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Old 03-16-2007, 03:06 AM   #15
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sv Watermelon had 44 gallons of fuel (about 170 liters), and 75 gallons of water (~285 liters).

We had a watermaker that we rarely used because it only made 4 liters per hour, and we couldn't run the engine long enough to make enough water to be worth the effort.

Our longest passage was 19 days, 3 people aboard. One heavy rainstorm helped to replenish our water supply, though probably no more than 10 gallons was collected - too rough to do better. We did not run out of water or fuel.

Only once were we down to our last 2 liters of water with no idea how we were going to get more, in Misima, Papua New Guinea. We had stayed in an uninhabited and dry archipelago too long, figuring we would get water when we got to Misima, only to learn that the local water was not potable. With our usual luck, we met an island freighter captain in port who happily gave us as much water as we could accept. People are just so nice everywhere.

I had a salt water foot pump to wash dishes, then rinse the salt off with fresh water. We didn't wear a lot of clothes in the tropics, bathed with salt water with a fresh water rinse.

A gallon of water weighs about 8.3 pounds (1 liter = 1 kilogram), so 500 gallons of water is not only a whole lot of water, it weighs a whole lot. I can imagine how the boat would sail quite differently with full compared to nearly empty tanks.

However, I have to remind myself that everybody approaches cruising, and managing their resources, differently. I didn't feel deprived by what we carried (or didn't carry) on Watermelon. I'm still very careful about our water consumption even though we no longer cross oceans or are far from a source of water. For others, our existence would be considered intolerable.

Having a watermaker is a lot easier than the lugging of jerry jugs to the boat, until it breaks. But you might miss out on some very interesting people met at the local water source, and some very amusing stories about getting, storing, sharing, collecting water. then again, just about everything you experience while cruising provides some very amusing stories.

Oh! the story of the wrong impeller.

Peter usually installs the new spare part and keeps the not-broken part as the spare. That way he knows that his spare part will work if it's needed. He would rotate our pumps - new one for fresh water, the old fresh water for one of the other less critical pumps, on down, with the now oldest, but still working, pump kept as the emergency spare. I would never have thought of doing that, but it makes sense, and stood us well all these years.

fair winds,

Jeanne
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:17 AM   #16
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BUT, I will not tell my beautiful girl that Trim is installing a watermaker and has 2300 ltrs of water tankage. That's a lot of water! (I wonder how empty tanks would affect the boat's trim as that weight of water would equal about 10% of the weight of a standard 50' yacht).
Empty tanks have a dramatic affect on the way the boat sits in the water and how she handles wind. The boat was designed and built in the late 70s before water making with 2 - 250 gallon stainless tanks set far port & starboard at midship. Believe it or not, I also have another 50 gallon keel tank for extra water storage that I don't use and keep empty. Fuel tank is in the keel. I prefer how she sails with full tanks. When the tanks are empty, she rides about 3-4 inches higher in the water.
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Old 03-26-2007, 09:48 AM   #17
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An "alternative" watermaker (towed) HERE

Prices HERE
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:25 PM   #18
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I sell Village, RWO and Spectra. My Spectra customers have been the most satisfied with their units. Personally, I've cruised twice without any watermaker. I asked myself how much water could I buy before I broke even on the purchase (much less the maintenance headaches and expense. Where you are going is critical to the decision. Is the ambient water in which you are anchored satisfactory for RO (eg. Trinidad), can I get to the dock or do I have to hoof and tote, how much does it rain for capture and what are my crossing leg limitations. In my island cruising I've never run out of water and my capacity was 75 gals in tanks and 15 on deck. I the eastern caribbean I was almost able to keep up with a simple collection system and only brought water for drinking aboard. My worst experience was having to walk 1/4 mile to the nearest spigot in Grenada. The rum served at the local store was so good and cold, that it never seemed to bother me.

If you are outfitting for a cruise, you can always add it later. Take an impromptu survey of other cruisers. Part of the KISS strategy.

Jeff
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Old 03-26-2007, 03:39 PM   #19
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Empty tanks have a dramatic affect on the way the boat sits in the water and how she handles wind.
Trim 50 is right about the empty tanks but I think we may also be missing another important point.

A full and "pressed up" tank will increase the boats metecentric height (i.e. the centre of gravity will move towards the tank - and I assume the tank is low in the boat such as under the cabin sole) That's fine.

An empty tank will then decrease the boat's stabilty but should not effect it seriously although it will affact the boat's trim. What is worse is a slack tank which adversely affects the boat's stability.

As water is consumed from a tank, the tank becomes "slack" in seaman's terms. This means that the water in the tank (which should be baffled anyway) can move arround and will naturally end up on the lee side. Normally this would not be a problem in a yacht as there may only be one or two tanks. However, yachts carrying large quantities of water should be aware of the risk of slack tanks. This is beat demonstrated by holding a tray with a glass of water on it balanced on one hand. No problems! Take the glass away and pour the water onto the tray and try do balancing act again and the problem will become immediately apparant. (Wear bathing gear when doing this).

Now we are aware of the problem how do we avoid it? The answer is simple. Divide your water up in severeal tanks. No tank should be more than half the hull bredth (except a forepeak or afterpeak tank). Ensure the tanks are baffled and, most importantly, use water from one tank at a time and empty that tank before moving on to the next.

This may be a little off topic but in the interest of safety I thiought it should be included.

Aye

Stephen

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Old 03-26-2007, 09:36 PM   #20
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A watermaker is a critical need for my cruising. Many South Pacific islands have no water available or water that will kill you if you drink it. Depends on the type of cruising you are doing. If you intend to spend a lot of time in major ports and population centers then a watermaker may not be useful---ON A MONOHULL. If you intend to be in remote islands, cruise off the typical paths, make long passages then a watermaker is very important. If you are on a catamaran then carrying 50 gallons of water at 400 lbs and a 25 lbs watermaker is far better then carrying 2500 lbs of water. It's also a good idea in a monohull.

I left Hawai'i for Tahiti, about 2600 miles. Easy sailing of 13 days total and could easily do without a watermaker. I stopped in Fanning Island for 2 weeks, fishing, swiming, snorkelling, etc. No water was available there. Without the watermaker I would have needed to proceed to Tahiti without stopping. I have 2 tanks and contaminated one by accident before arriving in Fanning. Without the watermaker I would have travelled to obtain a water supply. With the watermaker I travel for interesting destinations. Why let the water situation determine your next destination? I like fresh water showers and clean clothes but use water sparingly. Water never determines my cruising destination or schedule and I think carrying around 1 or 2 tons is not all that practical.

I will post more on the efficiency of water makers, dc, ac and motor driven systems, shortly.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:30 AM   #21
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Watermaker types

Efficient, energy recovery, DC systems.

Dc Systems and AC systems.

Motor driven.

Efficient dc systems use about 1 amp hour per gallon (at 12 volts). If you have solar panels or a wind gen then you won't need to run your motor to make water. Two people aboard, about 8 gallons of water use per day, about 8 amp hours of battery use. This equates to about 1 1/2 hours of solar panel use for a 130 watt solar panel. Easily giving you the rest of the day to charge the batteries for use by refrigeration and lighting. You never need to run an engine or generator. Units are Schenker and Spectra. The dc motors are NOT large. Cost is very high.

Regular DC and AC systems do not use energy recovery pumps but use 2.5 to 10 amp hours per gallon. Village marine, PUR (quasi efficient) and most other units fit this category. This means running a generator or engine as energy consumption is excessive. Cost is much less or anyone can put together their own system using off the shelf parts. You get what you pay for. A low cost watermaker which uses a ton of electricity....this isn't KISS as you have generated a new problem of electrical consumption, now requiring the running of the engine.

If you are having to run your motor or generator to make water then why not use a motor driven unit? Advantages are, primarily, removing the electric wiring and high pressure motors, saving some space and removing a little complexity. Some motor driven systems are much cheaper to purchase or build.

Basically if you don't mind running a generator/engine for an hour each day then the spectra or schenker energy recovery sytems have no advantage for you and a motor driven unit is feasible and cost effective.

JMO
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:35 PM   #22
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Spike....I used the term "Large DC" in comparison to what I use on daily basis, ie Maxon, Faulhaber. I just meant large & expensive.
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Old 03-28-2007, 04:43 AM   #23
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Actually the inefficient dc and ac systems do use large® motors as they must generate the 800 psi through brute force. Large still being relative but 1 hp motors are very typical.
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:04 PM   #24
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An "alternative" watermaker (towed) HERE

Prices HERE
Impressive. Worth a look. The cost, output, and maintenance requirements, seem a reasonable alternative to some other systems.

They seem to have addressed all of the issues, have good answers, and a good KISS design, with an optional 12 VDC motor for operation in becalmed waters, and optional hand pump for use in a life raft.

At first glance, seeing the towed design, Newtons' Laws of Motion came to mind. I am thinking the prop is going to make the whole arrangement twist from the attachment point on the rail, clear back to the prop. The prop will apply a rotational force to the tow tube, in the opposite direction of the prop pitch, winding it up it's flexibility limits. Or at least to the point where it takes less force to drive the pump.

Then I questioned the flat metal panel at the front of the device. What is its purpose, anti-rotation, a planner board to keep it at a stable and pre-designed depth, or both axis’s?

Perhaps neither of my observations are of concern, and have been countered in the design. I have a curious mind and like to understand how things work.

I wonder about the towed design; it being towed with a 26 foot / 8 M tow tube. In another topic of water driven electrical generators, we discussed large fish biting off props. This towed design may appear as lunch to large sea creatures.
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Old 06-16-2007, 03:18 AM   #25
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This months BWS has a great article about choosing water makers. "Choose wisely a watermaker" by Sam Mazza. Page 72

He comes to the same conclusion as I that an AC water maker is the most efficient way to go if you have a genset. The article is worth reading.
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Old 06-17-2007, 12:43 PM   #26
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We have a Sea Recovery Ultra Whisper [which like the Spectra uses a pump to give high volume with low DC current [relatively]. So far we have been very happy with the unit overall. Remember all watermakers require some degree of care and feeding. Units are available that are between 200-400 gallons/day.
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:58 AM   #27
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I agree with JMO. For regular cruising you don't really need a watermaker and it's right you always need to carry an emergency backup. BUT, i't gives you the freedom to stay as long as you like and I found it very and very comforting, especially on the long runs, to know that we always had fresh, absolutly non-contemniated water. I heard to much stories about dirty tanks, water turning rotten just after leaving for a Pacific crossing. Brrrr.

Even here applies the KISS-rule. No electronics, no remote devices, just some hoses and valves. In our 2-year circumnavigation we used a Village Marine Little Wonder 12V. It delivered about 25 liter/minute taking 15 Amps.

No hassle installing, not one problem during usage. Maintenance is easy and, when regular used, hardly nessecary.

The trouble with malfunctioning is that a lot of installers and cruisers mess around with installation-instructions. Wrong intake, bad plumbing, to long hoses, etc.

It's one of the devices (among SSB and Windpilot, we will definitly carry with us on our next trip. Which will have to wait approx. 18 years...

Jan
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:40 PM   #28
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I sell Village, RWO and Spectra. My Spectra customers have been the most satisfied with their units.
I've heard the same thing from many people that have Spectra. Is there any particular reason that Spectra seems to be better?
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