How to Conserve Water on Long Passages - SailNet Community

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Old 09-13-2011
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How to Conserve Water on Long Passages

Hi everyone. It's been a while since I visited the board.

I'm presently located in Puerto Vallarta, waiting out the Eastern Pacific hurricane season. Earlier this year I spent a month in Ixtapa/Zihautanejo, and met a very interesting guy. He had just pulled into Marina Ixtapa, ending a long passage from Panama -- and an even longer (16-year) circumnavigation. He was 63 years old, had very bad legs, and could barely walk.

He was a real character, and his boat had a lot of deferred maintenance. I took him out to lunch, and bought him his first beers since Panama. He had some amazing stories.

When I asked him if he had a watermaker, he said that he didn't. When I asked him how he conserved water, he said all the things that you'd expect. Then I asked him how he cleaned his clothes, and he said with saltwater.

The next day, I saw him on the docks. I had thought about his remark about washing clothes with saltwater, and asked him if, in tropical climates, that didn't make for pretty sticky, uncomfortable clothing. He smiled deviously and replied, "Fritz, to tell you the truth, once I get offshore, I don't wear any clothes."

I thought to myself, "What a sensible way to cut down on water usage and unnecessary work."
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Old 09-13-2011
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Not to get off course but if you have a chance/free time...head north about 60 miles to Chacala if you haven't already. tiny little fishing village with great places to eat.
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Old 09-13-2011
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Haven't you noticed people only post pictures from long trips when they are close to shore? Their clothes always look like they've never been worn too.

Gary H. Lucas
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Old 09-14-2011
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I made a transatlantic passage with a young woman who experimented with not washing her long hair, just using talcum powder and brushing it daily. She said that after 10 days of being itchy it settled down and it certainly looked healthy and felt quite normal.

Use salt water wherever posssible. Seawater baths using Joy washing up liquid work well. Use baby wipes. A garden spray with pump and a little fresh water if you feel salt sticky.

Turn off the electric water pump and pump water manually.

Use a presssure cooker.

Related topic Be prepared to collect water off the mainsail. I used a bucket with a U shaped cutaway and a spigot in the base. The first minutes will be slightly salty so separate this if possible.
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