Fil­ter It

Power & Motor Yacht - - BOATYARD -

If you want wa­ter on board that’s fit to drink, you need fil­tra­tion, even in the United States. Most do­mes­tic drink­ing wa­ter is safe, thanks to EPA reg­u­la­tions re­quir­ing the re­moval of the most dan­ger­ous con­tam­i­nants. But even if the wa­ter is tech­ni­cally safe, it can look and taste funky due to other, per­mis­si­ble con­tam­i­nants.

More­over, even if the wa­ter com­ing from the dock­side tap is fine, fiber­glass wa­ter tanks can turn it sour, es­pe­cially if you haven’t cleaned them in a while. When was the last time you cleaned your tanks? I’m guess­ing never. So step one on the path to pure wa­ter is to do it now. Add a cleaner/treat­ment, like Starbrite’s Aqua Clean, let it slosh around, then pump the tank dry through the gal­ley and head faucets. Re­fill the tank, ad­ding Starbrite’s Wa­ter Con­di­tioner to keep the tank and plumb­ing sweet.

Clean tanks make the fil­ter’s job eas­ier. The ideal setup for boats with more than one fresh­wa­ter out­let—that’s just about ev­ery boat—is a char­coal fil­ter at the fresh­wa­ter pump. Boats with dock­side pres­sure­wa­ter should have a fil­ter at the in­let, too. In ei­ther case a flowme­ter will be handy for de­ter­min­ing when to change the fil­ter car­tridge—a dirty fil­ter is worse than no fil­ter at all. The op­tion is to mount a fil­ter at each faucet pro­vid­ing drink­ing wa­ter, in­clud­ing the ice­maker.

Shur­flo makes good, rea­son­ably priced fil­ters. If you want to spend more for some­thing fancier, check Gen­eral Ecol­ogy’s Na­turePure and Seag­ull IV sys­tems. Or visit West Marine where you’ll find a se­lec­tion of fil­ters, from sim­ple in-line mod­els to more com­plex sys­tems.

If you want the ul­ti­mate in clean wa­ter, in­vest in ul­tra­vi­o­let dis­in­fec­tion, work­ing in com­bi­na­tion with a stan­dard fil­ter. Fil­tered wa­ter runs through a clear tube where it’s zapped with UV rays that kill micro­organ­isms. The only down­side to this setup is that it re­quires elec­tric­ity. The Wa­ter Fixer and At­lantic Ul­tra­vi­o­let make UV pu­ri­fiers for both 12- and 120-volt sys­tems.

Fi­nally, Sea Re­cov­ery’s Ul­troClear DF is a su­per fil­ter—al­most a wa­ter pol­isher—that is in­stalled be­tween a water­maker and the ship’s tanks. Its car­bon fil­ter “dou­ble-pu­ri­fies” the wa­ter, ac­cord­ing to Sea Re­cov­ery, en­sur­ing that only “ul­tra pure” H2O en­ters the boat. The small­est Ul­troClear DF model can scrub 400 gal­lons a day. How­ever, find­ing a place to in­stall it could be a chal­lenge: It lives in a case mea­sur­ing 28" by 19" by 17.5", so it’s as big as a small water­maker. But I’ll bet the wa­ter tastes great.

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