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Old 15-10-2015, 13:12   #1
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Water maker or not?

How do people on a sailboat or small Cat. stay clean without fresh non salt water? I see a lot of cruisers without a water maker.

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Old 15-10-2015, 13:31   #2
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Water maker or not?

I was going to answer with something silly like,"We just don't get dirty. We don't sweat we just glow." But I thought better of it so I won't be sarcastic today.

Bathe in salt water and rinse in fresh. It is surprising how little water you need for a sponge bath. If that isn't enough and you can't carry enough to meet your needs between fill ups then you need a water maker and the electric energy to run it.


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Old 15-10-2015, 13:42   #3
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Re: Water maker or not?

Between the two of us we can shower with the garden sprayer and use less than most days but a touch more than a gallon of water per day on others for showers.

We do have a small (Katadyne 40e) watermaker mostly for drinking water and cooking, but have discovered that our needs are modest enough that it will cover our use.


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Old 15-10-2015, 13:55   #4
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Re: Water maker or not?

Wet wipe showers


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Old 15-10-2015, 14:33   #5
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Re: Water maker or not?

I have dry camped with wet wipes. I agree they really help keeping clean. But even dry camping I have limited access to garbage can when I go into town. I guess that will be a separate question as to where all the garbage goes.

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Old 15-10-2015, 14:36   #6
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Re: Water maker or not?

Vacuum bagging works well


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Old 15-10-2015, 14:57   #7
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Re: Water maker or not?

A friend cruised from BC to MX a few years ago and reported:

The watermaker was a great investment. I've seen the other side - people buying their water in 5 gallon jugs and trying to sneak in a little shampoo as they steal a beachside shower from a resort. It doesn't look like fun. We love the watermaker.
Capacity is important. The cheaper low volume Katadyne units have to run forever to make enough water. Something in the 150 gpd range is much better. We have a Spectra unit.


They sold it when they returned for 85% of what they paid for it.
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Old 15-10-2015, 15:31   #8
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Re: Water maker or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
A friend cruised from BC to MX a few years ago and reported:

The watermaker was a great investment. I've seen the other side - people buying their water in 5 gallon jugs and trying to sneak in a little shampoo as they steal a beachside shower from a resort. It doesn't look like fun. We love the watermaker.
Capacity is important. The cheaper low volume Katadyne units have to run forever to make enough water. Something in the 150 gpd range is much better. We have a Spectra unit.


They sold it when they returned for 85% of what they paid for it.

I'm glad you said that. When I tell people that a Spectra holds a very nice resale value of course I understand that it comes across biased. But it's true. I have a ten year old Spectra 180 that I just sold for an owner who upgraded to a larger unit for $2,200. That's more than a third of what it cost originally. It's very hard to find a second hand Spectra for the most part.

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Old 15-10-2015, 15:51   #9
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Re: Water maker or not?

But what of the cost benefit analysis? Water makers are not cheap and there is maintenance too. Does the convenience out weigh the cost?

Im actually very pro water maker. But my BF is not. I would like to give him solid answers as to why a water is maker is better.

We will seldom use a marina and so lug water we will! That does not sound like fun to me! And, as I understand it, water is not very cheap everywhere either. So it will "cost" in time, energy expenditure and financially too. But are these arguments realistic justifications for a water maker?
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Old 15-10-2015, 16:02   #10
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Re: Water maker or not?

First off if you want a water maker and can afford it then you should. But it is not a good excuse that you can not get clean because of bathing in salt water. If you bath in salt water, with a good soap like Joy, you can get very clean and when you are done playing in the warm salt water, you just take a fluffy towel and wipe the salt water off. Where you would get too much salt on your skin to be comfortable, If you let it dry right on your skin. When you wipe it off you will get about 94 % of the salt with it. I went 10 years, at 6 months a year with out a pure water bath. I never was uncomfortable once from salt on my skin. Oh while I was doing this I had long red hair and a long beard. Mac
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Old 15-10-2015, 16:04   #11
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Re: Water maker or not?

The "cost/benefit" question is non-sensical when it come to a water maker. There is a cost and a benefit, but not a ratio or tradeoff between the two. On paper, they will never make sense, but have your BF lug water for a while (and be sure you do not go down the Wet Wipe or the "allowed two sprits from a spray bottle" routes) , and see what he says then.

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Old 15-10-2015, 16:08   #12
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Re: Water maker or not?

That is kinda what I need to know. I have stayed on my current boat several times at 7 - 10 days at a time but on fresh water lakes. It was easy to stay clean. So it is the same in salt water it sounds like...good.

Is it the same for clothing. Just rinse in the salt water?

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Old 15-10-2015, 16:09   #13
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Re: Water maker or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hard Rock Candy View Post
you just take a fluffy towel and wipe the salt water off.
Does this big fluffy towel magically clean itself, or does it become pretty rank quickly? How much fresh water is used to clean such a towel, and how often does it need to be cleaned?

We have tried this route (so I know the answers to the above). It is an old meme continually passed down, but in our experience, the people still clinging to it do so because they want it to be true.

BTW, I bet when you had long red hair and a long beard, you were also a lot younger? My younger self used to backpack for weeks in hygiene conditions that were passable, but no longer interesting to me now.

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Old 15-10-2015, 16:13   #14
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Re: Water maker or not?

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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
That is kinda what I need to know. I have stayed on my current boat several times at 7 - 10 days at a time but on fresh water lakes. It was easy to stay clean. So it is the same in salt water it sounds like...good.

Is it the same for clothing. Just rinse in the salt water?

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If you rinse your clothing in salt water, you will have skin and smell problems like you have never experienced.

Half of my boating experience has been in the Great Lakes and half in the Ocean. Boy do I miss the ease of boat maintenance, personal hygiene, clothes washing, dish cleaning, etc of fresh water.

Salt water is evil in all ways - except for the fishing and diving is more interesting.

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Old 15-10-2015, 16:56   #15
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Re: Water maker or not?

I can only imagine what not having an almost inexhaustible supply of fresh water would do to my love life
I did the Baby wipe thing in the Army, I can remember sitting down to eat one day in the Desert and kept smelling a bad smell, I couldn't find it at first, then realized I was the source of the smell.
Never again, I've promised the better half, a nearly endless supply of both water and power, I'm only going to get one chance to do this, I do not want to camp and she has never liked camping. I don't want to be a water Nazi, and I assure you she doesn't want that either. I'm too old to "hump" water 5 gls at a time back to the boat.
Now if I were younger and this was a break in our life sort of thing with the expectation that is was to be only for awhile, then that is completely different, but we are old, this is our Retirement, and I want to do it until I no longer want to or no longer can.
Beside if I "make" it, I'm sure of it's quality and it's cleanliness and lack of things and "stuff" I may not want to drink, I'm not so sure necessarily how potable all the water is out there.


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