Man has sailed the seas and oceans for centuries without the need for carrying an on-board watermaker. Why have these devices become a must-have for most boat owners in the last few years? Having a supply of fresh drinking water on board is not just a matter of convenience or savings (although these are factors); above all, it’s a matter of health.
It also allows us to sail without limits (apart from those imposed by our boat or skills), as we can choose our route without the question of water supply determining the distance we can travel before calling into port. Sometimes even the area in which we are sailing imposes its own restrictions if we don’t have a watermaker: on certain routes close to desert areas, or areas with scarce rainfall, it becomes necessary to stock up frequently on freshwater in ports, which may be small villages where the water isn’t particularly clean.
The benefits of having fresh water on board are crystal clear. However, there are many reasons for obtaining this water using a watermaker instead of opting for traditional storage in tanks.
- It gives you greater independence. You don’t need to depend on the amount of water you can store, which is always limited no matter how large the tank, or on nearby ports, which may have long queues or supply restrictions. And this means you can choose your route more freely.
- You save on space and weight. A watermaker takes up less space than storage tanks and/or however much bottled water you need for a certain route, and it also weighs less than tanks and stored water combined. Smaller boats normally reap the most benefit from this extra available space.
- It’s less expensive. With energy recovery systems like those produced by Eco-Sistems, you don’t need to invest in a generator (which is generally more expensive). The devices also require minimum maintenance, meaning you can recover your investment straight away as you have an unlimited and practically free supply of fresh water.
- You gain added convenience. When the water supply comes from storage tanks, it’s normally necessary to calculate the amount of water required for basic needs. But with a watermaker, you avoid the hassle of having to calculate your water requirements. So you can always have a long, freshwater shower after a dip in the sea…
- Safer and healthier sailing. In general, having an unlimited supply of fresh water means you end up drinking more, which is essential when you’re out at sea. Then there’s the fact that watermakers provide safe drinking water in areas with poor water quality, meaning you don’t have to risk illness or an upset stomach.
To sum up, having an on-board watermaker lets you sail with more independence, safety and convenience. And given that there is currently a wide range of models available with different sizes and prices, any boat, from the smallest to the largest vessels, can have a watermaker that is suited to their supply needs.