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Old 20-12-2006, 09:43   #16
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I would add that even with 140 gal of water I was not comfortable that was fully adequate -- the watermaker takes all the stress out. We make 13 gal/hr at about 17 amps[sea recovery ultra whisper]. I tend to run it when charging batteries so no impact on charging cycles. This way I keep the tanks 3/4 full almost all the time and top off when planning a passage to insure we have reserves. For us it was comfort level that drove the decision to add the watermaker but it is complex and requires care and feeding.
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Old 20-12-2006, 11:39   #17
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I was given my moniker by a Mexican while I was anchored in a small fishing village in Bahia Magdalena in Baja. Everyone there lived a subsistence life from fishing and they were very far from a town of any size.

The first evening at anchor in the tiny village was wonderfully quiet, and for some reason in the middle of nowhere I decided to turn on our TV set. To my surprise with just our rabbit ears antenna, we got absolutely perfect reception on 2 channels IN ENGLISH! We watched the Hallmark Hall of Fame and something else that night.

The next day when we went into the village we asked where the programming came from, the villagers pointed up to the school on the hills behind the village. There was a satellite dish which was manned each evening by locals. Whoever was on duty that night got to pick the programming. A VHF translator beamed channels 5 and 6 to the village and we were beneficiaries.

Most of their boomboxes and other electronic stuff didn't work, or worked poorly. Since I had repaired electronics for a living and had a bag of small parts with me, I decided to "give back" a little to the community. I had retired only months before and had a "need to do some work" if you can believe it! After arranging a bench in the middle of the town square I fixed anything and everything I had parts for or could make do. I insisted I wanted to fix stuff for free in exchange for their TV and hospitality, but they insisted on paying me with lobster tails and LOTS of it!

One of the residents was impressed when he saw me fixing various things, so he gave me the name "Senormechanico".

Re the tank size, my cruising boat which had the 2 different PowerSurvivors was a Lord Nelson 35 which had 120 gallons capacity in 2 tanks. My current boat is a Dragonfly 1000 trimaran and is more of a coastal cruiser. I guess the right solution to each person varies depending on their mechanical abilities. I'm well versed in the inner workings of these machines and their maintainence. Besides, I'm not doing any extended offshore passages so I'm comfortable with my boat's tank size.

Steve B.
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Old 20-12-2006, 12:26   #18
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Thanks again for everyone's responses. A world of great information, and experiences.

Although... as can be expected I guess, my question still is not fully resolved... atleast in my mind. It seems like when ever someone says one thing, someone else has an example of how the other works too.

I am going to look into the cost of adding the second tank, and into the cost of a watermaker. I think I can do the watermaker for about $3,000, but that is a new price, I am sure there are less-expensive systems. My usages are fairly light, in terms of showers, and such... mostly, water is for drinking with me, which I likely won't want to do out of the tanks, unless it is necessary.

The piece of advice that makes the most sense, is that I don't want to limit a passage because of water tank size. I am going to start charting my water usage on land, to get an idea of what I take forgranted, and go from there. Ofcourse, I expect this to be huge.

You all have been a huge help, as usual. I can't wait till I can begin to contribute to this community, rather than always asking questions.
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Old 20-12-2006, 13:41   #19
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There is a thread in this forum with information on building your own watermaker our of commercially available components. You might search for it. I was impressed. It led to this link. basics

George
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Old 21-12-2006, 09:03   #20
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(I happened to run into the following report when I was researching another topic. I think it tells an interesting tale. Imagine being the founder of West Marine, having a boat custom built for you, equipment decisions and installation guidance being provided by Chuck Hawley (WM's product VP) and Steve Dashew, and being able to pick the marine products enjoying the highest rep - essentially, with no financial compromise necessary. Here's Randy Repass' report on their high-end watermaker).

This unit uses the Clark Pump for efficiency (less than 1 amp per gallon at 24v). We installed the unit when the boat was built. It failed after 3 months of use and we had to have the o rings replaced in Raiatea by a tech from California. We couldn't find anyone there willing to do it. The unit worked flawlessly most of the 2005 cruising season but after 4 months of use started making squeaking noises. We had the unit serviced by the rep in New Zealand. The unit failed after 4 months use (total hours 146) the day before guests arrived for a 10 day visit in Fiji. It is great to have a working Watermaker as there is plenty of water to shower, wash dishes, wash salt off the boat etc. Without a water maker we been collecting rainwater and seriously conserving water. We have not had the unit repaired yet. Needless to say we are very unhappy about both failures. We have not dealt with HRO yet however last time the unit failed they were helpful providing repair parts but not labor or compensation for the hassle. In addition the unit was not originally supplied with an hour meter or the few inexpensive but necessary plumbing parts for flushing and pickling the unit. We didnít discover this until we were closing up the boat after our first cruising season. Rating 1 star based on unreliability.

(Posted on the WM Website, along with many, many other product reports, glowing to miserable. Interesting reading...)

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Old 21-12-2006, 17:38   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Euro Cruiser
(I happened to run into the following report when I was researching another topic. I think it tells an interesting tale. Imagine being the founder of West Marine, having a boat custom built for you, equipment decisions and installation guidance being provided by Chuck Hawley (WM's product VP) and Steve Dashew, and being able to pick the marine products enjoying the highest rep - essentially, with no financial compromise necessary. Here's Randy Repass' report on their high-end watermaker).

Rating 1 star based on unreliability.

(Posted on the WM Website, along with many, many other product reports, glowing to miserable. Interesting reading...)

Jack
Jack or anyone else out there, where would I find this section, I've looked at west advisor,and a few other sections but cant find a product review.

Thank's

Dave
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Old 21-12-2006, 19:02   #22
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We cruised a W32 to FP and back to Hawaii. Anchored out except for gov't required check ins at Papeete for visas, etc. We had 80 gallons in two tanks, never had to resort to jerry jugs or other shore side sources. Our awning was set up to collect water and that supplied all our needs.

We were extremely frugal on freshwater usage, however. Basically, we used it for drinking, and fresh water rinses. We didn't feel we were skimping or deprived, just didn't use that much water. In fact, on the passage to the Marquesas the floor boards swelled after we got out of San Diego's super dry climate. We couldn't get to the tanks so were stuck with only 40 gallons for the passage and till the floor boards dried out enough to get them up after we arrived. We probably went for close to 40 days on those 40 gallons. Once again, we weren't rationing water or suffering any hardships.

We used saltwater from the pump in the galley and from a bucket on deck. We had pressure water but didn't use it. Foot pumps for both fresh and salt water worked fine.

Shoreside, when we were living aboard, was another story. We seemed to be empty both tanks in a week or so and that was without taking showers on board. Don't know where the water went but it did.

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Old 22-12-2006, 00:39   #23
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Just another datapoint.

Our boat has something like a 20 gallon water tank. Light boat, not a lot of weight carrying ablity.. So we added a Power Survivor 35. (This is back in '92). Most of the time it was two people. Like most on a water budget we used seawater for everything but drinking and rinsing. At anchor we had enough solar to either run the fridge or make water. The fridge wasn't insulated enough, so we just opted for water.

It was no big deal. We never really had a problem with the amount of water. In the Marquesas, like others, we used a catch system off the awning for rainwater. Rainwater tastes a LOT better than watermaker water. For long passages we'd fill up a 6 gallon plastic jerry jug and bungie it to the mast in the bathroom as a safty backup supply.

And like all this boat stuff, it really depends on what makes -you- feel good.

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Old 22-12-2006, 02:29   #24
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My tuppence worth is similar to the majority.

Go for the biggest tankage you can easily carry - and if you can fit / afford a small watermaker also - go for it also.

When at anchor we tend to shower in sea and rise off with fresh - which keeps our daily use down to 30 litres per person with no skimping at all.

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Old 22-12-2006, 04:08   #25
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Dave, you'll find the link to all the Repass logs at West Marine: notes from the south pacific

For a summary of their gear and how it performed, the link is West Marine: Randy's Product Reviews
He titles it "Crusing Boat Things That Work (and don't)"

Jack
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Old 22-12-2006, 05:41   #26
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One other thing we haven't mentioned; water maker water tasts wonderful. Tank water often doesn't because we put a little chlorine in it to disinfect. Have you ever looked at the bottom of your tanks? I guess that's why we have immune systems.

George
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Old 22-12-2006, 06:24   #27
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Adding to what Sunspot Baby says above: Tank water can taste better than bottled (mine does) with a proper filtrations system inline. We us a Culligan 2 micron filter that removes all chlorine taste. The upside is that filtered water does not have any of the nasty plastic taste that water such as Poland Spring or Evian has. Drinking tank water can be a very pleasant experience.
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Old 22-12-2006, 09:46   #28
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Self Made Watermaket

Here is a link to a do it yourself watermaker.

Jack

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Old 22-12-2006, 09:48   #29
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Self Made Watermaker

Here is a link to a do it yourself watermaker.

Jack

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