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Old 28-03-2019, 09:10   #1
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Watermakers: is there a cheaper alternative

Over the years, I've looked at watermakers and given up in frustration each time over their cost.

Is there a watermaker that can make a gallon (~ four liters) or two a day while underway -- that costs less than $1,000? Preferably one that operates on 12 volts DC?
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Old 28-03-2019, 09:22   #2
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Re: Watermakers: is there a cheaper alternative

Sounds like an unsustainably small niche market.

Survival units usually are operated by hand.

Assuming electricity is available, most contexts would require higher volume.

Lots of people build their own, not rocket science.

But if you wanted something custom built to your specs, Rich @CruiseRO would be the guy I'd ask.
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Old 28-03-2019, 09:29   #3
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Re: Watermakers: is there a cheaper alternative

The short answer is, no.

The reason is that membranes are not available in such small sizes, and the cost of the high pressure vessels and pumps don’t get smaller with a smaller size.

Most prepackaged systems have a large retail market over the parts in them. Do you have a cost you think reasonable?
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Old 28-03-2019, 11:29   #4
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Re: Watermakers: is there a cheaper alternative

Buy used. If necessary replace the membrane.
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Old 28-03-2019, 11:32   #5
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Re: Watermakers: is there a cheaper alternative

It's weird how a
100 Lt 220 water maker and 4lt 12v water maker have the same.price in canaries .

OP a design like.katadyn e40 it cost to the manufacture hardly 600 to 800 USD , but they sell it 3000 because the sailing market is full people who can afford that price .
You might find smaller models.or cheaper models.on land based water makers or fix your own .
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Old 28-03-2019, 11:32   #6
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Re: Watermakers: is there a cheaper alternative

If an output rate of 1 to 2 gallons per day is too small to specify, I'm happy to run a 1 gallon per hour water maker for only 1 to 2 hours per day -- provided it doesn't cost thousands of dollars.


1 to 2 gallons per day is my actual usage now, so I don't want to spend $3,000 to $5,000 for a 1 gallon per hour watermaker -- unless I have 23 crewmates aboard (which is impossible on my 26 foot boat). When crewing on other boats, I am astounded at the gluttonous water wastage. I suppose that's why there's such a large market for high output water makers. Using more than 1 gallon for bathing would get you kicked off a submarine (where those kinds of wasteful baths are called a "Hollywood Shower" requiring special permission). In temperate climates, I can't drink and cook with more than 1 gallon per day. I avoid foods that require boiling.

I'll appreciate any links to DIY projects.

I recently retired from NASA. They allocated 2 liters (~ 2 quarts) per day to each astronaut for bathing on ISS. For bathing aboard I use what I call a modified ISS bath:

1) Add 1 cup (250 ml) of water to a ceramic bowl. Add a little liquid soap and a hand towel.
2) Heat in microwave for comfort (about 1 minute - 2 amp/hours consumption from the 12 volt battery bank).
3) Wash body.
4) Empty bowl.
5) Rinse hand towel in 1 cup of water.
6) Empty bowl.
7) Add 1 cup of water to bowl.
8) Heat in microwave for 1 minute.
9) Rinse body.
10) Rinse hand towel with 1 cup of water. Hang to dry.

So that's 4 cups of water (~ 1 liter) and 4 amp/hours off the batteries for a "bath."

I shave with an electric shaver (recharged from the battery bank - maybe 0.1 amp/hour per day, max.). All power is generated by sunlight and a towed impeller generator (indirect wind generation).

For washing clothes: In warm weather, I wear cheap all-cotton hospital scrubs (with no synthetics) for a few days each and then toss them overboard (perfectly legal and biodegradable), or I put clothes in a fishnet, drag them overboard, and hang up to dry. If I'm lucky, they get rained on while hanging. Residual salt residue is minimal.


I wouldn't know what to do with 24 gallons of water per day, let alone where to store it all.
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Old 28-03-2019, 11:40   #7
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Re: Watermakers: is there a cheaper alternative

Op I am.on the same side as you on 26 feet boat , I considered buying a water maker , I considered building my.own . Now.i am.looking for a used one but if I had the space I would just add another tank of 200 or if possible 400 litters , that's enough for long time .
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Old 28-03-2019, 11:49   #8
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Re: Watermakers: is there a cheaper alternative

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt Pat View Post
I'd appreciate any links to DIY projects.
https://www.google.com/search?q=site...diy+watermaker
Plenty of other forum sites to search as well.


Most end up pretty noisy, so if you're going to bother, IMO size its throughput so you can fill up your tank in under an hour, and plan on running it 2-3x a week.

That way if you ever do have a reason to make more, you have the wherewithal ready at hand.

Once it becomes a free resource, there's no need to be so stingy anymore, wash the salt off the deck if you like 8-)
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Old 28-03-2019, 23:25   #9
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Re: Watermakers: is there a cheaper alternative

At their very simplest they are a pump to pump sea water at 800-850 psi, a bypass valve which allows the output from the pump to be choked down to provide the 800-850 psi and the membrane in it's high pressure housing.

Start scrounging.
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Old 29-03-2019, 00:13   #10
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Re: Watermakers: is there a cheaper alternative

Your per day usage does not size the watermaker directly. It makes more sense to run the watermaker for a few hours every 3 days or so. A decent size for you would be a DC 7 gal per hour unit. You can pick these up used for around usd1,200 to 1,800.

Watermakers take time, energy, to start producing and require flushing with fresh water after use.
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Old 29-03-2019, 02:17   #11
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Re: Watermakers: is there a cheaper alternative

I am surprised the Chinese haven't come up with a cheap version since they can copy eveything else
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Old 29-03-2019, 03:02   #12
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Re: Watermakers: is there a cheaper alternative

low hanging fruit first

very limited market
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Old 29-03-2019, 03:10   #13
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Re: Watermakers: is there a cheaper alternative

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt Pat View Post
Over the years, I've looked at watermakers and given up in frustration each time over their cost.

Is there a watermaker that can make a gallon (~ four liters) or two a day while underway -- that costs less than $1,000? Preferably one that operates on 12 volts DC?
Look into https://seawaterpro.com/ It is about 50% more than your specced price but takes the work out of it.

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Old 29-03-2019, 03:40   #14
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Re: Watermakers: is there a cheaper alternative

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Originally Posted by Willie11b View Post
Look into https://seawaterpro.com/ It is about 50% more than your specced price but takes the work out of it.

Will



I like the look of these. A cost effective solution and easy to find the Karcher pumps.
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Old 29-03-2019, 04:08   #15
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Re: Watermakers: is there a cheaper alternative

I'm my humble opinion you are on the wrong track.

You don't need a watermaker at that usage level. You need to improve the tankage on your boat. There are many places on any boat that can be dedicated to extra water storage.

How long do you want to be able to go without getting water?
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