It’s the Water
Coastal cruisers sometimes have to go to a lot of trouble to get drinking
water. A typical choice is to purchase and dinghy it to a mooring in jerry
cans or else use high-amp watermakers that need careful maintenance to
prevent fouling from coastal waters contaminated with pesticides or
Now SEA Panel introduces a 100% solar-powered marine version of their
Rapid Deploy system. The RD Marine is lashed to the boat deck or dock and
uses sunlight to distill seawater or contaminated freshwater. Undrinkable
water is poured into the unit, and the pure desalinated water drips into a
collection jug. Internal foam baffling prevents slosh and contamination
during pitch and roll.
Cruisers may want to use these units to protect their batteries from
high-amp conventional watermakers, or to extend their tankage for long
passages. They are also excellent emergency preparedness for hurricanes
and earthquakes to guarantee clean water.
The RD Marine is made in the U.S.A. of thick, UV-hardened plastic. The
manufacturer claims these can be set up and stowed in under ten minutes
and are rated to last 4 to 6 years with normal use. They also claim that
the solar distilled water retains dissolved oxygen to avoid the flat taste
of supermarket distilled waters.
These will likely be a good choice for cruisers who don’t want the hassle
of pickling and maintaining osmosis units. They can also catch rainwater
and crystallize sea salt for food preservation.
Each unit will make up to 2 gallons of freshwater per day in tropical
conditions. Not enough for a long shower, but enough drinking and cooking
water to keep a cruiser or two going through the dry spots when water is
everywhere but there is not a drop to drink.
The Rapid Deploy Marine units are $249.00/each. You’ll need about 6 feet
by 3 feet of open deck or ground space and the unit stows in about 3 cubic
feet. www.seapanel.com, or call SEA Panel on 205-246-6492.