The average home shower takes 8 minutes and uses 17.2 gallons of fresh water. Showering is the second largest use of fresh water in the home (flushing toilets is the first). Showering on board using a sun shower can significantly stretch fresh water consumption--Maggie and I can get 2 showers each from 5 gallons of fresh water. This means less than 1.25 gallons of fresh water consumption per shower--a reduction of 90% compared to the average home shower.
|We used this sun shower on our month-long sailing trip last summer|
and we don't feel that we compromised much in using it while cruising.
|It is surprising that only 1.25 gallons is all that is needed to shower--7% |
of the average water consumption of a typical land-based shower.
Washing dishes for two people on board takes 3 to 5 gallons of fresh water from our tanks--this is if we wash all the dishes for one day in the evening. We can cut our fresh water consumption for dish washing by 92 to 95% if we wash with salt water and rinse with fresh water kept in 16-ounce spray bottles (using 16 ounces per day).
The average American who brushes his/her teeth with the water continuously running from the tap uses 4 gallons of fresh water for each brushing. With the tap turned off while brushing the water consumption is reduced to 1/4-gallon per person. We hope to cut this last figure by 75% by using spray bottles to clean our tooth brush and simply rinse out using about 3 to 4 ounces of fresh water per brushing.
Ice & Drinking Water
Obviously, this has to be fresh water and this will change very little from our normal activity at home except ice cubes are a lot more difficult to harvest on the boat. We can make about a gallon of ice cubes per day and that about equals our expected daily consumption. Drinking water accounts to about 1 gallon per day per person.
Some time ago we purchased three 16-ounce spray bottles (from Amazon) to use in our water conservation measures. To make this water conservation concept work we had to come up with a way of keeping the spray bottles handy in the two areas where they will be used the most: the sink in the head and the sink in the galley.
|We bought these three identical 16-ounce spray bottles from Amazon.|
Spray Bottle Holders
I decided to make spray bottle holders from 1/4-inch thick black Starboard. (I considered making them from teak but the cost would be a lot higher and it would take a lot longer to make, not that these issues usually affect my boat-related decisions.)
|The custom spray bottle holder made from |
1/4-inch thick Starboard is simple, but functional.
|One spray bottle is mounted in the head just above the faucet as shown above |
while another is mounted in the galley next to the galley faucet.
A pie chart of our 7 gallon per day fresh water consumption budget
for two people while anchored out in the Bahamas.