There have been some advances in RO technology, primarily in efficiency, in the last couple of years. The engineers have manages to help the high pressure pump do a bit less work thereby saving some power. You might consider looking at that technology.
I'm giving serious consideration to an RO on my personal sailboat, even at the expense of not having radar
. I don't want a big one and would be happy with 80gpd so the choices are fewer for me. This'll probably mean a DC version as I'm not sure I want to carry a genset. I also like the ability to quickly move the basic RO to the abandon ship bag, and make water
while waiting for rescue
While these big units draw a LOT of current
at startup, there are "soft-start" devices that can make the initial load lower, thereby reducing the size of the genset and prolonging the life of the motor. We've got 2 on board and they've dropped the initial inrush current
by about 40%. They're another thing that can go bad (but can be easily bypassed) but they do work.
Another idea is to look at how the RO configures itself on startup. We've got manual units that require the user to dial in the pressure and therefore the load at start is the smallest possible. When the high pressure motor's running well, we crank the pressure to around 800psi (depending on the inlet water
temp). The RO brains know when the water's pure and switch over to filling the tanks
. I offer this as I've seen some units that seem to start at high pressure in order to minimize the start to product time, but as dangerous as manual control is, I've always though the low load start was a good idea.
RO's aren't cheap
, install, or operate. They can mitigate the water jug schlep, questionable water source, and no water problems, however.
For me, it's based on experience. I've been pleased with the radar
far fewer times than I'd have been with an RO. It may be me, but I seem to run out of water far sooner than diesel
(or even gas). For short distances, and population centers, RO may not be economically feasible. However, when the next safe harbor is 1000+ miles/10+ days away, having an RO can not only make the passage
more pleasant, but give you much longer in that dreamed about anchorage.