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Old 24-09-2009, 15:35   #1
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Water Consumption

Looking forward to Bahamas cruising. We're a couple in a 42' boat. We don't need long showers every day but will want to live 'civilized'.

How much water per day should we expect to need over a 3 to 5 month period? Can it easily be done with less than 5 gallons per day?

We'll need drinking water, dish washing and shower rinse after an ocean bath, at a minimum.
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Old 24-09-2009, 15:43   #2
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We have a shower every day (not like the ones you have at home, just one sinkfull each) and average 6 gallons per day. We do not wash dishes or anything in salt water. Contrary to what you might hear, water is easy to get in the Bahamas. Our tankage is 130 gallons and we never have a problem. Take lots of jerry jugs because you'll probably be lugging water, and a few jugs stored on deck doesn't hurt.
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Old 24-09-2009, 15:52   #3
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Hi Rick

Water's easy to get, but at what price? I've heard the only place with free water is Andros.

We have about 150 gallons tankage and a watermaker. I'm trying to figure out the whole power consumption thing and use of a watermaker. If I only need to run the 6gph watermaker every few days, then that's less genset runtime. Puts a bigger onus on solar & wind for everything else.

thanks
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Old 24-09-2009, 16:35   #4
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FWIW:

Over the past 20+ years of full time cruising, Ann and I have averaged just on 10 litres per day water consumption. This includes drinking, dishwashing (the biggest use), personal washing (very short showers every couple of days, or fresh water rinses after swimming), but not laundry which we tend to do when shore water sources or laundromats are available. This consumption rate is our normal lifestyle, and by paying attention one can do better.

Our previous boat had but 170 litres tankage, and yet we managed 20 day passages from Mexico to the Marquesas and Bora Bora to Hawaii, etc, without too much distress. We did try to capture rainwater when possible, but of course, one can not rely on that source!

We often hear of fellow cruisers who use ten times as much water or more... I don't think that they have ten times more fun!

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II
lying Mele Bay, Efate Island, Vanuatu
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Old 24-09-2009, 17:42   #5
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Hi,

We used 1.5 liter per person per day (like say half a gallon per person per day) and I was shocked to learn that per capita daily use on a cruiser is ...300 liters (200 times our use).

I think it is safe to assume that anything between these two extremes is normal.

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Old 24-09-2009, 17:48   #6
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In the Exumas we don't buy water. Get it at Black Point and Georgetown. Good RO water, and it's free. If you want to buy water, at Staniel it's .50 a gallon. Nassau gets it's water from Andros. It's sometimes a bit muddy depending on rain and the state of the reservoirs. It costs 10 cents a gallon. You have to buy water in the Abacos. Haven't got it there in a long time so don't know the price.

Look at the cost of a watermaker and the attendant costs for power and maintenance and compare that with buying water. You won't get any more with the watermaker when you sell your boat. Try the Bahamas for one season without a watermaker and see how you make out. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 24-09-2009, 18:05   #7
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Already have a watermaker on board. Came with the boat.
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Old 24-09-2009, 18:27   #8
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We have cruised the bahamas for the last 2 years and are planning our 3rd trip. We have a Spectra 200T watermaker and almost never have to take on water while cruising. We make 10 to 12 gallons an hour and run the watermaker while charging the batteries (2 to 2.5 hours per day). Before watermaker we lived on less than 10 gallons per day, now we shower when we want and never worry about where the next drinking water source will come along. A watermaker is very freeing, we can stay at anchor for a month at a time.

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Old 24-09-2009, 20:00   #9
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Get salt water pump into your Galley and you wil save 60% of your fresh water. Also salt water bottles in the Heads and fresh water spray bottles everywhere.

We used to use our 440 liters in about 2 weeks (3 weeks on long passage) and then I jiggled some stuff and fitted hand pumped salt water in. The 2 tanks now last over 6 weeks!

Totally amazed me how much water we waste doing dishes, whasing hands etc


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Old 24-09-2009, 21:45   #10
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We have five freshwater tanks totaling a 750-liter capacity

In full consumption mode--daily showers and fresh-water flushing for the heads--we'll use about 275 liters a week. In conservation mode we've been able to make do on 35 liters per week. Conservation mode is hell on diving gear, however, and at this point I'm rather serious about a freshwater rinse for the regulators.
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Old 25-09-2009, 08:17   #11
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Don't worry,...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gettinthere View Post
Hi Rick

Water's easy to get, but at what price? I've heard the only place with free water is Andros.

We have about 150 gallons tankage and a watermaker. I'm trying to figure out the whole power consumption thing and use of a watermaker. If I only need to run the 6gph watermaker every few days, then that's less genset runtime. Puts a bigger onus on solar & wind for everything else.

thanks
...be happy!

We are close to you in terms of tankage (120 gallons/454 litres) and watermaker cap (7 - 10 gph/26 - 38 lph) and find that making water for 3 - 6 hours every 3 - 4 days keeps up with our consumption. When we have guests on board we make water every other day. Our solar panels can keep up with the watermaker's energy demand.

For us, having the watermaker frees us from the jerry can shuffle. Yes, from a strict dollars and cents viewpoint a watermaker is not economical, but if we did everything on strict economics...

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 25-09-2009, 12:58   #12
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Originally Posted by YOGAO View Post
... For us, having the watermaker frees us from the jerry can shuffle. Yes, from a strict dollars and cents viewpoint a watermaker is not economical, but if we did everything on strict economics ...
We only had 20 Gallons (25?) of fresh water tankage on “Southbound”, so (expecting to end up ‘offshore’) installed a Power Survivor 35, in preparation for heading south to salt water.
It didn’t turn out that way, as we ended up spending the next 8 winters in the Bahamas, where water was available.

However, that (freedom from the 'jerry can shuffle') was exactly the thinking that justified (in hind sight) splurging on the “luxury” of a watermaker.

It made all our water for about 7 winters (42 months), whereupon I sold it (needing a new membrane).
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Old 25-09-2009, 13:27   #13
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We carry 100 gallons that, when it was the 2 of us, lasted about 6 weeks. No pressure water (foot pumps) and salt water plumbed to the galley - showers were over the side for soap and rinse, then rinse off the salt with a garden-sprayer shower.

With 4 of us (2 of us plus a 10 and 8 yr old) we are thinking it will be more like 2 weeks. We were given a watermaker and are hoping it works - if not we'll be buying water (and retrofitting our awning to catch any that comes!)

Good luck . . .
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Old 25-09-2009, 13:29   #14
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figure on 1 gallon per day for drinking plus the dishes and whatever else you wish to wash----i do my washing in salt water and catch what i am able to catch in a pail in my cockpit for washing also----and cooking ....
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Old 25-09-2009, 14:28   #15
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100-120 gallons on an average cruising boat. That's a 20-24 Jerry can shuffle per fill up. How many blue Jerry cans do you carry on board, six maybe eight? That's 3-4 one way dingy trips to lug em. Have fun.
PS My watermaker makes beer.
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