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Old 20-04-2008, 22:32   #16
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Ok Tellie, you made me chuckel. Not at you. At the idea that my years make me an expert on other peoples water usage. Boating is a lot about opinions. Well, this started out on a boating forum, so it's fair game.

I believe I read a few years ago that the average monthly budget needed to cruise was aprox $1,200/mo. I'd hate to see the high end of that curve. I spend a lot less than that. A dockmate once said to me that alcohol really drove that average up.

On my planet, my wife and I lived aboard our 36 ft sloop for 4 years. The boat used to have 120 gallon water storage. I sacrificed the forward tank (the top came loose anyway) for storage and opted to go with the previously mentioned tiny watermaker, which weighs less than the water in that tank. But my real point is, that with the 40 gallon capacity remaining, we would fill the tanks once a week or there abouts. Granted, we were in a marina and our showers and laundry were done there. (So... I cheat a little here). But seriously. the numbers you point out don't relate to what Canibul has recorded over a 2 year period.

But to be fair, don't know how many in the Canibul household, and don't know if his 150-170/day is all health and welfare or just what. So the numbers can go either direction. I just know that some things (and/or people) drive averages a long way from what CAN be done. We Americans are wasteful people. CONSUMERS is a word well used on us. Don't worry. I'm not going to fall off my soap box. I have this rope around my neck to save me.

In January I set sail from Los Angeles Harbor to La Paz Mexico. 3 aboard for 10 days. 3 stops along the way. At each one, everybody enjoyed a shower. Never emptied my 40 gallons on the boat. Simply ran the water maker to top off the tanks when the engine was running. So I have no real usage numbers to throw in here.
Bottom line... Don't know, Don't care. Had a good time.

Then I had to jump on a plane and come here. They have been in a drought for 6 years. Thanx to their water problems, I have work.

I'm trying to be funny here. Hope it comes out that way.
Don
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Old 20-04-2008, 22:47   #17
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Testing.

I responded to Tellie here, but don't see it. Copy pasted it again, see my name as the last entry, but still don't see it.
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Old 21-04-2008, 05:46   #18
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Hi Don

I like your humor. With my humor I'll borrow that soapbox on a rope thing for sure.
I know this has drifted somewhat away from strickly boating but the watermaker thing right now has my interest because as I said earlier I'm attempting to build my own now. In fact I'll be on my way to the boat in a few hours to get one last measurement for the engine bracket to mount the pump. I'm shooting for a monthly cruising budget of $1,500 but hope to keep it well below your figure of $1,200 as well. I'm not a big booze drinker so that cost will be next to nill. As far as water usage on my boat I admit we are bit more consumption hogs, though we can be frugal when needed. We have all the water saving gizmos, solar shower bags, Ortho 3gal. hand pump for shower rinse, several quart sized hand pumps painted black for hot water dish rinsing, etc. I have 200 gal capacity on my boat and can average about 40 to 50 gallons a week usage as well so I'm right about where you are on consumption if need be. Reading many threads and boards on WMs I seem to get the impression that the larger percentage of boaters prefer 12v models as opposed to engine driven units. I don't know if space is really an issue. With a homemade WM you could spread the parts out a bit making more efficent use of space. Then there are the power needs. If one has large alternators, wind generators, solar panels and of course the Amp capacity it seems to work, but huge expenses on top of an already expensive readymade WM. If we remain frugal all the time I could envision a 12v unit like you describe. But here's the thing, why be that frugal? When we talk other things like fuel and Amps for example, I have a limited suppy forced on me because of tank and battery bank size, so frugality is apparent. So I have to adjust my needs around capacity. But a engine driven WM can eliminate that adjustamental need. As to your comment about Americans being wasteful I agree. But help me out here, and I'm not being a smartazz, how is making all the water you could use from a RO system on a boat wasteful? But back to Canibul, his situation double fascinates me because I many times dream of having a home totally off the grid as well. A bit impossible where I live in S. Florida. The neighbors have no appreciation at all for backyard water towers, large solar arrays, numerous spinning wind generators and hydroponic gardens. Sorry I tend to get wordy and drift. You should hear me when I do drink...........maybe not.
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Old 21-04-2008, 07:03   #19
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Ah, so many questions...and life is about looking for answers.
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Old 22-04-2008, 14:53   #20
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Tellie,

I have no "bulls eye" response to your comment-"how is making all the water you could use from a RO system on a boat wasteful?" I only fall back on, bigger isn't alway better. I suppose if you have the tankage, footprint and capital to spend on the unit and can actually use enough water, then go for it. But to have a big unit that has short runs... not so good.

I have solar panels and more batterys than most boats my size, so I am "wasteful" in other areas I think. I'm also married to a woman 22 years younger than me... because I can.
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Old 22-04-2008, 17:04   #21
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Hey, my second wife was 14 years younger, but my third one is only 9 years younger. Guess I slowed down a little.

This whole solar vs power company vs RO thing is driving me nuts. No matter which way I look at it, solar power and an RO just doesnt make financial sense for a house.

It's just cheaper to truck the water in at 6 cents a gallon. dammit.
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Old 22-04-2008, 19:42   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Anderson View Post
Tellie,

I have no "bulls eye" response to your comment-"how is making all the water you could use from a RO system on a boat wasteful?" I only fall back on, bigger isn't alway better. I suppose if you have the tankage, footprint and capital to spend on the unit and can actually use enough water, then go for it. But to have a big unit that has short runs... not so good.

I have solar panels and more batterys than most boats my size, so I am "wasteful" in other areas I think. I'm also married to a woman 22 years younger than me... because I can.

22 years younger????? Man, I really do BOW to you!!!!!

Yeah the short run thing has me concerned as well. Believe me I'm taking your advice seriously. I'm figuring the two parts that would most likely fail are the pump and membranes. Both of which are easy enough to replace aside from the cost. Here's another twist I'll throw at you. I'm considering in the over all cost of maintenace the pump as a disposable item anyway. The good stainless steel pumps are now well over a grand and a head rebuild kit away from home port is gonna be at least 300 to 400 dollars. I'm going with a new bronze head CAT with stainless sleeves for a little over 300 dollars plus a second one for a spare. If I can get two years out of each pump I figure I'll be ahead by the time I'd have to rebuild a SS one. I'm running 240 watts of panels to a house bank of 400Amps. I'm cramped for space right now with my daughter sailing with us so I don't have room for more batteries. I'd like to double that capacity when she's off to college in two years or so. I might then consider converting to a 12V WM.
Just as an aside, my wife reads these forums as well, so to cover my self for the first line.......I LOVE YA BABE Your the only one for me.
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Old 25-04-2008, 16:49   #23
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Canibul,

I assume you are seperating out your grey water from sewage and using the greywater for irrigation. Also, I assume you are using saltwater for tolet flushes. If so, it will lower the freshwater consumption considerably.
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Old 25-04-2008, 17:36   #24
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We got one of them high tech septic things, with a bubbler etc. No leech field, none of that. Its all done in one tank. All the water goes into the septic, and all the waste is eaten and only water comes out. Pretty cool. I opened up the gray water tank a couple days ago to check it...and it's full of water. Doesn't even stink. Amazing, really. The water does go into a 1500 gallon storage tank, which will eventually be hooked up for irrigation.

So, no, we don't use salt water in the septic. Would mess up the whole system. But we do have these fancy toilets that only use a gallon per flush. Uses pressure. Pretty neat, but the sound takes some getting used to. ITs like a blast from a fire hose.
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Old 26-04-2008, 16:55   #25
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Hey Canibul, ya got a website for "one of them high tech septic things"?
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Old 26-04-2008, 19:15   #26
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Yep, I do. In fact, I have info on just about everything we chose when designing this house. And we did a lot of research. We tried to be as smart about it as we could afford. Building in a place like this has been an...uh....adventure.

The septic is actually called an ATU, Aerobic Treatment Unit.( see I tole ya it was high tech) by Delta Environmental. We have their " Whitewater" model...and you can see some of the options at:

Delta Environmental Products - Ecological Solutions for our Future

There are several studies, govt. approvals, environmental writeups etc. online, if you do a search for "Delta Environmental Whitewater ATU"

They are very common here.
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Old 26-04-2008, 20:21   #27
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Thanks for the site, real interesting stuff, I know they make a boat toilet that operates on the same principal. I was just reading some of your website and read the hole saw story. Thanks for the laugh! Cheap tools are always more expensive than the good ones once you factor in the cost of both. You're the first guy I ever knew that sharpened one, but the mother of invention thing I suppose. Thanks again for the site.
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Old 27-04-2008, 05:29   #28
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Sharpening it wasn't all that bad, once I got the angle right. Once again, those little carbide discs in a Dremel saved the day. You just hold the angle more or less steady and do every other tooth one way. Then you figure out the angle to hold the tool at and do the alternating teeth the other way. And you absolutely HAVE to have some McGyver blood if you are going to get things done down here in the Land of MakeDoo...

This past few days I have been installing a whole house water filter and UV sterilizer between the cistern and the plumbing. I had to go to three different stores to get the PVC pieces I needed. Just an example.

You are right about cheap tools. I am just about to the point where I will refuse to buy anything that says "Made in China" on it. And I don't give a rat's ass if they sue me over it or not.

Can you believe those guys? Suing an American Network for 1.2 billion bucks for calling their government thugs or whatever?
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