Wednesday, 15 February 2012

getting fresh

Rick is the waterman
Ever wonder, how we get fresh water aboard Nyon? Well, wonder no more.

There are three ways that we fill up on water: From a dock hose, from the sky, and from jugs*. We have a deck fill near the bow, we attach our charcoal filter to a hose, stick it in the deck fill, and turn on the tap. Obviously you need to be at a dock that has potable water to do this - either a fuel dock, or a slip in a marina. Depending on the source, we may add some iodine to our water tanks. One of our water tanks is made of aluminium, we can't use bleach as it would damage the tank. Small amounts of bleach are normally considered safe if you don't have an aluminium tank.

We have yet to design a proper water catchment system for Nyon, but seeing as we're headed toward desert country, we have time. We did catch water in buckets when we had a recent downpour. We used that water for solar showers and laundry. In Barra (and many other locations), purified water jugs can be delivered to your boat for a price, or you can use your own jugs to get water ashore.

We have 3 water tanks. Our water capacity is 80 gallons. On average, we each seem to use about a gallon of water a day, sometimes more. We closely monitor our water consumption, the last thing we'd want, is to run out of water in a secluded anchorage.

Water: We drink it, and wash up with it. In an anchorage or on passage, we use salt water to wash dishes and then do a final rinse with fresh water. We hand-wash clothes in fresh water. Some sailors will wash laundry in salt water and only rinse with fresh water - We just can't be bothered at this point. In Mexico, we use laundry services for towels and sheets, (we have yet to see a self-serve coin-op laundromat).

When the tanks are full, you turn on the tap... Oh, wait - no. You push a pedal with your foot and voila!  Out pours water. We installed foot pumps aboard Nyon, it is a great way to conserve water and not have to deal with pressure water failures. Because if you haven't figured it out yet, if it ain't broke... Just you wait.

Now you know how we get fresh on Nyon!

*More and more cruising boats are equipped with a watermaker. A watermaker is a desalinator. It is a system used to obtain         potable water by reverse osmosis of seawater. A watermaker is very handy when you want to sail to more secluded (uninhabited) spots and don't want to be forced to leave for lack of water. That's why we'd eventually love to have one. But, a watermaker can cost anywhere from $5000-$8000. It'll be a while.


  1. Thanks for the great tips! It will be a while before we have a watermaker for the same reason .. they're not cheap! I've been telling my husband, Ken, that a foot pump is a must when we prepare Nirvana for cruising ... glad you mentioned it and like it!

  2. Oh most definitely - think boat job, dirty hands: you don't have to touch anything! :) And water conservation is a big deal on a cruising boat.

  3. Thanks for that..we have a footpump for the galley sink, but not one in the head. We were considering putting a pump in for pressure water, but your right, we'd probably waste more water.

    On another note..watermakers..just one more thing to break lol. I know of a few who bought brand new water makers..only to have them break on them.

    And since they didn't prepare as if they didn't have a watermaker, fixing it was a must.

    It would be nice to find one that doesn't break. $5k-8k is soooo much money.



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