Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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I'd say it depends on your health, the state of your kidneys and liver, the salinity of the water, the temperature, and a few other things...
Someone with compromised kidneys may not be able to drink as high a percentage of salt water as someone who is perfectly healthy. Some one with high blood pressure probably would have problems with vastly increasing their salt intake as well.
The saltier the water, the less you would be able to add by volume. In hot weather, your tolerance for salt water probably goes up, since you tend to lose salt via perspiration.
I'd imagine that the duration of the ordeal would make a difference as well. The shorter the period of time, the higher the salt water percentage could be.
My advice is try like hell not to get into such a situation. Carry spare parts and if your watermaker is only power driven.... you might consider investing in a small hand-operated one. Relying on a watermaker, on a small boat, where the electrical and other systems aren't redundant and very vulnerable to failure is a bad survival tactic. You should generally carry enough water to get you to the next port in the case of a watermaker failure. If you're convoying with other boats, this may not be as necessary, but if your on your own... I'd consider it prudent.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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