This has got to be one of my faves:
"What do you mean 'you're thirsty'? After all the salty broth and alcohol we've given you? HTFU and thank me for that 1.5 liters! THIRST IS VERB!"
I know that 1.5 liters is not anywhere near enough water for people who are performing the labor of sailing, especially when sailing in tropical climates. The Mayo Clinic doctors think so too....
How much water do you need?
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.
Factors that influence water needs
You may need to modify your total fluid intake depending on how active you are, the climate you live in, your health status, and if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.
Exercise. If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss. An extra 400 to 600 milliliters (about 1.5 to 2.5 cups) of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires more fluid intake. How much additional fluid you need depends on how much you sweat during exercise, and the duration and type of exercise. During long bouts of intense exercise, it's best to use a sports drink that contains sodium, as this will help replace sodium lost in sweat and reduce the chances of developing hyponatremia, which can be life-threatening. Also, continue to replace fluids after you're finished exercising.
Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional intake of fluid. Heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture during wintertime. Further, altitudes greater than 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) may trigger increased urination and more rapid breathing, which use up more of your fluid reserves.
Illnesses or health conditions. When you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea, your body loses additional fluids. In these cases, you should drink more water. In some cases, your doctor may recommend oral rehydration solutions, such as Gatorade, Powerade or CeraLyte. Also, you may need increased fluid intake if you develop certain conditions, including bladder infections or urinary tract stones. On the other hand, some conditions such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases may impair excretion of water and even require that you limit your fluid intake.
Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are expecting or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are used especially when nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 2.3 liters (about 10 cups) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume 3.1 liters (about 13 cups) of fluids a day.
See more here.... Water: How much should you drink every day? - MayoClinic.com
I would say that the Captain/Owner should have planned for a minimum of four gallons per, day per person, plus a ten day reserve. This is a lot of water, and I know the boat would not be able to carry that much, so there is an issue from the start. I wonder why the owner of a race boat would not go with a three day sized tank and a watermaker that would fill it with a short time of running the generator or engine every day to keep it topped off? That would keep the weight lower, and help them make the passage more comfortably.
This is a long open ocean race, the boat has to finish with a healthy crew, and that includes the mental health of the crew as well, or starting the race does not make sense. You cannot finish the race in a good position if you are not performing at your peak levels, you cannot perform at peak levels if you are dehydrated. Mentally a person loses performance when dehydrated, in fact it can make you crazy, insane, doing things that are dangerous crazy.
Now I am sure there will be someone who will want to lecture us all about how open ocean racing means going without water. How having water is not a priority, and keeping your socks is too much weight, and stuff like that, which is insane. This is probably one of the long term side effects of being continually dehydrated, or perhaps just being an a$$. I personally do not understand why some people think that being dehydrated is a good thing, especially while performing the extremely strenuous labor of open ocean racing.
Apparently the folks over at the VOR agree with me on needing a watermaker, and plenty of water for the crew. In fact they seem to even be concerned about proper space, and crew comfort aboard the racing boats.
Q — How much fuel will a Volvo Open 70 carry and what is it used for?
A — The minimum fuel tank size is 230ltrs. The fuel is used mainly to generate power for the navigation and instrument systems, lights, keel movement, communications, the water maker and the media equipment.
From: The Volvo Ocean 70 Explained | Sailing World
National Geographic | Volvo Ocean Race 2001-2002
Volvo Ocean 60-Class Stats
Required number of motorized desalinators: 1
Required number of manual desalinators: 2
Required amount of emergency fresh water: 11 gal (50 L)
Humans can survive about three days without fresh water; VO 60s carry enough to last about one. So the desalinator, which turns pumped-in seawater potable, may be the most essential item onboard—and the greatest weight saver, given how heavy stored water would be.
If the motorized desalinator breaks down, it’s time to break into the emergency stash or break out the manual pumps. But be warned: “The amount of fresh water produced is about equivalent to the amount of sweat lost using them,” according to one skipper during the 1997-98 race.
(7) Desalination Units: Two (additional to the one stowed in each life raft) hand desalination
units, one of which shall be capable of desalinating 100 litres per day. This unit shall have
an ergonomically sound mounting to facilitate routine water production in the event of a
failure in the motor driven desalination units. The second unit shall be capable of
desalinating 20 litres of water per day. Both shall be stored in the Emergency Equipment
Locker refer Volvo Open 70 Rule 12.6.1.
I was thinking of making another comment or two about the so called expert open ocean racers who say they run the race with nearly empty tanks, but I am going to stay silent because I think that sensible parties have already come to understand that the idea of sailing thirsty is just not a good plan.