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Old 21-04-2015, 11:33   #1
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Drinkingwater while cruising?

Hello everybody!
Me and my girlfriend are planning to circumnavigate the globe, which includes a bit of planning.

Anyhow, I am currently thinking about the water issue. I am currently thinking that 2x70L and a 200L watersack as a backup. What do people think about that? Is it enough? We will be crossing two big oceans and also try to avoid marinas and such to keep costs down.

I am also thinking about a watermaker as an additional backup. But I am also thinking that this will be used a bit of a last resort, not to generally filling the tanks, so the output can be minimal.

Do people have any recomendations of watermakers or drinkingwater solutions that they may have? What about a solar still?
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Old 21-04-2015, 11:52   #2
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Re: Drinkingwater while cruising?

Solar stills are generally oriented more toward life rafts, they tend to make very little water. You might want to check your proposed route and timing, and see what the meteorological records are for the places & seasons you will be there. If you are someplace in rainy season, cruisers used to catch rainwater before watermakers were affordable. You will be carrying 340L of water? At about 4L per person per day minimum, two of you, that's 42 days of water at the absolute best, and in tropical heat 4L would be optimistic. You might want to consider adding two more 100L collapsible "sacks" (easier to stow) and then relying on planning and choosing the right weather.
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Old 21-04-2015, 12:03   #3
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Re: Drinkingwater while cruising?

Hi-while I don't have an opinion of a safe size for water storage my tack is to have a Sawyer water purifier with bucket adapter. This will be used to purify the rain water from my hard bimini for drinking.
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Old 21-04-2015, 12:27   #4
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Re: Drinkingwater while cruising?

If my math is correct converted with the 2X70Liters and a 200Liter back up that's a capacity of 88 gallons. That's a bit anemic for a RTW cruise in my opinion. Forget a solar still for consistent re-supplying of your tanks. It's not practical. Keep one in your ditch bag. Relying on a water catchment syystem is a bit dicey, it always rains when you tanks are full and it seems it is always sunny when they are empty. Of course you can always buy water but then there's that finding marinas or ports where there is a free spigot and hauling water. Give us a little more information on the boat itself. How big is your boat? How do you generate power? How much water a day do you anticipate both of you will be using? Though watermakers can be expensive, they give you a great amount of freedom in a route that is not determined by where you need to find the next watering spot.

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Old 21-04-2015, 16:26   #5
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Re: Drinkingwater while cruising?

thebigblueroad,

You will get many comments on this issue. You will find that most people will tell you you need more water than I will. Jim and I cruised the South Pacific in a boat that held 25 gallons (roughly 95 liters). We captured rain water, jerry jugged it (and treated it with bleach to kill the critters in it, which we then filtered out the chlorine with a charcoal filter), and we carried about 20 liters in a separate jug for emergencies. We used salt water to pre-wash dishes. We washed in salt water, with a fresh water rinse off, and we saved up our laundry till we got to a place where there was water to bucket wash them in. We were younger then. But it is definitely doable. We used about 2 liters per day per person of fresh water. As you are more cold acclimatized, you should budget an additional liter per day per person for latitudes 20 N through 20 S, and that should see you through. It did for us, but we did catch rain whenever we could, and that is not included--it wasn't measured. We also kept a 20 l. sunshower that we used for showering, but of course, we had to make it last.

What this was not, was the 2 showers per day, use the 20 gal/hr watermaker for laundry king of cruising. It might feel like privation to you to do as we did. You and the GF will be well served by talking out this issue.

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Old 21-04-2015, 16:47   #6
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Re: Drinkingwater while cruising?

I can be done, I did it when young with about 40 gals water. You will spend a lot of time jerry canning water whenever you see it available, and every chance you get.
But only you can decide. We could make 40 gallons last about a week.
A watermaker really simplifies things, depending on your whole boat/electrical plan.
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Old 22-04-2015, 06:26   #7
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Re: Drinkingwater while cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
We used about 2 liters per day per person of fresh water.
At first I was thinking, WHAT!?! Then I read this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
...we did catch rain whenever we could, and that is not included--it wasn't measured.
Ah! Okay. Then it makes sense.

It is generally accepted that, for long-term health, a human needs a minimum of about 3 liters of liquids per day. Obviously you can get by on much, much less for short periods of time. In the long run, though, the health effects of drinking less will catch up with you.
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Old 22-04-2015, 07:58   #8
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Re: Drinkingwater while cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hurricanehole View Post
Hi-while I don't have an opinion of a safe size for water storage my tack is to have a Sawyer water purifier with bucket adapter. This will be used to purify the rain water from my hard bimini for drinking.
Purify rain water?
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Old 22-04-2015, 08:32   #9
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Re: Drinkingwater while cruising?

Watermakers are a popular and regular topic on the forum.

Here is a Google Custom Search on the topic of "watermaker"
watermaker - Google Search
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Old 22-04-2015, 08:33   #10
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Re: Drinkingwater while cruising?

You can catch more water than you'll know what to do with from your mainsail. Just need to figure out how to collect that at either end of the boom. Some people also use modelling clay to build dams around a water tank fill, to collect rain water from the deck.

The only purification it will really need is let it run for a while before you start collecting. This is to wash off salt etc.
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Old 22-04-2015, 08:35   #11
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Re: Drinkingwater while cruising?

I just put a watermaker on a 27fter (the Spectra Cape Horn Extreme). It takes up a lot of space and wasn't cheap, but the freedom of having excellent quality water on demand anywhere in the world is very appealing.

If you are or will be refitting the boat, it's a great time to decide the watermaker issue. Mine would have been very difficult to fit if the boat wasn't already torn apart.
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Old 22-04-2015, 09:19   #12
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Re: Drinkingwater while cruising?

+1 on configuring the deck for rain water. I once had a boat with a toe rail all around and deck drains. There was a valve on the deck drains below deck. When it rained, I waited 5 minutes for the deck to get washed off and then switched the valve to fill a "rain" tank. There was a big (1.5" diameter hose) into the tank because the rush of water was astonishing. One downpour could put 100 gallons in the tank in 15 minutes.

After the storm, the water was pumped through a filter to the drinking water tank (with a tiny bit of bleach added). I used inexpensive pool chlorine test strips to keep the drinking water at a 1ppm (much lower than a pool) chlorine level. For taste, we would then filter the chlorine out at a drinking water spigot. Truly the best tasting water I've ever had.

This was much better quality water than from a marina - even most in the US. In the Bahamas, water at a marina costs $0.30-$0.50 a gallon.

Poly plastic water tanks are very inexpensive. Try farm supply and RV shops. I'd buy an extra tank or two so you don't have to use marina water at all.

Getting a watermaker for "last resort" is not a great idea. If you aren't going to run it every day, you need to use 3-5 gallons of your water for a fresh water flush after every use and once a week. For best membrane life, a watermaker should be run a couple of hours every few days even with the flush.
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Old 22-04-2015, 11:03   #13
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Re: Drinkingwater while cruising?

My thoughts on catching rain water.
This depends. Right now as I look out my window it is raining steady, a great time if you rely on rain to fill your tanks. I also see out the same window my neighbors lawns that are for the most part brown and weeding as we just went through about two months of beauitiful S. Florida sunny tropical weather without any rain. This of course was during the sailing season which is winding down as the Hurricane season approaches. Catching rain is area and season specific. I have no problem with rain catchment systems as I had them on my boats. But collecting water this way is sporadic at best and possibly non existent when you need it and counting on it to circumnavigate the world is a roll of the dice and should only be considered a occasional supplement. When I was as young as the OP and sailing under 30' sail boats I made due with a lot less as well, canned beans, 48quart coolers, Coleman porta potties, 5hp Sea Gulls, Yo Yo fishing, etc. Can it be done? Absolutely. But there's a big difference between rough camping and the old geezers required comforts. More abundant water goes a long way in making a RTW trip what it should be. Also, I would seriously advise an after tank filtering system for anybody considering rain catchments. Rain is not always as pure in some areas as in others and decks and sails are not always washed as clean as you think by big rains.

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Old 22-04-2015, 11:12   #14
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Re: Drinkingwater while cruising?

One thing I forgot in yesterdays post, when we did it, people weren't so concerned about you coming ashore and taking water from their spigot. That seems a bit different now.... at least that's my perception....
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Old 22-04-2015, 13:09   #15
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Re: Drinkingwater while cruising?

I have a little limited internet 8sailing) do a search on CF for this thread

Which watermaker to choose

4-500 posts will tell you everything you need to know

Persoanlly I wouldn't attempt an RTW without a watermaker
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