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Old 07-18-2012
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Upgrading older boat with AC and watermaker

We are in the hunt for an 1985 - 1995 37 - 42 footer to take to the caribbean. We have planed on a refit/refurbishment with our purchase price so we have the funds. The question is this...

Do you have an AC and watermaker in your boat and would you recommend them? I don't really look forward to schlepping jerry cans back and forth for water and I would like to have the AC sometimes as well, but are they both too much trouble to use? I know we aer going to install solar panels and and genset or Honda Ginny.

We are looking mostly at the caribbean and maybe something longer ranged in the future...

Thanks for your time...
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Old 07-18-2012
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Re: Upgrading older boat with AC and watermaker

AC for sure, and would not be comfortable with out it. Water maker not so much...too much maintenance for the output....water readily available as well as rain water catchement. We drink only bottled water, and use the other for everything else.

water maker is VERY expensive, and almost unusable in many areas (moorings/harbors/slips). you will need spares, correct tools and either use it very regularly (even pumping the extra over board) or pickle it for later use...they take up quite a bit of space and are quite power hungry.

solar and wind are great, but then you need to really look at power usage to make them work. Honda will likely not run the "whole" boat, maybe not two of them slaved together...then there is the gas issue...

best of luck,

we went simpler, and had less problems than many of the folks we met.
YMMV
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Old 07-18-2012
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Re: Upgrading older boat with AC and watermaker

Thanks for the reply... So what is your simple setup?
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Old 07-18-2012
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Re: Upgrading older boat with AC and watermaker

If you are going further than the Carib, I would favor the watermaker over the AC. I'm not an AC person...swinging on the hook with a windscoop does it for me. Only time I am happy for an AC is tied up to a sweltering dock.... like now
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Re: Upgrading older boat with AC and watermaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by GCASKEW View Post
Thanks for the reply... So what is your simple setup?
we have the AC but use it only at the dock ala HopeFloats, everything else is 12v for the most part (fridge, pumps, tv, lights, etc) so the solar keeps things topped up. Every now and then when we autopilot and listen to music with all the instruments, we need to run the genny every two or three days.

Catchment from the bimini and the deck can be rerouted to our side water tank, the bow we keep "fresh" as best we can. Drink bottled water. No water maker.
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Old 07-18-2012
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Re: Upgrading older boat with AC and watermaker

We use and enjoy our AC at the dock in warmer climes, but in the islands we are anchored facing the breeze and rarely miss the AC. We carry 200 gallons of water in below deck tanks and added containers that can last us a month if we are conservative,- that includes bathing in the saltwater with a small volume rinse. I don't need either one, but if I were to select one, it would be the watermaker; however, we've been liveaboard/cruising for forty years and it's not going to happen.
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Re: Upgrading older boat with AC and watermaker

We have AC, but find we only use it/need it at the dock. Most of the time find enough of breeze to keep it comfortable, providing we have the sun shade up. We have a large one which runs from main to mizzen and covers most of cabin + cockpit.
We have a small water maker and found it usefull in those areas where water is scarce. Used it occasionally in the Exhumas Land and Sea Park for example. Lot depends on what your tankage capacity is, we are limited with 60 gal, so that impacted our decision a lot. We went bare bones system with commercial parts and it cost us < $1100 and gives us 6 gph. Check out Quality Water Works Inc, ask for George Walker, great help to us.
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We have both. Don't shop the discount aisle. You'll also need a 2000+ watt charger inverter, a 6-800 amphour battery bank and a 100+ amp alternator.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kd3pc:898178
water maker is VERY expensive, and almost unusable in many areas (moorings/harbors/slips). you will need spares, correct tools and either use it very regularly (even pumping the extra over board) or pickle it for later use...they take up quite a bit of space and are quite power hungry.
Not quite true. Watermakers can be used in ANY water within the salinity requirements. If it's smaller than a sodium molecule its gone. As for power consumption you're partially informed as the 12V models do consume more electricity than the 110V models for water produced. Ours is a 110V - 200 GPday version we operate from our inverter. Never had a problem in 4 years. The key is by using it frequently.
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Old 07-19-2012
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Re: Upgrading older boat with AC and watermaker

We have both onboard and never (as in not once) used the AC in the Caribbean and Bahamas and used the watermaker (110v) from time to time. Remember that using either of these devices likely means using your genset and that means schlepping jerry cans of fuel around, you need to have jerry cans for both water and fuel on board and some convenient way to move them on shore and from dinghy to mothership. You will rarely be in a marina (and if you are it may have 220v rather than 110V) and a fuel dock is not that common.
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