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Old 11-07-2015, 16:45   #106
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Re: Fresh water makers best price and performance?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Plenty of service help from Spectra, Tellie and Rich on a used unit. A factory rebuilt Clark pump comes with a warranty. All you need is the used components, replace the feed pumps, new membrane, new filters and you're good to go.

No pig poking. :-)
OK, whatever. After you replace the Clark pump, the feed pumps, hoses and the membrane, what did you originally buy? A frame, a bunch of tubing, a valve and a pressure vessel?

And these systems are lying around used for everyone to just snatch up quickly when they are outfitting their boat to take off cruising? The turn around to getting them into shape also fits this time frame?

And if you don't find a used Spectra where Tellie gives away his time/advice, you certainly could have a pig in a poke. Especially if you find yourself with a highly automated, electronic control unit.

The OP didn't ask about used parts and systems, so that is why I answered his actual question like I did.

Of course, a used system can be cheaper - that is the same for everything. However, a consumer does not have the same protections and warranties, and must be somewhat knowledgable in what they are getting.

But even your example of completely replacing almost every component on a used system only saved you ~30%. Sure, I'll take that - but I know what I'm doing. There are others who would be best served paying that bit extra.

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Old 11-07-2015, 17:09   #107
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Re: Fresh water makers best price and performance?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Of course, a used system can be cheaper - that is the same for everything. However, a consumer does not have the same protections and warranties, and must be somewhat knowledgable in what they are getting.

But even your example of completely replacing almost every component on a used system only saved you ~30%. Sure, I'll take that - but I know what I'm doing. There are others who would be best served paying that bit extra.

Mark
I completely agree. I looked at a few used, got a lot of great advice from several people including Tellie (thanks again!), and at some point came to realize that I didn't know what I was doing, didn't really understand what might be wrong with a used unit, or what fixing it might end up costing or involving, and that I didn't really want to get that education while wedged into the tiny little hole where a watermaker would have to live on my boat. Maybe next time....
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Old 11-07-2015, 17:10   #108
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Re: Fresh water makers best price and performance?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
It was neither you nor RK. I sincerely hope no one interpreted my comment that way, but if I post the name it will just be deleted.

Besides it appears the problem has resolved itself. In 2004 they did have some form of relationship with Spectra. I don't know the legal details of their relationship, but Spectra gave them a credit for $500 of warranty work for which they had already collected from me.

I did not interpret it that way at all and I know RK did not either. But I know exactly your frustration and exactly who you are talking about. Your experience is just one of far too many. It's been a thorn in my side for years. It was bad for business. Spectra was just a small part of that. Every time I hear that name my blood pressure rises a bit.
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Old 11-07-2015, 17:11   #109
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Re: Fresh water makers best price and performance?

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
You are getting bad information. First thing is if you were the original owner of your Spectra the Clark pump has an original owner lifetime warranty. There is NO reason to spend $2,500 to fix a Clark pump, even for a second owner. A renamed one is 100% as good as new and is 1K less than that. I have never seen a totally destroyed Clark pump, ever, never, nada, zilch, and I've seen a lot of them, more than most. Anyone with a Spectra issue can call me anytime. Geesh I've been here for years on CF offering my help to any CF member.

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Tellie I understand your position but bad info or not it came from Spectra.
In a nutshell what I am saying is that for what the total cost of dealing with Spectra for the replacement pump I could have purchased a locally produced WM.
As a customer I should not have to literally chase around the world to have a problem fixed at a reasonable price .
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Old 11-07-2015, 19:31   #110
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Re: Fresh water makers best price and performance?

OK tellie opinions on one of your other product line from katadyn the 80E specs say 8 amps and 4 gph which by spec would mean 2amps per gallon at just under $5K price tag.
Katadyn Products Inc. Katadyn » Desalinators » PowerSurvivors » Katadyn PowerSurvivor 80E/12 V
I honestly want your input. I now have the 35E and it has enough output for us butiI heard there was some kind of trade in program for upgrades.
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Old 11-07-2015, 20:57   #111
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Re: Fresh water makers best price and performance?

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OK tellie opinions on one of your other product line from katadyn the 80E specs say 8 amps and 4 gph which by spec would mean 2amps per gallon at just under $5K price tag.
Katadyn Products Inc. Katadyn » Desalinators » PowerSurvivors » Katadyn PowerSurvivor 80E/12 V
I honestly want your input. I now have the 35E and it has enough output for us butiI heard there was some kind of trade in program for upgrades.

To start, there is no exchange or upgrade program for a Katadyn to a Spectra. There was, for a limited time, an exchange for an older Spectra to a new one of the same model but it made no sense and was dropped.
As you know Spectra has recently been bought by Katadyn. We are now Katadyn/Spectra Watermakers. So now there is really no bias from me between the two. The Katadyn Survivor models have always had their customer base. Usually it is because of a die hard stance on how much money the customer is willing to spend on the watermaker. Similar to the OPs original requirement of an under 5K watermaker. They can be had and the Katadyn line will fit the bill for under 5K and quite capable of operating off a 12Volt boat who rely on solar and perhaps a wind gen as well. I can easily save the OP some money on a Katadyn over a Spectra Ventura 150 Deluxe and if he insists I will sell him the Katadyn. Sometimes the Katadyn is the perfect fit regardless of the price, but more often than not I can easily talk the average cruiser into a Ventura 150 over a 80E. Not because I am a great salesman, but for the extra in cost it is a better savings in the long run. As you pointed out the 80E uses 8amps to make 4gallons of water which equates to 2amps per gallon. The same energy can be used to make 7-8 gallons per hour for about $500-$600 dollars more. The 80E is going to have to work twice as long as the Ventura 150 to make the same amount of water. Just the wear and tear factor alone doesn't warrant the small savings difference. But if you're a 24 year old on a 25 foot sail boat trying to sail the world for a few years alone who can live off a limited supply of water he doesn't have to search for then the space savings and weight of a 40E or an 80E can make a lot more sense. Racers, people who go for crazy boating records, very small cruisers all fit the bill for a Katadyn. But for the most part those who are on CF are going to benefit far more from a larger system where the energy savings is a real issue. But some things are still in the works for us and not everything has been totally hammered out quite yet as to how exactly the change over is going to be best set up. I will say this, as hopefully a word of encouragement, for those who say even a new Katadyn is too expensive. We are setting up a repair center in Fort Lauderdale for the thousands of Katadyns already out there that need repairs, parts and service. There are hundreds of used Katadyns out there that can be resurrected so there is hope for the most frugal of sailors to perhaps get into a used Katadyn we've checked out for a good price.


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Old 11-07-2015, 20:58   #112
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Re: Fresh water makers best price and performance?

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Originally Posted by Mirage Gecko View Post
As a customer I should not have to literally chase around the world to have a problem fixed at a reasonable price .

I can not agree more.

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Old 11-07-2015, 21:06   #113
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Re: Fresh water makers best price and performance?

Tellie thanks we currently have a 35E on our Spencer 42 ( came with the boat). Does the job for dad and me. ( I am 49 and he is 90) but I'm thinking of a possible upgrade keep me up on the katadyn/spectra deal
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Old 11-07-2015, 21:33   #114
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Re: Fresh water makers best price and performance?

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
All you will have accomplished is spend the same if not more money on a system that is twice as inefficient. It makes no financial sense especially when you consider your charging capabilities will be twice as taxed and recharging your batteries will take twice as much effort for the water made.


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Old 12-07-2015, 01:34   #115
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Re: Fresh water makers best price and performance?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Our Sectra produces 17 gph on less than 8amps. If you want efficiency, you'll need to pay a little more than 5k. Or look for a used Spectra. One of our manual Spectra units came with the boat, we rebuilt it last season. Our second Spectra unit was purchesed used for just under $2000 and needed new pumps and a rebuild. Total cost for that unit after rebuild was $4000. There you have it, $4000 for essentially a new unit that can make 17 gph.
I found an defunct Newport Spectra out of Florida for $500.(which Tellie turned me onto) with shipping and I only live 2 hours away from Spectra in San Rafael, Ca. I stripped it down making it totally manual and upgrading to twin boost pumps. It has a 40" membrane which was amazingly tested by Spectra and found in Excellent condition. I'm into it for less than $2500 with all thru-hulls and valves.
I established a relationship with Spectra and in October will take their Roving Technicians class to provide service in Mx and the South Pacific later on.

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Water makers never make financial sense, but that is the wrong way to measure their worth anyhow. Lots of things on a boat do not make financial sense. For all of these things, it is a personal matter with no right or wrong as to have/have not.
Seems I had a few ex-wives say that about my boats!

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As an aside on these Katadyne Pur Survivor 35's available cheaply on on eBay and other sites: The reason they are so cheap is that they are mostly (or all) old military surplus units which will need new seals, o-rings and filters to be usable again. That will cost you an additional $400+ in parts.

- Rusty
Their membranes are expensive due to being their own design and proprietary.
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Old 12-07-2015, 02:07   #116
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Re: Fresh water makers best price and performance?

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
As you know Spectra has recently been bought by Katadyn. We are now Katadyn/Spectra Watermakers.
Oh crap...I must be living in a cave. First time I've heard this. Hopefully they won't fix what isn't broken or change the pressure vessel to a non-standard one.
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Old 12-07-2015, 06:23   #117
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Re: Fresh water makers best price and performance?

Now the Katyn (sorry about spelling$ has brought Spectura, where does that leave Spectura owners far as pump warranty?


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Old 12-07-2015, 06:39   #118
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Re: Fresh water makers best price and performance?

In the end, isn't a watermaker just trading fuel for water? Most people I know run them off of the power from their generators or from the engine. Maybe they would be using the engine anyway for propulsion, but often they wouldn't be. When you run the engine at anchor so you can stay longer, then you are trading fuel for water.

I have a hard time believing a solar system could really provide enough power to push all that water under high pressure and still maintain the battery system.
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Old 12-07-2015, 06:48   #119
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Re: Fresh water makers best price and performance?

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I have a hard time believing a solar system could really provide enough power to push all that water under high pressure and still maintain the battery system.

Believe it! I've got a Katadyne 40e and while small and inefficient compared to a spectra I've been able to operate it for 3-4 hours a day, as well as run the fridge and top up the batteries from overnight all with solar.



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Old 12-07-2015, 06:52   #120
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Re: Fresh water makers best price and performance?

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I have a hard time believing a solar system could really provide enough power to push all that water under high pressure and still maintain the battery system.
With the energy recovery systems like Sprecra it is quite feasible and you don't necessarily need the very large solar arrays that can be only be fitted to cats.

We get 95% of our energy from solar and 95% of water from the watermaker, and have done so for the last six years.
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