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Old 01-04-2014, 04:45   #1
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How much drinking water across the Pacific?

I'm planning on departing for a trip from Hawaii to Tahiti in a month, first big sail in my Cal 39, and am curious what people think about provisioning water.

We'll be 3 people and I'm guessing 20 days in the deep blue with no fresh water available anywhere on the way.

Note: I have an old Pur 40E water-maker, but I have not used it enough to trust it fully yet. It does produce nice tasting water, but only about a quart an hour and it sucks down electricity. I still have quite a bit of testing to do, solar to install, and a few other projects before departure. So for this thought experiment let's assume I don't have a water-maker.

Details at http://adamrbecker.com/Tahiti
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:31   #2
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Re: How much drinking water across the Pacific?

How much water do your tanks hold? Do you have a rain catcher?
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:39   #3
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Re: How much drinking water across the Pacific?

we carried 100 liters in containers under the saloon table,on a trip from hawaii to tuvalu for 3 of us,plus 300 liters in the tanks.

more than enough,arrived in tuvalu with virtually full tanks after a few rain squalls
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:37   #4
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Re: How much drinking water across the Pacific?

Water is something that is hard to have too much of, and having separate containers is a good idea too as all your eggs in one basket may not be good.
I'd like to have a min. of a gallon a day per person, some people will say that's too much, but you know, stuff happens. So a gallon per day per person is 3 gl a day, round that up to five a day and you should have water to waste, which is what you want.
Last thing you want to have to do is be half way there, calculating how much water rationing your going to have to do to make it.
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:43   #5
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Re: How much drinking water across the Pacific?

Before the watermaker our boat held 80 US gallons (well, it still does at the start of a passage) and that was sufficient for a crew of 4 for about 4 weeks. No bathing unless it rains, that's water only for drinking and cooking. Washing dishes in salt water. You get the picture.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:02   #6
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Re: How much drinking water across the Pacific?

Oh perfect. I have a 70 gallon water tank, a 30 gallon emergency water tank (both built in) plus the water maker.

I'm worried about contaminating the 70 gallon tank with rain water, but I have some collapsible 5 gallon water jugs for later on down the trip if we need it.

Thanks for the first-person knowledge, atoll! I'm more confident we won't die of thirst out there now.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:07   #7
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Re: How much drinking water across the Pacific?

On my first offshore passage, four crew used less than 35 gallons of fresh water on an 11-1/2 day passage. That's less than 3 liters per day per person. The skipper was a Water Nazi. Wouldn't even let us use fresh water to brush our teeth!
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:56   #8
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Re: How much drinking water across the Pacific?

You will have plenty of fresh water if you use salt for washing up and showers. Put spray bottle with fresh for hands and rinsing and turn off the fresh water pump. Only use water for drinking and cooking and when cooking rice and pasta limit the water to boil.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:57   #9
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Re: How much drinking water across the Pacific?

On a 35 day passage with 3 people onboard we carried 150 gallons in 3 tanks plus 25 gallons in jerry jugs. This was way overkill as we ended up using about 40 gallons from our tanks for drinking and 4 jerry jugs for showers and laundry. We found that we did not need to drink much as we absorbed most of our moisture through our skin from our clothes and bedding. We topped up once, a few days out, with rainwater and have a salt water spigot in the galley for dishes. Don't worry about contaminating the tanks with rainwater. People have been drinking rainwater for millenia with no ill effects. Just add a little bleach and it will be fine.
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:26   #10
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Re: How much drinking water across the Pacific?

My first long passage (24 days) , 2 of us left with about 45 gallons, and arrived with close to half of it. We were way too frugal with water, and I think that I was beginning to feel the effects of dehydration by the end of the passage. I always stayed better hydrated on later passages. I didnt do very well with catching rain water, so for later passages I built a small, (quick to put up) rain catching awning that worked better than trying to catch the run off from the mainsail. Your decks are the best rain catcher, but if you are pounding to weather with spray drenching them, you cant get clean water. The answer to that is to heave too, if there is a big squall, and let the decks rinse before you open the deck fills. For a dam, I just used a clean towel. I did this often on later boats and it is amazing how much water you can catch in an hour long squall. It doesnt hurt to be hove too for an hour. On another note, If you are going south from Hawaii, I would highly recommend pointing a little higher to get to the Marquesas, and see a part of the world that very few people ever get to visit. I loved Tahiti, but Tahiti probably has 100 tourist for every tourist in the Marquesas. From there it is an easy down wind run to Tahiti. Have a great time. ______Grant.
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