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Old 02-15-2014, 03:56 PM   #1
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Water maker?

In looking for ways to unclutter the engine room in order to increase access and visibility to critical systems, I am about to remove a 600 gpd Village Tec water maker. It is in good working order but based on how we have cruised and expect to cruise I feel like the space will be more useful than the water maker. With ability to carry 500 gallons of fresh water it seems like this would make a week between ports pretty conservative.
Being less experienced than most of you I would appreciate comments on how critical you view a water maker on a trawler or is this strictly a personal preference issue?
I look forward to the wisdom from this group.
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:10 PM   #2
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I HATE hauling water. Indeed, it is the most difficult part of this life I have chosen. However Seaweed at 23' only holds 50 gallons so it's a given. That I like the secluded spots away from "civilization" means water is what drives me back to people -- unless it rains. Then I "bail out" the dink into my water tank.

If you're not using yours I don't know that I would get rid of it. Someday you might sell or swap it for something you want more than the watermaker.

Since you want the room in the engine room more than the watermaker at present and don't really require it, I'd be tempted to stow it ashore if you're eventually planning passage-making. You might want it then.

Good luck.
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:09 PM   #3
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We like our water maker. It's similar to the size of fuel tanks. With the capacity you don't have to worry about your next water or fuel stop and the quality.

That being said, what is your cruising area? The PNW, Mexico or the US all have pretty much good water. We are 2 adults and a dog and use about 20-25 gallons per day.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:18 PM   #4
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You can never have too much water capacity... the only time water is a issue is if there a equal amount in the hull as the outside. We are pretty good about our water consumption but I still like to take a decent shower and really like to wash the boat down after a spray filled trip... something that you cannot do in a some places in B.C. in the summer due to water restrictions.

I have a small watermaker on my Ocean Alexander and am about to install a bigger one. Guests have ran us dry on too many occasions.

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Old 02-16-2014, 12:09 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies so far.
Larry your usage rate is useful to know. My cruising area will be the PNW for the foreseeable future and because I still have 10-15 years left of work I really enjoy, I can't see having more than about 10 days at any given stretch to cruise. I expect the Broughtons would be pushing it from my home marina.
Hollywood I hear ya which is why I have been agonizing over this, but when thinking about the choice of conserving water or crawling around in that engine room in its current state for the next ten years without changing something, I am tempted. Part of the problem is that some of the water maker components are mounted on the engine room ceiling above the main. The infrastructure there has a soft spot which I could open the floor of the salon thru for when I need to be in there. That would make working in there much more pleasant and functional.
This engine room has had many things added to it since the original build and I am feeling like there are one or two too many. The diesel heat, larger house bank, and this water maker are add ons I think and are my immediate choices to open it up. Without the diesel heat I am afraid I would also be without an Admiral.....not an option.

Apparently the Dutch have higher priorities than a large engine room.

Thanks again,
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:23 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies so far.
Larry your usage rate is useful to know. My cruising area will be the PNW for the foreseeable future and because I still have 10-15 years left of work I really enjoy, I can't see having more than about 10 days at any given stretch to cruise. I expect the Broughtons would be pushing it from my home marina.
Hollywood I hear ya which is why I have been agonizing over this, but when thinking about the choice of conserving water or crawling around in that engine room in its current state for the next ten years without changing something, I am tempted. Part of the problem is that some of the water maker components are mounted on the engine room ceiling above the main. The infrastructure there has a soft spot which I could open the floor of the salon thru for when I need to be in there. That would make working in there much more pleasant and functional.
This engine room has had many things added to it since the original build and I am feeling like there are one or two too many. The diesel heat, larger house bank, and this water maker are add ons I think and are my immediate choices to open it up. Without the diesel heat I am afraid I would also be without an Admiral.....not an option.

Apparently the Dutch have higher priorities than a large engine room.

Thanks again,
ever consider moving the membranes to a different location to gain more space in the E.R.?
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:37 AM   #7
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If you find yourself comfortably enjoying your cruising and feel you can enjoy your anticipated cruising then it may make sense. Many people are happy without them, especially sailors.

That said, we would not be without one. There is something about having to conserve water on a boat we just find very uncomfortable. We like to shower and like full showers. We don't want to wash our dishes in salt water then rinse in fresh. We wash clothes and we don't like to wear clothes many times between washing as some cruisers feel comfortable doing so. To us the watermaker is a key toward our feeling of cleanliness and comfort. We also don't like the idea of having to warn guests to conserve water as many do.

But it's a personal thing and only you can really know how you are without one.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:08 AM   #8
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Your cruising area and cruising style are deciding factors. The PNW has good available water if your cruising style is to get into a marina at least once a week. The downside of a water maker is not the space, there are smaller ones available, but complexity, i.e. need to maintain.

If you were to head south to Mexico or the Caribbean and plan to anchor out almost all the time the water maker becomes important. In the Caribbean we have gone entire seasons without pulling into a marina.

Our water usage is a little higher than Larry's, I attribute this to at least one load of clothes per day in the washing machine using 10 gallons or so.

With 10/15 years left before retirement you could do without one now and put one in when and if you decide to cruise on an extended basis.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:02 AM   #9
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Figure your average usage then decide. 500 gallons is a lot of internal storage. I carry 200 gallons and it lasts quite a long time with just the Admiral and I. I do have a watermaker also a 160gpd, it is very compact. Your 600gpd could be swapped for a smaller one.
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:29 AM   #10
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We just installed a spectra system in our GB 42. Very compact with auto flushing system - every Friday for 30 minutes. One problem we have found is that the quality of the water here in the mobile Bay Area and the ICW tends to quickly clog the initial filters. Looking forward to the clearer waters of Florida when we head to the keys this coming fall. We prefer anchoring and the piece of mind found in not having to worry about water consumption - long showers etc is a true plus. Took up very little room mounted on the starboard side wall and not interfering with work space. Glad we have ours..
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:39 AM   #11
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Our Willard carries 300 gallons of fresh water. During a 4 month cruise to Southeast Alaska last summer we averaged 15 gallons per day for 2 persons. We we're never short of water.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:52 PM   #12
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Here's my take, if you can only take a yearly 2 week cruise, you don't need a watermaker nor do you want one. A watermaker can't just sit without the membranes going bad. They need a weekly flush with non-chloride water or you can pickle them, which only lasts one year.

With 500 gallons of fresh water capacity and only 2 weeks for a cruise, I agree with you that you can remove the watermaker and sell it. However, make sure it works OK before removing it and do pickle the membranes so you can advertise it as a working watermaker.

I have a watermaker but I cruise for about 3 months in the summer and spend most of the time in the Broughtons where good water is hard to come by.
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:32 AM   #13
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I would leave the WM installed till sold ,so the purchaser can see it in action , a demonstrated working unit is easier to sell than a pig in a poke.

And will command a far better price.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:00 AM   #14
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I have a watermaker but I cruise for about 3 months in the summer and spend most of the time in the Broughtons where good water is hard to come by.
For and near the Broughtons acceptable water can be found at Blind Bay, Port Hardy, Port McNeil, Nimmo Bay and Kwatsi Bay. But you are correct, it can be a challenge. Even more so once around CapeCaution until Klemtu or Ocean Falls.

For the OP, 500 gallons will serve you well but recommend about 15 gallons of carry along drinking water.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:39 AM   #15
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I say keep it, but re-site it. It's clearly not working in it's present configuration. When/if you do start using it regularly, you'll come to appreciate it. I think they add another dimension to cruising.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:07 PM   #16
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Totally depends where you are cruising. In the Bahamas one is near essential, not just because there are stretches with no marinas, but also because you will pay 30-60 cents per gallon when you can get it.

But, if you do decide to remove it, I'd sell it, not store it. It will only decline in value while it sits. I like the idea of selling it first while it can be demonstrated to work, then removing for delivery. I think that will significantly increase it's value.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:52 AM   #17
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but also because you will pay 30-60 cents per gallon when you can get it.

This is because they frequently use a diesel generator to make electric , which is used to run the RO machine.

Figuring the life cost of a noisemaker , its fuel, and the cost of an RO machine and membranes , 30c - 60c is probably CHEAPER than you can create it.
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Old 11-11-2014, 11:51 PM   #18
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Know I'm opening a fairly retired thread here... But, thought you guys might know...

1. Is there a good quality brand, new and reasonably priced, water maker?

2. How many hours can water maker be utilized before restoration's needed?

3. Is it wise to even consider purchasing a used water maker?

4. WHY are they so expensive??? Gold or platinum on some of their internals??

Thanks for any answer you may have!

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Old 11-12-2014, 12:13 AM   #19
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Check out "Cruise RO Water". Rich is the owner and is a great guy. I just installed the water maker, which is a component system, and I had to call Rich several times and he answered every phone call. The system was the most cost effective system I found.

I was given a used water maker, but after looking at going through the process of installing it without instructions, or knowing the age, I decided to go new.

Rich will answer all the above questions. His number is (619) 609-3432 and the website is Cruise RO Water & Power: Watermakers for Boats & Yachts. As a side note I am very happy I got the remote panels.
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:30 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art View Post
Know I'm opening a fairly retired thread here... But, thought you guys might know...



1. Is there a good quality brand, new and reasonably priced, water maker?



2. How many hours can water maker be utilized before restoration's needed?



3. Is it wise to even consider purchasing a used water maker?



4. WHY are they so expensive??? Gold or platinum on some of their internals??



Thanks for any answer you may have!



Art

We got ours from Watermakers. Great people. They said after about 5 years you need to replace the membranes. We went with a couple features like auto flush, and auto product diverter valve. The auto flush flushes the system every Friday. This prevents one having to pickle it if it's not int use for more then a week. Our 720GPD ran about $7200 without the extras. Since a family member had also placed an order with them we got $1200 knocked off the bill. All together installed I think it was around $8500 if memory serves. It's proved to be one of the best things we've added to the boat. We must've made at-least 3k gallons. Only have to change the pre-filter a couple times. It's proved to be quite the asset, especially when in some places in the Bahamas water runs 50 cents a gallon.
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