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Water and Electricity. The two big consumables on a cruising sailboat. Both can be acquired at some expense. The trick is outfitting your boat so that they can be acquired relatively inexpensively, when you need them.

When it comes to water, fresh water, Katana’s tanks hold 47 gallons. As we are now in a marina, and have water available at the dock, filling our tanks is as easy as running a hose to the inlet and turning on the tap. Away from the marina things get a bit more complicated.

More water storage means we could go longer without replenishing our supply, but that comes at the expense of space, and weight, both of which are also valuable commodities on a boat (Catamarans are apparently even more weight sensitive than their 1-legged cousins). We think we have found the logical spot to add an additional tank in the 25-30 gallon range. It would go under the forward most salon seating area.

The next consideration is where this water will be coming from. Again, away from a marina you can’t just turn on a tap. While cruising you could pay to go into a marina and perhaps fill up there. You could also ferry jugs of water back and forth to your boat in your dinghy. This water would again have to be purchased and that sounds to me like a really crappy way to spend a morning. The third option is to install a watermaker. We will likely go this route so that we have the option of staying away from marinas as much as possible. There are multiple brands and multiple sizes of watermakers available for purchase. It is possible to even build your own! We’ll need to do some serious research to come up with the best options for our needs.

The third element to consider with respect to water is conservation. Growing up as most of us did, with unlimited water at our fingertips, it takes retraining to learn to conserve this precious resource. To begin, you don’t let the tap run while brushing your teeth! Duh!

Let’s look at dish washing though. Our boat has an electric water pump. It is very easy to blow through a lot of water with such a pump. Some people install a manual foot-operated pump at the sink to slow down, and thus more easily control the flow. The Pardeys, in one of their videos, demonstrate how they installed a gravity-feed tank for this same purpose. Another option is to instal a raw-water (sea water) pump to prewash the dishes, and then rinse them with a smaller quantity of fresh water. I was reading about that this morning on another PDQ cruising blog. All excellent ideas.

We need to consider all of these elements, and figure out how to streamline the whole water system on our boat before we take off.

Life at the marina.


  1. Think bladders Mike. Cheaper and easy to find areas where you can stuff them. Try to keep weight off the front for wave making if possible. You can have them made for areas that are wasted space now.


  2. If I ever come to Kingston soon I will stop off for a visit and help you figure some stuff out. Remember about batteries and placement.Look in area not being utilized right now and have a bladder made up for that space. Under floor boards…not sure of the gap there though.Check it out or let Rebecca figure it out for you. LOL

    • That would be cool Richard. The idea of flexible bladders seems a little weird to me. I guess I see them as potentially springing a leak much more easily that a hard plastic water tank.

  3. The thing is that a bladder will go into spaces hard bodied tanks won’t go. Sailing companies down south use them all the time. They are rather robust and thick and although I haven’t been around down south in a while I never did hear of them leaking. The seams are welded and very strong and get them make to any dimensions you want, but it’s your call Mike. Just trying to make some water space for you.Under floor spaces are best utilized that way.They really do work…ask Rebecca ! 🙂

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