Friday, November 25, 2016

Spectra Watermaker Gauge Mount

...Radeen's gift, a custom mount...
Happy Thanksgiving! We are enjoying the day at Sunset Bay Marina and Anchorage. Again, we have to say that this marina has the best focus on customer service, much more than any place we have ever stayed. The management staff is amazing. This is a dream location and it will be very difficult to leave here!

Today we designed and built a simple aluminum mounting bracket to hold the Spectra pressure gauge and water flow meter next to the feed pump in the sail locker. We used aluminum bar stock and with wrenches, bent the shape needed, then drilled holes and mounted the bracket. It was designed to slope upwards so we can see it from above when looking down into the locker. It worked out well. Into this gauge, the product water is plumbed and it will show the pressure in the feed pump and show the gallons per hour of production. With this information, we can tell the state of the 5 micron filter and if the system is running well. If not, it usually means the filter is getting clogged and needs cleaned or changed. Over all, this system is simple. We are glad to know the design and installation so well. We expect this watermaker to give us many years of production.

Our Thanksgiving table with boat buddies
Our Thanksgiving was a very nice celebration with boat buddies Bill and Trish s/v Island Bound and their buddies Kurt and Sharon of s/v Byrd Ketcher and Matt and Nonnie s/v Sophia Jean and IP owners Nate and Melba s/v Travelin' Light. Our host, Sunset Bay Marina and Anchorage, provided an amazing meal catered by TooJay's Restaurant. The cruisers and local boaters brought side dishes and plenty of desserts. The buffet line went across the 30 foot porch and around the corner.

Radeen and Terri at Sunset Bay Marina
Our local friend, Terri, who lives here aboard IP38 Sailbatical, was also our host and she did a great job helping out the Marina staff with all the set up and table centerpieces.  The meal was fantastic and sharing with boat buddies was very fun. This cruising traveling lifestyle is so wonderful and, as every one always says, it is the people that you meet along the way that make it so very interesting and fun.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.....

The catered buffet line in set up mode overlooking the docks

Propane ovens to keep all the food hot

Our custom water gauge mount in the design phase

This is meant to be cut into a panel, we surface mounted it

The water gauge installed next to the feed pump

The overview, which will allow us to see it from above in the cockpit

Off to Thanksgiving at 1500, Radeen made a carrot cake

Matt, the marina dockmaster, setting up the buffet

Radeen on Thanksgiving day 2016

The 30 foot long pot luck table

The catered hot meal afterwards....turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green beans, carrots, gravy, etc

The buffet overlooking the marina

Must have a food photo on Thanksgiving...

The view from our table at sunset

Heading home, our boat is in the mooring field to the right
Our watermaker job has about one or two more days of work and then it will be finished. We need to run the power feed and install a breaker, and run the product water hose into the water tank. That is it. We are very happy with the install, it took us 4-5 days total. Fun fun fun!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Spectra Watermaker Day 3

...High Pressure Pump bolted down...
This is Day 3 of installing our new Spectra Ventura 200t watermaker and we are moving along well. Today we mounted the high pressure pump on the new platform and thru bolted it, making sure this 30 lb object will NOT go flying around when bashing into waves offshore. Once bolted down, we ran and connected the saltwater line from the new thru hull in the galley floor to the feed pump. From there, the saltwater line ran into the high pressure pump and back out to the overboard thru hull. These 3/4" water hoses were far easier to run than expected. To get back into the galley floor thru hull, we followed the same path as our stern sea water wash down line. That line we never used, so we removed it and that gave us a chase to pull the new hose right behind the old hose as we pulled it out. Lucky for us, it already ran right past the new watermaker thru hull.

New watermaker thru hull and sea strainer in the galley floor.
There we connected the saltwater line to a new sea strainer and our seawater feed was completed. Back in the sail locker, we ran the feed into the 5 micron filter and then into the 60 PSI pressure cylinder and finally into the Clark high pressure pump. Once this seawater goes into the high pressure pump, it is amplified to 800 psig where it is pushed through the reverse osmosis cylinder separating the salts and impurities into a brine discharge and diverting a small amount of fresh, safe water into our 90 gallon water tank.

The product water outflow is rated at 8.3 gallons per hour while drawing only 8-9 amps of 12 volt DC power. If this is so, then we plan to run this system between noon and 1400 hours when we have extra 12 volt solar power and wind power. When the wind is blowing 15+ knots, we always have extra power, so is the reason we bought this system. Spectra is the most efficient watermaker made, hands down. If there is no solar or wind, then we can run our engine and power the watermaker from our 100 amp alternator. Our engine burns about 1/4 of a gallon per hour when charging. So, one quart of diesel will make 8 gallons of water for about 50 cents a gallom. Interesting.

The 3/4" brine discharges to an existing above water thru hull
Back to the plumbing....The brine must be routed to an overboard discharge. Lucky for us, we had a thru hull that is above the waterline that was used to drain a cockpit ice box. No one uses this as an ice box. We all use this to store cleaning supplies. The good aspect is that this ice box has a drain hose to a thru hull. So, we replaced this 1994 hose with a new hose and a tee allowing us to reconnect the ice box drain. The watermaker brine will discharge out this thru hull and the ice box will still drain if ever needed. Over all, this all worked out well.

The next task will be to run the 1/4" product water hose from the high pressure pump to the diverter valve for salinity testing and from the diverted valve to our water tank. Once that is finished, we will run the power line (a 6 AWG or 8 AWG) a very short distance (3 feet) from our nearby battery charger/inverter to the feed pump. We will add a breaker and then run to the pump. We understand that the system is very sensitive to voltage drops, so we will have it wired with heavy gauge wire and very short runs. Very soon, we will fire it up and test it out.  (NOTE: Thanks goes out to Tom and Joyce of IP 40 BAREFOOT for the alert on the need for large power feed wires. We are following your advice.)

So, Day 3 of the Spectra Watermaker installation is finished. Here are more photos.....

The feed pump bolted to the cockpit ice box.
Notice the 5 micron filter and pressure tank on the back of ice box.

This is up high, out of the way in what was all wasted space, We lost zero storage
on this installation. It is the perfect place to mount this gear on an IP35.

We added a dedicated thru hull in the galley floor aft of the engine intake.

Looking up under the cockpit seat ice box to see the drain on the left.
We replaced this 1994 drain hose and added a tee for the brine.

This is an overview photo, looking forward, with the ice box drain on top left.
The existing thru hull is at the bottom righ,t with the new tee cut in.

The brine will flow directly down this hose and overboard via the original thru hull fitting,
which is just above the waterline in the boot stripe.

The sea water feed is on the bottom and the brine discharge is on the top of the Clark pump.
Amazingly, this reverse osmosis pump has no power connected to it, working solely on hydraulics.

The sea water feed pump (black) on the left, plumbed to the 5 micron filter (also black) around the corner on the right.

There it is, the Spectra plumbed in and ready for product water hoses.
Note: the copper strips are part of the grounding system for our Single Side Band Radio.

Off to Flanigan's for a fun happy hour with Bill and Trisha, IP40/Island Bound and their team, Sophia Jean and Byrd Ketcher.
Again, this Spectra Watermaker install is still a difficulty level of a 2 out of 10. It is really simple. The hardest part is planning the placement of the parts and then making a secure platform to bolt the machine down. Though a pain in the neck, the plumbing is simple because it is just hose runs. We hope to have this finished in one or two more days. That is exciting considering we are doing this all on a mooring ball in Stuart Florida. It can be done....Thank you for following along. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Spectra Watermaker Install Day 1 Day 2

...Spectra Ventura 200t...
Now that our new B&G gear is all installed and running, it is time to focus on the new Spectra Ventura 200t watermaker installation. We are on a mooring ball in Stuart, Florida. That makes it a bit more challenging but we are pushing hard to get this new gear installed so we can test it and shake it all down. Stuart has turned out to a new dream location for us. We LOVE IT HERE! We are working with Mack Sails Company who is supporting our efforts as we work through our own refit #3 program. Thank you again goes out to Colin Mack who has been the best person to work. We ordered all this new gear through him and leaned on him and his team for all the help and support we needed. What a fantastic company. If you need anything...sails, electronics, chain plates, tanks, etc, you need to run it by Mack Sails first. Colin and Travis Mack will serve you well.

The feed pump up high on the side of the cockpit cooler box

On Day One of this Spectra Watermaker Challenge, we installed the feed pump and the product water diverter valve and we prebuilt all the plumbing parts. Day Two we installed the Clark pump platform over our B&G autopilot ram. This shelf needs to hold the 30 lb pump and pressure cylinders while bashing into  serious ocean waves. We think we designed and built a very solid platform. I pre-built the pieces while still at home and final cut everything onboard using my Dremel tool with a saw blade. I must say, having a Dremel with all the blades is a good idea on a boat. All I had to do was fit them into place and then epoxy the battens onto the bulkhead and the fiberglass stern. Next, I mounted the custom fit 14" x 24" 3/4" plywood platform. I used JB Weld and 5200 adhesive and screws to assemble the platform. It worked out well. At the end of Day Two, we have the platform installed and painted, top and bottom. and the watermaker will be bolted in tomorrow. 

Overall this watermaker install is a difficulty level of a 2 out of 10 as Spectra has made it their mission to design this for owner installation. It is very, very straightforward. We are glad we are doing this ourselves again, because this way, we will really know the system. It is very important to us that we know every wire, every system, every hose, and how all systems work on our boat. That way, when we are remote, we can usually fix items if we have a break down or if a system is not working correctly. We like this about our Team Island Spirit program, it has worked well for us over the past 15 years!

Here are some photos of Day 1 and 2 of the Spectra Watermaker Challenge. 

This is the entire system being loaded into the dinghy.
One bag of hoses. one bag of parts and one 20" pressure cylinder.
This is an 8.3 gallons per hour watermaker that uses only 8-9 amps 12 volt!

Radeen reading up on how to install this watermaker.

We took a wonderful Sunday morning off and visited good friend Jim Austin
of sv/Salty Paws in Vero Beach, FL. Jim is my photography mentor.

My photo of mentor Jim getting an interesting shot of the flag on Memorial Island at Riverside Park.
We also took pictures of the antique bells and wagon wheels at the historic Driftwood Inn.

Back on Team Island Spirit, with the sun setting beautifully.

We love the curves of Island Spirit, nearly perfect.

Day One, we drilled into the cockpit "ice box" to see where we would end up.
Guess what? It is 4" thick with foam. We eventually drilled through.

Hayden inside the sail locker on his back drilling holes overhead.
(Jeff Gabor, where are you??)

Next we started to assemble the parts and the fittings.
This is just standard plumbing, nothing mysterious.

Radeen in her Black and White Spectra outfit, what a great helper.

Day 2 returning from Home Dept with plywood and parts.

It takes more time to gather the parts than it does to do the job.

Day 2 began with a plan for the platform over the pilot ram.

We used a carbide scraper to remove the latex paint, then sanded and roughed up the surface.
I curfed battens in the back to make them curve to the shape of the hull and the inside of the sail locker.

The platform with one support leg glued and screwed in place.

The painted platform, we painted the bottom and leg before installing.

After living in the sail locker all day, I finally used 5200 adhesive and then screwed the platform in place.

The finished watermaker platform on the aft wall of the sail locker. This was Jay Aker's idea from sv/MINX.
With the platform built, installed and painted, we are ready to install the watermaker tomorrow and then pull the plumbing hoses and connect to the new thru hull in the galley floor. We also need to run heavy 10 AWG wire from the battery bank to this unit for power. If all goes well, this should be completed by the end of the week. Thank you for following along, we love to hear from you.....