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Old 10-06-2013, 17:26   #31
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Re: water makers

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Originally Posted by Don L View Post
You must not be a very shopper because if one looked on the intenet they can find a system all put togther for less than your "great deal"

DIY Watermakers | DIY Watermakers AC Series
+1 I hate those dark mysterious websites though.
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Old 10-06-2013, 17:28   #32
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Re: water makers

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Originally Posted by coqui811 View Post
I have to disagree with your comment as when using a watermaker one definitely must be very aware of quality of the water where you are anchored. You run a water maker in polluted or otherwise dirty water and the membranes will be ruined. One must be or move to a location where the water appears clean. One does one make that decision by looking and possibly diving in the water you are anchored in and if not sure ask any other boat in the anchorage as to their opinion if they have watermakers.
As long as there isn't fuel floating about or silt so bad you can walk on it, we run our watermaker pretty much everywhere. The worse that happens is the prefilters need more frequent cleaning/changing, but they are inexpensive. It is very few anchorages or harbors we won't run our watermaker in, but we are rarely ever in a harbor that has a lot of traffic or commercial work going on.

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Old 10-06-2013, 17:36   #33
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Re: water makers

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Originally Posted by coqui811 View Post
The first thing you should do is think through as to how much water you will need during a normal day for cooking, washing dishes and clothing, bathing, drinking, etc. That will define the volume of water you would need to produce.

You will use as much as you make. No way to predict that ahead of time. Trust me, you can do a calculation on how many gal/day you use now, then get a watermaker that doubles that and you will then be using that amount.

A bit more information on my system. It is a AC system which I run with a 2000 watt Honda Generator and it produces 11/gph which is sufficient for my wife, 1 1/2 yo little girl and I- I run it every couple of days for 3 hours and charge my batteries and do other AC stuff as I make water.

If there are 2 or more people on your boat you will need a system large enough to make about 15 to 20gph. 12V will not provide that kind of power and you would be running he system all day and using a whole lot of diesel fuel to tun the engine. You will need either engine driven or AC with a genset. Engine driven systems get more expensive and complicated but produce higher output in shorter periods of operation.

Something doesn't add up. You state 3 on your boat get along fine with a 11gal/hr unit, then state that 2 people need a 15-20gal/hr unit.

Spectra and Schenker make 12V units that produce water using ~1A/gal. Their 16gal/hr units use 16A. Not so bad and can be handled by solar and wind easily, in addition to running them while motoring.

So DC systems of larger sizes can make sense, but they cost a lot more money.


What size system are you looking at that will require a 1200PSI pump? Most membranes operate at just under 1000PSI as does my system. Look at March Pumps they are the most popular for this type of project and have a VERY GOOD reputation. Depending on your system you may need a second smaller boost pump to bring sufficient salt water volume of water up to the HP pump.

Do March make high pressure pumps? That would be a new one for me. General, Cat, etc are the typical players here.

As far as pickling the system, you only need to do that when you are not going to be using the system for a more that several weeks. What one needs to do at least once per week is to do a back wash on the system to clean the membrane and HP lines.

I donīt know what your sailing plans are nor where you plan to go but if you plan on cruising for extended periods with a water maker you need to design it to slightly exceed you water need. All of the above been said, I cruised the Eastern Caribbean for 12 years w/o a water maker. I donīt stay I marinas unless absolutely necessary and after a while got tired of hauling 6 gallon jerry jugs of water to the boat to replenish my water. I have a 100 gallon tank which will last me 2 weeks w/o adding any water.
.....
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Old 10-06-2013, 17:56   #34
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Re: water makers

It needs to be part of your whole power plan. How do you plan to recharge batteries? I liked my engine driven unit (25 GPH). That boat used high output alternators in lieu of any soar or wind driven devices. It was easy to make water while I charged the batteries, in fact it was good for keeping the diesel loaded up once the charge cycled reduced to float. We wasted all the water we wanted on that boat.... and the pieces of the system seemed much more robust than the 12v units. Of xourse if you have big water tanks, you can make a couple hundred gallons while miving to the next anchorage, unles you are lucky enough to have favorable winds. I ditched the complicated salinity testing stuff and did it manually.
Not sure I ever went to a dock except for customs or fuel maybe a few times only. in two times thru the Caribe... and glad of it!
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Old 26-06-2013, 12:00   #35
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Re: water makers

Thanks for the informative and robust discussion guys. Really interesting for a newby like me to hear about the different experiences and approaches of people who have practical knowledge of having one or not.. For me personally it all comes down to cost rather than utility because I'm not wealthy enough to have the choice : )

I'd have one all day long if I had the cash though. I'm (constantly) researching boat upgrades for the future, but I won't be fitting a watermaker on my current / first ever boat yet (27' steel Van de Stadt) as it would cost more than my yacht : ) But if/when I do get a watermaker, I think I'd go for the 12v type and run it daily, as I like to sail and not stay anywhere for too long.

For me, realistically being a charity worker, that's all I could afford, so I tend to make my plans fit my budget. (lottery winning dreams aside!! in that dream I have a flotilla of gold plated tortoises with special harnesses that bring me bottled Malvern Water (like the queen))

I am going to sail her from UK to Brazil next year for the football World Cup though, so I may need to reconsider the priority if I go to the West Indies afterwards. Right now it would be choice of 2nd hand wind vane steering or 2nd hand watermaker. And steering wins that hands down..

thanks again people..
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Old 26-06-2013, 13:42   #36
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Re: water makers

well dizzy, you could try to find the hand operated one used.
$1500 new, how much could they really be used?
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Old 26-06-2013, 14:24   #37
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well dizzy, you could try to find the hand operated one used.
$1500 new, how much could they really be used?
By the time you replace the membrane and seals they're near the new cost.
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Old 26-06-2013, 15:09   #38
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Re: water makers

Yeah mate, virtually everything I buy for my boat is 2nd hand. eBay is my best friend at the moment, although I'm sure our relationship will end in tears... I've seen them 2nd hand for $300 US but I'm in UK and as sailmonkey says you've got to add on the servicing and postage costs. Washing up with salt walter and no showers will have to do when cruising in my current tub for now. I would get a mini hand held one for an emergency/liferaft kit, but unless i can train my German Shepherd to operate it (he's pretty smart) I don't think I could be bothered on a daily basis as it's too much like going to the gym!!

cheers lads
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Old 28-06-2013, 20:43   #39
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Check this company: http://www.diywatermakers.com/. We met the owner at the boat show and was impressed with the ease of installation, ability to get replacement parts easily, and customer service.
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Old 29-06-2013, 06:50   #40
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Re: water makers

ok, guess i finally know what they are doing to make watermakers.
Amazon.com: AR Blue Clean AR118 1,500 PSI 1.5 GPM Hand Carry Electric Pressure Washer: Patio, Lawn & Garden
then plum it into a pressure vessel.
i think that is the cheapest way to go.
sure, with sea water, you may need a new pressure washer each year, but at that price, i think it would cost less then even a cheep pump and motor.
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Old 29-06-2013, 06:52   #41
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Re: water makers

i found this:
Dido's Watermaker
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Old 29-06-2013, 07:10   #42
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Re: water makers

I went through all of the DIY watermaker stuff and finally scored a used one here for $350.00 including shipping. I took it apart and cleaned everything that the water touches and replaced the membranes and got in the door for less than $1000.00. It works great, it just sucks a LOT of power.
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Old 14-07-2013, 23:40   #43
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Re: Water Makers

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Originally Posted by beachlvr0168 View Post
Check this company: DIY Watermakers | Home. We met the owner at the boat show and was impressed with the ease of installation, ability to get replacement parts easily, and customer service.
Anyone care to provide some feedback that actually have one of these brands up and running?
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Old 26-01-2015, 13:43   #44
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Re: Water Makers

Hi everyone,

My husband and I are looking at putting in a water maker on our Windship. It will run off our generator.

We are looking at three different brands; AMI, SeaMaker and ECHOTec.

Any opinions or personal experience with any of them would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
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