Buying a used watermaker might have been either the most stupid or the smartest thing we have done this far. It took a lot of work to get it to run, and with our very limited previous experience with these things it was not the easiest. Needless to say that we now know this watermaker inside and out, and could probably take it apart and put it back together in our sleep. 

We found this second hand watermaker online. It’s a 12 V Aqua-Base watermaker from SLCE. It has an energy recovery pump, that makes it possible to get a lot of water even if it’s using the onboard batteries to run. When everything is working correctly it can produce 60 liters of fresh water per hour. 

Troubles and problems

We had some troubles when we did the first test run. After being in contact with the company making the watermaker, we did another test run and everything seemed to work. One of the problems from the first run was that we thought we could use fresh water to test the basic functions (like pressure, flow etc.), but we quickly learnt that this is not the case. 

For the second run we created our own “Atlantic water”, and the watermaker even managed to produce fresh water, a clear sign of success, we thought! Our contact at SLCE had other thoughts and asked us to do some more measurements. This shouldn’t have been a problem at all, except for the fact that this time the watermaker didn’t work. There was no pressure building up, no flow, and absolutely no signs of it working properly.  

A faulty booster pump

After consultation with manuals, troubleshooting guides and more contact with the manufacturer we decided to disassemble the booster pump to check if we could find any damage that could cause the problems. After several hours of trying to get i back together, we could finally make a new test run and it was a total disaster. Not only where the problems still there, we had also managed to introduce a new problem, a terrible noise that was definitely not there from the start. 

So, what to do? We started to prepare ourselves that we might need to buy a new pump, spending even more money and time on this stupid thing that seamed to be the most stupid purchase we had done so far. But no, we had to give it another try first! 

We took the pump apart again, being even more careful as we cleaned the parts and polished them, removing the scratches. To our surprise, when we put it back together again and tried the watermaker it worked like a charm. No strange noises, pressure building just as expected, and all flows within the expected ranges. It even got high remarks from the manufacturer. 

Marcus holding the booster pump


Now all we have to do is finding a suitable place to install it aboard Linnea, and maybe buying a spare booster pump to bring with us just in case… 

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