Re: Need Help Outfitting for Cruising. :)
While it's true watermakers are expensive they allow you freedom to cruise to remote areas that otherwise will be inaccessible. We use about 6 gallons a day. I don't know how but that's what it worked out to be. That will mean lugging a 5 gallon gerry can daily which is a little over 40lbs. Water is not always available in places for example the remote anchorages in the Bahamas which is anywhere other than communities which have marinas.
For some reason watermakers are advertised in gallons per day. I have found that to be deceptive. Who needs 200 gallons per day? In my opinion the way to look at it is how much water do I need per day and how long are you willing to spend making it. The with the Katadyn 40, the 40 gallon per day sounds like lots but it will take 4 hours to make that 6 gallons. I have the 80 but if I had known what I know now I would have bought the 160.
Another major consideration is electrical power. Battery capacity - daily amp hour consumption - and means of charging -solar, wind and mechanical.
Food storage. Refrigeration/freezer. We have a small built-in refer but carry an Engel 45 which we use as a freezer. This allows us to be away from stores for weeks at a time and we eat very well.
Dinghy, this is the family car when cruising so you need a good one with a decent size motor. Sometimes it's necessary to go a fair distance or the currents are strong.
A full cockpit enclosure. about 90% or more of your time is spent not moving and the extra space is well worth it. Also when underway and its raining it can be pretty unpleasant without shelter.