Monday, June 21, 2010

Watermaker On Board By Angela via Deb June 21

“They must have to carry a lot of water”…….
Watermaker On Board.

By Angela via Deb June 21, 2010

Ocean Rowing boats are very small, especially when you have 4 people and their gear on a boat that is the size of a pair’s boat (24 feet long, 6 feet wide—nearly a ton loaded). There is no way that they could carry enough water to sustain 4 people for 45 days. There is a watermaker on board the boat. Solar charged batteries run the watermaker. It is an essential piece of equipment, but often one that is a struggle to keep working. Sometimes there is not enough power to run the watermaker and sometimes there are mechanical problems. They carry a back up hand pump watermaker as well. If they are not getting enough exercise rowing, they can always hand pump water.

The Haigh Lyon SeaGals had watermaker problems early on in the Virgin GB Row 2010. Angela worked to fix the clogged intake valve. She details the fix in this text message to me:

Spare hose inboard, lol, no way. I took a piece off a manual pump. They are two different size hoses so I used a reducer. Now there is plenty of hose to go into the water and we can now make water and row at the same time. Malcome suggested I put a weight on it and I had remembered that Belinda had purchased a plumb? A weight with a string on it. I cut off the lenght of string I needed and attached it to the end of the new intake for the watermaker. The watermaker hatch has to be open enough to run the hose out so best not to make water on super splashy days.

They pump water into containers to use for the day. They use the water to drink, rehydrate food, and wash. We talked about buckets in the last blog. There are actually 3 buckets on an ocean rowing boat-1 for clothes washing, 1 for dishwashing and 1 for the potty palace. On anchor due to tides, Angela filled the water containers and a bucket for her to wash her clothes in. I bet Belinda (she shares the back cabin with Angela) is happy it is washday for Angela!

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