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Caroline Joan 06-07-2018 07:39

Water in the Pacific
 
I am going to spend about 2 years in the pacific.

The question is can we sail in pacific for 2 years without a water maker.
I know some islands have next to no water and what they have is not good quality. I'm hoping that we can catch all the water we require from the rain & top up in places like Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Tahiti where they have more water.

There are just the 2 of us on board our 50ft Beneteau
We have 1000 litres in 3 tanks. Of course we can take extra bottles as well.
I have made a water catcher and filter.
We use as little water as possible, ie have quick solar shower, have water pump turned off and just use manual pump.
We can go at least 2 months and can probably stretch to 3months if we use sea water for washing clothes & dishes and a bit for cooking.

I'm not sure when we travel north to avoid the cyclone season to places like Tuvalu, Kiribiti, Marshall island etc whether its realistic to be able to catch all the rain water we need over a period of 5 months (Nov - March)

I imagine that hundreds of people have been to the pacific without a water maker and smaller water tanks and it should not be an issue being without a water maker, but maybe its a climate change issue?

We will be sailing from Panama and island hoping.

Your help is really appreciated.

john61ct 06-07-2018 09:52

Re: Water in the Pacific
 
You can certainly get by without one.

But having one can quickly pay for itself, and makes life much more pleasant.

The real question is financial. If a few boat bucks to enjoy life is usually an easy call for you, go for it.

No one can really answer that for you.

Big question is what's your electrical setup, mostly solar or AC genny? Big-amp DC alternator(s)?

And usage pattern, how often and how long burning dino juice currently?

Caroline Joan 06-07-2018 10:13

Re: Water in the Pacific
 
Thanks John
I have only been using solar only and the batteries are at 12.3v in the morning so now need to run engine or generator. I have generator but not used for 3 years. Only start occasionally to make sure it still goes. When crossing atlantic & pacific i'll need to run generator a bit to top up as using autopilot 24/7.


Cost is the main issue when looking at a water maker, as budget pretty tight and want to keep funds for emergency/unforeseen repairs etc. If a water maker was say $1500usd I would have got one by now.
When we are back in New Zealand in 2-3 years time we will have absolutely no use for a water maker.

john61ct 06-07-2018 10:21

Re: Water in the Pacific
 
Seems clear getting by without one is the way to go.

Maybe keep your eyes open for a NOS Katadyn Survivor 35 ex-military or NGO surplus, have seen them go for under a grand sometimes.

The membrane kit alone is $500 though, so do try for "as new unopened" or use eBay+PayPal+good CC for the unconditional return guarantees.

Really only good for when things are getting desperate though, but then the big automated ones are not good for that, useless in a life raft 8-)

Paul L 06-07-2018 10:57

Re: Water in the Pacific
 
If you can reasonably cruise for a long as you claim on your water supply then you can get through the S Pacific easily without a watermaker. The Tuamotus is probably the most limited and remote for being able to get water.
In a season crossing from Panama to NZ we really had little actual rain.
For a point of reference, I just sold a used Village Marine watermaker for usd $1500.

Eder 06-07-2018 11:11

Re: Water in the Pacific
 
Hasn't rained much here in the Society Islands last few weeks. Water is a pain to get in the Marqueses and Tuomodus but not impossible at all.
Your boat is large enough & you already have a generator ...its a no brainer to add an ac watermaker.

We run ours about 3 hours/day....use about 60 gallons water/day.Life is good.

billknny 06-07-2018 11:25

Re: Water in the Pacific
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eder (Post 2667685)
H

We run ours about 3 hours/day....use about 60 gallons water/day.Life is good.

Geez...I don't think I used 60 gallons a day when I owned a 3000 sqft house!

We have a watermaker, and 1000 liters of tankage. Without a watermaker I concur with the OP's usage numbers, 1000 liters+2 people=3 months--with care. More if you are REALLY careful.

When we are using the watermaker we think of ourselves as being totally profligate with water, and we average about 5 gallons a day. 12 on laundry days.

atoll 06-07-2018 12:06

Re: Water in the Pacific
 
the trick is having a rain catcher that is permernantly set up,like a hard dodger with large 1-2" drain holes and raised gutter all around.

failing that a sun cover that is under the boom pulled taught from a pole at the backstay then 3 guys at the front,the middle guy to the mast under the kicker,and the 2 outer guys to the rigging to form a Vee at its lowest point.
then a bucket with a hose plumbed in to collect the water at the Vee.

the problem with catching rain water is that generally rain arrives with a lot of wind from passing squalls,and are quite short lived in duration.

loose canvas tends to flap and you loose a lot of water if not streached tight ,a fixed dodger is ideal as plumbing can be left connected then either directed into jugs or to your tanks and will work even when sailing.

john61ct 06-07-2018 12:09

Re: Water in the Pacific
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by billknny (Post 2667703)
Geez...I don't think I used 60 gallons a day when I owned a 3000 sqft house!

When we are using the watermaker we think of ourselves as being totally profligate with water, and we average about 5 gallons a day. 12 on laundry days.

If the dino juice is burning anyway and with a wm that makes enough gph,

washing the whole boat down with fresh water twice a week if you want,

why not? it's free other than the noise factor.

john61ct 06-07-2018 12:11

Re: Water in the Pacific
 
Yes sticking to a mostly solar setup, getting an efficient AH/gal unit, you'd want to remain conservative.

Stu Jackson 06-07-2018 12:27

Re: Water in the Pacific
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Caroline Joan (Post 2667610)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Cost is the main issue when looking at a water maker, as budget pretty tight and want to keep funds for emergency/unforeseen repairs etc. If a water maker was say $1500usd I would have got one by now.
When we are back in New Zealand in 2-3 years time we will have absolutely no use for a water maker.


Yikes, 2-3 YEARS of bathing in as much water as most use to do their teeth is simply beyond me.


My friend wrote this a few years ago:


Watermaker – for Mexico, I wouldn’t want to cruise without one, but plenty of people do. We bought new, a good brand (Spectra), used it constantly and sold it quickly for three quarters of what we paid for it.



The watermaker was a great investment. I've seen the other side - people buying their water in 5 gallon jugs and trying to sneak in a little shampoo as they steal a beachside shower from a resort. It doesn't look like fun. We love the watermaker.
Capacity is important. The cheaper low volume Katadyne units have to run forever to make enough water. Something in the 150 gpd range is much better.

Tetepare 06-07-2018 13:07

Re: Water in the Pacific
 
First, note that "Fiji" and "Tonga" are not islands, but groups of islands with distinct water capacity.


There are effectively two types of islands in the Pacific: mountainous and atoll.



You can plan on atolls having very limited water.


Mountainous islands typically have water- plenty of water. However, many of them have a dry side and a wet side, so the water you want may be on the other side, which may be far away and/or unsafe to moor or land. So it's possible to be dry and burned while watching it rain on the other side of mountains and you can't get to the rain.


Municipal and village (cistern) water can contain bad stuff. Luckily, you're in the Pacific. Carry aboard clear plastic bottles/jugs (clear, not milky white) fill 'em up and leave them on deck for two days. 12 hours of bright sunlight kills everything dead except chemicals.



Pandanus root, common throughout the Pacific, can be cut and chewed to suck out the water. Keep that in mind when you're on a remote beach and wish you'd taken water- it's often right at hand.


Capitals and major cities have water resources, even when there is a drought there's water to drink. Remote atolls can suffer very hard times during drought, so don't plan on taking theirs even if they offer (which they will.)



Opinion: if you're going to remote atolls, get a water maker.


Oh, and in the western Pacific, watch out for crocs if you decide to fill up your jugs in the river.

john61ct 06-07-2018 13:39

Re: Water in the Pacific
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stu Jackson (Post 2667771)
cheaper low volume Katadyne units have to run forever to make enough water. Something in the 150 gpd range is much better.

Never understood gpd units, I'd go nuts listening to one run all day.

Their 160E model produces 6-7gph, about 18A off 12V.

Spectra 150 about the same, but maybe more energy efficient?

A 30 gph unit can consume as much as 100A , which is how I'd go, of course only running while burning dino juice.

For the OP, about one hour a week's all they'd need.

Paul L 06-07-2018 14:05

Re: Water in the Pacific
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by john61ct (Post 2667837)
Never understood gpd units, I'd go nuts listening to one run all day.

Their 160E model produces 6-7gph, about 18A off 12V.

Spectra 150 about the same, but maybe more energy efficient?

A 30 gph unit can consume as much as 100A , which is how I'd go, of course only running while burning dino juice.

For the OP, about one hour a week's all they'd need.

Spectra would create the same amount of water at 1/2 the amp usage.

Eder 06-07-2018 14:17

Re: Water in the Pacific
 
Also I have 400 watts solar but I need to run my Northern Lights gen about 3 hours each day at anchor to charge batteries anyway so why not run the watermaker....I have a 500 gal/day unit but should have gone with the 1000 gal/day.

Gen is so quiet I often forget its running...I put a Gensup on it out of consideration for other cruisers...they cant hear it on when they tie their dingy to my stern....water maker is noisier but its in a sound enclosure and hard to hear it going when in the cockpit.
I dont think I could stand a day without a hot shower,shave, flushing toilets at will and hosing the salt off the boat.


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