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Old 11-01-2019, 04:29   #16
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Re: Are watermakers losing their relevance?

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
To me, it has very little to do with passagemaking. Most boats have adequate tankage for most passages.

Having a watermaker is about being able to be self sufficient for long periods. We frequently go 6, sometimes 10 or more weeks away from civilization. We shower every day, wash clothes and dishes in fresh water. You'd need pretty big tanks to do that.

It's about not having to constantly plan where we can get our water tanks refilled.

The freedom it gives you has to be experienced to be appreciated.

Our watermaker is in constant use, and has required very little in the way of maintenance.
Probably true but the same end result...it's the rare cruising boat that spends weeks away from a water source.
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Old 11-01-2019, 04:41   #17
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Re: Are watermakers losing their relevance?

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
To me, it has very little to do with passagemaking. Most boats have adequate tankage for most passages.

Having a watermaker is about being able to be self sufficient for long periods. We frequently go 6, sometimes 10 or more weeks away from civilization. We shower every day, wash clothes and dishes in fresh water. You'd need pretty big tanks to do that.

It's about not having to constantly plan where we can get our water tanks refilled.

The freedom it gives you has to be experienced to be appreciated.

Our watermaker is in constant use, and has required very little in the way of maintenance.
^^ This...we learned the first time we went cruising that the limiting factor for spending time in remote areas is water. In many developing/remote areas there are no handy docks to pull up next to and conveniently take on water...so you jerry jug it...man that suxs. Also the available water may be of questionable quality. A water maker solves all of the above problems.

Its also very convenient when you have non-boating guests aboard who dont understand the need, or how, to conserve water. Rather than becoming the evil water Nazi...you can just press the majic button again.

For seasons we have spent months in the San Blas islands during dry season (no rain = no catchment), we shower every day, fresh water rinse snorkel/fishing gear, etc...with no need to take on water...ever.

If youve got massive tankage (most cats dont due to weight) then you can spread out your refills, but you still have the above issues of convenience and water quality.
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Old 11-01-2019, 04:43   #18
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Re: Are watermakers losing their relevance?

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Probably true but the same end result...it's the rare cruising boat that spends weeks away from a water source.
It is? Maybe so, but for me thats one of the joys of cruising...having the self sufficiency to spend time in remote places.
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Old 11-01-2019, 05:31   #19
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Are watermakers losing their relevance?

I think serious long time cruisers have become over time very frugal on both water and electrical power use, because when they started cruising likely both had to be rationed.
Iíd assume that the people getting into cruising now may not ever become so frugal on either, just because they donít have to be.
Heck quite a few places to cruise now, you have instantaneous communication with anywhere in the world, and unbelievable data available via cell phones, itís simply a different world than it was just a couple of decades ago.
Navigation is a complete non issue now, where it used to be an extremely important skill. And the lack of it is what likely kept many from cruising.
A lot of people talk about an all electric galley now, something that likely was never seriously considered not too long ago.

Yes, we could jug water, rain hasnít been an option so far, there has only been one day of very light rain, and even then it wasnít enough to wash the salt off of the decks, so Winter is I guess the dry season in the Bahamas.

So yes you can do without nearly unlimited ďfreeĒ water, but if you donít have to, why?
Free is in parenthesis because its of course not nearly free at all. The more you use though, the cheaper it becomes.
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Old 11-01-2019, 06:10   #20
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Re: Are watermakers losing their relevance?

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It is? Maybe so, but for me thats one of the joys of cruising...having the self sufficiency to spend time in remote places.
I wasn't suggesting it was a bad way to cruise but it explains why you don't see watermakers as standard kit on most boats for sale.
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Old 11-01-2019, 06:23   #21
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Re: Are watermakers losing their relevance?

There's no greater pleasure at anchor when at 7am I hear a half dozed itty bitty engines. I pop my head out of the hatch and see little dingys full of blue jugs heading to shore. I go back to bed.
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Old 11-01-2019, 06:53   #22
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Re: Are watermakers losing their relevance?

I am not sure if the WM will ever become truly inexpensive. The lower capacity WMs may disappear from the market and the others will add more features.
They sure are nice to have even if you never use them. Sort of like bilge pumps, nice to have and hope we never have to use them in an emergency.
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Old 11-01-2019, 06:59   #23
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Re: Are watermakers losing their relevance?

I always smile when I hear people with boats easily double my LOA and 5x my price who say they have no WM because they "can't afford" one.



I guess I can't wrap my mind around feeling so urgent a need for ever bigger and bigger and bigger boats, to the point one is left in such in such a financial pinch.



I see the same thing with houses. I regularly do renovation work for people living in McMansions worth five times the value of my humble doublewide, but they have to pay me with credit cards or post-dated checks because they can't scrape up two grand in liquid capital.


Diff'rent strokes, i guess. I'll take a smaller boat and some jingle in my pocket, thank you very much.
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:00   #24
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Re: Are watermakers losing their relevance?

It’s not about having a supply of water, but having soft water for bathing and laundry. We are spending a couple of months in marinas in Key West where there is an unlimited supply of city water at the dock and we have nearly 400 gallons of freshwater storage onboard. But I still run the watermaker several times a week to keep the tanks filled with soft water. The watermaker never needs pickling, there is always copious chlorine-free water to backflush the membrane and we never get water spots on the boat when we wash her, plus we have all the usual benefits of soft water without a water softener. We make 30 gallons an hour and usually run the unit when we are off the boat for a few hours.
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:28   #25
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Re: Are watermakers losing their relevance?

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Yes. At Chesterfield reef, 400 miles from the nearest fresh water, a yacht anchored near us had a water leak empty it's tank into the bilge.

We gave them 120 litres of water.
After experiencing a significant water leak on my own boat while on a short passage, it's good to hear there are friendly people out there
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:16   #26
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Re: Are watermakers losing their relevance?

Rebuilding a second Westsail 42, rebuilt one 20 years ago and went offshore for quite awhile.

My philosophy was and still is I can make water, not diesel so, my fuel tankage is close to double my water is. We still wash dishes and other stuff in salt, I guess more out of old habits. Our first WS42 I installed a Powersurvivor rattle can, noisy and consumed a lot of 12vdc but keeping the tanks full on a passage was great.

Since we will be mostly cruising PNW with the iron genny running more often than not so making H20 with the newer units is a given.
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:49   #27
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Re: Are watermakers losing their relevance?

I agree with those in favor of a water maker onboard for the same reasons. The peace of mind knowing that you have pure drinking water going in your tank, not lugging jerry cans, no sourcing problems and freedom to go places without worrying about finding a place to fill up is worth the cost and maintenance of a RO system. And we only coastal cruise and day sail. We pickle the system for the winter and keep it going all summer. Thereís not enough solar onboard to charge batteries and make water so we still must run the generator every few days. A more permanent solar array is in the works.
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:51   #28
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Re: Are watermakers losing their relevance?

Water maker is a super idea. Not hasle to get water, showers every day, washing, etc., is a fantastic improvment. However, I do have some concerns about the effects of drinking on a regular basis of this treated water. The salt residues,the water PH, other minerals removal(or not) do have any long term effect on kidney, or more generaly on good health of users?. In other terms is this water having long side effects on users?
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:58   #29
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Re: Are watermakers losing their relevance?

"As I recall, the Navy figures 30/day per man and we know about Navy showers. LOL
That also includes water for cooking, laundry etc."



The navy spends a lot of time at sea, so it would be good to know the reasoning behind their guidelines. I hate to ask about this... but what's up with the navy showers LOL?
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:00   #30
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Re: Are watermakers losing their relevance?

We couldn't have enjoyed cruising in the Venezuelan offshore islands, San Blas Islands, San Andres, Bay Islands of Honduras, etc without a watermaker. Even now just coastal cruising and Bahamas cruising the watermaker is invaluable. The care you can give your boat with sufficient fresh water for washdowns, laundry, etc., makes it a necessity for us, and we carry 250 gallons of water. As far as giving water away, we used to do it routinely to the Venezuelan Navy stationed on Las Aves. They sure appreciated it and brought us lobsters in trade. Serious cruising requires a watermaker.
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