Onboard Water Supplies and Consumption
The most important thing to remember is – water supplies on the boat are limited.
Water tanks hold certain amount of fresh water, so make sure to make your showers as quick as possible, and do not let the water run while you are washing your teeth and soaping your hair and body. When taking an open-air shower (on boats what have a shower on deck), you can rinse the shampoo by jumping in the sea, after which you will rinse the salt from your body by taking a quick shower on deck. This is by far the most economical way of taking a shower.
Showering can also be done in marinas equipped with shower facilities, but have in mind that marinas can get crowded during high season. If you are not mooring, but only using their showers, the marina will charge you only for using that service.
Washing the dishes can be done in two ways: by rinsing it out in the sea with nature-friendly detergents, or in the sink. Some boats have an additional salt-water tap that can help you rinse the detergent, after which you can, like with showering, rinse the dished once more with fresh water. When you cook, try to use as less dishes as possible and think about biodegradable disposable options.
For people living on a boat for longer periods of time we recommend investing into a desalination machine (desalinator, watermaker). It makes fresh water out of salt water, and makes everyday life on a boat easier. Before opting for a manually or automatically operated watermaker, you should determine what capacity suits you according to your daily needs, budget, and boat’s space (water tanks already take up a lot of space). The machine will allow you to spend less time in destinations with limited nautical infrastructure. Have in mind that watermakers make a certain amount of noise, and you should rinse the system regularly, as well as change its filters.
Regarding tap water in destinations you will visit, it is the best to check with the locals if the water is suitable for drinking. Some remote islands may not have developed water system and will collect rain water for their daily purposes. In case of draught during hot summer days, water tanker ship will supply people with fresh water.