One of the most important things to have aboard Wild Horses is plenty of fresh water. Wild Horses has three 57-gallon water tanks, which sounds like a lot but isn’t really when you take stock of all your water uses in a day. Drinking, showering, laundry, cleaning. It all adds up.
While in the Thousand Islands, we manage our water usage easily. We can fill our tanks as often as we please at our dock slip at no additional cost, which means we can stay out at anchor for several weeks at a time and only stop in at our dock to re-fill our water tanks. We tend to use this water for drinking, showering and laundry. For cleaning the boat and the anchor, well we pull that water straight from Lake Ontario.
This all changes when we head for the Caribbean. Water for our tanks is no longer free and, once we get to the Atlantic Ocean, it gets pretty salty. For those out there that do not know the woes of salt water, well, they are many. It is corrosive to the boat and its gear, leaves a “not quite dry” feeling on fabrics and it is definitely, absolutely and undeniably not drinkable.
The solution? A reverse osmosis system. Or, as sailors like to call it – a watermaker. Whatever you call it, its main purpose is desalination. That is, it converts seawater to fresh water. Yes! Plenty of fresh water on demand!
We went with Rainman Watermakers due to their product options (AC or DC driven), size (compact and portable), flexibility (no proprietary parts i.e. we can get replacement parts anywhere), reputation (great quality and service) and cost (about $8,000 CAD installed). We ordered our unit through SeaTask in Ft. Lauderdale but the unit actually shipped straight to us from Down Under. That's right, Australia. Sydney Australia to be exact.
There are lots of product options with Rainman and we decided to go with their AC powered high-capacity unit called the “Rainman Naked”. This unit doesn’t just have a catchy name – it is also quite a dynamo when it comes to desalination. It will actually fill one of our water tanks in just over an hour. In other words, we will always have plenty of water for de-salting the anchor, decks, Ocean (the dog, not the body of water 😉) and ourselves after swimming, for long showers, for laundry and for dishes. Oh yeah, and for a nice cool glass of fresh water on a hot day. Amazing!
Our plan is to install the watermaker early this summer so it is ready to go prior to our departure in September. More updates to come for the install!
Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.