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Old 30-12-2010, 16:56   #1
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Minimum Water Tankage with Watermaker

Wondering from the folks that have or are doing the long term live-aboard or cruising abroad...

What is the minimum tankage for water you would recommend or need to facilitate cruising... "Provided you have a working and constantly maintain a watermaker"

I am aware there will be times the watermaker may be down for repairs and the typical shore runs for water will be required...

Not looking for the info on use of washing machines, three daily showers, daily deck wash-downs and the like... Just real life use and needs for a typical couple who occasionally swim and then shower, dishwashing after salt water rinse... basically, reasonable use...

Just trying to get a handle on tankage needs...

Lets say for the run from Puerto villarta to the Marquises (Approximately 2500 miles or a run for about 30 days for time)

I am thinking anything short of this type of run is completely manageable with shore runs and water movement if needed.

Appreciate the feedback...
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Old 30-12-2010, 17:13   #2
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We cruised for a decade with a Power Survivor 35, 1.5 GPH, feeding an 18 - 20 Gal. water tank. It was adequate.
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Old 30-12-2010, 17:30   #3
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Our Powersurvivor watermaker is 22 years old and still works fine, on the original membrane. It has never broken down, but I have replaced the seals twice, and it is due again. It makes about 1.5 gals. / Hr.

During 12 years of full time live aboard and/or cruising, we have had 3O gallons in tanks and 30 more possible in jugs, if it seemed prudent.

We use about three gallons a day, by using a garden sprayer to shower in the cockpit, and conservation. If we catch rain, we might use 4 or 5.

Rain water, occasionally caught in the dinghy, is kept for washing purposes. Dive gear uses the most.

This is perfect for a small 12V watermaker. They like regular use! We crank ours up for the first two hours each morning, and top off our tanks with the power from our solar panels.

We have spent extended time out on the reef in Belize, and our tanks stayed full or only 3 gallons down.

With our system, even if / when the unit craps out, we have weeks of water left. (In survival mode)

The worst thing is to have huge tanks that you run low and fill with a huge watermaker. It is risky to go low on water, and watermakers last longest if they are run a little every day.

Just like on land. The best bang for your buck on energy production, watermaking, engine size, and about everything else... is to go small and efficient. Conserved energy cost money... like our refrigerator's vacuum panels, but it is WAY cheaper than more production. This applies to watermakers in a big way.

At least this has been my experience.

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Old 30-12-2010, 17:30   #4
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I've done 47 days on 240 litres solo... three proper showers a week (solar) odd rinse down after salt... still had 30 left on the other side... mind I was carrying 48 cans of beer, 48 cans of coke and a litre of Mount Gay to supplement
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Old 30-12-2010, 17:50   #5
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Thanks guys, appreciate the feedback...

Seems to correlate what I've preened from the boards here...

My tankage is limited (35 gallons = 7 full days with conservation "tested") but was thinking that cruising is completely doable with the correct watermaker and maintenance.

This forum is way cool!
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Old 30-12-2010, 18:03   #6
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We have two 30 gal tanks.
We are neither conservative nor wasteful - how is that for a water use description -HAH!
We go through a tank in 3 or 4 days.
When one tank is empty we switch over and run the watermaker -Spectra 6gal/hr.

We may be spoiled though because there is a lot of sweating in Florida (not right now though ) and a nice rinse at the end of the day is such a pleasure.

We are coastal though so don't need it according to lots of folks but I like the fact that I know what is in my tanks all the time as we drink it too. It is really good water.
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Old 30-12-2010, 18:59   #7
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G'day, Wayne. 30 gallons should out well based on your usage and plans. The mate and I are on Therapy's usage for 13 years now, so we splurge a bit. I also run the watermaker every day. My strategy is to keep the tanks topped up, in case, for whatever reason, you can't make water. I'll give the water maker a rest, when we get a good rain to top off the tanks.

Don't always assume, while doing the milk run, you will be able to get water ashore. In fact, we have one marina here in Northern New Zealand where they don't even have water piped to the berths. They catch it off the roof to run the laundry and showers. All the best. Hope to see you here someday. Cheers.
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