On test. Schenjer Zen 50, a revolutionary and reliable watermaker
After having carried out the first operation test during the installation phase, we decided to put our Scenker Zen 50 to a stress test, in order to subject it, in one single season, to the same stress of some years of use.
We therefore “sealed” the water filler caps of our Daydreamer – a 1986-built Comet 460 – and only used the watermaker to fill our tanks, throughout the season. The result was a water production of around 5,500 liters which, in addition to being a definitively important number, also allowed us to enjoy many interesting “side advantages”. Let’s see together what they are:
- The Schenker Zen 50 allowed us to sail with almost empty tanks, which obviously implies a greater speed under sail, especially when sailing upwind in rough sea.
- Pitching is drastically reduced, to the benefit of comfort
- A lighter boat uses less fuel when traveling under power, thus implicitly reducing emissions. The watermaker, in fact, allowed us not to face “crossings” to reach our summer destinations, with full tanks.
- The Schenker Zen 50 consumes little current, between 15 and 25 Ah. However, if the production of fresh water takes adtavange from the recharging moments of batteries or navigation under power, the use of additional fuel can be avoided. The alternator is, in fact, perfectly able to recharge the batteries, allowing the simultaneous operation of both the watermaker and the various utilities.
- Once the stress of “Hell, we’re running out of water” is eliminated, on-board dynamics change a lot since there is no longer a need to “ration” fresh water. Also because you usually realize that when you get the most beautiful anchorages…
- Lastly but not least, the watermaker ensured a total independence from the ports. We have never had to enter a marina begging for water, deviate from our routes or face long waits to fill our tanks.
Now, let’s take a look at numbers and see what happened from a technical point of view.
Schenker Zen 50 Test, here are the numerical results
Instead of a flow meter, we opted for a simple and precise empirical system. In fact, we used a conventional 5-liter graduated container and a chronometer with which, in different situations and at different times, we made our measurements.
This solution allowed us to eliminate any side effects that could affect the test, such as the state of charge (or discharge) of batteries, the simultaneous use of utilities or, a factor unknown to us, the composition of the sea water we were collecting in that precise place.
|Container liters||Time in seconds||Time in minutes||Hourly production in liters|
As you can see, with an absorption of around 240 w, the water production of the watermaker always ranged between 44 and 55 liters per hour, with an measurement average of 49.56 l/h.
How the watermaker is made
One of the main features of Schenker watermakers is their compactness. Thanks to the very small size of the machine body, they take up little space on board, which translates into easy installation on all those sailing or motor-powered boats that do not have a technical space or an engine room.
Just like in the case of the Daydreamer, the 14-meter sailboat of The International Yachting Media, which, despite being a 34-year-old “Stradivarius of the sea”, certainly does not excel for the amount of space available on board.
Fortunately, the Schenzer Zen watermakers are designed for universal mounting since, in addition to being compact, they can also be installed in small units.
Installation takes just a single working day. We suggest to entrust the study of the positioning and installation of the watermaker to a professional, who, in our case, was Ugo Soldi of Continental Marine, a true magician, the only man authorized to get his hands on our boat …
To see in detail the installation steps of the Schenker Zen 50 on board the Daydreamer, please read our dedicated article and watch the video below, made during the assembly and first testing phase.