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Old 11-05-2016, 23:37   #31
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Re: Fresh water tankage sizing for Atlantic crossing

Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
Where the hell did booze get into the initial question? I think his 48 or so gal. is not enough for 4 or 5 people. 2 or 3 kids on a trans Atlantic. JMHO
maybe they thought they were replying to this thread
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Old 28-05-2016, 20:02   #32
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Re: Fresh water tankage sizing for Atlantic crossing

To the OP:
My short answer: allocate 1 gallon (4 liters) of water per person per day, for all uses. Also give them each a personal and smaller water bottle for handy drinking, and encourage drinking fresh water over other beverages. Take additional water as a reserve, just in case the voyage takes longer than expected.

More details:
I think the smart thing to do is give each person a clean one gallon plastic jug with a screw on top, and their name printed on it in permanent marker. Fill it each day with fresh water. That is their days ration for all uses of FRESH WATER, aside from cooking. Also, encourage all crew to drink water rather than sodas or anything alcohol or anything diuretic (teas or coffee). Reason? Because the body needs water, and dehydration is bad and can be debilitating. Many of the foods eaten on a passage will be salty processed foods.

Anticipate that bad things can happen to your engine that may prevent using a watermaker and that you might take longer to reach your destination. Be prepared with enough tankage or jerry cans of fresh water to make it to the destination with some buffer or reserve.

My Experience Anecdote: I was on a sailboat crossing from Hawaii to California. It was expected to take 21 days or so, because we were going to motor when needed through the low wind areas, and so we took plenty of fuel. It turns out that about 3 days into the voyage we could not use the engine at all! The trip took 30 days, and could have taken longer as we essentially sailed the whole way, aside from being becalmed for several days. After 20 days of sailing, and still not knowing how much longer till landfall (10-15 more days?), we began to ration the water. I learned about real thirst then, and eating salty canned foods and crackers, which was was all we had left in the galley stores, served to worsen this. Also, the water in the boat tank was very foul as we got to the bottom of the tank. It was so disgusting that no one wanted to drink it at that point. It had heavy green algae and was the consistency of pea soup.

My water lessons learned?
Have more water than you think you will drink for a voyage that could take longer than average for that route and that boat. You should drink more water than you normally do in a city, because your exposure to the sun and wind and physical activity may make you more thirsty. Avoid beverages that cause more thirst. Have backup water in separate tanks or cans or jugs. Have an easy way to allocate fair rations each day at a set time (I suggest morning) for everyone in the crew. Use identification on personal water jugs. Anticipate that mechanical systems (engine or watermaker) CAN fail. Have more water, rather than spare watermaker parts as a backup. It may be other systems (engine) which may prevent the use of a watermaker if your boat has one.
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Old 28-05-2016, 20:42   #33
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Re: Fresh water tankage sizing for Atlantic crossing

^^ Great post steady, Its a good point about the salty foods.

I have never really needed to ration water, not for drinking anyway. Though showers and other non drinking/cooking uses are off limits. Washing hands in salt water saves a fair bit, as does switching off the electric water pump.
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Old 28-05-2016, 23:47   #34
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Re: Fresh water tankage sizing for Atlantic crossing

Most of the above is why we sell so many 12 volt watermakers to long distance cruisers. Wait until one of the OPs three kids forgets to shut off a faucet half way across an ocean and drains off most of the boats water supply. Think that and many other scenarios don't happen? Then you haven't sailed for long. Also try to remember that great speech you gave to the Admiral before you left about saving a ton of money by not buying a watermaker, I'm sure she'll be ready to hear it again right after you announce that her family of five has 20 gallons of water left and will be on survival rations for the next three weeks. Good family times. The bright side might be that in four weeks you'll be buying two new things, a new house and a for sale sign for the boat. Look, taking a family across an ocean or on long distance trips is a lot different than you as a solo sailor or a couple of competent crew doing it. With a 12Volt energy efficient system you have more than one way to power the watermaker. Have a generator? Great run your watermaker. Genset fails, run your main engine. Main engine fails 200Watts worth of solar will keep you in plenty of fresh water. Fill your tanks before you leave. Once you've drained off 15-20 gallons fire up the watermaker and top the tank back up. If the watermaker fails half way across the ocean and you can't fix it you have full tanks minus the 15-20 gallons, about the same amount of water you would have left with when you began your journey. In the more likely case that the watermaker doesn't fail at all, you, the family, and a happy Admiral, are going to have a far more comfortable and enjoyable crossing.

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Old 29-05-2016, 00:13   #35
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Re: Fresh water tankage sizing for Atlantic crossing

I really can't understand not having a water maker anymore. Sure they are a big hit up front, but add up how much bottled water costs and you have spent a considerable fraction of a water maker on water bottles. Not to mention having hundreds of liters of water in 5l bottles is dangerous. Unless you are on a boat with a huge amount of storage there is no good way to store that many bottles, so you have hundreds of 5kg misses lying around unsecured on a boat in the open ocean, one got roll over and they can all go flying.

Just to put numbers to it, in the OP the quote was for 900l of water, with 180 from internal tanks, and the rest from water battles. So at a minimum you would be looking at over $1,000 in water bottles. But that gives you little reserve, short rations, and no way to resupply mid ocean if something happens. This just doesn't sound like fun to me.

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Old 08-06-2016, 19:29   #36
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Re: Fresh water tankage sizing for Atlantic crossing

I concur. Great post. I'm in for salt to fresh water. Costly but well worth it.

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Old 08-06-2016, 20:50   #37
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Re: Fresh water tankage sizing for Atlantic crossing

How many stories on this site are about water maker issues. You need to least two separate tanks and make sure you alternate tanks and fill only one at a time and test to make sure you are not spoiling a tank with bad water. In addition the volume of the smallest tank plus the bottled water put back needs to be enough for half the trip. Trouble before the halfway point you turn back, after the halfway point and you continue.

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Old 08-06-2016, 22:44   #38
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Re: Fresh water tankage sizing for Atlantic crossing

we put a watermaker on before heading to the western Caribbean and what a great investment -- we did a katadyn e80 - we make 3.5 gal per hour and only use one of our water tanks - 50 gal one - the other one is empty and has been for a while -
when we crossed the pond we did fill the forward tank but did not use it

our watermaker uses 8 amps and we had 390watts of solar - we make water off our solar panels and did on our crossing -
by the way right now in the Black Sea we can not always find water on the docks or where we anchor so fired up our watermaker and under sail the other day ran it for 6 hours while underway -

we will probably run it all summer as not sure on the quality of the water where we are headed

Watermakers are a bit expensive up front but pay dividends down the line -
just our thoughts and opinions
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atlantic crossing, fresh water tank, water

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