Originally Posted by taezow
Hum?? If we are this far south we could do the southern Bahamas instead of the northern area. The weather should be nicer. Must be a reason why most people say go to the Abacos. Dang so many options what is one to do.
A lot depends on you. In addition to the points provided by others above, there is enough of a temperature difference at least in winter to be a factor. Many people that prefer the Exumas
describe the Abacos in winter as too cold. For myself, I'd rather sleep under a light blanket (Abacos) then spend the afternoon mopping sweat from my brow. So your air temperature comfort zone could be a factor.
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson
I built a huge spreadsheet comparing 12VDC watermakers (I didn't look at any engine
driven or 120VAC units). Every time I think about a watermaker I update the spreadsheet and talk myself out of it again. *grin* What I found is that for a three-year cruise
(the amortization period), assuming a self install that does not require a haul, assuming no significant non-warranty service
, and neglecting engine/generator run time costs for recharging batteries you get an effective water
cost of $0.30/USGw to $0.50/USGw.
I suggest that there are two important metrics for evaluating watermaker cost: initial acquisition/installation cost and Ah/USGw. Across manufacturers of watermakers I found there is a "sweet spot" for the latter: you get the most amount of water (1.2-1.3 Ah/USGw) for watermakers around 300-400 USGw/day.
Since the worst thing you can do to a watermaker is not use it, I assumed regular use (3 hours run time every other day). For one watermaker in the sweet spot (the Spectra Cape Horn) that leads to a water budget
of 18 gpd - pretty good. Since initial cost dominates the cost per gallon goes UP if you use less water. Cut back to 12 gpd and the effective cost per gallon rises by 75% to about $0.50/USGw. Conclusion: if you are conservative with water use a watermaker will not pay for itself for most cruisers; if you use a lot of fresh water (or have non-economic factors like cruising grounds where water is simply not available) it makes sense as a luxury item - barely.
What I did instead was to buy two 5 gallon water jugs and put long wires on my spare pressure water pump. I plug
the pump into a power point on the boat and pump water from the jugs in the dinghy
into my tanks