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Old 16-10-2015, 14:36   #61
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Re: Water maker or not?

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Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
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!

Bill
It's good to see that the older Spectras are still out there. You may want to PM me when you have nothing better to do. I might have a solution you may like for flushing your Santa Cruz so you can leave it for longer periods of time without you being there to flush it every five days.


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Old 16-10-2015, 14:41   #62
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Re: Water maker or not?

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Originally Posted by Exile View Post
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.

That's the stuff. And you are right, there are a lot of people on the Chesapeake that don't use their watermakers there. A lot of others end up down here needing repairs by owners that do operate them hard in the Chesapeake. I always say that watermakers are offshore equipment. Operate them that way and they will serve you well.


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Old 16-10-2015, 14:53   #63
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Re: Water maker or not?

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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.

At the risk of over posting on a thread

This always sounds like a sales pitch but it is true. I admit watermakers are expensive, I know I sell them (cheap plug, but call me anyway). But zboss points out that one of the best uses for a watermaker is not just drinking and showering. Most boats have tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment on deck. Winches, blocks, sheets, tracks, fishing gear, diving gear, etc. If you can give this equipment twice a week fresh water wash downs and extend their life expectancy 30-40% the watermaker will easily pay for itself. Then the drinking water and showers is just gravy on your biscuits.

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Old 16-10-2015, 14:55   #64
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Re: Water maker or not?

Once you have a good water maker on board the "camping" feeling goes out the window , starts to feel like home . The Miss's will be very happy and that makes every one happy .

It was good to meet you Tellie

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Old 16-10-2015, 15:02   #65
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Re: Water maker or not?

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Once you have a good water maker on board the "camping" feeling goes out the window , starts to feel like home . The Miss's will be very happy and that makes every one happy .

It was good to meet you Tellie

Regards

Thanks, it was really great to meet you as well.

Just remember, when you wake up at 6300 to the buzzing sound of little 2.5hp outboards and you peek out your hatch and see a dozen hard scrabbled sailors and their dingys full of blue jugs headed towards shore,...you get to go back to sleep.

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Old 16-10-2015, 15:17   #66
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Re: Water maker or not?

I went back and forth on this a lot myself, and decided on not getting one.

My boat has 80 gallons and it's just me - and my filtration system for my fresh water is good enough that I'd be happy filling my tanks with rain water.
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Old 16-10-2015, 15:50   #67
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Re: Water maker or not?

Perhaps it has been mentioned but, besides desalinating seawater, watermakers are often used to purify the impure/questionable "fresh" water we collect and take on.
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Old 16-10-2015, 15:59   #68
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Re: Water maker or not?

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Originally Posted by Exile View Post
With built-in back flushing & pickling, my understanding is that the routine maintenance & expense has improved. But one consideration may be lengthy lay-ups where the boat or the watermaker may not be used for months or more. For example, does the pickling of the expensive high-pressure membrane last indefinitely, or does it have a limited lifespan?

You can pickle most wms with TV antifreeze, good for up to 2 years.


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Old 16-10-2015, 16:13   #69
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Re: Water maker or not?

I was never into a water maker on board until these points were driven home to me by others who had experience. Not having a water maker limits you to where yo can go and not have to worry about " where to find water". You can find water everywhere but quality water is another question and sometimes you find out it wasn't , too late.
One less thing to worry about , enough said. You have so much to worry about why add finding water on that list. It is the most important item you need on board , plain and simple.
"We never got sick", while travelling people with water makers report being sick far less then people who don't while offshore.
Now which maker? Look at Rainmakers, nifty, removable, simple
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Old 16-10-2015, 16:29   #70
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Re: Water maker or not?

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Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
You can pickle most wms with TV antifreeze, good for up to 2 years.
Is a frozen TV really a risk? I'd just move…

Hope you aren't freezing up there yet, Chris.

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Old 16-10-2015, 16:37   #71
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Re: Water maker or not?

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
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.
So now I have to ask why wouldn't saturation occur through equilibrium over time? When pickling, one flushes all the salt water out with a fresh water rinse, then pumps through at least 10 volumes of pickling solution, and then lets it sit for a long time.

I have a difficult time believing that anything "nasty" is left in the system (it would be killed anyway), or that the system isn't fully filled with only pickling solution at specified concentration - where the act of sitting still will saturate everything within an hour or so (if it isn't already saturated).

We have had two different (non-Spectra) water makers and both pickling instructions stated to just run a specified solution in and put it to bed.

I have never had any issues from following these instructions.

Mark
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Old 16-10-2015, 16:44   #72
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Re: Water maker or not?

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
That's the stuff. And you are right, there are a lot of people on the Chesapeake that don't use their watermakers there. A lot of others end up down here needing repairs by owners that do operate them hard in the Chesapeake. I always say that watermakers are offshore equipment. Operate them that way and they will serve you well.
OK, so I have to be a nay-sayer again. We run our water maker all the time in the Chesapeake and other similar "brown cloudy" waters and other than going through pre-filters a bit quicker, have no issue at all with the equipment. No repairs ever, and no extra maintenance (besides slapping in prefilters sooner).

In fact, 90% of our water maker operation is not "offshore", and much of it is often in water with <3' visibility.

This has been the case with two different non-Spectra units, so I can't speak for any Spectra sensitivities to operating this way. However, I also can't think of any reasons for a Spectra to be more sensitive in these conditions than other makes.

The single place we have found where we cannot run our water maker is in certain areas of Long Island Bahamas - where the sand is suspended in the water to the point that the water looks milky. There, the prefilters clog so fast that it is impossible to make water.

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Old 16-10-2015, 17:17   #73
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Re: Water maker or not?

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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
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.

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Those who do not have watermakers simply go to the facilities block and take a shower.

How do the landlubbers stay clean without a watermaker?

C'mon.

BTW What is the difference between a small sailboat and a small Cat. (sic!)?

Offshore you simply carry water in tanks. I hope this clarifies.

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Old 16-10-2015, 17:28   #74
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Re: Water maker or not?

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...What is the difference between a small sailboat and a small Cat. (sic!)?...
The small cat would have far less ability to carry the weight of large water tanks.
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Old 16-10-2015, 17:36   #75
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Re: Water maker or not?

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The small cat would have far less ability to carry the weight of large water tanks.
Clearly. But this does not make them non-sailboats. ;-)

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