Voyage of Egret Forums

Colin Rae, Newcastle, Tyne and Wear GBR asks:
Still in awe of your adventure. I have a map of the world
on my study wall (4' by 3') and you guys are being tracked with little
red stickers (Kosmos N43 in blue by the way.) Laid out like that, the
immensity of your adventure is obvious. What make and voltage is your
watermaker? I see Larry Rick on Done Dreamin' found it the most
frustrating thing on his trans Pacific adventure. (Fantastic blog as
Take care, all three of you! Colin (just about to sign for an N40).

Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Colin, we have a Matrix Emerald 600, (600 gallons/2,280 liters per day). We'll pass along what we found in our research speaking in general terms to keep everyone happy. AC watermaker motors are more efficient than DC motors per unit of fuel burned producing a unit of water. Most everyone uses membranes from the same manufacture - a subsidiary of Dow Corning in the US. It is important to get generic membrane sizes vs custom sizes supplied by some makers. This gives that maker the single source of membrane supply at whatever cost they see fit. It is important to have the ability to generate water quickly during generator battery charging. The reason is when cruising you pick and choose where you make water. Many areas are polluted or silty. If you make water in those areas it will clog your inlet filters rapidly. It is important to use a common source of inlet water filters. Egret's inlet filter elements are are common 5 micron swimming pool filters. Inexpensive and available in many areas. It is important to have the simplest system available. Electronic switching and so forth over time cause a lot of frustration. Egret's water sensor electrical gizmo quit after 5 years shutting down the system. We have now bypassed ALL electrical devices and send water straight to the tank. It is VERY important to have high quality fittings and hoses. We have a hand held PPM (parts per million) tester for double checking water quality. We have 115V pumps, inlet and high pressure, that basically never fail. (220V are as reliable) Membranes have a long life but in time will need replacement. We have replaced 1 of 2 of ours and have a second spare in stock along with membrane O-rings. You will also need a tube of vegetable based silicone grease for any work on the inlet filter O-ring. Petroleum based grease will ruin the membranes. And the last opinion: watermaker manufactures are all assemblers of items, not designers and so on. They assemble and package common parts used by the industry to manafacture their product and the rest is marketing.

Most all of this information was told to me by the Matrix salesman at a boat show where all watermaker manufactures were displaying under a single tent. Armed with this kowledge and revisiting the different watermaker booths I could see the big picture. The balance of information is my opinion and by personal use.

Balancing Egret's blog with others is a good idea giving a broader based picture of long distance cruising. We all view things differently, go different places and so on. We would like to read their blogs as well. None of us are professional seamen. We all started later in life with different boating experiences and learn from each other as well as our own. Perhaps after your initial coastal cruising and you head 'out there' you can contribute to help others as well.

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