What watermaker do you recommend?

One of the last items on the “to do” list, is the watermaker. To that end, I would appreciate any info/feedback from Corbin owners that have/had one. Specifically: Recommended capacity ( 2 person extended cruise ) ? Engine driven/electric ?, Make/model ?, Maintenance issues ? Thank you in advance, Frank Bryant, s/v #186, Visitant ( 186 ).

a. Hi, I’m Bill Schwartz and built (and still sail) hull #90, “Moonshadow”. We spent the winter in the Abacos 2 years ago and although there was no trouble obtaining water we almost exclusively used our Pur 160e watermaker. It produces a solid 1.5 gallons an hour and although it draws a bit of current we found that we had to run the engine or generator for about 2 hours a day to keep the refrigerator, house and anchor light going anyway. We have too large of a generator and alternator so we never missed the extra “juice” it took to produce unbelievably clean and good tasting water. Much of our time was spent motoring from anchorage to anchorage and we ran the watermaker while we traveled, usually having to shut it down before we reached our destination because our tanks were full. As for maintenance, the only times we had to check the filter or pickle it was in the States where we used it infrequently. Pickling is easy and takes about 15 minutes. I did not connect the watermaker directly to the tank but left a long coil of hose so I could roll it out to the deck fill and stick it in there. This also allowed me to fill jerry jugs that we used for drinking water without extra piping. I would suggest buying the highest capacity water maker that you think is practical. If we had a smaller size we would have to forgo showers after swimming or run the electric longer to produce the quantity of water we wanted. Forget running the water maker from battery power only. Even the smaller sizes draw too much to make this practical. A wind generator or solar panels might power your refrigerator but not the water maker so you might as well take the plunge and plan on running your engine or generator and with a larger size water maker you can do this less. Best regards, Bill “heading out again soon” Schwartz (s/v #090, Moonshadow).

b. All watermakers require a lot of management and good maintenance. People that put them on prior to extended cruising will develop water use habits that are in line with their water production. I have cruised with people that had 30 to 40 gallon / hour watermakers that will take showers every day and I have seen them doing washdowns in remote anchorages. In my opinion the best value watermaker is a Spector. The smaller Spector produces about 8 gal./hour and uses about 7 to 8 amps per hour. The Spector is a little more money but it would be a good investment if one were just starting to do some extended cruising. You need to be careful with engine driven watermakers. You can put too much load on your crank shaft pulley. I would not put one on a Perkins 4-108. You need to talk to your engine manufacture about this. My wife and I spent the first six years without a watermaker and did fine in the Pacific. We installed a Katadyn 80E for our trip across the Indian Ocean and up the Red Sea. I am glad we did and it has served us very well. It produces about 3.5 gal per hour and consumes about 7 amps. We make water whenever the engine is on. It requires a lot of attention but does a good job. We have not allowed ourselves to change our water consumption rate. This has allowed us to get by with a small watermaker. Good luck Richard Bacon (#080. Balmacara).