View Poll Results: Watermaker usage on your boat
We have a watermaker and love it 13 35.14%
No watermaker but plan on getting one 6 16.22%
No watermaker because we carry enough water 10 27.03%
No watermaker because the expense does not justify the benefit 7 18.92%
No watermaker because they are a hassle to maintain 1 2.70%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-16-2015, 04:47 PM   #21
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Eventually I may have one on Seaweed. She carries 50 gallons forward and has a 35 gallon secondary tank. Refilling (taking her to a marina) is not fun, especially when I'm anchored in some out-of-the-way spot that is secluded. Rain is good for refilling the tanks.

However, hauling water is physically draining. It's hard work and I don't like it. Still, the costs for new are exhorbitant. That's why I keep my ears open for a used unit. I've "just" missed a couple.

The last one was a Katydin (smallest powered one) for $1500 complete, with spare filters, etc. Seaweed doesn't need a big one..

I would be happy with one as my hair is long (almost waist length) and washing, plus conditioner (so it smells pretty and is soft) take water. I can do it on very little. That said, I enjoy long showers.

Hot ones are even better, and when the water is warm, that works well for the shower water temperature.

Have I mentioned how good it is to be afloat?!? And in St. Pete?!?
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Old 07-16-2015, 05:09 PM   #22
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Yes, nothing electronic.

The katadyne that is coming out was even simpler. Turn it on and it makes water. One switch no knobs. I installed a flow meter myself in the produced water stream so I could see what it was producing. That uniit is even simpler. A High pressure pump, and a membrane, and some plumbing. Super simple, super reliable.
I have the Katadyn and love it.

I replaced the aux pump this past winter thanks to Parks at hopkins Carter and now the unit produces 10 gal per hour. I run it whenever I am in clean water and not near the shore.

i have two sediment filters, 5 mic and 30 mic, which also help a lot.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:47 AM   #23
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Well we have a watermaker, a Katydyn 160 and to be honest I have never used it. The PO had it installed and he never used it. I would love to be able to use it but right now just don't have enough time for cruising YET!
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Old 07-17-2015, 09:01 AM   #24
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Imp they are not for silty water.
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Old 07-17-2015, 04:10 PM   #25
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For us a water maker is mission critical so we have two.


Via iPhone.
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Old 07-17-2015, 06:16 PM   #26
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I bought a watermaker and before I installed it I blew up my gen. Then I decided not to install it and I still have it.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:06 AM   #27
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I have a Spectra Newport 400. I have not used it much as I have 350 gal in two tanks, which has been enough for relatively short cruises to date. I like the autoflush cycle on the Spectra and dont see it as a maintenance intensive piece of kit. So far only issue was a dead chip on the circuit board, probably caused from a low voltage incident.

I do find the filters clog fairly quickly, and am told that if you remove them when the indicator gets to 3 bars (out of 5) then you can wash them and reuse them a few times. If I recall correctly Dirona installed a sand filter, I guess a smaller version of a swimming pool filter, ahead of the two pre-filters and thereby expended their life by an order of magnitude. Should I have a need to use the Spectra a lot in silty water then I'd look into a sand filter.

On a different point, when in the PNW and BC areas we often came across milky water from the rock flour in the glacier fed rivers. How fine is this material - do the pre-filters remove it? I heard a story, but not sure if its true, that the rock flour is so fine that it passses through the pre-filters and then degrades the membranes. Anyone have experience with watermaking in areas with milky glacier water?
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:02 PM   #28
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...On a different point, when in the PNW and BC areas we often came across milky water from the rock flour in the glacier fed rivers. How fine is this material - do the pre-filters remove it? I heard a story, but not sure if its true, that the rock flour is so fine that it passses through the pre-filters and then degrades the membranes. Anyone have experience with watermaking in areas with milky glacier water?
We used a water maker in AK and Northern BC extensively for about 5 months. I did go through a bunch of the 20 micron pre-filters. The 5's seemed to stay pretty clean. We used the same membrane for 5 years after with no issues. I did clog a 5 micron once around Glacier Bay. I screwed up and installed it first in line.

Maybe there's a TF member who's a geologist and would know what the particle sizing for the glacial runoff would be.
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:41 PM   #29
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Thanks Larry. Actually I am a geologist, but worked mostly in mineral exploration. Particle sizing in runoff is something a sedimentologist would be more familiar with, or possibly someone in oil & gas exploration. But that's the dark side for me.

Your practical experience with your watermaker would suggest the sizing is mostly >20um. Good to know, thanks.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:30 PM   #30
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found in glacial rivers

scale metric inches class other name

> 8 < 3.9 m < 0.00015 in Clay Mud
>10 < 1 m < 0.000039 in Colloid Mud


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sediment
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Old 07-19-2015, 01:16 AM   #31
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found in glacial rivers

scale metric inches class other name

> 8 < 3.9 m < 0.00015 in Clay Mud
>10 < 1 m < 0.000039 in Colloid Mud


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sediment
I have not searched much, but have seen reference to both silt (3.962.5 m) as well as clay sized particles in glacial runoff. A more detailed size distribution curve would show the proportion of clay sized material. It may be mostly silt at the upper end of its size range based on Larry's experience. If there is only a few percent clay-sized then it is less of a problem.

But I think I would avoid processing the milky water where possible. Clay sized particles will go though the 5 m pre-filter and potentially clog up your membrane if you run enough gallons through the machine.
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:05 AM   #32
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Our boat came with a watermaker courtesy of the prior owner. We have not used it yet.
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:38 PM   #33
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I have used my watermaker extensively in Mexico for my 3 years spent along the west coast. Now that I am back in AK I find that my 300 gal plus 100 gal flexible tank are more than enough for my needs as I am not out of range of a marina with water, ever. The watermaker is mothballed and ready for service if I ever really need it. Hope that day doesn't come too soon.
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:00 PM   #34
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I have used my watermaker extensively in Mexico for my 3 years spent along the west coast. Now that I am back in AK I find that my 300 gal plus 100 gal flexible tank are more than enough for my needs as I am not out of range of a marina with water, ever. The watermaker is mothballed and ready for service if I ever really need it. Hope that day doesn't come too soon.
It's great having access to good water, but don't forget to re-pickled or use the membrane/pickle after at least a year (check with the manufacturer). We lost a water maker after 18 months by doing nothing even though it was pickled as per.
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:49 PM   #35
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I suspect many more than represented in the population responding to this column (one third of responders) have water makers. Thus, I don't believe the poll results are representative.
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:59 PM   #36
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Justifying the cost is a function of where and how you use your boat.

Mostly in marinas in the states, you'd be hard pressed to justify it and there would be too many places you couldn't/shouldn't use it.

Mostly anchoring in clear water, salt or fresh, or cruising in the islands, they are a wonderful luxury. We have an 800 gpd FCI Aquamiser and I wouldn't want to be without it based on how we use our boat.
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