Westsail Owners Alliance - Post: "Watermakers"
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Post: "Watermakers"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012

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- Archived Message from Inactive Forum -

Jim Focha and Julie Gwin

We?ve had our Spectra Catalina 300 for three years and have been cruising Mexico full time for two years and it?s a blessing. Here as in many parts of the world the water is questionable and even the locals drink bottled water. We make all our water including showering. We have a single pass propane hot water heater and take nightly hot showers. We?ve showered on the boat for fifteen years with no ill effects but soon it will be hot enough we will want cold cockpit showers. We have solar showers but haven?t even taken them out of the bag.

Our Cat. 300 uses 15 amps/hr @ 12.5 gallons per hour although production is a little higher in the warmer water. We run everything on 210 watts of solar panels and have NEVER started our engine to charge the batteries. This includes the refrigeration, flat screen for movies, Ham, stereo, computer, lighting etc. Our batteries are fully charged by noon and then on water maker days we run it 2/3 hrs. in the after noon. By the end of the day our batteries are fully charged again. Size depends a lot on your style and were you cruise. If it?s to big energy consumption will be excessive and you won?t be able to run it enough. To small and you will run it all the time.

Maintenance isn?t much of an issue compared to lugging 5 gallon water bottles to the boat especially when it?s hotter than hell. We go 2-3 weeks before cleaning the filters. We could go longer but I don?t like to go pass one bar on the filter graph. Air is a problem but only in large quantities. Even more so in the 300 as it has a magnetic coupled primary pump that can come apart if it gets a lot of air. We have had a small air leak since installation. I haven?t gotten around to finding the leak in the module it?s in. But it?s on the list when we get to Santa Rosilia next month. We only pickle when we are going to leave the boat for more than a month and have only done that once. For less than a month we let the 5 day auto flush take care of it.

I know water makers especially Spectra are expensive but for the health and comfort they provide they are well worth it. I wouldn?t want to cruise without one.

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