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Old 15-11-2011, 07:51   #1
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Cruisers: Pressurized Fresh Water ?

I am starting to do a little forward thinking for when it is time to re-plumb Windsong in the near future. She came with some nice foot pumps at the galley and head sinks, one for salt and one for fresh water. It also originally had a full pressurized fresh-water system with AC powered or engine heat-exchange water heater.

Both the water heater and pressure pump will need to be either rebuilt or replaced. The water hoses lead all the way back to the engine room which houses the pump and the water heater. The reason they go all the way back there is so the heater can be heated by the engine, but without the water heater this run of hoses would be unnecessary.

I figure while cruising the water heater would just be eating up space and is really an unnecessary luxury. While I will probably miss it for state-side living aboard, I need to set this boat up for cruising. I then started to think about why I would even need the pressurized fresh water when I have foot pumps.

So my question is to those who are cruising or intend to cruise: do you bother with a pressurized water system? If so, why? It seems that it would do nothing but waste electricity and fresh water when the foot pumps would be more than adequate. Before I dive head first into this KISS attitude towards my water system, I would like advice from others. There might be a point of concern I am missing and I don't want to leave any stones unturned.

Old water pump (on left, the right is a bilge pump):



Old water heater:



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Old 15-11-2011, 08:04   #2
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When I've converted my older foot pump boats it was the cheap easy way... inline pump with a switch at each sink... head - galley..
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Old 15-11-2011, 08:13   #3
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Re: Cruisers: Pressurized Fresh Water?

Pressure water can be a big convenience. I have friends who installed pressure saltwater and left the fresh manual. They found it helps with freshwater conservation. Saltwater gets used for more things because it us more convenient than the fresh and fresh is used less on the whole.
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Old 15-11-2011, 08:16   #4
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Re: Cruisers: Pressurized Fresh Water?

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Pressure water can be a big convenience. I have friends who installed pressure saltwater and left the fresh manual. They found it helps with freshwater conservation. Saltwater gets used for more things because it us more convenient than the fresh and fresh is used less on the whole.
I intend on having at least one deck washdown pump for saltwater. What is the big convenience for having the pressure at the sinks though?
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Old 15-11-2011, 08:17   #5
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Re: Cruisers: Pressurized Fresh Water?

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So my question is to those who are cruising or intend to cruise: do you bother with a pressurized water system? If so, why?
The why question only makes sense on a bachelor boat.

My boat is co-owned by a woman. Fresh, hot showers, therefore, are not considered optional.
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Old 15-11-2011, 08:19   #6
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Re: Cruisers: Pressurized Fresh Water?

i plan on converting my pressure water to foot pump water at some time in not too distant future....
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Old 15-11-2011, 08:20   #7
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Re: Cruisers: Pressurized Fresh Water?

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The why question only makes sense on a bachelor boat.

My boat is co-owned by a woman. Fresh, hot showers, therefore, are not considered optional.
good point

if the lady would like a shower, I have a nice solar/deck shower she can use. I don't see fresh, hot showers happening in this boat.
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Old 15-11-2011, 08:21   #8
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Re: Cruisers: Pressurized Fresh Water?

I'd give up the water heater faster than I would a pressurized fresh water system. I'd opt for an on demand pump, they're cheap enough and unless you plan on long showers the amp hour use is relatively little.
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Old 15-11-2011, 08:26   #9
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Re: Cruisers: Pressurized Fresh Water?

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I don't see fresh, hot showers happening in this boat.
That being the case, were I in your shoes I wouldn't hesitate to simplify the system.
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Old 15-11-2011, 08:27   #10
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Re: Cruisers: Pressurized Fresh Water?

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I intend on having at least one deck washdown pump for saltwater. What is the big convenience for having the pressure at the sinks though?
You go to wash your hands. With 2 foot pumps, the fresh is just as easy as the salt and saltwater leaves your hands feeling a off. With pressure salt, the salt is easier and you know you should use it so you do. 4 to 10 decisions like that a day and you've saved 1/2g, 1g, 1.5gal. Over a 30day passage that adds up to serious tankage. By using a lot of saltwater with a freehand, you also don't feel as deprived.

It's all a psychology gimick, but it works for my friends.

On the other hand, don't get rid of the salt footpump, never know when the pressure pump is going to pack it in.
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Old 15-11-2011, 08:30   #11
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Re: Cruisers: Pressurized Fresh Water?

Anyone on board who like to shower? If so pressure H2O is nice!
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Old 15-11-2011, 08:32   #12
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Re: Cruisers: Pressurized Fresh Water?

Our boat has pressurized hot and cold water. Its used very little. The footpump is easier in the sink and allows for more precise use of water.
We normally leave some water bottles in the sun which gives a warm transom shower.
Its worth, however, thinking about backups on a cruising boat and having both electric and manual pumps does provide redundancy.
Electric pumps are usually easier to install and surprisingly seem more reliable than foot pumps. Electric pumps are often are noisy so not a good option if someone is sleeping, but if you have both, you can choose the best pump for the job.

A salt water foot ( or electric) pump in the galley is a must for a crusing boat
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Old 15-11-2011, 08:45   #13
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Re: Cruisers: Pressurized Fresh Water ?

We have pressurized fresh water systems for faucets and showers (inside and out), plus with the gen running we use the heater to make hot water, and at the same time we use our watermaker to top off tanks. As we are full-time cruisers we only use water made from our watermaker to put into our (2)100 gallon tanks.

Nothing beats a nice hot freshwater shower during (at times) and after a long passage, and it keeps the Admiral happy (most important!)

Our Sureflo brand pump(s) keeps the water pressure to what we set, they're inexpensive and work well for our set up. We also have the same pump used for our seawater wash-down located at the bow.
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Old 15-11-2011, 09:25   #14
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I have foot pumps and pressured water with a hot water heater. To me the pressure system is the difference between camping and cruising. I have a water flow regulator on the pressure faucet in the galley. I can have warm water to wash dishes, wash ur face, wash ur hands. Just a woman's POV.
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Old 15-11-2011, 11:00   #15
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Re: Cruisers: Pressurized Fresh Water ?

Beersmith you've got your work cut out for you.
Looking at the third picture you got Splices wrapped in blue painters tape on some nasty looking wire, a gate valve, a wiringing mess unsecured along with unsecured hoses all over the place some with double clamps on some hoses with single clamps on the other side, untreated pine, steel 90 degree brackets holding down the watermaker which is probably going to let go in a rough sea, galvanized strapping, bad electrical splice/connection on the bilge pump, and what's with that clamp at the end of a red wire in front of the blue name plate?
Sometimes you have to take stock and a deep breath and say "It's all gotta go" and start over. It's usually faster and a lot less of a headache in the future.
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