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Old 18-11-2013, 01:15   #16
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

i can only tell you what works for us - we have been out 6 years- up and down the usa east coast then a circum nav of the caribbean from mexico to colombia then across to jamaica to trini and back to antigua then across the atlantic and now in tunisia

we have an icom 802 that we find easy to use and pactor modem that we use for emails to family when we do not have internet, grib files, and position reports among other things -- easy to install and use but the manual is terrible -

as for a water maker we got a katadyn 3.5gph and run it about 1-2 hrs a day using our solar panels for energy - works great -- HOWEVER if we had to do it over we would have gotten the 6 gph --
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Old 18-11-2013, 03:51   #17
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
"Best way to drive the pump?"

The question you need to answer to answer the above question is:

What power sources are available on your boat and which is easiest to use for several hours a day?

This is a fundamental question, and should narrow your quest significantly. I have just ripped an old watermaker off my boat, and refused two alternative second hand offerings because they would not match up with my power supply. I have a generator, and 555 watts of solar plus of course alternators on the engines.

I wanted to be able to run the watermaker without use of powered systems (i.e. by use of my solar). 240vAC pumps are great and hardwearing, but ignore amp limits and thus do not include methodologies to conserve power. Yes I could run the generator, but I would rather not have to! the watermaker will be noisy enough!
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Old 18-11-2013, 05:44   #18
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

I second the suggestion to become a Ham. Just think of the extra money and really cool shack you'll be able to have after you've finished sailing and sold the boat. KI4VLV
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Old 18-11-2013, 06:56   #19
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

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Originally Posted by dive View Post
Does any one out there know about what the typical average usage would be based on the above data? 50 gal a day? more, less?
Next is to figure out the best way to run it. Pulley off engine or gen set? 12 Volt electric system?
I would imagine that you would want to run the pump as little as possible to get the daily usage you require due to the drain on the batteries or having to run the engine though I would think that the more GPH it is capable of making, the more expensive it would be?
Best brand names out there?
Best way to drive the pump?
Average cost of system?
Thanks

Rick
Hey Rick,
The How much water per day question is kinda like asking how much money you need to be happy. I've cruised with folks that pride themselves in taking 500ML showers once per week...(ugg and they smelled like it). On the other extream, I was known to take a morning and evening shower (forget about romance aboard without showers). Our fmaily of 4 averaged 20-25 gallons per day over a 4 year cruise on hot Mexico.

There isn't a "Wrong Way" to go in the 12v or 120v decision tree, it just all depends on how you plan to set-up and use your boat. 12V units (like Spectra, Village Marine, HRO for example) without a doubt are more energy efficient than 120v units (Cruise RO Water, EchoTech, HRO, Village Marine) But they let you make lots of water quickly whle running the generator and don't put a tax/drain on your ships batteries, which is always a problem and why I like the 120v approach IF you either have a generator or plan to carry a honda 2000.

As the owner of Cruise RO Water, I'm or course partial to our units BUT you won't go wrong with any of the brands/units I mentioned above. They are all quality and have good reputations...they just varry in complexity and cost, so it's what works best for you in the end.

I would recommend doing a little research (which you have started here) and send emails to the different water maker companies sharing with them your "plan and needs" and asking for a copy of their manual (not a sales brouchure) and their input. After reading through a few manuals, you will learn about about the different companies to help narrow down the search.
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Old 18-11-2013, 07:04   #20
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
The more any watermaker runs, the more water run over the membrane, the longer it will last. Our membrane is 15 years old.
15 years is an unusual membrane life. Was this in continual usage, or was it pickled for a significant amount of that time?

Relative membrane life is extended by longer run times compared to shorter run times, but the absolute life of a membrane is determined by the summation amount of water that has run through it (along with other fixed variables). So it is true that watermakers should be run for a longish time each time they are operated, but not true that the more water run through the membrane the longer its life (continuous running does not give infinite lifespan - although yours seems to be heading that way ).

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Old 18-11-2013, 07:25   #21
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
12V units (like Spectra, Village Marine, HRO for example) without a doubt are more energy efficient than 120v units (Cruise RO Water, EchoTech, HRO, Village Marine) But they let you make lots of water quickly whle running the generator and don't put a tax/drain on your ships batteries, which is always a problem and why I like the 120v approach IF you either have a generator or plan to carry a honda 2000.
Leaving Spectra and any other energy-recovery unit out of the equation, the energy efficiency (amps per gallon) of our 120V 30gph unit run off the inverter is the same as our previous 12V 6gph unit. Both require ~3 amps per gallon. And that is taking in account inverter and charging inefficiencies.

30gph is the sweet spot in this AC vs DC efficiency measurement. 20gph uses the same power for less water and 40gph uses twice the power for a third more water (and is near or above the limit of many inverters).

Most 120V systems put a surprising drain on the batteries because they come with DC boost pumps that use 13-15 amps 12V. That draw is similar to what 12V watermakers themselves draw.

So while you may be using a 120V generator to charge the batteries while making water, you will be losing ~15A of your charging capacity with a DC boost pump.

Substituting an AC boost pump solves that problem, but you will still have the extra draw when running off an inverter.

If you can forgo the boost pump altogether, then a 120V 30gph watermaker is more efficient run off an inverter than most 12V systems.

However, do not get a 120V system thinking you can run it off an inverter only. That will lead to trouble - you need a 120V source for routine operation. The above was just clarifying energy efficiency comparisons with respect to DC amps/gallon.

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Old 18-11-2013, 19:47   #22
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
I second the suggestion to become a Ham. Just think of the extra money and really cool shack you'll be able to have after you've finished sailing and sold the boat. KI4VLV
I agree, it takes some time

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Old 19-11-2013, 17:05   #23
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

Rick,
I saw this thread and thought I could help, but...
But, lumping "watermakers" and "SSB Radios" together in one discussion seemed like a recipe for disaster...
So, I thought about sending you a PM with some info...but...


But, then I saw some of the info that was being offered here, and it seemed that maybe my info/ideas/recommendations (on HF-SSB Radios) might be helpful to others here, as well...
Quote:
Originally Posted by dive View Post
I am getting ready to head out for an extended cruise and want to add a water maker and SSB before getting under weigh. The boats a Hardin 45'...
I have never had a SSB before on previous boats but have always been within a day of land. I now will be making up to 3 week passages so want to be able to make long distance calls and I understand that they can also provide weather fax, and email as well? I would love to hear from anyone who has used the above on their thoughts. I also understand that you can buy a SSB/Ham combination as well so does the extra cash warrant that?
Not knowing where you are currently located...nor your specific plans, where, when you're voyaging....nor what your budget is....I can only offer generalities....
The more info you can supply, the more details we can give!!!

Just, FYI, here are some photos of my Nav Station....
http://www.c470.jerodisys.com/470pix/47003.htm

And, of my ham shack at home....
http://www.qrz.com/db/KA4WJA

(I've got about 40 years experience in HF communications, at-sea and on-land, both maritime and ham..)


So, in general...

1) I am going to suggest some reading for you, which should keep 'ya busy for a while....but will also educate you on what a Marine HF-DSC-SSB radio can do for you, and how-to best use it...
Please have a look at these threads/discussions, and watch some videos, and you'll learn a LOT!!!

Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/icom-m-802-instr-videos-basic-adv-and-live-dsc-distress-call-114734.html

(especially videos #8, 10, 6, 4, 5, and 9....videos 1, 2, 3, and 7 are "radio specific" to the Icom M-802, and are helpful to users of other radios, but I'd recommend them AFTER you've watched the others, and made a decision on a radio...)

These threads/discussions hold a great deal of info, and probably most of the answers to questions that you may have....

Tips for using an HF-SSB Radio (mostly for newcomers)

Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

HF Radio Freqs, summertime Atlantic crossing, offshore Net..

Icom M-802 DSC-Distress Signaling, what really happens!

EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds






2) As for a specific radio recommend, that's easy....
The Icom M-802 Marine HF-DSC-SSB (which also does HF ham radio, if you have an amateur radio license), is the only affordable HF-DSC-SSB radio on the market...it sells for about $1850....and the whole system, including remote auto-tuner, wire, cable, connectors, etc...installed, ready-to-go, will set you back about $2650...

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/marine/ssb/m802/specifications.aspx

http://www.docksideradio.com/Icom%20SSB%20Radios.htm




And, if want a detailed discussion as to why trying to use a ham radio on the marine bands/channels is a very bad idea...please read this thread...
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/icom-725-switch-to-ssb-115358.html#post1390840

Icom 725, switch to SSB



3) You can get a pretty good understanding of HF-DSC signaling by watching some of the above videos, but if you desire more info/clarification on it, please ask!!!




4) If you can get by with having e-mail on-board only when in port, at anchor, etc....and not while offshore, far out at-sea....then a good external hi-perf Wi-Fi system, such as that sold by Island Time PC http://islandtimepc.com/marine_wifi.html and whatever 3G/4G wireless plan/provider will work for you along your journey, will do everything you need....

There is NO need for a satellite communications system, NOR any PACTOR radio modem....as these items/systems would give you e-mail access when offshore on long passages and/or in far-flung remote locales (where internet access is scarce)....and most find this unnecessary (although the guys selling the stuff, won't usually tell 'ya that unless you ask 'em...)



5) But, should you find a need for e-mail access while offshore, at-sea, and you can afford it.....you can access e-mail using LOW-SPEED data connections (typically ~ 2.4k baud) via either Sailmail (using a PACTOR modem) or via a satcomm system (such as an Iridium system, with ext. antenna, etc.)....
Though, usually not a necessity for most...and, since adding just this one capability (e-mail access when offshore), will cost you an additional $1000 to $2000...

http://www.sailmail.com/
http://www.sailmail.com/smprimer.htm
http://www.docksideradio.com/Pricing%20&%20Ordering.htm


http://www.satphonestore.com/
http://www.satphonestore.com/application-browsing/marine/marine-satphone.html?limit=25



Rick, please provide more details for us....read over the above threads/discussions....and ask for clarifications / more questions....





6) Rick, I usually don't agree with "Lake Superior" on HF-SSB issues, as I am a BIG proponent of HF radio communications...But...
Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
Reading between the lines...you may be happier with an Iridium sat phone. No learning curve, trivial installation, and capital investment about the same.
But, here he DOES make a good point....and especially if you are really "getting ready to head out for an extended cruise", and do not have the time to actually learn how-to use an HF radio, you may find a sat comm system to be more to your liking...
But, just be forewarned that a sat phone is NOT a substitute for a properly working HF-DSC-SSB....but it is better than nothing at all...





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




7) Compared to HF Radios / Communications, my thoughts/recommends on watermakers are easy...
Quote:
Originally Posted by dive View Post
The boats a Hardin 45'and I have two 75 gallon water tanks with a cross over line but would like to be able to shower when I want and not worry about taking on fresh good water in remote places or lugging in by dinghy in 5 gallon containers. I hear that they come in electric or driven off the main and in an attempt to keep the cost down, I am looking for a smaller unit say 50 gal a day?
You are NOT going to want a "drive-off-the-main engine" unit....lots of "helpful" souls will try to convince you that it is the cheapest way to go...but PLEASE heed the advice of others here (like Tellie and Rich/"Third Day")!!!

Probably the single most important aspect of watermaker choice is, how are you going to power it!!!
Please do NOT discount this...as many have, and have regretted it!!

I'm a rare watermaker owner/user, in that I am energy self-sufficient...meaning I run my hi-efficiency Spectra (as well as my refrig/freezer, stereo, radios, navigation equipment, autopilot, etc.) from 12vdc battery bank and a large (un-shaded and well ventilated) solar array....
(Most watermaker owners/users are NOT so lucky..)


Bottom line for watermakers in the 21st Century:
a) Either you choose not to have one...

b) Or you choose a high-efficiency 12vdc unit (Spectra)
http://www.spectrawatermakers.com/

c) Or you choose a high-output 120vac unit (CruiseRO)
http://www.cruiserowaterandpower.com/WaterMakers.html


These days, almost any other choices are typically fraught with "issues"....and end costing a LOT more $$$ and aggravation!!!


In addition to the input here from Rich (Third Day) and Tellie, please read over these threads for more info....
Watermaker advise needed

Request for information on Aquamaax Water makers

Building 12 volt watermakers

Ready for Solar - need advice!

Regardless of the topic of the thread, there is a LOT of watermaker info/advice in these discussions!!! }

Here is an article/photos of my Spectra Ventura MPC-5000...which has worked great for me for about 7 years and > 12,000 miles offshore...(and I'm completely energy self-sufficient as well...)
http://www.c470.jerodisys.com/470pix/47061.htm
http://www.c470.jerodisys.com/470pix/47004.htm



Fair winds and good luck...


John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110

http://www.qrz.com/db/KA4WJA

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