From Round One.
Round two of my fun times of buying new toys include additional equipment that are practically requirements if you plan on any extended sailing. When I talk about an extended sail, I’m talking about more than a few weeks to a month – more like a few months at sea before dropping anchor somewhere. Requirements for water and food are obviously important, so to be self-contained is really important in these areas.
On our Morgan we carry around 150 gallons of water, and although that is a fair amount, you have to consider that at a rate of two people using a nominal two gallons of water a day, the water would last you just shy of 38 days at sea. This doesn’t really take into account showers. In a real pinch people have managed to get by using a gallon per day per person, but this does not make for a pleasant crossing. We don’t expect for life aboard to be a bowl of cherries all the time, but our sailboat is our retirement home, and life aboard while cruising the South Pacific should
not be difficult. We would like to be able to take showers from time to time and not have to worry about ensuring that our next anchorage is at an island where we can take on water. So we have purchased a watermaker to desalinate sea water. This will increase our range considerably, with only food and diesel fuel being issues. The desalinator that we purchased uses very little power to run, and the energy used can be sustained by solar power.
Regarding food: we have several options that are available to us. We have recently purchased a cold plate refrigeration system, that will turn the icebox storage area into a refrigerator. This will give us the option of freezing or refrigerating food. If we catch a fish, we have have some now and save some for later in the refrigerator, and store what is left in the freezer section. If we anchor at an island we will be able to pick or
buy fruits and vegetables to store in the refrigerator, and extend our ability to stay out at sea. If we decide to have cocktails while watching the sun set over the island that we are anchored at, we will have ice for our cocktails. The system that we purchased uses little power, just as the watermaker, so with enough solar power, we should have no trouble running both.
Another option is that we have equipment to can food while aboard. With that we will be able to take on more perishable food than we could store in the refrigerator, and can as much as we are able to store. The canning process will be handled in the galley on a small burner that connects into the propane system (the canning pot is too large for the stove). Although not a renewable source, propane is readily available all around the world, and is fairly inexpensive. This brings us to our next big purchase – a new stove.
The stove that is currently aboard our sailboat is a CNG, or Compressed Natural Gas, stove. It uses the large and heavy canisters that do not last for very long. On top of that, CNG is really
difficult to find even inside the U.S. You would be lucky to find CNG anywhere else, so this will not work for us. We have decided to pull this old system out and install a new LPG stove. LPG, or Liquid Propane Gas, is readily available around the world, and is stored in small canisters at a lower pressure. It also burns at almost three times the heat that CNG burns, so it is much more efficient. The only downside to LPG, is that it is heavier than air, so if there is a leak it will tend to settle in the lowest part of the boat – the bilge. If enough gas accumulates, you can have an explosion. To help prevent this there are solenoid valves that are attached at the tank, that will turn the gas off at the source at the flip of a switch. It is also recommended that the LPG tanks be installed on deck so that any gas that might escape will spill overboard. Another upside to LPG is that we will be able to connect our grill on the stern into the gas system, and we already have two propane tanks that are ready to mount.
So in order of importance, I have ordered the following:
- Katadyne 40E watermaker
- Cool Blue cold plate
- Force 10 two burner stove
Also on our list are a dodger and dinghy davits to hold the inflatable. These will come in round three.