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Last’s night’s entertainment was another post-apocalypse movie: The Book of Eli. Last week it was The Road. Perhaps it’s the knowledge that as soon as the infrastructure begins to deteriorate, the first thing everyone goes crazy for is water, which drives me towards wanting a watermaker? We saw this first hand after Hurricane Katrina. We were on the first plane to land in the Fort Lauderdale airport after the hurricane ripped through the area back in 2005. Come to think of it, the guy who attacked another man with a Samurai Sword (a Katana!) for taking his place in line was after gasoline, not water. But you get the idea… people go a bit nuts in times like that!

So, back to the water issue, I am once again debating the whole watermaker issue. Jack and Patricia Tyler from s/v Whoosh have this to say about deciding on a watermaker:

Step 1: Go cruising, first. Give yourselves some time to adapt to the lifestyle and learn what your water needs are. This may also allow you a chance to frame your realistic cruising goals, geographically speaking. How else will you be able to size the watermaker you may later purchase…or know whether your future cruising will mandate a watermaker? Remember that RO watermakers are sold all over world. Some cruisers even think the best watermakers are not readily available in North America but rather in cruising destinations like Europe and Trinidad. So ease up, allow your cruising lifestyle to emerge, and rest assured that, meanwhile, the cruising you do will take place where the locals drink water. Instead, and to begin your cruising with high-quality water, consider installing a 1-micron water filter. The Seagull IV is one typical choice found on cruising boats ( altho’ there are several brands to choose from. (Such a filter does require a pressure water system).

Step 2: As your cruising begins, fabricate a good rain collection system for your boat to catch rain water. I would define a “good” system as: 1) it uses the deck (which is large in area, doesn’t add windage at anchor, doesn’t need to be set up or struck in high winds, and doesn’t flap around in the breeze; 2) can be activated from within the boat, perhaps at 3 a.m. when you’d like to remain dry and warm; and 3) filters or screens the water and deposits it in your water tanks with no manual labor on your part. Depending on where you are cruising, such a system may help you only a bit or a great deal (in most places around the world). Such a system is usually simple and inexpensive to arrange, takes no power and minimal maintenance, and might allow you to adjust downward the capacity and therefore cost of any watermaker you may later decide you need.

Step 3: With some real-world experience on your boat with your crew, you can now consider whether a watermaker is A) needed, B) desired or C) unnecessary. Usually, the answer is B or C.

The above sounds very logical and since we have done neither A nor B, forking over more that 5k makes less and less sense the more that I think about it.

One thing they go on to suggest though is installing a good water filter. If we do that I think we’ll do as RLK on Boatbits suggests and look at the Sawyer Inline Water filter. It’s only fifty bucks!

Yes, if we hold off on acquiring a watermaker we’ll have to do some ferrying of water via dinghy to our boat, but we are healthy and strong. What a great opportunity for exercise! And if we do run into some apocalyptical event where land-based water sources become scarce, we’ll just have to adapt and deal with it.

And yes, maybe we should find some other form of entertainment! 🙂


  1. Maybe the next movie shoud be “WaterWorld”!

    The suggestion about waiting until you have some cruise miles behind you,to decide about a purchase seems pretty smart.
    I have been gathering boatbits for our trip,and as the list gets bigger,I have put some items in the “wait and see’ category.
    Would an SSB receiver be a good thing for the Bahamas?-sure.
    Is an SSB receiver a neccessity for the Bahamas?-probably not-and I’ll know for sure by next year.
    No point in havving a fully outfitted boat if there’s no money left to go!

    • I am a fan of waterworld. If I followed that one though, I would be carrying some dirt along with us, just in case! 🙂

      Very true about needing not spending all of the money before we get out there!!!

  2. Or you could watch the OLYMPIC GAMES!!!!

    • You are correct Sandra. The truth is that even though our apartment has a TV, with cable, we have not turned it on. Ever. We watch all of the movies on our laptop.

  3. Those of us on the Great Lakes are lucky. We can use good filters and drink the water in which we float. The closer we get to NYC, the better the filters need to be, and once we’re in brackish or salt, we have to figure out a new system! I’ve used a baggy sail to collect water, which means you must let the sails rinse off first, at least if you are sailing in salt water! However, I prefer using a dedicated tarp with a hose attached at the low point. I hook bungees through the grommets, adjust for the size of the storm, and let the first amount just wash overboard. Of course, neither of these meet the requirement of a self-tending system!

    • Yes, the filter referenced was, I assume, to filter water obtained from land-based sources, or rain water. At least that is how I took it. We have a tarp that we plan to use as a rain catching system. We’ll be debugging it this spring before we set off. I am also going to be playing around with some other rain catching ideas. I just need to get out in a downpour and watch the water fall.

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