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Old 19-03-2013, 10:18   #1
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Manual watermaker for a life raft & grab bag

Hi everyone,
I am after some help finding a manual water maker I can include in my grab bag or life raft. I am sure this has been a topic before now so any advice on brands, reliability, cost & ease of use, would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks
Trish

oops, I forget to ask about what a good cache of flares would be for a trans ocean voyage.
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Old 19-03-2013, 10:24   #2
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Re: Manual watermaker for a life raft & grab bag

Hi Trisha at $1,300 it may be better to buy an extra EPIRB or a hand held satellite phone... At least then you could ring the Coast Guard and ask them to air drop you more water while they get off their bums and rescue you.
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Old 19-03-2013, 10:49   #3
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Re: Manual watermaker for a life raft & grab bag

Funny this thread should be started today. I was just speaking yesterday evening to my husband about hand held watermakers. I had a momentarily lapse of intelligence and thought perhaps that the hand held water desalinators would be as easy and cheap as the fresh water purifiers I used to bring on week long camping trips away from civilization.

But no, they are WAY more expensive and generally have bad reviews I've heard. My husband thinks we should instead invest in more EPIRB's or the like to get rescued.

However if money were no object I'd see nothing wrong with having one. To each their own!
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Old 19-03-2013, 10:49   #4
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Re: Manual watermaker for a life raft & grab bag

Trish - Ours is a Katadyn Survivor 06. Not cheap but small and very well made. Another thing we have in our bag is a "Solar Still" by Aquamate Products. This creates a tent-like float that basically evaporates seawater and it is collected. A much cheaper product but only good in hot and calm environments (I'm guessing).
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Old 19-03-2013, 13:30   #5
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Re: Manual watermaker for a life raft & grab bag

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trish Affleck View Post
Hi everyone,
I am after some help finding a manual water maker I can include in my grab bag or life raft. I am sure this has been a topic before now so any advice on brands, reliability, cost & ease of use, would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks
Trish

oops, I forget to ask about what a good cache of flares would be for a trans ocean voyage.
Depending upon where you will be sailing, if rescue is likely within only a day or two, you might carry a few pouches per person of water in your ditch bag together with a few Passive Desalinators.

In re: Flares, think SOLAS Flares .

FWIW...
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Old 19-03-2013, 13:59   #6
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Re: Manual watermaker for a life raft & grab bag

Solar stills do have the advantage that they tend to make more water in conditions when humans need more water

I think it's a good idea to have both (when it's cold, you'll benefit from the physical exercise of pumping a desalinator - provided you've got something to eat!)

I also think it's a category error to trade off survival equipment against passive rescue equipment: they serve two entirely different purposes, and depending on circumstances and particularly location, the latter may not be any sort of substitute for the former.
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Old 19-03-2013, 14:42   #7
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Re: Manual watermaker for a life raft & grab bag

MarkJ is right. Spend the money on an EPRIB and get rescued right away. The small 06 units work and provide a good fore arm and shoulder workout if they are maintained properly. My experience is that they are rarely maintained, but rather stuck in a ditch bag and forgotten. Solar stills are extremely finicky and produce very, very, little water in perfect conditions. In the perfect environment that they need to work in one person would sweat more water from their body waiting than a solar still could make. Packaged water is a far cheaper and better solution. But if you have to have a watermaker for your life raft make it a Katadyn 35 dedicated to the ditch bag and not serving double duty as your boats watermaker. With that you could make enough survival water for several people stuck on a life raft.
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Old 20-03-2013, 07:01   #8
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Re: Manual watermaker for a life raft & grab bag

Have to agree with those who say to spend the money on a couple of pouches of water and a really good EPIRB or two. Twenty years ago I might have said differently. In today's world, though, a good EPIRB (keep the batteries fresh and the registration current), is money better spent.
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Old 14-04-2013, 19:18   #9
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Re: Manual watermaker for a life raft & grab bag

I find it best to buy some dehydrated water foil packs from an outdoor store. Just rip the pack open, tip it into a container, add fresh water, et voila - instant fresh water.

What, you don't have that in the US? Must be a bit slow at new technology adoption
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Old 14-04-2013, 19:37   #10
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A liferaft today is designed to support people for 4 days , this is typically the max period you will spend in it , if you have GMDSS alerting equipment. Hence long term production of water is really a thing of the past. cans of water sufficient for a few days is all that is required. Invest in the required GMDSS alerting equipment instead.

Dave
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Old 28-04-2013, 23:38   #11
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Re: Manual watermaker for a life raft & grab bag

get a 35 and DO NOT PUT A GREW at risk to save your ass.....
pump and you will getwater and get to land and can walk or shore swim to where you need to be.
This might sound severe but can you live with the thought/fact that a rescue crew died trying to save your ass?If you can then if they eat it i hope you do the right thing and .....no thoughts there..
Mark
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