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Onboard Water Filtration for Yachts?

Discussion in 'Watermakers' started by ychtcptn, Feb 18, 2016.

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  1. ychtcptn

    ychtcptn Senior Member

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    Location:
    Lighthouse Point, FL
    I am really tired of lugging cases of water aboard and dealing with the empties, not to mention the half drunk ones left behind.
    We filter the water coming aboard and filter U/V on the way to the taps already. I want to make sure we have the right set up and add a system at the crew sink for extra filtration for water bottles.
    We filter at the dock with 2 filters, what is recommended here?
    On board we filter with 2 more filters and a U/V, what is recommended for these filters?
    Right now we have a tap mounted Brita type filter that we are using for coffee etc., opinions on these?
    I am thinking of adding a 3 stage reverse osmosis home style here, is it worth it?
    We are an older boat, 10+ years, and we are thinking of shocking the whole water system to help kill anything in the tank or lines, any input or process recommendations for this?
    Thanks for the input.
  2. menkes

    menkes Member

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    start with clean tanks (do what ever is needed to clean them).
    after that fill your tanks only through a big activated carbon garden filter (no need to spend a lot of money on marine filters, the active material inside is the same !!)
    this will give you very good drinking water and the same time will protect your appliances from Scaling.
    make sure you replace the filter twice to 4 times a year, depending on the quantities of water you use.
    this is the way I treat my yacht water tanks and my home water system, no plastic bottles on board and an excellent espresso from my espresso machine.
    this filtering is the same as the Brita system.
    this way was devised and supported by a prominent Professor from the Weizmann Institute who researched the best way for the water system for the laboratories of the institute
  3. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    Randy- we just use a large Brita tank, and keep it in the refrigerator. Love it.
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I'm really against filtering the water before it goes into the tank. Providing you're filling your tank from City water that is treated. I have seen far too many water tanks filled with algae and other stuff from people filtering out the chlorine as they fill the tank. I even saw tadpoles in one. The tank needs some chlorine to keep bacteria and algae from growing in it. I think any and all filtration should be done after the tank.
  5. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

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    CPT J,
    I agree, I don't pre-filter city water going into the tanks.
    We usually carry bottled water for drinking and cooking.
    I do sometimes dose the tanks with an occasional shot of bleach to help kill anything in the tanks.
  6. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    It really depends on how often you're turning the tanks over. Randy is on a large, fully-crewed, vessel- so I'm sure he cycles those tanks a couple of times each week.
  7. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    At the beginning of each year I fill the entire system with a 10% chlorine to water solution, run it thru all the faucets etc and let it sit over night. The next day I empty the system and refill several times with fresh water. I too use a Brita pitcher in my fridge for drinking water. I have a pre filter for my ice cubes, instant hot water and galley sink. I go thru a lot of water because we use the boat. So it stays fresh, but you may have to repeat this procedure if yours sits for any length of time. You can tell from the taste or slight smell at the bath sink.
  8. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

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    we can deplete the fresh water in 2 days.

    fresh water limits our time on the hook.

    I have a water maker on the dream list.
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    The more I've seen of water problems, the more I value our watermakers. If we didn't have one, even with a huge water tank, we'd go through it fast.
  10. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    We rather keep off the docks and stay away from everything when we cruise.
    We also value our two, 300GPD HPR/Os.

    We have also learned long ago to use up the last soft water and flood our potable tanks with city water when we return to reality. Hate it when that happens.

    I did install a household (under counter) R/O system in a boat and the owner loves it. If your potable system can maintain at least 30psi, this is a great option.
  11. menkes

    menkes Member

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    Gentlemen
    I think you never sailed the Med.
    You rely on city water to be a clean treatd water.
    In Greece, Turkey, Croatia and other remote places in the area,
    you'll never know the water quality you get from a tap on marinas, docks and town quays.
    we must filter any litre of water you put in your tanks.
    It does not frees you from cleaning and care for your boat's water tanks at least once a year!
    An activated carbon filter gives you Brita quality water, and filter sand dirt and heavy metals you might find in the water.
    Unless you want to use a lot of fuel using your reverse osmosis water maker, I think this the most effective and efficient way to do it.
  12. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Yes sir
    I'm afraid my thoughts did not include the Med and instead commented only on my states side experiences and practice.
    I admit I am a MY pusher and not overly couscous on power consumption that snailbotes must consider.
    For the international cruiser, your comments must be seriously weighed. The local cruiser must at least understand what your expressing.
    Bad water can ruin a fine day on your boat.
    ,rc
  13. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

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    anybody effectively using a watermaker in the North East US?
  14. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    We have. We've used one along all US coasts including in Alaska. Did you think there was some unique issue in the NE?
  15. bobhorn

    bobhorn Member

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    Kemah, TX
    Used one from TX to the Bahamas and up the coast to Maine and back.
  16. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

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    Any pre-filter issues with silt in water?
    I'm guessing not, by the responses.

    Freshwater is what limits my time at anchor.
    If I had watermaker I could even do laundry!
  17. bobhorn

    bobhorn Member

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    If it's silty or muddy you will have to change pre filters more often. Keep an eye on pressure across the filter or suction pressure on the high pressure pump, depends on water maker. First thing after installing the water maker I bought an apartment size front loading washing machine. This was on our sailboat so there was no need for a dryer, enough lines on deck to air dry.
  18. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

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    Bobhorn,
    thanks, the watermaker just moved up a few notches on the wish list.
  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    No, I used one in the NE with no trouble at all. Even in the Hudson river, unfortunately but had too. Long story.
  20. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I think a watermaker is like all the other equipment on your boat. Maintain it well, change filters based on conditions, monitor it diligently. A watermaker is a must have to us.