It recently dawned on me that it has now been about 2 years since I posted about our water usage. Those last posts were about our Rainman watermaker and how we love it. The purpose of this post is not to do a follow up as I really don’t have anything more to say about the Rainman watermaker. Its been one of the BEST purchases on our boat. One day I will write a blog of all the products we bought that are A+++. When I do, the Rainman will top that list. (There will also be a D— shit list).
I want this post to be more about water usage in general. I thought it would be interesting to look back in my notes and old blogs and see how our water usage has changed as we cruised. I want to examine not only our use on the boat, but how much we used during hurricane season in our RV. We often find cruisers talking about their water maker run time over beers, however, very few actually detail the amount of water they use.
First… Let put out the no bullshit number. How much water are we using daily THIS SEASON?
That number includes ALL water usage. Drinking, showering, clothes washing (yes, with the washing machine), dish washing, even cleaning tasks (like bathroom cleaning).
Now, I know there will be other cruisers that look at those numbers and will be shocked (we recently had beer with a guy that uses 5L/person/day). However, on the flip side, we know other cruisers that use like 45L/person/day (ya really)! This season we have decided to live in more comfort and that includes using more water. We take actual showers now every night, instead of swimming and just rinsing off. All clothes get washed, even if they are just salty swimmers. Frankly it has improved our quality of life immensely.
Alright.. now lets compare this to our usage when we lived in our RV last hurricane season. Well here are those numbers:
27L/person/day (not including drinking water)
Yes, we were actually using more water per day living in an RV in the sticks with no services. I have some theories about why. First, since I was working everyday, I needed a REAL shower EVERYDAY. Second, since we were on land, clothes got more dirty. Seriously, there is no “dirt” on the ocean. It doesn’t take as much water to clean our clothes. Between those 2 things we were using much more water each day.
So how do those numbers compare with our first year of cruising. Well that is what I find most interesting. In our first year of cruising we were using WAY less water.
That’s right, we were using less than half our current water usage when we first started cruising. I look back on how strict we were with our water usage shake my head. It was not like we were uncomfortable, but it really was more like camping than “living”. The kids only showered every couple of days. Clothes that were not “dirty enough” were hung out on the line to “air out”. Rhonda and I didn’t really shower, we would have a “sea bath” and then only rinse off with fresh water.
“So what’s the point”, I can hear you asking. Well, first I thought maybe this post could help newbie cruisers trying to figure water usage while cruising. However, for me, I find it interesting looking back and how a little thing like doubling our water usage has affected the quality of our lives. In all seriousness, it has made me look back in chagrin at how cheap I was being that first season. The actual monetary costs to using that extra water amounts to about $8CDN/week (in fuel and filters). However, the emotional and physiological benefits to Party of Five are unmeasurable.
BONUS NACHOS – There is always nerdy numbers people reading our blog so I though I would post some bonus content.
That is the amount of Petrol we burn aboard Party of Five. This includes making water, heating water, odd battery charging and our dinghy fuel. About %30 of that number is burnt in the dinghy and the rest is for other tasks. Its an interesting number when measured to the North American average of 6.82L/person/day. However this does not include the diesel we burn.