Easter in Malta & Water Systems | Sailing Blog - Technical Hints and Tips - Sailing Television

Easter in Malta & Water Systems

Back on board Two-Step in time for Easter! Malta celebrates Easter in a big way with processions in the streets and it was excellent!! Against a great backdrop of the most amazing fortified city of Valletta we filmed men carrying very heavy statues and dressed in costumes from the Easter story – quite moving!

Now we are working on Two-Step – getting her ready for sale – or sail! Two-Step is up for sale of course (see web link where I have added more pictures showing the cabins in more detail). The plan is to sail her up to England leaving in 2 weeks (first of May) since that is where our new boat is being built. So anyone interested in a Med Cruise and looking for a super cruising boat handily prelocated in the Med and ready to go – should let us know immediately. Otherwise we will be sailing her further west.

SOOOO – if you want to turn your dreams of a Mediterranean Summer cruise into reality!! Come on over to Malta and hop aboard Two-Step – fully equipped and ready to go – we will spend a week or two with you as you like to get familiar with her and even help reposition her to Greece or Turkey – our personal recommendations for the some of the best cruising in the world!! Contact us for more information!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled blog...

Water Budget and Systems – Continued

Actually I have never seen anyone attempt to do an actual budget for water use. I do remember years ago ready cruising books recommending average use for a boat in a long passage and saying to allow 4 litres per person per day. But I think modern boats tend to use more (or much more!!) so designing a system to allow us to safely cross oceans is going to take into account more than that simple rule of thumb.


1. We will have a watermaker
2. The watermaker might stop working partway through a passage
3. Pressure water system might also either stop working, or use too much water
4. We will have a system that safely crosses oceans even assuming 1,2 & 3.

Watermaker – In order to be able to run the watermaker in the most different situations I believe the 12 volt ones are the best. Then even if the inverter/generators pack up, you can still run it from the battery or solar panel. We are looking at Spectra watermakers at this point.

Pressure Water – In my experience a pressure water system encourages sailors to use too much water. If there was ever a problem with the watermaker, it would be extremely difficult to conserve water, so I am planning to install the ubiquitous Whale foot pumps in the heads and galley. This way if the pressure system goes down we can still get at our water, and on passage we can conserve water easily. And for anyone who hasn't used a Whale footpump – they really are excellent. Did I mention that I have known cruisers who retired ashore and were planning to install these footpumps in their houses?!

Water tanks – The Southerly 42 has two water tanks. Total capacity is actually slightly less than Two-Steps water tanks – although you can order an optional tank to increase it. It think we will stick with the original tankage plan, add the watermaker and try to keep the tanks filled up on passages.

Water safety on Passage – My plan is to regularly refill the tanks from the watermaker whenever we are in a remote cruising ground or are on passage. For instance, plan to run the watermaker when we have used one third of our water. That way if the watermaker stops working one day, we will still have a 2/3 full tanks. It will not be a disaster! We will immediately switch into conservation mode – no more showers, use footpumps etc and the 2/3 capacity will be plenty to allow us to reach port safely or fix whatever the problem is.

Watermaker usage – One of the changes I have noticed in the years we have been cruising is that more and more cruisers use their watermakers all the time. Originally when we met a cruiser with a watermaker they used it primarily on passages or in remote areas like the Bahamas where water is expensive. But in port where water was easily available on the dock, they would use that to fill their tanks. Now more people seem to run them all the time. And in many cases I understand the rationale. For instance, here in Malta, the municipal water is quite safe to drink, but a little brackish (salty). So tea tastes a bit crumby, and we choose to drink bottled water. So cruisers who have a watermaker, will often choose to run that when they need to fill their tanks. The issue is that you have to be very careful about the filters you have in the system. It is often an option to have a water/oil separator as a preliminary filter before it is safe to take in harbour water. The other option is to run the municipal tap water as the input to the watermaker – in this case you would need more plumbing to connect the hose, and a very good chlorine filter to make sure the chlorine in the city water didn't damage the membrane in the watermaker. I would like more information on this option and will ask around here to find someone who has it all sorted out.

Well, thats it for today, for the past couple of weeks I have been working on designs for a stern arch to act as dinghy davits/solar panel mount and a bimini. I will see if I can post these drawings for the next blog entry this week!

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