Found a great article about a sailor who grows their own food onboard.
Three hulls, one planet: Neel 51 owner explains how he went self-sustainable (opens in a new window)
As an experienced live-aboard cruiser, I disagree with a few points in his article. A few examples:
- He states "Desalination puts brine back into the sea, which contributes to the eutrophication of the marine environment". First off, evaporation from the ocean surface removes much more water than a sailboat would. Second, the water you take from your watermaker will all end up going back into the ocean, thereby diluting the salt content back to normal. I also have rain catchers on our boat, but while Wolf uses them as his primary source, and watermaker as secondary, we use the watermaker as primary and raincatchers as secondary.
- Re-using grey water is needed if you are relying on rain catching. While I am not opposed to having a grey-water system, we found it was easier just to use potable water for everything. The amount of waste from a single boat is minimal, and the ocean naturally bio-degrades it.
Our reliance on potable water may partly be because we have excess electrical power, and so can "waste" the energy to use our watermaker as we please. Wolf has 3kw of solar and a 10kwh battery bank, compared to our 4.5kw solar and 29kwh battery bank.
Generally, however, he has some great ideas, and it's good to see other people making the switch to a cruising lifestyle. Definitely worth the read.