A watermaker on board of a yacht sailed in Europe only? The investment and installation don’t make much sense, we thought. Water quality has to meet European standards and should be good in the marinas as well – a pleasant idea. It might be true in Scandinavia, the reality outside the Baltic Sea looks a bit different. According to an information booklet, freshwater on all European Atlantic islands isn’t suitable for drinking. On the Canary Islands (except for La Palma), none of the locals drink tap water. The report stated it’s mainly because of old and therefore rotten culverts. On the Azores, which generally stand for pure nature, the situation isn’t much better.
Moreover, traveling with a yacht, one will sooner or later lay at anchor. We have missed some chances, as we forgot to fill up the water tanks. And last but not least, we also want to have some culture on board, meaning a shower.
The range of watermakers was unexpectedly broad, as was the number of manufacturers. There are two systems, so I learned, with and without energy recovery. After pre-cleaning, the seawater is pressed through a membrane at 55 bar. Since the salt molecules are too large, the water separates and flows into the tank or canister, the principle of reverse osmosis. The unused part of the water is lost outboard. Some systems recover this pressure and thus reduce the energy consumption. Besides, these watermakers operate at low noise levels. An internet survey revealed very different statements on the question of which is the best. I got the impression, the energy converters are tending to be a failure-prone part.
A manufacturer in the Caribbean got my immediate attention, but it faded when I read that the jurisdiction is also there. Great. So the decision was made for Aquatec Watermaker. I didn’t know when buying, later sailors told me, the manufacturer has an impeccable reputation in sailing communities for reliable equipment.
Since we have an inverter on board, we decided for the AC 230 V version of the watermaker. It’s easier to install concerning the cables and the complete equipment is industrial standard.
Three packages were delivered by express three days later. The sturdy packaging already showed that someone had thought of everything here.
A typical installation takes about 40 hours, and kept us busy for one week. Those who never had a connection to technology and handcraft should leave the installation to a technician. Yet, the manual is written well and leaves no questions unanswered.
The first test run showed some leaks at the water inlet, which we reworked, and we were done.
After deaerating the system, we took it into operation on an anchorage in the Algarve and enjoyed fresh and clean drinking water.
The Aquatec produces 55L/h and draws 800W in total with feed and high pressure pump.