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Old 15-11-2013, 10:54   #1
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whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

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' 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?
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?

Rick
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Old 17-11-2013, 10:09   #2
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

If you are interested, I have a icom SSB, that is wired for pactor, i also have a sky mate that is good for email, weather and fax,

We just pulled a 1990 village marine water maker model pw400 with 358 hours


off our new boat,


If you are interested, please let me know and I can send you more details
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Old 17-11-2013, 12:03   #3
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

What kind of SSB is it and don't know what (wired for Pactor) means as I have never had a SSB so this is all new to me. Also have to bring me up to date on what (sky mate) is and how it works. I am a little concerned when buying electronics that are used as they tend to stop working even when new it seems like, especially when you are in a remote area and can't get it fixed locally.
Why are you selling them and how much do you want for them and how much do they cost new? I'll pass on the water maker due to technology improvements since it was made but can you comment on it's capacity and how you liked it?

Rick
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Old 17-11-2013, 12:37   #4
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

The Single Sideband (SSB) is an older marine ICOM, model M700.
A Pactor would allow you to retrieve weather info and email through the SSB.
You can Google Skymate for more info but it is a satellite system that allows you to send/recieve emails, download weather, send voicefax, and allows you to report your vessels position.

SSB - I'm asking $300
Skymate - lists at $1199 new, I'm asking $600

From what the website states, the Watermaker capacity is 17 gallons per hour. We never actually used the water maker (only turned it on a few times, including just before we uninstalled it). We bought the boat recently and it came with the watermaker...but we won't be needing it where we are located.
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Old 17-11-2013, 12:44   #5
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

Others may... nope... others will disagree but the best bang for the buck in Ham/SSB is an Icom IC-718 that has been opened for the marine bands.
About the only marine band tx/rx you will be using it for is sailmail pactor comms ...

More info re sailmail pactor here .. www.sailmail.com
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Old 17-11-2013, 13:25   #6
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

Best input I've ever heard about water makers:

The watermaker was a great investment. I've seen the other side - people buying their water in 5 gallon jugs and trying to sneak in a little shampoo as they steal a beachside shower from a resort. It doesn't look like fun. We love the watermaker.
Capacity is important. The cheaper low volume Katadyne units have to run forever to make enough water. Something in the 150 gpd range is much better. We have a Spectra unit.
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Old 17-11-2013, 14:22   #7
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Up to today I didn't know a great deal about reverse osmosis water makers until I read Mark & Michele's blog, so you may want to follow this link http://svreach.com/boat-blog/watermaker.html. Regards Doug
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Old 17-11-2013, 14:28   #8
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

50 gpd is just to small in both what you will pay for it and the results you'll get. Dollars to gallons the really small watermakers in that range are actually more expensive. Best advice is to go sailing for a while and figure out what you need along the way. You'll be surprised at what you'll change your mind on needing.
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Old 17-11-2013, 19:00   #9
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

Cruisers should purge the GPD (Gallon Per Day) water maker ratings from their terminology in my opinion because do you know ANY cruiser that runs his water maker 24hrs per day? Nope...never...doesn't happen. The GPH (Gallon per hour) rating has much more meaning to cruisers and reality. 50GPD may sound like a lot of water, but I'm with Tellie on this one. I'd rather get water from the dock my first year cruising than mess with a 1.5-2.0GPH water maker and then find out what would work for YOU best. But in fiarness, this opinion is coming from a guy who has been known to take two showers a day in the heat of Mexico, with a 30GPH water maker, a fresh water anchor chain rinse down, washing machine, and the owner of a high output water maker company....so I could be water happy


When it comes to an SSB...
It's hard to beat the simplicity of the Icom M802. I know the Hams (which I am one) love the true ham rigs with all those extra controls and features to scew with, but the simplicity of the M802 is something I like and makes it as easy to use as a standard VHF. In an evergency, you want simplicity that your other crew members can use and figure out without being a radio nerd. (I'm a radio nerd, so I can say that with love)
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Old 17-11-2013, 20:12   #10
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

Reading between the lines...you may be happier with an Iridium sat phone. No learning curve, trivial installation, and capital investment about the same. Search CF for debate on the merits of a sat phone versus an SSB.
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Old 17-11-2013, 20:30   #11
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

The boat is a Hardin 45 with two 75 gallon water tanks. probably going to be around three aboard while cruising on an average and it would be nice for all to be able to take a quick shower daily plus drinking and doing dishes.
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
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Old 17-11-2013, 20:53   #12
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

What's the best watermaker and SSB? The units on my boat of course..
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Old 17-11-2013, 23:42   #13
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

ICOM 710RT with Pactor3 modem - 15 years of flawless service. I can talk to anyone in the world and send receive e-mail with ease.

Almost any modern SSB / Ham transceiver will work for you. The REALLY - REALLY important things, the TWO THINGS, that makes any transceiver work are the antenna, and even more important - the GROUND PLANE!

Any Spectra watermaker. I've had the original modular 18 GPH dual feed pump system since 1999. Works perfectly - one gallon per hour of 200 ppm water per 14V amp (14 amps @ 14 V = a little over 14 GPH)

I knew / still know lots of Mexico cruisers with Spectras - they all work perfectly and are all relatively expensive.

Some of your other questions indicate a need to spend a lot of quality time with an experienced watermaker user / installer / maintainer.

We spent three years in the Sea of Cortez, including summers, and used over 20 gallons a day of water. We have a 16 GPH Spectra and tried to run it at least two hours a day.

The more any watermaker runs, the more water run over the membrane, the longer it will last. Our membrane is 15 years old.

There are many ways to power a watermaker. What is important is that your power source be such that you can turn the watermaker on and let it run without worrying about energy consumption.

We ran the watermaker almost continuously while we motored. But, we anchored for weeks at a time. So, we had 500 watts of solar panels and could make 16 GPH water (16 amps) and run the refrigerator compressor (5 amps) while still putting a charge into the 625 amp hour house battery bank.
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Old 18-11-2013, 00:49   #14
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

"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?

Watermaker feed pumps, and compressor in some systems, can be powered by any of the following methods:

Human - big biceps pumping the handle

12V electrical from batteries
How do you charge the batteries?
- solar
- wind
- AC genset & battery charger
- alternator on propulsion motor
- DC genset

12V electrical direct from DC genset

120V electrical
- from batteries and inverter
- direct from AC genset

Mechanical
- direct from small gas or diesel motor
- direct from DC genset
- direct from AC genset
- direct from propulsion motor
- direct from prop shaft

SO – which power sources do you have and which is easiest for you to use?

You can buy packaged systems that run off any of the sources shown above or you can fabricate a system for parts and use one or more of the sources shown above.

This is not a simple subject and your choice of power will determine how easy it is to make water.

Our solar panels were so powerful in Mexico that we just automatically turned the watermaker on everyday, at about noon when the batteries reached 14V. Two hours later we would have 25+ gallons of fresh water and fully charged batteries.
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Old 18-11-2013, 01:02   #15
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Re: whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dive View Post
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?
ALL HAM radios can transmit/receive ALL SSB channels. Not all SSB receives can transmit on HAM frequencies. You will need a license to send on HAM frequencies but you can receive without a license.

The first time you check-in with a HAM net, either via voice or data, they will check you call sign (e.g. mine is KI9NG which indicates I am an EXTRA class HAM and can legally transmit on all frequencies using any type of transmission such as Morse, voice, or digital data) to verify you can legally use the frequency you contact them on. They will question you if they have any doubts. They can lose their license if they allow an unauthorized operator to use their net. Each type of license allows the use of different frequencies and broadcast modes.

Making FREE phone calls via HAM is done by making contact with a shoreside station (HAM operator) who then patches you thru their phone line to your intended recipient. It is a simplex conversation and both parties need to learn how to not talk over each other. Many HAM networks provide these phone patches and we used them several times a week to stay in touch with parents and family.

There is NO, NONE, guarantee that a HAM will be available to make the patch at any given time and no guarantee that the frequency that the HAM wants to use (not the frequency the net is on) will be available or workable. The nets occur at very specific times of the day so your party at the other end has to know to be ready to receive the call.

AND - this is BIG - you can not conduct business on a HAM frequency. If the HAM doing the patch hears you conducting business he will be obligated to tell you to stop. We can lose our licenses over this matter.

The same NO business rule applies to e-mail transmissions on HAM frequencies. I got in trouble because my financial manager was sending me weekly reports about the status of my accounts. Just data showing what I had sold or bought but the network managing my e-mail said - NO NO NO!

Reception of Weather Fax data requires you to make contact with a station such as PT Reyes at the appropriate time and then stay connected for several minutes as the fax comes in.

Or, if you have a modem you can use one of many services such as SAILMAIL or Winlink to request and receive weather fax and a lot of weather data. This is much more efficient and easier - once you have the modem up and running.

For example, sailing from Seattle to San Diego. I set up a 12-hour automatic weather fax update on Winlink. It keeps track of my position, course, and speed and then sends me GRIB files (wind, wave charts) for the 250 miles ahead of me (that is about 2 days in our boat). Each time on login to Winlink I receive a series of charts and text messages about the upcoming 250 miles. All I have to do is turn on the radio, connect to a Winlink station, and receive the messages. Typically that takes less than five minutes but is automated so I can leave the radio and computer unattended while it is receiving.

SAILMAIL is SSB and does not require a HAM license but the frequencies do get crowded and it is often hard to connect to a station. Winlink requires a HAM license but has many more stations available.

I highly recommend going the HAM route - it makes it very easy to send / receive e-mail, weather data, and phone calls

Plan on pretty intense study, installation, practice for several months to learn how to use the SSB and HAM systems - once you get the necessary licenses.


Here is a good starting point http://www.latitude38.com/features/S...l#.UonNrNIqgT8

Here is a Cruising Forum thread about SSB and telephone at 99 cents a minute:
Public Correspondence Telephone Link By Marine SSB or Ham Radio
Jerry
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