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Old 16-10-2015, 10:56   #46
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Re: Water maker or not?

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
Good questions. Things have changed over the past ten years in the watermaker world. Pickling a watermaker is very easy, usually just two hoses, a five gallon bucket, turn a valve or two, and start the system. Takes about thirty minutes, twenty of which you'll be sitting and waiting. Though all watermakers use some form of powdered solution to pickle them I have been preaching the use of propylene glycol to pickle a watermaker. Not so long ago the main concern was protecting the membranes. But the reality is now that the membrane/s are the much lesser expensive side of the watermaker. Though the powdered pickling solutions will preserve the membrane they do little to protect the rest of the system and this is more of a concern. Even Pumps, manifolds, pressure intensifiers, and rebuilding or repurchasing these systems due to dried out O-rings and frozen parts are a lot more expensive than a membrane. Propylene glycol does a far better job of protecting the whole system than does the current powdered solutions. My recommendation is to change out the propylene glycol once a year. I have recommissioned many watermakers that have sat pickled in PG for over 3-5 years and they have worked perfectly, but they are the exceptions not always the rule, so once a year if the system is to sit that long is a good rule for PG.


Halden Marine Services | Marine Watermakers, Solar Panels, Wind Generators

Good to know you can basically preserve indefinitely if you use propylene glycol & change it out 1x/year. Doesn't seem like a big hassle. For myself over the next few years, I can see doing some extended cruising where a wm would be useful, but then having the boat back on the Chesapeake Bay for long periods of time where the wm would get zero use. I suspect many others are in this situation prior to having the opportunity to go cruising full-time.

Just to confirm, propylene glycol is the pink-colored stuff commonly used to winterize boats & rv's, right? Thanks for the helpful info, Tellie.
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Old 16-10-2015, 10:59   #47
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Re: Water maker or not?

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
Good questions. Pickling a watermaker is very easy, usually just two hoses, a five gallon bucket, turn a valve or two, and start the system. Takes about thirty minutes, twenty of which you'll be sitting and waiting.
I must be doing something wrong. For ours, I fill a bucket with the pickling solution, stick a hose in it, pump it through, and done. Takes 5min to make the solution and 2min to pump it through.

What takes 30min and what is the second hose for?

Mark
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Old 16-10-2015, 11:15   #48
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Re: Water maker or not?

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That's available now, the Spectra RePee 2.O ( product output may vary, but greatly improved by drinking mass quantities of pabst blue ribbon or Milwaukee's best) very low power consumption!

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Old 16-10-2015, 11:18   #49
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Re: Water maker or not?

Although we could probably catch all the rain we want for our daily uses... we love to spray our boat off with fresh water as much as possible. On a good washdown we probably use a 100 gallons of water at a dock so I suppose we would use the same amount at anchor. We have two cats and we don't want them to get salt on their feet/fur and then lick it off. Also, it doesn't take much wind to whip up salt onto the boat which then gets tracked down into the cabin.

We like to wash off our feet and rinse our bathing suits every time we get out of the water.

We also like to rinse down the cockpit as much as possible - to get the dirt and salt out.

So - we are getting a water maker to allow this luxury, not so much for daily survival.
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Old 16-10-2015, 11:22   #50
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Re: Water maker or not?

Boy did that question bring back memories,having spent the 70'S and 80'S in S.E.Asia living on my Sail boat and cruising from Singapore, where i was based up to Malasia and Thailand, water was difficult to obtain, remembering obtaining water from wells in villages and onetime being out of water in Malasia, at low tide waiding thru the mud up to my calf to the local village to fill a 5 gal. container and carrying it back, stepping on a stake below the mud, puncturing my foot at the arch, man that hurt so bad, limping back to the village, finding a medical practitioner who pulled the broken off stake out and cleaned the would without any pain killers and me bitting down on a piece of rubber with tears streaming down my face, yeah that was a big hurt, of coarse water makers didn't exist yet, but if they had i would have had one for sure. I have a Village Marine RO now and love it.
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Old 16-10-2015, 11:23   #51
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Re: Water maker or not?

Ok...I will define the time as 'winter'. I will define the Caribbean as 'eastern'. I do not have a boat yet but from boats I have looked at 33' is as small and 38' is as big as I think I want to buy.

How do I keep towels, swim trunks, shorts, sweatshirts and tee shirts clean.

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Old 16-10-2015, 11:29   #52
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Re: Water maker or not?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I must be doing something wrong. For ours, I fill a bucket with the pickling solution, stick a hose in it, pump it through, and done. Takes 5min to make the solution and 2min to pump it through.

What takes 30min and what is the second hose for?

Mark
Hi Mark,

RE: 2 hoses: If we need to run cleaning solution through our Spectra Santa Cruz model the manual [p18] recommends recirculating the cleaning fluid [and maintaining its temp at 120F...] for an hour; then a 1 hr soak, then repeat before flushing. [a 4 hour cleaning cycle.] The 2nd hose is the return line to the bucket of chemicals. [Brine discharge]

If we are going to be away from the boat for more than a week and I have no one to perform fresh water flushes [our is manual...] I pickle it with RV antifreeze and only recirculate that for a few minutes to make sure it is well mixed with residual water in the system. This still needs both hoses. This may be overkill, but sometimes we are also doing this in cold weather and don't want the unit to freeze, so the few extra minutes are worth it to me...

I don't have experience with water makers other than Spectra. They may have different flushing/pickling procedures. ...And Spectra's instructions may be overkill...

I hope this helps.

Cheers!

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Old 16-10-2015, 11:32   #53
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Re: Water maker or not?

TN has a 12-volt Village Marine Little Wonder 200 gpd watermaker that has not yet been put into service. It is modular, so it was pretty easy to find space to mount all the components in the galley area, close to the batteries and to each other, where inevitable drips will simply drain to the bilge, and where service access is reasonably easy. I like to install the WM sampling outlet at the galley sink, where it is easy to monitor and sample. Sometimes I combine this outlet spigot with one for pressure seawater, in the same fixture, to save galley space. One I made combined these plus a soap dispenser.
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Old 16-10-2015, 12:06   #54
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Re: Water maker or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougtiff View Post
Boy did that question bring back memories,having spent the 70'S and 80'S in S.E.Asia living on my Sail boat and cruising from Singapore, where i was based up to Malasia and Thailand, water was difficult to obtain, remembering obtaining water from wells in villages and onetime being out of water in Malasia, at low tide waiding thru the mud up to my calf to the local village to fill a 5 gal. container and carrying it back, stepping on a stake below the mud, puncturing my foot at the arch, man that hurt so bad, limping back to the village, finding a medical practitioner who pulled the broken off stake out and cleaned the would without any pain killers and me bitting down on a piece of rubber with tears streaming down my face, yeah that was a big hurt, of coarse water makers didn't exist yet, but if they had i would have had one for sure. I have a Village Marine RO now and love it.
Exactly what I was thinking with "cost/benefit" not all costs are financial!
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Old 16-10-2015, 12:23   #55
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Re: Water maker or not?

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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
Ok...I will define the time as 'winter'. I will define the Caribbean as 'eastern'. I do not have a boat yet but from boats I have looked at 33' is as small and 38' is as big as I think I want to buy.

How do I keep towels, swim trunks, shorts, sweatshirts and tee shirts clean.

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Not trying to be smart, but you wash them, whether that means loading everything up and taking them in to be washed, finding a laundrymat, or doing it your self on the boat in a machine or a bucket.
I have heard people claim you can wash in salt water, but I have never tried it. To be honest that job is my wife's and unless I want to take it on, I had better not complain about us paying to have it done. When we go long time, I hope to have a machine that will wash and hang the clothes out to dry.
I dislike the stickiness I feel with salt water, just spoiled I guess and I know better to suggest my wife wash in it.
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Old 16-10-2015, 12:30   #56
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Re: Water maker or not?

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How do people on a sailboat or small Cat. stay clean without fresh non salt water? I see a lot of cruisers without a water maker.
In years past, and always sailing in higher latitudes where warm salt water was non-existent, I boiled a kettle of fresh water and added it to an equal volume of cold fresh water in a sun shower to bathe. I had pressure water and a water heater, but since I was hauling water from streams on shore in winter, I wanted to be very conservative with use. [1.5-2 gallons/day/adult back then...]

Those were the days when water makers were so inefficient in cold water (40-50F) that they were not usable or justifiable.

That has all changed in the last 15 years or so, and I wouldn't be without a water maker. [My only personal experience is with Spectra brand...] That said, I would also not be without a clothes washer/dryer ever again either.

I've had years of experience hauling water, and manually washing clothes or using Laundromats when available.... and I know first-hand how much time that takes out of each week.

Now I prefer the independence a water maker [and dependent appliances] allows, and choose to use my time for other things- like repairing and maintaining all those systems... ;-)

I suspect one cannot truly appreciate a water maker until you cruise [truly live-aboard full time] away from marinas for long enough to make an objective evaluation...

Water makers are expensive, and do require maintenance and repair [as do their co-dependent systems; e.g., charging systems, appliances, etc.] But in the end, I don't recall having heard anyone that has one say they wish they didn't...

Have fun with your adventure, and don't get too mired in what you don't have... enjoy what you can do now...

Cheers!

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Old 16-10-2015, 12:37   #57
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Re: Water maker or not?

Two Spectra 380c units onboard, we love them dearly. We make and use 30-70 gallons per day, or more when needed. Maintenance is easy and cheap. Using them every day for 5 months, we only went through three pre filters at a total cost under $60. Both low pressure pumps on our older unit required replacement at $250 each this season, but the new pumps should last ten years.
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Old 16-10-2015, 13:35   #58
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Re: Water maker or not?

Washing clothing? I generally use machines in a marina but have never seen a problem with t-shirts and bathing suites when they dry out. However, I have no idea how detergent and/or bleach will work in salt water. I don't think drying would be a problem and shaking should remove most of the dried salt.
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Old 16-10-2015, 13:45   #59
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Re: Water maker or not?

The salt residue attracts moisture like a magnet, and stuff never dries out.
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Old 16-10-2015, 14:28   #60
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Re: Water maker or not?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I must be doing something wrong. For ours, I fill a bucket with the pickling solution, stick a hose in it, pump it through, and done. Takes 5min to make the solution and 2min to pump it through.

What takes 30min and what is the second hose for?

Mark
I'm going to write a book, "Tellies rules for watermakers"

Generally when you pickle a watermaker what you are trying to do is saturate the membrane completely. This takes a little longer amount of time than just running the solution through the rest of the system quickly. So, and this is where the second hose comes in, you are taking the solution into the system by one hose, it circulates through the system and comes out the second hose (brine discharge line) and back into the bucket. Since you always want to pickle your system with "NO" pressure applied you'll let your system run and recirculate the solution so the membrane gets a good saturation on all the surfaces. This I recommend to do for the twenty minutes. Newer watermaker manuals will quote ten minutes of circulation but I'm old school, stick to the twenty minutes. Then of course just shut the watermaker down and put the hoses away. Some systems use cartridges but I'm not a big fan of these because I like PG so much. When it's time to recommission, just keep the pressures off and run the system for another twenty minutes with salt water to flush the pickling solution from the water maker.
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