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Old 11-01-2011, 09:46   #16
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I have been cruising the Bahamas every winter for a few years. I do not have a watermaker and have never felt the need for one. Good water is available in the Exumas and Long Island. In the Exumas it is free, good RO water. I have 130 gallons aboard and we shower every day. A watermaker for the ditch and the Bahamas will only complicate your life. The power requirements for a good one is substantial.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:10   #17
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The thing that would change my life the most would be a substantial size water maker.
But you've come to this conclusion AFTER going once around and you have the benefit of knowing that cruising suits you. I'd also like to point out that you circled the marble with out a watermaker and did just fine. ;}
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:16   #18
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:21   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
The thing that would change my life the most would be a substantial size water maker.

Hi Mark,

What is substantial size and for how many people?

What is the magical balance between % battery capacity used to make water for how much water?
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:47   #20
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tanks are 100 gal and there would be two poeple cruising. If we were sure about the lifestyle, there would be no question
Two off us would go through 240 litres every two weeks at anchor... when long distance sailing use halved... always used the solar shower bag tho'.. the pumped system was to wasteful
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Old 11-01-2011, 14:21   #21
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I also cruise the Bahamas for a few months each winter. 3 things I've added that I love are the solar panels, portable freezer and a water maker. I know you can buy a lot of water for what one costs, but you can not beat the convenience and the quality of the water. You will pay .50 cents a gallon, most is RO water and excellent, but if you get water from a municipality like at Old Bahamas Bay on the West End, that water is border line acceptable in the U.S. with over 600 ppm Total Desolved Solids.
I test all my water sources, getting sick once was all it took. You can buy a TDS tester for around $25. well worth the investment
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:16   #22
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Tellie - post #13 - has the most sage and honest advice I have ever seen coming from a vendor and boater.
- - Size of the boat, age of the cruisers, personal lifestyle habits all make a world of difference about what you include in "your" cruising boat. Cruising on a 40ft or so boat is significantly different than cruising on a 21ft boat, especially when there are more than one person on board.
- - Until you have to "haul water" in jerry cans or worry about water consumption and where the next marina is located - you will not have an appreciation for what having a watermaker on board is all about. A decade or so ago finding water in the Bahamas was not easy and when you did find it the costs were extremely high. Lately, more and more good water is available much less expensively and even free in some places.
- - So doing a season without the machine will do two things - one find out whether your style of cruising really requires a watermaker; and two, discussions with other cruisers with watermakers will give you an insight into what brands, sizes, and models would be the best for your boat and you.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:33   #23
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We are missing this year, but have cruised the Bahamas every other winter since 2003/04. We don't NEED a water maker, but love having one. It makes the best tasting water we have ever had.

We just have a small one and fill our tanks with rain water or occasionally buy water but always drink our own RO.

Ours is small, 1.5 gph but anytime we are running either engines or generator, we turn it on. Only draws 4 amps and can't see a measurable difference in how long it takes to charge batteries.

We also tend to motor sail a lot, and again, don't see a measurable difference in fuel consumption with RO running.

In summary: Need? No. Nice? Very.

George
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:00   #24
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We found as a couple we used 35 litres / 8 gallons of fresh water daily over four years of summer cruising. This was for drinking, cooking, still having (but treating it as a luxury) a full on fresh water shower when wanted, and typically rinsing off several times each day after washing / swimming off the back of the boat.
Having to run our main engine for 3 hours each day to recharge electricity meant running a watermaker at the same time was never an issue. It allowed us to pick a smaller watermaker that met our needs - and ours produced 14 litres / 3 gallons per hour.

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Old 12-01-2011, 07:35   #25
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Ours is small, 1.5 gph but anytime we are running either engines or generator, we turn it on. Only draws 4 amps and can't see a measurable difference in how long it takes to charge batteries.

George
You know, I had no idea that you could get them that small, I was always under the impression that they all drew HUGE amounts of power. I understand that the output isn't huge but still, at 4 amps, any decent wind/solar set up should cope with that easily and you can run it longer.

Gives me something to seriously think about when I get my next boat.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:48   #26
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Modern watermakers consume very little power. I have a spectra that makes around 9 gallons/hour and uses around 12 amps DC.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:27   #27
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Modern watermakers consume very little power. I have a spectra that makes around 9 gallons/hour and uses around 12 amps DC.
Trying not to sound like "mine's better than yours", but I have a ten year old Spectra 180 which I sent back to the factory for an upgrade, and where it used to make 6.5 GPH it now makes about 9 GPH on 8 amps.
The upgrade was well worth the under $200 cost.
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Old 12-01-2011, 13:31   #28
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I have a spectra T200. What upgrade did you do on the 180?
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Old 12-01-2011, 13:36   #29
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simonmd has set the real questions for you. If you are going to be in marinas with access to fresh water, then the watermaker is more trouble and money than you will need. However, it you are going to be anchored out in the little islands and back bays for more than a week then access to fresh water via the watermaker makes the whole experience pleasant rather than an ordeal.
- - Thing about watermakers is you have to use them frequently or you will have spent a lot of money for a lot of trouble. Then you also have to have the electrical power available to run them.
That is extremely GOOD advice Osirissail gave
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Old 12-01-2011, 13:58   #30
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I have a spectra T200. What upgrade did you do on the 180?
Do you mean a 200T?
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