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Old 27-01-2010, 20:52   #16
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what about the damage of salt water on the sinks, pot & pans, etc? No corrosion issues to worry about?
Wash in sea water, rinse with fresh water.
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Old 30-01-2010, 15:25   #17
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what about the damage of salt water on the sinks, pot & pans, etc? No corrosion issues to worry about?
This is exactly why I have temporarily removed the saltwater tap from my galley. The big problem for me is that I only have a small holding tank, which often overflows into the steel hull. This part of the hull would not usually be exposed to saltwater and as you note this is a corrosion concern. Getting rid of the saltwater tap also gave me a bit more usable bench/sink space. If funds ever allow my plan is to attach the saltwater seacock to a water maker.

Given the low freeboard on the boat it is just as easy for me to get a bucket with rope and use the saltwater in the cockpit. As I commented above, I also have a smaller bucket in the sink as a 2 stage method of catching any excess freshwater.
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Old 15-03-2010, 03:46   #18
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Maybe the practice of boiling salt water before use is inspired by some of the diseases fresh and maybe even brackish water can carry? For instance, a good way to contract Hep A is to eat uncooked food on a Nile River cruise where the fruit/salad has been washed in the untreated river water? Ice is a similar hazard.
Hence a definite reason to be vaccinated against typhoid, cholera, Hep A & B. Pity there is no vax for Hep E ( a cause of epidemic gastroentetritis). Not endorsing using suspect water but it is always a good idea to improve your chances. Dead body germs = DON'T GO THERE
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Old 15-03-2010, 06:44   #19
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Hence a definite reason to be vaccinated against typhoid, cholera, Hep A & B. Pity there is no vax for Hep E ( a cause of epidemic gastroentetritis). Not endorsing using suspect water but it is always a good idea to improve your chances. Dead body germs = DON'T GO THERE
Well I am just glad that we are not limiting the discussion to a certain Coral Sea island. Likewise, it is nice to discuss real issues that might confront the cruising sailor in isolated and/or “third world” regions. Although many of the diseases you have listed are life threatening if not fatal, they are a nice break compared to the epidemic of Hep C I have noticed onshore. Interestingly, I have always admired how Sea Captains and even the Cook needed a decent knowledge of medicine, disease and anatomy. Lucky also that my GP is a travel specialist!
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Old 15-03-2010, 10:46   #20
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The only reason to use seawater for anything aboard a boat is that you don't have enough fresh water or can't afford it. The rest is all negative, up to the point that it might cost you more than using RO for starters.

I only use salt water for cooling the engine, generator and condenser of the A/C, plus as a feed to the RO system. No, there's one more: deck-wash that is only used for rinsing the chain and anchor when it comes up.

Rinsing decks, flushing toilets, doing dishes, cooking, drinking, showering etc. etc. are all better with fresh water. I can go into a long list of reasons but think everyone can come up with enough of them without my list.

So it comes down to the cost of the watermaker and the cost of powering it. If you only sails weekends/holidays you would be mad to buy a watermaker. If you live aboard and away from docks it makes a lot of sense.

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Old 15-03-2010, 11:08   #21
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If you are planning on going far a field or offshore I believe having a supply of sea water in the galley for the initial wash and cooking pasta to be great insurance and a big cost saver. Not many down sides that I can see (as long as the dishes get rinsed with a little bit of fresh water.)

We have a water maker, but for going offshore it is important to conserve fresh water and not rely 100% on a piece of equipment that can fail. Also diesel will be saved by conserving water (if the water is created by a diesel gen). (Keep the tanks full while the water maker is working
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Old 15-03-2010, 12:03   #22
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Nevertheless, it does show that it is fine to consume controlled amounts of ocean seawater even for drinking.
Chichester drank small amounts of pure sea water daily, up to a half glass at times, to replace the electrolites lost to sweat during at least one of his voyages. He writes about it in "Gipsy Moth Circles the World".
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Old 15-03-2010, 13:26   #23
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Hi LuvToSail,

Okay, so I need to state arguments ;-) Let me start with this one then: pressurized (pumped) salt water can sink your boat. When you pump fresh water, you can only end up with the contents of your tanks in the bilge.... much safer than trying to put all the ocean's water in there.

That's just one argument contra salt water. One more noticeable is the horrible smell from decaying organic matter every time you use it after a day or so of no use... plus the risks to health that come with still dying sea water. And the extra plumbing, hoses, pumps, pressure switch etc. etc.

If you use it for consumption that is fine as long as you understand that you are eating more than you think, like plankton and much worse. It should be dead after cooking but then there's the risk of chemicals if the source wasn't as clean as you thought etc.

I you need sea water for doing the dishes it's better to get a bucket of it and put that in the sink. Keep it safe and simple.

With RO, try to keep the minimum needed for making port in the tanks... make what you need every day or every other day. If you make water while using the engine or genset for something else, it is gonna cost very little extra to make water and the watermaker is better off when you use it as much as possible. My membranes are in year 7 now.
Another tip to save energy (=money): try to use power directly from a source other than the batteries, like solar panels, wind generator, alternator or genset/charger. You skip the charge/discharge inefficiencies of the batteries that way.
If you use your genset for the watermaker wisely, the amount of gallons you can make out of 1 gallon of diesel is enormous (200-300).

cheers,
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Old 15-03-2010, 13:35   #24
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The only reason to use seawater for anything aboard a boat is that you don't have enough fresh water or can't afford it. The rest is all negative, up to the point that it might cost you more than using RO for starters.

I only use salt water for cooling the engine, generator and condenser of the A/C, plus as a feed to the RO system. No, there's one more: deck-wash that is only used for rinsing the chain and anchor when it comes up.

Rinsing decks, flushing toilets, doing dishes, cooking, drinking, showering etc. etc. are all better with fresh water. I can go into a long list of reasons but think everyone can come up with enough of them without my list.

So it comes down to the cost of the watermaker and the cost of powering it. If you only sails weekends/holidays you would be mad to buy a watermaker. If you live aboard and away from docks it makes a lot of sense.

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Easy for you to say, being the owner of a Sundeer 64 I sense money ain't an object

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Old 15-03-2010, 13:41   #25
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Easy for you to say, being the owner of a Sundeer 64 I sense money ain't an object

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Old 15-03-2010, 13:57   #26
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Old 15-03-2010, 14:04   #27
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Easy for you to say, being the owner of a Sundeer 64 I sense money ain't an object
Well, no one gave me any money and I can't think of more unpleasant things to go through to get it than what I had to do (work 'till you drop), so I sure object to spending money on stuff I don't need. I'm also Dutch, need I say more? ;-)

Our watermaker paid for itself many many times. I mean that if I wouldn't have had one over the past 7 years, it would have cost me much more money than the investment in the watermaker. This is like with many things, where in the end, people who can't bring up the upfront investment end up spending more money than the ones who can a couple of years down the line.

This might be hard to imagine when you have a slip in your home marina.... but when you go out there, you get to places where they will charge you a 1-night slip fee if you come in for water, even if you only want to stay 1 hour. Or they might charge you anywhere between 4 and 10 cents per liter (say 30 cents per gallon) on the fuel dock or the faucet ashore, like in the ABC's where all water is RO water. Saving a couple hundred dollars per year by not paying anything to anyone for water is much easier then you might think.
I invested $4,200 in my watermaker so after 7 years I am down to $600 per year. I'll need to replace the membranes soon but even with that I am sure I will be around $350 per year before ever the thought of replacing the watermaker with a new one comes up. You can do much worse investments!

But like I said, not having enough money is the sole reason for using seawater inside the boat for things other than the ones I listed (and some of those could be dealt with in other ways).

cheers,
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Old 15-03-2010, 14:05   #28
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Tellie: sorry to have kept you waiting... took some time to write the reply... hope you're not out of your popcorn yet! ;-))

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Old 15-03-2010, 14:17   #29
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If corrosion is a worry, your using the wrong equipment. We had salt water to the galley and used it for cooking, usually diluted, and doing the dishes, etc. The few times we were in a crowded harbor, we didn't use it but did in all of the uncrowded anchorages. Salt water is toxic to most of the human pathogens so not a source of disease in most cases. There are some nasties that live in salt water but we never had a problem.

The biggest water saver for us was disconnecting the pressure water system and only using the foot pumps. Pressure water systems are water hogs. We easily cut our water usage in half without suffering any hardship.

We used salt water for everything but drinking and a fresh water rinse after bathing. Water usage was something around a gallon a day for the two of us. Easy to do in the tropics since we spent so much time in the ocean.

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Old 15-03-2010, 14:21   #30
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Whatever happened to harnessing rain water? Not dependable, I understand that, but before RO sea water and rainwater was where the action was at.
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