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Old 24-05-2011, 20:57   #1
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Winterizing a Watermaker

I pitched the concept of taking an extended cruiise to my sweetheart. The first comment was concerns over water. I am thinking that a water maker would be appropriate. If I do this, (and probably will), I would prefer to build this a season or two before I depart. I've read about the need for pickiling if unused. What about winter layup? How does that work? Will the pickiling juice work? Do you remove the membrane, pickle it, then propolene glycol the rest? Can you glycol the whole thing? I know you cannot throw chlorine at it. How does it work???
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Old 24-05-2011, 21:50   #2
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Re: Winterizing a Water Maker

The membrane stays in the unit when you pickle the system. A 50/50 PG will protect the membarne for up to a year along with the internal parts of the watermaker and will protect the system in freezing conditions. I would suggest against buying a watermaker a season or two before you cruise. Membranes have a life expectancy between 5-7 years. It's best to go cruising first. If you find that water is an issue then that would be the time to consider a watermaker. You'll have a much better idea on what your needs truly are. Then you can choose one that will fit your needs and your boats capabilities. You can buy a watermaker that is too small and bigger is rarely better. A little crusing on your boat first will help you in deciding what you actually need.
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Old 25-05-2011, 17:06   #3
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Re: Winterizing a Water Maker

Thanks Telle. That is good advice. I do know from my limited extended crusing that between the two of us, we will us consume my fwd 55 gallon tank in 3 days. I do not know if that is high or low, but it is using it like home for showers, dishes, etc. We had a friend join us for a long weekend, and we burned through that tank in 2 days. I know we are not conserving water because I know we are usually within 5 hours or less from home where I can refill.

The one thing that stresses me out is what quality of water do you get? I can drive 10 minutes to the next town where the well is very different. It's heavy iron and sulpher. I even pulled into a slip on the Bay and was advised not to fill up since it's not the best water. I don't know. It seems as though unless you have some kind of water quaility chart per marina, then you may not know what you get. How do you deal with that? Any guidepoints would be great. Thanks.
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Old 26-05-2011, 09:39   #4
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Re: Winterizing a Water Maker

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Originally Posted by Windseeker View Post
Thanks Telle. That is good advice. I do know from my limited extended crusing that between the two of us, we will us consume my fwd 55 gallon tank in 3 days. I do not know if that is high or low, but it is using it like home for showers, dishes, etc. We had a friend join us for a long weekend, and we burned through that tank in 2 days. I know we are not conserving water because I know we are usually within 5 hours or less from home where I can refill.

The one thing that stresses me out is what quality of water do you get? I can drive 10 minutes to the next town where the well is very different. It's heavy iron and sulpher. I even pulled into a slip on the Bay and was advised not to fill up since it's not the best water. I don't know. It seems as though unless you have some kind of water quaility chart per marina, then you may not know what you get. How do you deal with that? Any guidepoints would be great. Thanks.

Hi Windseeker,

You're using a little less than 10 gallons of water a day each. For some people that's a ton of water for others it's a normal amount for even others it's nowhere near enough. Be a bit leary of others that try to tell you how to ultra conserve water. I get the impression you enjoy having the water you need to be comfortable. You stated that you want to take an extended cruise. Could you define a bit more what that means to you? Time, distance, areas covered, will you mainly be on the hook or will you stop at marinas occasionally frequently etc. The quality of water from a boat based watermaker is better than any water you can buy. Even if that water you buy comes from an RO supplied system on shore. RO systems make great water, where that water is stored before you buy it is where the problems usually are. But that can be said about the condition of your boats fresh water tanks as well. Anytime someone advises you not to fill up at a certain dock I'd strongly suggest taking their advice. But, depending on your intended cruising grounds, many times good water can be found for free or at a small charge. I don't deal with it at all because I have a watermaker and only fill my tanks with dock water at my home dock where I know the condition of the water. With the right watermaker on board you shouldn't have to deal or worry about any dock water you encounter while out cruising. One fact of having a watermaker on board is that you will increase your usage. So if you are both using about 20 gallons a day it would not be unreasonable to suggest that you'll up that usage to 30 gallons a day. It's probably a good figure to start with especially if you have the occasional guest on board. A starting point for a watermaker would be one that would produce 400 gpd or about 16+gph. Running the unit every other day or every three days would be a starting point when considering which watermaker will fit your needs. You stated a forward tank of 55gallons, is there another tank on board?
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Old 26-05-2011, 12:16   #5
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Re: Winterizing a Water Maker

Hello Telle,

To me, extended cruising would be a least 6 month or more cruising from Maryland down the inter-coastal to some point down south in Bahamas or Caribbean. If we don't kill each other after 6 months, then maybe some long run like Bar Harbor Maine to some point in Venezuela. If she hasnít killed me by then, then perhaps through the Panama Canal Up the Baha and California Coast. After that? Hawaii, Fiji??

Most of the time would be on the hook. Iíd probably pull into a marina that had a particular interest or attraction.

The aft tank is 22.5 gallons.

Instead of a water maker, what about a water filters or purifiers for dock-side water? Would I spend just as much on chemicals and filters as I would on a water maker"?
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Old 17-08-2011, 18:12   #6
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Tellie,
I've just fitted a Katadyn 160, but will likely have to postpone my trip south so the boat will be on the hard in sub zero conditions. Will the factory supplied pickle protect both pump and membrane thru the winter?
Jon
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Old 18-08-2011, 09:59   #7
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Re: Winterizing a Watermaker

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Originally Posted by Kawan View Post
Tellie,
I've just fitted a Katadyn 160, but will likely have to postpone my trip south so the boat will be on the hard in sub zero conditions. Will the factory supplied pickle protect both pump and membrane thru the winter?
Jon

I'm getting to the point of exclusivly recommending Proplyne Glycol -100 (not the PG-50) for storing watermakers all the time, regardless of climate. I just personally have continually far better success in re-commisioning watermakers that have been stored in PG. Watermaker companies will sell you their powdered solutions mostly because of the space savings. A cup of powder is easier to store than a few gallons of PG. But PG I find keeps the membranes stored safer and longer. PG also helps keep the internal parts, seals, plungers, O-rings, etc. far better lubricated and rubber/plastic parts more supple. So if the boat is going to be stored in sub zero conditions without any heating then the PG -100 will protect the unit from damage due to contracting and expanding with temperature changes. But because your watermaker is new and probably under warranty I'd give the local dealer/distributor a call to explain the temperature issue and to make sure you would not be violating any warranty issues by using PG.
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