The watermaker

We have bought a real luxury item for our sailing trip. A watermaker. We do have a water tank that can hold almost 500 liters of fresh water, but we don't want to have to save on water. That's why the watermaker had to go in. We sacrificed the hot water boiler for the space required for installation. In the southern climes we want to visit, warm water is certainly not a priority. The boiler was heated with the waste heat from the engine, we don't want to let it run so often and for so long anyway. And there is no shore power for the hot water boiler at the anchorages in the Caribbean.

Watermaker - a ZEN 30 from Schenker

At first we had problems with the device, because for unexplained reasons salt water ran out of the case after a few days. We could never find out where the problem was. The manufacturer sent us a new “Main Unit”, which we installed in just one hour. The Watermaker has been running since Milford Haven or for three weeks now. We make fresh drinking water every other day.

The water tastes excellent, it is neutral. Not like the tap water in Great Britain or Ireland, which tasted intensely of swimming pool - er - chlorine. By the way, chlorine must not be added to the tank to preserve the water, as this would destroy the membrane of the Watermaker.

high pressure pump

Such a watermaker works on the principle of Reverse osmosis. A high-pressure pump is installed to build up the necessary pressure. It makes a hell of a noise during operation and that's why we prefer to use the device when the engine is running. Then you can no longer hear them, the diesel is louder. We could also play heavy metal via the on-board stereo system, Motörhead would drown out the watermaker at an adequate volume.

Water filter

In the tangled pipeline, which is now installed in our machine room, there are also several water filters with which the suctioned sea water is freed of particles. The filters want to be replaced regularly, one every six weeks, the other every six months. There is also a pre-filter that I have not photographed and that has to be checked optically from time to time and cleaned of coarse dirt if necessary. In any case, the device does not do much work.

When the other sailors run across the jetty, roll out their water hoses, drain the stale water more or less well, then fill their tanks and later dry the hoses and roll them up again, we start to grin inside.

Control panel

We press the switch. Then we wait a certain time, the Watermaker produces 30 liters of delicious drinking water per hour. When the water tank is full, we press the flushing button and the Watermaker rinses itself with fresh water, which consumes about six liters per flush. Then we're done. So easy, so convenient. For the 30 liters of water, the device wants 10 amp hours from the battery. This is an inexpensive course, we saw other devices at trade fairs that, for example, consume 20 ampere-hours per 10 liters of water.

Of course, the water also wants to be protected against contamination, which is no different than with the water from the hose.