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Old 03-01-2013, 05:34   #241
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

I think using Vendee globe experiences and other "hard cases" are not really representative of the average "blue water cruiser". You can cope on 2 litres per person per day if you have too. I would suggest that about 400 litres of tankage is useful on a typical cruising boat,but you can get away with down to 250 litres approx.


rescue these days in measured in days, the goal for GMDSS is 4-7 days. So 1970s experiences like Callaghan etc are not really relevant anymore, Most cruisers today carry multiple communications devices, often including SPOT or other trackers and EPRIBs, Yes you could have a catastrophic failure , you could also get a heart attack and die too.

There is a properly thought out fine line between "over doing it: and being unprepared. If you have plenty of money the line gets wider.

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Old 03-01-2013, 09:44   #242
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

We've found that having abundant water on board is really important. We use 20-40 gallons per day and have made all our own water for 3 years cruising Mexico. We wash the deck, the kayak, the snorkeling gear, ourselves, etc. We don't think about water use, and it makes us happy not to have to conserve.

We have an Echotech engine-driven watermaker that makes 60 gallons per hour. The TDS readings are 75-95 and it tastes great. We run the engine for an hour every other day and have copious water. The cost in diesel to run the system is about 4 cents per gallon of water.

I'd highly recommend getting an Echotech. It was not easy to install, largely because the documentation is incorrect and misleading, but having it on board has made a huge difference in our cruising. It's a fabulous system.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:42   #243
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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Originally Posted by downunder View Post
Now which watermaker do we choose? We have reserve tankage for passagemaking, rain catching ability and the OP wants one.

The 1.5g/hr model or 20gal/hr for the same /similar money.
Actually the Power Survivor comes in larger sizes which still end up being a less (just looking around you can find a significant wide range of for the same model) and have manual override. To some a couple thousand dollars difference is same/similar....to others it is a significant difference, and to some the difference in space and power consumption is also significant. When you start to figure in extra costs 20gph start to get alot more expensive (figure the cost of replacement membranes and rebuilt/maintenance kit, and such, something you need to have on hand. It is also important to make sure you get a system that you can work on, rather than having to rely on a "technician"
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Old 06-01-2013, 17:45   #244
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

If you have hot and cold pressurized water, if you use water as wastefully in the galley as you do on land, if you take nice loooong land type showers every day, if you think flushing the head with fresh water keeps it from smelling and if you are wealthy enough to be able to spend money like water...then a 30gph water maker is fine.
My water is hand pump in the galley only, I don't have a shower, my head is dry (composting), I have a small boat with limited space and an even more limited budget.
The best advice I have heard here is (1) sail without a water maker long enough to find out what your actual water consumption is, (2) get a water maker that fits your needs & budget that you can service (3) Make sure you have alternate sources of water and/or enough storage in case the water maker quits working anywhere in the trip (4) Most importantly there is a wide range of what is available, just as wide as the range of needs.
Sorry this doesn't answer the question, just poses a string of questions to ask and what to look for.
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Old 06-01-2013, 18:29   #245
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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Originally Posted by wolfenzee View Post
If you have hot and cold pressurized water, if you use water as wastefully in the galley as you do on land, if you take nice loooong land type showers every day, if you think flushing the head with fresh water keeps it from smelling and if you are wealthy enough to be able to spend money like water...then a 30gph water maker is fine.
Damn, I was hoping to be able to manage with a 20 gph system
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Old 08-01-2013, 13:23   #246
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

In talking to an experienced cruiser about my boat, asking about how well equipped I was etc....on the subject of water makers he said "What do you have for a water maker, though you really don't need one".
There are basically two people that say you NEED a watermaker. the salesman and the person the salesman convinced. Yes water makers are very helpful and make life a bit easier....but they are not necessary.
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Old 08-01-2013, 13:29   #247
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfenzee View Post
In talking to an experienced cruiser about my boat, asking about how well equipped I was etc....on the subject of water makers he said "What do you have for a water maker, though you really don't need one".
There are basically two people that say you NEED a watermaker. the salesman and the person the salesman convinced. Yes water makers are very helpful and make life a bit easier....but they are not necessary.

There you go. You don't need one.

Doesn't solve the OP's question on which watermaker to choose.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-01-2013, 13:40   #248
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfenzee View Post
In talking to an experienced cruiser about my boat, asking about how well equipped I was etc....on the subject of water makers he said "What do you have for a water maker, though you really don't need one".
There are basically two people that say you NEED a watermaker. the salesman and the person the salesman convinced. Yes water makers are very helpful and make life a bit easier....but they are not necessary.
Wolf, As you can appreciate all people are different with different opinions, i have two great Aussie friends who circumnavigated in '85 in a seriously overloaded Roberts 38 Offshore, practically all of their opinions other than weather patterns are obsolete i.e. useless.

Great sailors yes but their ideas are antiquated. Watermakers are here to stay, no different to GPS they are getting cheaper and cheaper, not required gear for everyone granted but this thread is seeking options that are on the market NOT does the OP need one.

Cheers
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Old 08-01-2013, 17:14   #249
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

It all depends on how you cruise and where you cruise. If you are going to anchor out for months at a time, especially where water sources are scarce (Sea of Cortez, Mexico), then you'll be happier with a watermaker than without.

If you are going to stay at marinas, then you don't need one.

We've been cruising Mexico for 3 years, anchoring out exclusively, and we praise the lord every time we make water because it makes this lifestyle so much more enjoyable for us.

Cruising is grubby enough as it is. If you can at least keep yourself, your clothes and your boat and snorkeling gear clean, it is a huge step towards being more comfortable afloat.

As one cruiser said to us when we told him the capacity of our watermaker (60 gallons per hour), "Oh, so you're actually CLEAN on this boat, unlike everyone else."

Our system cost $7k from EchoTech in Trinidad, about the same as the popular 12 gallon per hour DC units on the market. It was hard to install but has been a godsend in our cruising lifestyle.

I can't imagine cruising with a smaller watermaker, and I sure can't imagine cruising the way we do (anchoring out) without one.

However, like I said, if we stayed at marinas all the time, like so many cruisers in Mexico do, then there would be absolutely no need for a watermaker.

My suggestion to anyone thinking about cruising Mexico -- if you are coming for just one season, skip the watermaker and put the money towards marina fees. If you're coming for longer, look at the trade-off between marina fees, the freedom of anchoring out (be forewarned: it's very rolly), and the cost of a watermaker.
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Old 08-01-2013, 17:22   #250
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Good practical post settingsun.

Thanks
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Old 08-01-2013, 18:18   #251
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

From what I can see, there are only three reasons you need a large capacity water maker...(1) you use alot of water and/or have a large crew, (2)you don't want to run the watermaker very long each day, (3) a salesman convinced you you need a large water maker.
A large capacity water maker will not be used as often and has to be back flushed, when a smaller capacity water maker can be used often enough so it doesn't have to be back flushed. Which is why it has been mentioned that you cruise with out a watermaker to see what your water consumption is and how big a water maker you need (if at all).
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:04   #252
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Watching with interest this thread but not yet prepared to acquire one.

There has been much discussion on the merits of off the shelf standard component simple cost effective systems typically with low efficiency and higher capacity as opposed to the usually lower capacity more complex systems with proprietary components and higher efficiency.

I have not come across any examples of standard component type but combined with high efficiency. Do they exist or has any of the DIY brigade contemplated making one?

Also nice would be to have the flexibility (which may come with additional cost no doubt) to match the available power input: for example high capacity with engine or lower output with direct solar or perhaps even a manual pump. Not sure whether you can occasionally under run a system without damage but reduced membrane cleaning could be a limitation.

Quite a few posters have commented you can always use more water even if one tends to be frugal so high capacity is often desirable. But a limited energy budget is of concern to many and can be the overiding factor. For what its worth one poster did point out that the savings thru high efficency systems is not particularly compelling equating it to an extra $500 solar panel.

So I guess the question is can you have your cake and eat it too? Well no but ....

After looking at how the big desal guys do it I may have come up with a idea using just a few additional off the shelf components (no high tech stuff just couple of valves,hoses and additional say empty membrane housing) which when added to a bog standard system should improve efficiency. Practical or worthwhile I dont really know. No secrets either but a little hesitant to fly the kite without a hint of encouragement since this might be old hat for all I know.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:23   #253
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

There are experts here that will answer far better than i but i believe the 'energy saver' units have a higher efficiency albeit at a cost.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:32   #254
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Until the pricing of Danfoss energy recovery units falls dramatically , it will not be possible to build DIY energy recovery RO watermakers imho. The Clark pump,is patented. I don't know of anyone else producing suitable intensifiers and a reasonable price

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Old 10-01-2013, 04:12   #255
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Anybody have any good links or sources of info for DIY watermakers? Honestly, I think I could do well with a capacity of a pint an hour. I would rather have a very small electrical load constantly or during the day when solar is feasible than some big honking 20GPH thing running just a few minutes a day. Seriously... at sea I use about a gallon a day. Even in the marina, with free shore water, I don't use 10 gallons a day. Is the economy of scale such that a micro-watermaker isn't practical? The smallest one I see is the Katadyn. Or the even smaller hand powered one.
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