Now that we can’t just grab the hose and fill up our water tanks like we used to on the dock, we have to be very conservative with our water usage. Water is a precious commodity when you live on a boat. We have devised a few systems to help us make our water supply last.
|5 x 5 gallon water jerry cans on deck|
We have a 2 bucket system for our dishes on the aft deck.
Bucket #1 is full of salt water, and can be changed as many times as we want. Dishes are put in there to soak. Then we wash them with soap and a sponge, and rinse off the excess soap.
|Bucket #1 - Sea water. For soaking and washing.|
Bucket #2 has about 2 inches of fresh water and a splash of bleach for the final sanitizing rinse. We make our own bleach using pool shock. Liquid bleach can expire and lose it's sanitizing abilities quickly. We can make just the amounts we need on demand using the powder shock, and it won't degrade quickly. One bottle of shock can make tons of bleach!
|Bucket #2 - Fresh water with bleach. For final sanitizing rinse.|
|If it's not too windy, the dishes can dry on deck.|
We wash our metal pots and pans and silverware fresh water so they don't rust, but we use minimal amounts by wiping them out with a rag before the food crusts onto them prior to washing them.
Showers are done differently, too. We have a mesh tote bag on deck with our shampoo, conditioner, and loofah.
|Our outdoor shower caddy|
We hang it over the back of the boat by the swim ladder when it’s shower time. We shampoo and rinse in the ocean, and then follow that up with conditioner and rinse in the water. We climb aboard to soap up with the loofah, and then jump back in to rinse. The final stage is a few seconds of fresh water using the shower attachment on the back deck to rinse off the salt water. It’s surprising how clean you can feel after an ocean shower like this, and how much water you can save!
We have a watermaker that can make 1.5 gallons of water an hour. We're still waiting on a few parts so Skeeter can install it, but they should be here soon.
|Our PUR Powersurvivor 40E watermaker|
We probably only use about 3 gallons of water per day between the three of us (Skeeter, Amy & Momo), so this watermaker should sustain us very well. That way we don't have to go to a dock or shore for water or lug heavy jerry cans back and forth. This will be much more convenient for us, and we won't have to spend money on fresh water. Also, we will know that the water we make is safe to drink, whereas in some ports you could potentially get sick from the water you buy.
How many gallons of water per day do you use? What are some of your tricks for conserving water?