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Old 14-01-2012, 06:51   #1
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Another Question for Gemini Owners - Watermaker ?

Do any of you Gemini 105 sailors have any first hand experience with putting a watermaker on board? I am assuming that some owners have worked out the best combination of RO setup and power supply. Portable gasoline generator (Honda 2kw)? Wind/solar and more batteries? Engine driven alternator upgrade? Where do you install them? Basic requirements for two people who don't mind salt water and Joy.
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Old 15-01-2012, 01:14   #2
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Location: Quirimbas Archipelago, North Mozambique
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Re: Another question for Gemini owners; watermaker?

is there space for larger fresh water storage in that gemini. I ask because i removed a watermaker in my Catalac10m as it is used most for coastal cruising, and made intergarl GRP fresh water tanks of 450liter capacity each. Battens inside tanks stop water slashing around too much, easy access for cleaning and the white color inside help to control water quality. The tanks are central in lowest part of both hulls and the weight actually asssists with sailing balance. Think very well before doing the costs of a watermaker, per liter water huge cost in energy, high maintenance. Another item to prepare for winter lay up..... I also abhor too many tru-hulls with their own problems.
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Old 15-01-2012, 06:12   #3
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Re: Another question for Gemini owners; watermaker?

I would suggest checking out the Gemini_Cats yahoo group, where there is several discussions, and probably photos/diagrams. Here's a sample that might give you a place to start:

"We installed a Spectra Ventura watermaker ready for our transatlantic trip.
The major parts fit under the bunk in the starboard aft cabin but we had to
put the two filters and the feed pump in and around the small cupboard in
the cabin. We have two Y valves the first selects output water to either the
sampling hose or to the the tanks. The second selects fill to either the
port or starboard tanks. At the same time we fitted gauges to the water
tanks to make monitoring filling easier. You still need to be able to get
under the berth in the cabin both to access the sampling hose and to get to
the inlet seacock which I close when not using the watermaker.
With the model we have it takes about 4 to 5 hours to make one tank full and
it uses about 4 amps while it is running."
Best of luck!
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Old 15-01-2012, 08:12   #4
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Re: Another question for Gemini owners; watermaker?

Thanks for the info. I did dig into it a little, and see that installing something like the PUR40 or Spectra under the little aft stbd bunk seems fairly common. And I am guessing you just run the diesel when you need the amps to make water? that doesn't sound so bad.

Those watermakers weigh about 50 lbs. That's about, uh, 6 gallons of water.
So, the way this looks to me, is that I can carry an extra six gallons of water, or for the same weight, the ability to make water every time the motor is running. Correct?

I recognize that the weight of the watermaker is constant, or like always having six gallons on board even when I don't. A constant weight penalty.

On the other hand, I would not have to carry huge weights of full water tanks for the first part of every trip, or worry about the quality of the water either.

So, blessing the metric system, 900 liters of water in two tanks = 900 kg, right? Is that 1,980 lbs of water, more or less? A ton, roughly. to carry and tanks to clean, and the potential for big leaks. I do agree that I hate thru hulls, though. Wonder if there is some way to siphon/pump the water over the top of a bulkhead? A tube that runs down the outdrive as far as the water line? You only need it when the drive is down, anyhow. and you have pump power at that point for 12 vdc, and there is really not much head involved with siphon action. Would that work to prevent putting a hole in the boat?

How bout installing a fitting and hose setup in the top of one of the centerboard trunks, so the fitting is dry. Is there room in there, I wonder for a short hose reaching the water line. Or a tap off the salt water pump in the galley, fitting, perhaps?.
I gu

For people who intend to spend a lot of time where we intend to go, I think the standard tank and the weight of six extra gallons is making a lot of sense.

Now I get to factor in the cost, the hassle of maintenance, and the cost and weight of spares.

Has anyone ever thought of a solar water heater array that would heat sea water to boiling, using a heat exchanger to heat fresh water, while turning some of the sea water into reclaimable steam?

I love this stuff.
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Old 16-01-2012, 04:58   #5
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Re: Another question for Gemini owners; watermaker?

It's always a trade-off, but unless you spend a significant time where no water is available (long passages, especially), you're probably better off not counting on a watermaker. We relied on jerry jugs to refill in the places where you just can't easily get the boat to the best water sources. A lot of islands now have R/O water they sell in "water cooler" containers, and charge a deposit for the container...It's often much more convenient to just pour the contents into your jug on the spot rather than have to go back or storing the container for the next stop.
As for the water heater, we keep at least two "sun shower" bags on the foredeck and rig one up over the hatch into the head for hot showers. Or we take advantage of the time we run our engine, which heats the water up nicely in about a half hour. Or we bathe in the ocean off the swim step followed by a quick fresh water rinse. For washing dishes, we put a kettle on the stove.
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Old 16-01-2012, 05:14   #6
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Re: Another question for Gemini owners; watermaker?

From my readings of the various problems people have with watermakers, it looks like there's a chance a lot of the reliability issues are because people don't use them enough on a regular basis.

We are accustomed to this, in a land where our brakes freeze up if the truck sits at the airport parking lot for a week undriven, and we don't dare turn ceiling fans off.
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