Why Is Our Fresh Water Going Overboard?

Aahhh… the fun of living aboard a boat!  🙂 Finally Facebook let me back on, so I thought a quick update of the past few days would be in order.   Winterlude is getting ready to leave the dock in early March for a short 3 month cruise through the Keys to the Exumas/Bahamas.  Checking items off the list every day, it’s an exciting time.  Until this week all systems were go despite minor challenges along the way.  This one has us befuddled.

We unpickled our Spectra Catalina 300 watermaker.  Since it has a brand new refurbished Clark Pump, we weren’t entirely sure it was going to work — we did the re-installation ourselves and that always leaves margin for error.  But we fired it up, it made water perfectly and WOOHOO, another major system ready to go cruising again!

Spectra watermaker working GREAT!  Perfect!  Hmmm... why is our pressure water going overboard?

Spectra watermaker working GREAT! Perfect! Hmmm... why is our pressure water going overboard?

Then a couple of days later, we started noticing the bilge pump going off a few times a day.  Highly unusual.  In our inspection, we found what I refer to as a “fast drip” down the aft wall of the bilge.  Not normal.  We did our normal routine, eliminating potential leak culprits — nope, not the hot water heater, no not the stuffing box, checking the drip reveals that it’s fresh water, not salt water.  Checking the watermaker which is under the sink … right behind the bilge area … hmmmm… there’s water dripping out of the Spectra Fresh Water Flush module.  Turns out the solenoid is leaking, no problem, David calls Spectra, they overnight us a new solenoid and it’s installed a few hours later.  That’s when the trouble began.   After tracking down and solving different leaks, the system is leak free … no more water dripping into the bilge and none at all coming from the newly replaced solenoid.

Now when we turn on our pressure water system, there’s water running in the watermaker, we can hear it.  No leak, no drip, no clue what this might all be about.  But the bottom line is that anytime we turn on the pressure water, not only is it going to the sink (which is fine), it’s also going right through the watermaker and OVERBOARD!  Not a good thing for a boat headed to the Bahamas where water is precious!

Soon THIS Will Be the Water We're Enjoying!  Bahamas Bound, Can't Wait!

Soon THIS Will Be the Water We're Enjoying! Bahamas Bound, Can't Wait!

It takes a minimum of two hours for David to disassemble the watermaker to reach the fresh water flush module where both the solenoid and the check valve reside.  We THINK we might have a check valve stuck in the wrong direction in the watermaker.   But David’s hesitant to pull everything back out before Monday because Spectra tech support is closed over the weekend.

So we’re puzzling, and using the pressure water system as little as possible!  Good thing I’m used to using my fresh water foot pump for most thing!  🙂  Life is good.   A boat down the dock is leaving for the Bahamas tomorrow (Monday) and I am so jealous.  But we’ll get there!

Anyone Spectra types out there that would like to comment on the water overboard challenge?  Ours is a Catalina 300 system. PLEASE leave a message and share!  Cheer!  Jan


  1. Check, check and check but the same problem regarding the NavPod lol lol

  2. That is a weird problem I must say! I’m sure you two can have it fixed in time. I just found you all recently through G+ and I’m glad I did. I am planning a cruise around the Key’s in April in my little Montgomery 17, I hope to spend about 3 weeks down there. I wish you all the best and I can’t wait until you start blogging about your upcoming trip!

    • It IS weird! We enjoy solving challenges, but this one is beyond our resources… at least until the light bulb goes on! Enjoy the Keys! Maybe we’ll see you there! Jan

Speak Your Mind