Saturday, April 23, 2011

Water Anyone?

We have a commercial water maker onboard Solace, from Spectra, and are very happy with it. But for those who like to build and keep cost down, there is an excellent site detailing building your own at
Here is a sample with links...

Dido's Watermaker - Build your own!

Article Index
Dido's Watermaker
Fresh Water Production
Build your own!
Experiences, Operation, and Repairs
All Pages

How to actually build your own watermaker?

In the internet you will find instructions that cover everything for about 10 USD. To my estimation you can save this money. I have put a comprehensive instruction on the link list for download, and much other material, too.  The biggest challenge will certainly be to get all the parts for reasonable prices. This will certainly cost you hours of research in the internet. I only have European suppliers on my list apart from membrane and vessel, which I ordered in the US, as this was much cheaper although shipping and customs had to be added. But this research will save you hundreds of USD.

High Pressure Vessel for Membrane

Here are the most interesting resources that I found when searching the net for our watermaker. (Should links be broken or sites be down, let me know. I have them all as PDFs also.)

Below is a parts list of all the parts that I needed plus prices and where I bought them (this is a German list, as I bought everything in Germany - apart from membrane and vessel).
Some elbows, hose clamps and so on may be still necessary, according to the details of your actual installation.
The item numbers in the parts list refer to the parts on the WM Scheme.pdf

Friday, April 22, 2011


There are many sorts of automatic pest control cans available today, and we use one on the boat for deterrence of flies and other bugs. These cans (305g) last about 17 weeks and can be turned on or off.
My wife made a nice cover for the unit and we place in a  area suitable for the purpose using the supplied fitting, but that fitting was sticky back velcroed to the wall incase we decided later to remove or change location.
Our can uses pyrethrin; your choice of chemical may vary.

Bug Screen for Companion Way Hatch

In addition to our new bug screens placed on the hatches inside the boat, we came up with an idea for the companionway hatch that is easy, cheap and functionally easy to apply and use.
My wife sourced curtain mesh from a haberdashery (that is a curtain/fabric store) along with weighted line used to weight the bottom of curtains.
She sewed a bungy into the mesh which sits along the top of the companionway slide and we had convenient power out sockets on which to locate the bungy hooks.

From the bungy, all around the edge, was sewn the weighted line/rope that we also bought; to give the mesh the ability to form to the companion way entrance.
Egress is now easy to just brush aside the mesh and then throw the weighted edge back over the companion way once you have made your way through.

From inside 

Better Oven, Better Pizza

Most boat ovens are heated by propane and don't give an even distribution of heat. An idea heard from others was to place a pizza stone in the oven, which heats up and gives a more uniform form of heat distribution. We used a surplus pizza stone we had at home, and cut to size so that there is about one inch of air space around the stone to allow for heat convection The stone was cut using a masonry cutting wheel on an angle grinder and smoothed along the edges. The stone was then secured to the oven tray by four bulldog clips at each corner.
This prevents the stone sliding around while stored in the oven.
A ceramic tile can also be used for the same purpose, but we like the added bonus of having a pizza stone to do our pizza's on. Yum.