Welcome Dave,

I read your profile, and you mentioned that you are a live aboard.

What design is your boat? Do you have water maker on board?

I am at the junction on making up my decision on whether to install a water maker or not.



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i would add one if i had the money right now---is a good thing to have---water is difficult to get and sometimes has a bug or two in that we donot want in our tanks---watermakers clean and purify the water ass well as make a safety factor is there as well as neverending tank supply------do not have to run them every minute of the day--just an hour or two daily is good and then the tanks are topped.....they donot use that much evergy as to become a factor --i would rather live without a fridge than without a watermaker.....

Thank you for your insight. Money is always the limiting factor.

Which water maker would you go for?

What is the water capacity of your boat? There must be a point where water maker will be a basic necessity. IE when the water storage is 400 liter (100 USG) and you want to cruise with 2 up for longer than 7 days for example.

Have you ever thought of lining your steel tank with the plastic liner. I think they can make it to match roughly your tank shape.

Then you will get back your full capacity, without spending too much.

Not to mention utilising the space occupied by the steel tank.

Is it a Stainless Steel tank that leaks?
Id have one before an inboard.
I think that it depends on where you plan to be taking the boat. While in the states clean water is readily available.

We're in our third year of living aboard now and have just added a watermaker. We don't use it while stateside and only added it because we found that running low on water was a limiting factor when we were in out of the way places.

Our tanks hold 160 gallons and my wife and I could comfortably stretch that for a month while in the Jumentos.

We went with a Village Marine Little Wonder 200. The Catalina 300 (made by Spectra, I think) looked like a better deal as far as amps per gallon went but it was almost twice as much money.

s/v Veranda
tanks can hole selves----then what to do.....i have spozedly 160 gal capacity, but i have a leaky teaky with chinese steel..... a small capacity watermaker-- making enough for a day's consumption over an hour or two is a good problem solver in that event--do not need much and the smaller the output, the smaller the electricity consumption and price..and i would use it where ever i am--i donot use dockage--i prefer to be at anchor or difficult to carry jugs to boat when water is needed or to get the boat going for a dock run for water.....using the watermaker keeps the membrane in usable condition--otherwise must be pickled or replaced--spensive.....
Me Dave? Or some other Dave?

I thought I had posted here, but apparently not.

I do not have a watermaker. I have 120 gallons of water tankage. Crossing the Atlantic I also carried about 20 gallons in jugs just in case. On one leg we had a minor water discipline issue (four people, three weeks) and made port with about 10 gallons left in tanks and half the jug supply. Aside from that I have not ever felt short of water.

If you are particularly handy you can save a lot of money by making your own watermaker from parts. See for an example.

I have looked at watermakers a number of times and can't convince myself that they make sense, at least for me.

Lots of cruising friends have them and wouldn't be without them. There is much to be said for being able to take a freshwater shower whenever you like.

Cost aside, the most important criteria is energy efficiency. Interestingly enough the small ones and big ones are both less efficient than medium-sized watermakers. Depending on manufacturer, there seems to be a sweet spot of 1.2 to 1.3 Ah/g at 300 to 400 gpd. Accounting for amortization, maintenance, and fuel (to either run the watermaker or recharge batteries) a watermaker is likely to cost you .60 to .70 USD per gallon. You can buy water just about anywhere cheaper than that.

I'm still trying to come up with a good way to display the data I've collected to provide a decision-making tool for people choosing a watermaker.

For myself, I have focused on water quality, including particulate and carbon filters.
mine isnt leaking yet--one of the few things on board that doesnt at this point----but i donot trust anything when at sea---everything has potential to be disastrous and i choose to reduce the number of potential disasters possible/probable in any given boat......thankyou for the good idea for the tanks --lining--hadnt thought of that one yet--but i like it.....filters are excellent ideas......

I had a look at the website, and see something that is very complex for what it does. May cost more than the simple purchased version.

Defender has a Power Survivor 160E watermaker 7 USGal / hour 18 amps for US$ 3,700. This is probably a lot less complex than the one shown on the Rutu website. IE a lot less to go wrong.

Your equation for cost per liter is very interesting, and tend to put things in perspective.

My plan is to go aroung Asia, where there are no marinas. Hence it have to be carting water or catching rain water. Or spend a lot and make water. The very high investment cost made me think long and hard over this question.
I agree, and plowing through all the numbers makes me feel that carting water in the dinghy simply isn't that bad. I haven't done that in Asia so perhaps for some reason it is more work there. In the US, Bahamas, and Caribbean it is not so hard.

The water in Jerrycan in the dinghy is the easy part.

How about the land component? Imagine riding a bicycle carting a 20 or 40 liter of water. Making several trips to the water source that is not by the dinghy landing spot.

I think the bike need to be modified to suit the jerrycans, so one can be carried at each side.

The tought make me look for a low cost watermaker solution.
I hear you. I haven't had to go more than 20 feet from the dinghy in the areas I have sailed in. I'm sure there are places yu have to go further ... certainly there are books, blogs, and articles that indicate such. I just haven't had to do it.


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