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Old 16-10-2010, 16:17   #1
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How to Supply Clean Freshwater ? What Do You Use ?

I'm lucky to live in a country which has a lot of clean fresh water, and want good water in my tanks. This is many places a luxury. I have read a lot about watermakers and rain collection. But I still wonder. So I want to ask what cruisers out there use and why?
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Old 16-10-2010, 16:47   #2
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In two boats, I've had three watermakers, a PowerSurvivor 35, a PowerSurvivor 80 and a Spectra 180. The Spectra is by far the best one I've owned.
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Old 16-10-2010, 17:28   #3
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We took on water in various ports and collected rainwater when possible. Anything we ingested without boiling was passed through a Seagull IV biofilter to remove any pesky cysts, germs, etc. Never had a problem with water.
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Old 16-10-2010, 18:00   #4
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G'day, mate. Lots of fresh water available down here in New Zealand as well. We also have a watermaker and collect water off the deck as well. UV light and filters to take out any "nasty" bits. We have found having ample fresh water has kept the lifestyle sustainable. Cheers.
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Old 16-10-2010, 18:23   #5
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Watermaker here also, I don't plan on humping water to the boat.
1/2 tank of water weighs over 500 lbs., lors of trips in the dinghy.
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Old 16-10-2010, 19:40   #6
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There seem to be two common choices: keep the gunk out of the tank; or keep the gunk out of the faucet.

If you've got multiple faucets that need drinking quality water then keeping the tank clean might be the way to go. If you've got a dedicated filtered faucet then the filter may be the way to go. Most folks seem to use Home Depot water filters and systems as the filters are cheaper and seem to have a higher cleaning capacity (particulate and carbon).

Having replaced my water tank for a non-repairable leak, I was amazed at the gunk inside. If I jerry jug water, I use a small pump to transfer the contents through an external filter assembly (cheap and easy to do). If I'm on the dock, then I definitely run the water through the filter as I've had less than pleasant smelling water come out of the hose.

If I'm looking to collect rainwater, I'll wait for the rain to wash the skies clean (depending on the intensity, 5-10 minutes) and get the salt off the deck or whatever you use to collect rain water. Many cruisers will dump the contents into jugs, bucket, or containers then transfer the contents to the fresh water tank. Other cruisers have rigged their deck fittings to allow water to either go overboard or into the fresh water tank.

In almost every case, though, cruisers add a cup of bleach to the fresh water tank when they fill.
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Old 16-10-2010, 19:44   #7
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We have various methods. When lucky enough to get up to a garden hose (pressure), we push it through some filters that do a good job. Rain water goes into jugs via a funnel so that it can be poured and filtered into the tanks at a later time.

Regardless of all that we have a Britta filter that's what we use for drinking water. Won't stop germs, but removes the "boat" taste from the water.
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Old 16-10-2010, 20:20   #8
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I should add that while we cruised Mexico in the mid '90's, we used water from several sources in Baja as well as water from marinas. We only went into marinas about a day or two a month to reprovision, and when we did, we used a ceramic filter on the hose to remove dirt.
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Old 16-10-2010, 20:42   #9
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If you have the electric power to run one and the budget to buy one, it's hard to beat a good watermaker like the Spectra. Stuff that can make you sick can't pass through that membrane.

Because it's easy to make water, you don't let water sit long in the tanks. I dump any water that's more than a week old (e.g. rinse the deck hardware). Having lots of water really has changed cruising for us - no salt sticky hair, no grumbles about rinsing dishes with fresh water. The little salt water foot pump in the galley broke. I haven't fixed it.

I used to have a catchment system but I worried a lot about bird poop on the deck. Lot of bad stuff in bird poop. By the time I was sure the decks were clean, the rain was usually over.

Twice a year I flush the tanks and piping with a shock treatment of chlorine to make sure nothing gets started.

My second goal was to ban bottled water on the boat. A big money savings and good for the planet. Also no lugging bottles on and off the boat. The drinking water goes from the tank through a fancy (but inexpensive) filter like this:

+CR1 0.5 mic Carbon Block - 9.75" x 2.5" - FreshWaterSystems.com

Tubes then lead to fresh water taps at each sink and even to a quart metal flask in the fridge. Another tube that then leads to a tap outside the fridge for "chilled filtered drinking water".

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Old 17-10-2010, 03:45   #10
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I'm no humper!!

One of the 'rules' of this boat is not to hump water!
I don't give a stuff if I have to pay for a marina to load water, I'll do it (only had to do that once). Fuel dock are "No water - No fuel!" They suddenly find a tap

We take 440 liters and half a teaspoon in each tank of Starbright Water Conditioner. Have a cheap string filter to catch chunky bits in the gally forcet.

The biggest changes to our lives were 2 simple things:
1) I was able to plumb salt water into the galley sinks.
2) Using spray bottles. 500mil / 1 pint spray bottle to rinse dishes after salt water washing; spay wash hands; spray showers etc etc. ALL fresh water is used from spray bottles except to cook

I would dearly love a watermaker. Its would be a huge difference in the cruising life. That and a freezer...
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Old 17-10-2010, 04:56   #11
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I haven't had to use this on the boat yet but I have at home in Thailand, and I don't see why it wouldn't work well on a boat. All you need is a couple plastic bottles and 6 hours of sunlight.

The SODIS method ....SODIS: Welcome to SODIS
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Old 17-10-2010, 07:41   #12
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We collect rainwater. The book Sailing The Farm has some really simple designs for making condensation watermakers.
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Old 17-10-2010, 10:38   #13
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Fresh water is about 8.3 pounds per gallon (1 kg per liter fer you metric guys). If you use five gallons a day, thats over 40 pounds - per day - that you have to replace.
Large chunks of Central America don't have fuel docks - with or without water. Many villages don't have water to spare. Sometimes they ask YOU for water. If you do find a source, that's a jerry can a day to hump back from wherever you found it. Every day. In the desert parts, there is no rain (until you get a hurricane or TS, then there is too much and you are preoccupied anyway). So even with the complications and expense, a water maker is usually thought of as darn well worth the trouble, but it is a personal choice, not something absolutely unequivocally necessary.
I have a Spectra (circa 1998, the 49th unit they made). Still going, still going strong. I admit I would be in better shape if I had to drag 40 pounds around land and across harbors every day, but that ain't gonna happen...

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Old 17-10-2010, 11:26   #14
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I used to have a copy of Sailing The Farm and that is a wonderful book for long term crusers. I loved how independent that book could make you. That said though I think that as the price of watermakers has fallen as well as the size that now I would go with one and this year I am looking into having one put in since it is that time of the year here in the Great Lakes.
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Old 17-10-2010, 13:08   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I'm no humper!!

.... The biggest changes to our lives were 2 simple things:
1) I was able to plumb salt water into the galley sinks.
2) Using spray bottles. 500mil / 1 pint spray bottle to rinse dishes after salt water washing; spay wash hands; spray showers etc etc. ALL fresh water is used from spray bottles except to cook
.
Stop it with cr@p like this - NO-ONE is to EVER to talk about saltwater in the galley sinks again. Every time hubby sees it, he uses it as ammo in our argument, and we are NOT having saltwater in our sinks!
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