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post #1 of 25 Old 04-25-2008 Thread Starter
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women and water use

Okay, puttin' it to the test. I've been meaning to post this for a while. What are the odds we can keep at least somewhat on-topic?

I've noticed a lot of guy-grumbles recently that boil down to, "I'm okay living aboard but my wife/GF is a water waster and she can't ...and that's why I'm a wannabe instead of a cruiser, etc etc"

I just find it hard to believe that there's such a gender difference - with the exception of a certain time of month <*sigh*> . Instead, I suspect the apparent imbalance comes from one of two sources: (a) these are guys who never help with cooking or cleaning, and yet he counts the water to do these things that benefit both against "her" ration; or (b) they're shallow enough to only date arm-candy or trophy wives and then are stunned to realize that that look requires a lot of maintenance (a.k.a. water) Other theories?

And for the record, Dan and I use 120 gal/month, and that includes showers aboard, cooking, and washing dishes. (Toting jerry jugs teaches you a lot about conserving.) How much do you use, and if you're part of a couple, are you approx equal in your personal use rate?
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post #2 of 25 Old 04-25-2008
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When I am onboard, I too conserve water like crazy. But god I do love a long long hot shower, and have been known to drain the hot water tank. My last time I went cruising with 5 of us, for the week we only used 55 gals. I know this because that is what the tank held and went dry on us as we pulled in the dock. BTW, that was with 5 women onboard too ( 3 of them never went sailing before). So I thought we did pretty good.
As to theories, I just think there are sailors and there are landlubbers. No gender discrimination. Some like their land luxuries while others can do without. Sometimes that without can be a total lifestyle change, i.e. liveaboard, or others, part-time, for the vast majority of boaters out there. One has to remember there is a learning curve to living on a boat whether full-time or part-time on water use, electricity, storage, cooking, and other living accomodations. What most of us are use to doing on land for all of our lives we cannot totally do on water. There are compromises and sacrafices. However, for the green folks here, it does work the other way around. What we learn on conservation on the water can certainly relate to how we live on land!
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post #3 of 25 Old 04-26-2008
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To conserve water...
A Turkish naval trick; jump into the sea, use hard sea sponge to clean yourself (scrap out the sead skin) then climb back on board, fill a small bucket with hot water add some soap in it and use a sponge to clean yourself, then use regular water and clean sponge to rinse... One person can clean like that with about 1/4 gallon of fresh water...

Another trick from Turkish navy; put alcohol on a piece of cloth, wipe yourself clean and wash the cloth with sea water...

I'd say use a raw water pump to use for black water... Thus, the fresh water supply will last a long time...

We have a small sailboat (22ft) and all we have is a 5 gallon fresh water tank, that was sufficient for 2 day trip for two... Of course we swim then rinsed with a little fresh water for showers, washed all the vegetables and fruits before left the dock, and drinking water was bottled...

If you ask me it's not about the gender but personality...

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post #4 of 25 Old 04-28-2008
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I agree it's not gender. I can brush my teeth and use less than an 1/8 cup of water. My hubby on the other hand will use about 1 gallon...why? Because I can't get him to remember to turn off the water while he's brushing.

We just got back from a three day trip with both of us, our teenage daughter and the dog. We used 15 gallons...well 9 if you discount the 6 gallons for his teeth...
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post #5 of 25 Old 04-28-2008
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Eryka, are you on a mooring ball? No dockside water?

The only difference I see is hair washing/rinsing and maybe a dab more for leg shaving (more square inches than my face - hence more water). I of course use almost no water on my hair , and conditioner is wasted effort for me.

On our cruises I would guess my wife and daughters used water on parity with the guys, no one was counting ounces and gallons as we had ready resupply.

Personally, to me the extra consumption is worth the results.

Long hot showers can be had with a bag of sun heated raw water then rinsed with fresh, isn't that good enough?
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post #6 of 25 Old 04-30-2008 Thread Starter
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Chuckles: We were on a mooring for 4 years, which is when our habits were formed. (Looooove my SunShower) Now we are dockside, but when they shut off the water in the winter we're glad we are still accustomed to being 'frugal.'

Sailhagg: have you considered those spring-loaded faucet handles? The ones that shut off automatically when you aren't holding them in the 'on' position?
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post #7 of 25 Old 04-30-2008
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I would guess it's more ingrained habits, than anything gender specific. When one is used to an unlimited supply of anything, particularly when it comes at little or no cost, they tend to use far more of it.

As an excuse not to go cruising, that's kind of bogus. People that want to do something, find solutions. People that look for excuses, don't really want to go.

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post #8 of 25 Old 04-30-2008 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBzeer View Post
As an excuse not to go cruising, that's kind of bogus. People that want to do something, find solutions. People that look for excuses, don't really want to go.
Well put, John. I've always said I'm willing to be uncomfortable in search of interesting experiences. I just don't see a need to do so for its own sake, as in some spartan character-building way.
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post #9 of 25 Old 04-30-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eryka View Post
Sailhagg: have you considered those spring-loaded faucet handles? The ones that shut off automatically when you aren't holding them in the 'on' position?
Eryka,

Both of our showers (head and cockpit) have the spring loaded trigger. For folks with modest tankage and high demands, it's about the only way to go. The other thing that helps is a loud water pump!!

I think careful water usage is something that usually must be taught. As Melrna points out, many landlubbers irrespective of gender just don't get it. Some can pick it up quickly, others never do (both on land and aboard).

On the other hand, I do think women often need/deserve a somewhat more generous water allowance than guys. I'm happy to provide that for my wife if at all possible, even if I have to brush my teeth with 1/8 cup of water!!

But who amongst us does not covet that shoreside shower whenever the opportunity presents?

Sorry to butt into HerSailNet...


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post #10 of 25 Old 04-30-2008
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Forgot to mention, there is an easy way to break the water running habit while brushing your teeth. Simply do it in the cockpit. I keep a bottle of water out there to rinse with, and no running water at all.

John
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Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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