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A Watermaker for Whiskey Charlie

After we returned from Tucson end of January, I put the word out we were looking for a watermaker on the cheap. We hit it just right amd arrived friday with a swap meet on Saturday. Clearing the bilge we had a few items remaining to swap. Wandering around, I noticed a fellow with a plastic bin full pf hoses. I took a closer look and realized amongst all the hoses was a complete pulley driven watermaker setup. I talked to the gentleman about it and he said if he didn’t sell it at the swap meet, he was going to contribute it to an artificial reef. I said I could make a ridiculously low offer. He said OK. I offered 500 pesos. He accepted! That translates to about $38! All the components were there including the pressure vessel and used membrane.

Wandering some more, another vendor had a sheave I wanted. Waiting my turn, I noticed a brand new in the bag RO membrane. I asked him if it was for sale, he asked if I knew what it was. I said yes, a membrane for a watermaker. He asked me what it was worth to me. I told him I couldn’t offer him what it was worth but I could make an offer. He said I could have it for free! That’s atleast a $185 value!

Later, I checked the serial numbers on all the parts and found the new membrane was the correct size for the pressure vessel of the watermaker i just bought! What are the odds?

Keep in mind I dont have an inboard diesel engine to drive the pulley CAT pump but, hey, it’s a start.

On the following monday a fellow boater said he had a PUR 40e watermaker he would sell me. He said he hadn’t used it in the seven years he’s owned it and the previous owner said he rarely ever used the watermaker. More, the watermaker was never installed, it was just sitting in a locker. The owner said he would sell it to me with a money back guarantee. I would have a week to see if I could get it running or get my money back. The price for a PUR 40e new is right at $4,000. He wanted $400.

With an offer like that how could I say no? Later that day I was telling my friend Chuck at the cafe how on Friday I had zero watermakers and now on Monday I owned two watermakers!

Another boater drinking coffee next to us interrupted and asked me if I wanted to sell a watermaker. I said sure, showed him the engine driven 20 gph watermaker I picked up at the swap meet. He asked how much? I told him $438.

He said sold!

Our friend John has a PUR 40 and he let me use the cleaners for the membrane and we spent the week servicing, greasing, and cleaning the watermaker. By the end of the week it was producing good clean water!

That is how Whiskey Charlie was able to get a PUR 40e Watermaker for free!

UPDATE: We arrived the day before the monthly swap meet in La Paz. I was able to buy a new seal kit from another cruiser for about 1/2 price new ones. We’re into our wayermaker for $80 and we’ve made over 200 gallons of water to date!

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