more than 40 days when the floorboards finally dried enough to get them up and switch tanks.

In port, we'd go through a 40 tank in a week.

We had a salt water foot pump in the galley for things that didn't need freshwater. Freshwater was via foot pumps in the head and galley. We washed down in salt water and rinsed with fresh water. Took advantage of every passing shower to 'shower.' Once we got to an anchorage, spent so much time in the water that we didn't need to shower or rinse off.

If you have to take a freshwater shower every day and every time you jump in the ocean, use the pressure water system, and don't take minimal care to conserve water, you will need 5 gallons a day or more.
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Old 29-09-2010, 20:49   #14
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I did no fancy cooking, and when I am alone, I cook and eat out of the same container usually. Most of the time, cleaning it when I am done is not usually a big problem! I go 250, and I can hold my own with a knife and fork!
It was 90 one day, and it is a mile up hill to get to cell phone reception, and I average over 5 miles a day in the Ozark Ridge country, during the quiet lazy times. No real mountains, but very little flat anything, and it is all steep. I soak my clothes and such in those conditions. I don't perspire, I sweat!
I was kind of shocked when I was not pushed at all to stay at five gallons.
Does anyone make a commercial solar water still for desalination?
Shoot, I forgot four Capri Sun juice drink packets I had too. So five gallons and about 4 cups!
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Old 29-09-2010, 23:21   #15
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G'day, mate. We have averaged 4 gallons per person per day over our 12 years when living on the hook for all tasks, including keeping the boat washed down. We set out with the view that a key to making this lifestyle work long term that we had to avoid a "minimalistic" or "camping" approach to water usage. We have no regrets. Cheers.
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