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xort 10-15-2006 09:51 AM

water while cruising
I've seen many comments along the way about always anchoring out and never using a marina while cruising the US east coast.
Where do you get water? I'm not going to haul water in jugs from ashore as I expect to use around 40 to 50 gallons per week. Most cruising boats seem to have about 100 to 200 gallons capacity. That would seem to provide for 2 to 4 weeks. Are there free sources of clean water?

Zanshin 10-15-2006 10:22 AM

Those people used the phrase "never get water" when they really meant to say "rarely get water". The only other answer is that they have a watermaker on board.

ebs001 10-15-2006 11:19 AM

XORT It depends where you are cruising. While cruising in Florida we filled our tanks when we fueled up. We did not use as much water as you estimated you will be using, probably less than half. Almost all the water we use is for cooking - we showered at marinas - so we only had to get water with jerry cans about once a week.

xort 10-15-2006 11:37 AM

Zanshin...I never said anything about 'never get water'. I've never heard anybody say anything like that. shower at marinas, I'm talking about people who don't use marinas. if you stop at a marina, you can fill the tank while there as part of the slip fee. If you are talking about hopping into a dingy, going ashore and showering at a marina...that's not on my list of cruising routine. Might do it once in a great while but I'm not interested in doing that regularly. I'll shower on the boat.

I will be looking for sources of water along the way. From what I figure, I'll need to stop at a marina every 3 weeks or so to fill the tanks. I'm wondering if there's free water sources at fuel docks, etc. that will extend that 3 weeks.

Zanshin 10-15-2006 11:45 AM

I misunderstood the question - but another possible source of water might be to collect rainwater aboard; at least for non-drinking water.

Vasco 10-15-2006 12:26 PM


We sail US East coast and the Bahamas. Our tankage is about 140 gallons and that can last us about 20 days. We shower every day and wash dishes in fresh water. We have never had a problem getting water. In the US we get it when we re-fuel. In the Bahamas we usually jug it. There are a few spots in the Exumas where RO water is available free. Hauling water is one of the few times when you get a decent workout.

ebs001 10-15-2006 12:56 PM

If you are near a marina when you anchor you will probably have to dinghy into the marina anyway so showering is no big deal. Some marinas might let you fill your water tanks without getting fuel, but I doubt it unless your on a mooring ball. There are no "water stations" around unless you want to jug it, so to meet your needs you'll have to get a watermaker. I just have difficulty justifying $4k+ when I can get the water I need for cooking and dishwashing easily and am not to proud to go into a marina to shower for $1.00 and btw you don't have to have a slip either.

xort 10-15-2006 01:15 PM

Thanks, I was wondering if you can re-water when you re-fuel. In 3 weeks of cruising, I might not consume much fuel, maybe 50 gallons. Do you find limits on water allowed vs fuel bought?

Do mooring fields give water with moorings?

I'm not keen on buying & maintaining a watermaker.

ebs001 10-15-2006 01:36 PM

As long as you buy fuel you can get water, there is no ratio. Mooring fields will allow you to water up for free except in Marathon, Fl., where they charge whether your fueling or not. Buying your fuel in smaller lots will allow you to visit the fuel/water dock more often. I bought five gallons at Crandon Park Marina on Key Biscayne so that I could top up my water tanks.

Vasco 10-15-2006 01:50 PM


Most marinas are quite good about allowing you to fill up with water even if you don't buy a lot of fuel. I've noticed some in the Chesapeake have a minimum dollar amount for fuel or they charge you $5 or $10 for a fill of water. But again, I've never had a problem with getting water on US east coast. Some places, like Crandon Park on Key Biscayne, even have a separate spot where you can fill jugs. I would not buy a watermaker for the type of cruising I do (six months each year during the winter). Many of my friends do have them but they also have diesel generators. With watermakers comes more power consumption and a fair amount of maintenance. Of course, those that have them love them.

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