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Old 12-08-2008, 05:08   #1
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watermaker ?

Hi all, looking at buying a new boat, we have requested a fitted price for 90 ltr an hour watermaker they have come back with what seems a very expensive fitted price any thoughts please
1) blue water cruising , do we need water maker ?
2) what make, how much maintenance
3) what sort of price should we be paying (fitted)
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:45   #2
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They are expensive to buy and on power. Re-assess your needs more carefully for drinking water / soft (rain ) water and salt water. You'll need separate tanks for the first two but plastic gerry cans are fine for potable water. Improve your rain water collection for washing, washing up etc. Cooking can also use rain water with up to half sea water once away from marina land.
Threads here suggest 5 litres per person per day of potabe water.
Don't forget to put a manual water maker in your life raft / dinghy if your going blue. It takes alot longer to get home when your transport has deserted on you.
Marina water has a limited tank life and is heavy. Remember the chlorine tablets and use as required. You shouldn't need to use the water maker until a fortnight into the voyage. Once used they have to be chemically treated before putting them into strorage mode again.
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:20   #3
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Concerning water maker, that deepens on how much you are going to rely on marinas and so one when you are cruising.

I have not don much long time cruising but what i have observed so far is that water and power (electricity) limits my time between marinas.

I would like to be as self sufficient at possible so I will have water-maker, solar power, wind generator and maybe a small generator (or just a small emergency generator).

The reason for the extra equipment is to let me have long passages and most important let me stay for long periods of time on of beat anchorages.

Price on the water makers vary and installations in particular.

little wonder series watermakers information here is one producer.

In the ARC they collected data on a lot of the brands used on the boats participated, and comments on break down and good ones, check their web pages (ARC) if you don´t find it I have it on PDF.
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Old 12-08-2008, 13:14   #4
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One more info from ARC 2007.

Spectra Watermachines - Clark Pump is World's Most Efficient Marine Watermaker
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Old 14-08-2008, 01:58   #5
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By 'eck there's some rubbish posted here by those who haven't 'done it' yet. Marina water heavy? They don't add iron filings to it , you know. I also don't advise drinking salt water. Collecting rain water is not a dependable method and of course depends on where you are in the first place as to whether you actually get any.
90 litres per hour is perhaps a bit excessive. Most people settle for between 40 and sixty, depending on budget. A couple of questions you need to answer: Do you want a 12 volt watermaker, one that takes its drive off the engine or an ac system (need a generator). Do you want a fully automatic model (self-testing) or are you happy to taste the water yourself before routing it into the tank?
I was quoted aropund about £5K for a fully automatic, 50 litre per hour unit, but settled for the Echotec model for £2880 (depends on exchange rate, it's priced in US dollars). It's 12 volt manual test. Fitting took about a day (again, depends on where you fit it of course). I do agree they're a bit heavy on power, but then again you'll only run it for an hour a day. My combination of wind/solar generation copes OK. Opinions vary a little as to how long you can leave it between operating the watermaker before you have to re-biocide. Echotec reckon up to a week, others say a couple of days. One thing is for sure, the human tongue is a good tester ~ if it tastes 'funny' then it isn't right.
A watermaker makes life much easy when cruising. If you go from marina to marina it probably isn't worth the expense. Traditionally, cruisers would always take a couple of cans ashore with them and top up with potable water, but this isn't always available (it is common in Europe, though). In dry areas the locals might not take too kindly to you helping yourself to 'their' water and in places you have to pay for it anyway.
For longer legs (say around the 3 week + mark) the trick is to make sure you always have enough water onboard to safely finish the trip if the watermaker goes tits up, so for example you wouldn't have showers every day for a week then try the watermaker. It depends on the boat, but my plan (the same as the last Atlantic crossing) is to use the watermaker to top off solar showers first and use the internal tanks for drinking/cooking. Keep a 25 litre can of dedicated 'just in case' drinking water and top up the tanks every couple of days.
Watermakers are also good in 'out of the way' anchorages, allowing you a prolonged stay.
Do you NEED one for blue water cruising, no. Is it nice to have one, YES! There are trade offs, price/power consumption and the trick is to never get yourself into a situation where you NEED the output from the watermaker. If you're going to have one, get it fitted before you leave (true for most bits of kit). Once you've left you'll be on a budget and virtually all engineers want the boat in a marina before working on it (yet more expense).
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Old 14-08-2008, 03:23   #6
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Dear Trout
I thought that was what I said, but politely. Re-assess your water usage, use rain then sea water. Carrying ten weeks of all the water you want is heavy! Having enough to reach harbour plus 50% isn't so heavy. That's where watermakers come in handy as you know. Personally I reckon trips planned for more than two weeks I'd take one 'dry' hoping not to use it.
If planning was dollars I'd be out there, but they ain't so I read all I can and help where I can.
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Old 14-08-2008, 04:39   #7
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we have a ro system and love it. It allows us to stay out without marina stops or expense for water, it allows us to reduce weight, due to the fact with the water maker there is no need to have full water tanks, (800 pounds on our boat). WHy carry full tanks if you can always make more!! We only chemically treat our system if we are not using it for more than two weeks. Otherwise just back wash after making water.
SO basically we cruised for a few years without one, and now we have one and definately enjoy the ease and freedom of having one now
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Old 14-08-2008, 12:49   #8
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Couldn't agree more with those that recommend having a watermaker. When we crossed the Atlantic we didn't have one which meant we carried full tanks - that's 1/2 a tonne - when we left. Slowed us down horribly. We recently fitted a Spectra Ventura 200T watermaker here in the Caribbean and I love it. We run it for 2 or 3 hours every 2 or 3 days and it works perfectly. I have to agree that 90 litres an hour seems a bit excessive, ours makes 30 or so which is adequate and only draws around 9 amps (12V) which is almost covered by solar and wind power - we also have a fridge and freezer which is why the watermaker draw isn't always completely covered. Now we sail with 1/4 full tanks or less and just make water when we need it - much more freedom and highly recommended!
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Old 15-08-2008, 07:21   #9
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I was a bit short, so apologies Eleven. Might I caution against not having full water tanks for longer trips, a person could look a bit silly if the watermaker fails to deliver the goods. Air in water tanks is like runway behind you, useless. Personally, I have not been successful in either cooking or rinsing plates/clothes in salt water. I always seem to use more fresh water rinsing off than if I'd just used fresh water in the first place. That's something Redbreast will have to experiment with as he goes.
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Old 15-08-2008, 08:10   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbreast View Post
Hi all, looking at buying a new boat, we have requested a fitted price for 90 ltr an hour watermaker they have come back with what seems a very expensive fitted price any thoughts please
1) blue water cruising , do we need water maker ?
2) what make, how much maintenance
3) what sort of price should we be paying (fitted)
Hallo

If I may advise you go for a low pressure water maker , less noise and a far lower energy consumption.
We are very Happy with the Italian Schenker units
weight , noise, size and energy consumption are among the best.
So far no maintenance or service issues and 60 liters per hour is plenty
Make sure to run the units a minimum of 2 but 3 hours is better due to their rinsing cycle.
The only maintenance is if you do not use the unit for a longer period than you have to
put a cleaning solution into the unit.
Cost will run around € 7.000,00 installed for these.

Greetings
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Old 16-08-2008, 11:24   #11
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watermaker = must have for us.....

Hi Redbreast,

we love our watermaker - it allows us to stay out of marinas and cities and keeps us off the grid. Plus we always know the quality of water that we are getting - some guy on a dock in Turkey says the water if perfectly potable but.... maybe not.

we have a spectra santa cruz system that puts out 14 gals per hour on DC. we can usually run it off of our solar panels on a nice sunny day. we only carry about 120 gallons of h20 on the Switch and we like to keep the weight down and stay speedy.

True it takes some maintenance but so do a lot of worthwhile gadgets.

We also love our 5milewifi - it allows wifi connections miles away from the source - as i write this i am on board anchored in Porto Vecchio using wifi from a hotel about 3 miles away. 5MileWIFI.com.

all the best,

Joe
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Old 16-08-2008, 13:37   #12
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little wonder series watermakers information

Little Wonder

Anyone use these today? Any good...
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Old 16-08-2008, 14:19   #13
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I have an Spectra 150 and it is simply great: Efficient and very dependable. I research extensively before buying my boat's Spectra and I found out that the Little Wonder lacks of support, I wouldn't buy Little Wonder
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:01   #14
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Post My 2 Ltrs Worth

We haven't introduced ourselves yet... and will soon. We're just two middle-aged vagabons that raised a pod of kids, and are ready to live life on the open waters. More about that later.

As for the water maker check this out --> http://www.sail-world.com/cruising/i...d=33568&rid=11

Don wants a WM onboard. I researched it and asked around; it seems to be everything it claims.
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:03   #15
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Be careful on that diagram you posted DAdams, it's wrong, I'm sure it was drawn and labeled in haste. The first Y valve is on the wrong side of the feed pump. Far better plans are available for home built watermakers and can be had for a few dollars, well worth their cost if you do decide to build your own. I built my own engine driven watermaker for $3,400. Which I feel is a more up to date and accurate cost for such a system. But and here's the catch, you can't value your time in that estimate. I kept accurate records of costs/ materials, time and mistakes in miscalculations. If I were to calculate my time on a bare $10 an hour that would equal $1000. You have to decide what your time is worth. There are hidden expenses that these plans just cannot cover because every boat and installation is going to be different. You cannot go to just any one store and buy all the components unless you go to a watermaker company and buy all the parts individually, but that will cost you more than a readymade unit. While watermakers themselves are not rocket science there is a learning curve in deciding what the best unit for your needs is. Bigger is not always better as I learned the hard and expensive way. Because of my experiance building my own I have become connected to a specific company I can't mention because of board rules. But if you insist on building your own I have some parts you might be interested in and my advice is always a PM away, free and well worth that cost.
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