Watermaker location?

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March 21, 2016 at 01:00 #25918
Moderator
Moderator
Keymaster

I’m curious if anyone has a watermaker in their Nic 38?

We’re thinking of getting a modular DC version (either Echotec or Village Marine) and pondering the best place to install it.

Anyone have any words of advice about installation locations?

Thanks –
Marilyn, moderator

March 23, 2016 at 10:03 #25925
Jeff
Jeff
Participant

Hi Marilyn,
Some years ago I had a fibre-glass shelf fabricated & glassed on to the port hull directly opposite the engine to take another big Lifeline battery, but then didn’t install the battery. That’s where I’ll install a watermaker when I eventually decide to buy one. No firm decision made yet on manufacturer or quantity of output.
There’s so much info’ available these days on the various makes & different capacities that it’s not an easy decision to make. Another thing I picked up recently was that an engine driven unit produces so much more fresh water than a DC 12v unit, I may well go down that route. If one was motoring for a few hours it would make perfect sense to use that time to top-up or fill the tank, but of course I would’nt want to HAVE to do it while anchored. There’s an argument for both types.
Jeff

March 24, 2016 at 08:23 #25927
Moderator
Moderator
Keymaster

Hi Jeff – thanks for the reply.

Yes – watermaker decisions are tough. They are not cheap and add maintenance. Do we really need one for our future cruising plans? If yes, what’s the best watermaker?

I’ve been pondering this for a couple months, reading as much as I can. We finally decided that there is no right answer, so we decided that if we get one, what is best for us is:

1) If we buy a DC model, then we can run from renewable energy when possible, and run the engine to produce DC power when desperate. Besides, an engine driven one makes me think we’d be lugging from shore jerry cans of diesel rather than jugs of water.

2) We won’t use excessive amounts of water just because we can make fresh water since running the watermaker is not free.

3) We have to run the watermaker frequently to avoid pickling, so we’ll pick a unit that in about 3 hours run time will produce our needs and run it every 2-3 days using excess renewable energy.

4) We’ll pick a DC unit that has consumables and other parts readily available from a variety of sources, rather than pick one that requires proprietary (and therefore more expensive) parts.

Hope these guesses are right for us. It’s so hard to know, without ever having used one. But I think we’re about to buy one and find out.

Marilyn

March 24, 2016 at 15:35 #25928
Jeff
Jeff
Participant

Hi Marilyn,
To fill the Nic-38 water tank in 3 Hrs means a unit that’ll produce at least 25 gallons per hour. That’s going to be one helluva size isn’t it.? OTOH, if you get a unit that’s split up into seperate modules(as you already said) it does open up the possibility of getting a larger unit doesn’t it. The only place I’ve got any spare space is in the engine bay.
I for one am very interested to see what you buy & how you get on with the installation. You’ll keep us all posted I hope.?
Keep Well,
Jeff

March 26, 2016 at 20:35 #25929
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Moderator
Keymaster

Hi Jeff –
I didn’t mean we will fill the water tank in 3 hours of runtime, but that we will meet our needs in 3 hours runtime.

We’ve learned that the 2 of us comfortably need about 4-5 gallons. Sure we could use more, but that’s enough for our normal cruising lifestyle. So if we run the unit every 3 days for 3 hours, we’ll need to produce 15 gallons usable water plus the water needed for flushing the system (maybe another 3 gallons). If we decide we need more water than that, then maybe we’ll run the unit every 2 days so we can have 7.5 gallons per day.

Our future cruising plans take us to where reliable water will not be available, so we’re going to have to do something. We’re debating on adding wing tanks to increase capacity and then rely on rainwater catchment, or install the watermaker and believe that a mechanical device will work when we need it to. Both solutions have a certain amount of faith involved.

We will update later if we decide to buy one and install it.

Marilyn

March 28, 2016 at 09:56 #25930
Jeff
Jeff
Participant

Ah, I see what you meant Marilyn.!
I too don’t like to waste water & plan on using it very economically on longer passages. Yes, it’s a huge $$$$ outlay for a relatively small daily usage, but previous generations of sailors managed to catch rainwater did’nt they, & there’s plenty of that out there. I plan to do just that, & that’s why a watermaker is’nt at the top of my ‘want’ list. Also, I’m already slightly stern-heavy with these 3 Lifeline 210aHr batteries which are 62Kgs each, & I still have a liferaft to install on the aft-hatch yet, so I’m reluctant to add more weight into the aft third of the vessel.
If money was no object I’d probably have installed one already, as my original plan was to go completely ‘off-grid’ around my old stamping-grounds in Mozambique, Indian Ocean.
Jeff

May 7, 2016 at 23:04 #25943

Rhapsode
Participant

When we took up cruising I removed the heads in the aft cabin and put in easily dismantled shelves throughout and I fitted a box construction across the the locker where the WC had been but only about ten inches wide in the fore and aft direction. Essentially just big enough to hold the water maker. The construction of the box allows it to be completely dismantled for servicing the watermaker.
Abaft the box I had space for three jerry cans. The FW output could be directed into each of these tanks. After testing the newly made water I use a small pump which I lower into each jerry can and pump the water across to the wing tank along a permanently fitted pipe.
It is probably simpler than I’ve made it sound.

My “error” was to fit too small a watermaker: Katadyn power survivor 40E. This only takes 4 amps and we had the capacity to generate a spare 4 amps when it was fitted. It on,y produces 5.5 litres per hour. This was sufficient for three men sailing from Europe to Brazil with daily showers, etc. but we did run it for ten hours a day. With hindsight I should have got one that consumed 8 amps. I would have got very much more water per amp hour.

August 30, 2016 at 01:11 #25968

Orion
Participant

Hi Marilyn

I use 12v village Marine. It produces 12 Gph, using very little amperage. I mounted the unit, supply pump and 2 filters under port v berth. Added a couple of access hatches. I run it when the aux is running. 25 gal day tank is at the bottom of the standing locker.

November 18, 2016 at 22:07 #25987
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Moderator
Keymaster

We decide to install a Village Marine Little Wonder LWM-145 in the aft head space (which is no longer a head on our boat).
We used the watermaker on our Pacific crossing from the Seattle area to Hilo Hawaii. We were very happy to have it, since we did not have significant rain for the entire 29 day trip. We would run it about 45 mins a day to fill 3 gallon jugs, which kept us in drinking water. We used the tank water for cooking and washing.

The unit seems to work as spec’d. I think the manual is HORRIBLE. It’s a mishmash of former information from before Parker bought the company, and new Parker information. Sometimes the information is contradictory.

We bought the unit from Oil Filter Service in San Diego. Funny name for a company that sells watermakers, but they are a large Parker distributor and so picked up these LWM models. I found Oil Filter Service to be very helpful, and I would buy from them again. They have an online shop where you can see prices. We got a good sale price during the San Diego boat show, and then had the unit shipped to Seattle for us to install it. Their technician gave us phone support during the install.

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