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Old 05-07-2012, 08:33   #16
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Hi Steve, It is home made from components off the shelf. Pump is for a pressure washer belt driven off the engine General pump TT941. 3 X SW30-2540 DOW FILMTEC™ membranes.
It has been run for 22hrs that's 1320gals in 2 years.
Cost Total just under 3k.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:40   #17
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Thanks F51,

Echo Tec also has this feature, the following is from their website:-

"For economical maintenance we do not use proprietary
components that bound you to purchase expensive consumables, only available from the original manufacturer. Standard filters, chemicals and membranes can be obtained anywhere. These desalination systems are engineered without "bells and whistles" for live aboard offshore cruising with peace of mind."

Cruise RO appears to have only been making watermakers since about 2007 but I understand that Echo Tec has been making watermakers since before 1997 so I prefer a company with more experience in the market. Echo Tec also has a Dealer representative in Australia which is one of my requirements.

I definitely have not made a final decision yet but from what I've learnt so far from my research & replies above I am now looking at a high output capacity unit, AC powered through the Genset using Non proprietary consumables & having worldwide support with a Dealer representatibve in my part of the world.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:38   #18
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

We have an Echotech engine driven watermaker that is rated at 38 gallons/hour (143 liters). It is awesome! It generally gets 60 gallons/hour (227 liters) and our water quality is always below 100 ppm on the TDS meter. We have enough water to wash the kayak, wash our snorkeling gear, rinse off after swimming, wash the decks and cockpit, etc.

There are some cons, however:

It was extremely difficult to install, and the support from the factory is essentially non-existent. The manual is very hard to understand, many of the parts do not resemble what is shown online and in the manual's graphics, and ours arrived missing some vital components.

They are out of Trinidad, and conversing via email with them usually takes 48 hours to get a response, and 80% of the time they don't answer the question the first time around, so getting an answer usually takes a week.

They have a reseller in western Canada who is very knowledgeable, but during our installation and periods of woe at the beginning he was never in the office when we needed him -- he was at the London Boat Show for a few weeks, out cruising for a week here and there, and it was always at the exact moment when we needed immediate help. That was mostly just our own bad luck...

So, be prepared for a challenging installation. Better yet, get it in Trinidad and have them install it for you. But once you are up and running it is a fantastic watermaker.

Since you have a big generator you can get their A/C system instead of an engine driven one -- possibly much easier to install.
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Old 05-07-2012, 15:50   #19
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

On a sixty foot Cat you're just not going to want a basic manual unit. Sixty foot Cats start getting into a whole other world of equipment. If you're looking for world wide support I'd seriously stay away from the engine driven watermakers or the new guys on the block, they're just not big enough for that kind of support. They have their place on simpler and smaller boats, but I don't find too many bare bone 60 foot Cats. Most are much higher tech and my guess is your boat is as well. I assume you're the captain for this owner? If you are you'll appreciate the automated units far more as will the owner when he wants to take the boat out himself. Resale value is many times reflected in the choices the seller has made. You need to be looking at the bigger players in this market, Sea Recovery, Village Marine, and there's absolutely no reason at all to rule out Spectra. Spectra has plenty of models that would better fit your needs. But your needs have to be better addressed first. Buying the right watermaker to fit the boats and its owners needs is not as easy as it first appears. Bigger, smaller, manual, non proprietary parts is not always better and choosing on those parameters many times lead to the wrong fit. Especially in the class of boat you're talking about. If the owner is depending on you to pick the right unit you have a bit more to learn before you spend his money unwisely. No offense to the above posters but some of the information is just wrong and does not apply to your boat. People cruising and living on 32'-45' sail boats water needs are going to be worlds apart from your boats needs and the watermaker will be as well. The only real usable information you have given is the boats capacity of about 225 gallons and that you have enough power. You also need to know the average daily water usage of all passengers and crew. Is there a dingy engine aboard? 60' boats need a lot of cosmetic attention to retain value. What are the owners requirements for exterior maintenance? How many fresh water flushing heads aboard? Does the owner prefer staying exclusively in Marinas each night or does he intend to anchor out? What are his real cruising plans? Is he a coastal cruiser? Will he be sailing to the far reaches? Will he use the boat two weeks out of the year or will he be living aboard for months at a time or permanently? And most importantly, what are the Admirals real water needs?
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Old 05-07-2012, 18:21   #20
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

settingsun - thanks for your reply & glad to hear that your Echo Tec is performing well - it is interesting that the output that you are getting is so much higher than what it is rated at. I am aware that they are based in Trinidad & while they may be a great company I would have preferred if they were based in a much larger country. An AC system is what I am looking at. I have heard that an engine driven system can be more challenging during installation.

Tellie - thanks for your detailed reply & I am certainly considering all of the points that you make about the average daily water usage requrements not only of the passengers on board but also including washdown requirements of the vessel and the dingy etc as the boat will not be spending a lot of time in marinas. On a boat of this size the Admiral and her guests do not want to have to be frugal with their water usage which is understandable. While the boat is used quite regularly it could sit unused for several weeks at a time but not in a marina so the system will need to be pickled before leaving it as it will be an AC based system. From what I am aware of at this point all systems across different manufacturers would require pickling - please set me straight if this is wrong.

The unit that is installed will be from a long established manufacturer and Sea Recovery was a make that I mentioned in one of my initial posts which I have had experience with but I have heard some negative feedback about them but a lot of this is quite dated now so still have an open mind on them. I agree with you about Spectra that their AC based systems could very well fit the bill & my comment about them being out of the game was really directed at their energy saving DC units.

You are correct in your assumption that I am the captain of the vessel & I am doing the fact finding to assist the owner who with my assistance will make the final decision on the unit to be installed.
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:02   #21
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Run time becomes more important for larger boot based watermakers because of the design of the membranes. Short run times can actually be worse for membranes because they don't get a good flushing across the surfaces of the membrane itself. This is even more important on larger watermakers of the size you'll need. These watermakers will most likely have three membranes. Your concern that the watermaker will sit unused for weeks at a time is a good point. But pickling a watermaker often is a pain and can lead to a shorter life expectancy of the membranes. The solution is a unit that takes care of itself and will fresh water flush itself automactically. Since the boat will sit unused for weeks at a time and not always at a marina, AC power becomes the obvious concern. Just to let you know I am a watermaker dealer and Spectra is one I deal with and board rules are such that I am not trying to sell you any watermaker, just giving you hard won advice. The only watermaker that fits the bill you are looking for is a Spectra NPMKII 1000. It is the only watermaker of it's size that will run on 24Volts. This allows you to leave the boat for weeks at a time without pickling the watermaker each time you do. It will automactically fresh water flush itself every five days for about seven minutes while the boat sits unattended without AC power and will be immediatly ready for service at the touch of a button when you or the owner returns. At 41+ gph it will keep up with all this boats needs and be run often and long enough to keep the membranes healthy. Though the unit may be buried deep in the boat, it is also the most quiet watermaker of its size.
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:53   #22
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Tellie, I really appreciate all of the information that you are providing which is greatly assisting my learning curve. Watermakers are something I have not had a lot of exposure to apart from the Sea Recovery unit which performed well over a 10 day delivery I did and it was so quiet when running as well.

It was obvious that you have a lot of knowledge on this subject which I am absorbing.

The point you make about run time being important on the larger systems to protect the membranes would mean that it would be advisable to let the water tank (850L capacity) get down a bit before running the watermaker. What would you recommend regarding the amount of minimum time you should run it to be on the safe side - considering the model that you mention produces 155 lph.

Another question comes to mind about the automatic flushing with fresh water for 7 minutes each day that the unit would automatically perform. As it would draw this water from your water storage tank to do this flushing how much fresh water does it use for the 7 minutes of flushing per day? Is there be a danger of running the water tank dry if the boat was unattended - what impact would this have? Does it draw on battery power to do the flushing?

Regarding the Spectra model that you mention being the Newport MKII 1000, I notice there is also a Deluxe model of this unit as well which sounds like a newer addition to the Spectra range with a simplified control panel. Would this model also suit the requirements?


Sorry for so many questions but you are a great help.

Steve
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:21   #23
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

No problem Steve,

The fresh water flush cycle is once every 120 hours or about once every five days, not everyday. It will require about 4-6 gallons of water. So if you top off yout boats tanks before you leave, you will have plenty of water for the fresh water flush for a long time. It does use the house bank power but again only for about seven minutes once every five days and that is on very low power mode. The minumum run time I would suggest is two hours, but three or four hours is common depending on use. The Deluxe models of Spectra New Port series are manual units. Your needs will require the automated unit. Ask all the questions you'd like.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:54   #24
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Tellie, my mistake - you did mention that the flushing was every 5 days - selective reading on my part I missed this bit.

So, ideally, to look after the membranes the water tank should be down to 1/2 full or less before running the watermaker for say 3 hours. The only issue would be if it would not run for some reason after you had run your water down to this point. Swings and roundabouts I suppose everything has it's plus & minus.

I suppose that the membranes are quite an expensive item as well not that you would want to be replacing them a lot more than you should need to. How long do they normally last if treated properly? I believe that you can carefully wash the filters out and reuse them several times or is this not recommended by Spectra?

The owner had in mind a unit of around 180lph with the hope that he would only need to run the watermaker for relatively short periods, I anticipate an hour or so, to top up the tank & a watermaker he has had exposure to was very noisy so he wanted to keep this noise to a minimum - I don't know what make it was at this stage but finding out.

I know you said the Newport MKII 1000 is the best model for our needs but is there another model in the Spectra range that could be ran at shorter intervals albeit with less output to keep the tank topped up & also has the self flushing feature?
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:56   #25
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Our watermaker works flawlessly, and I just changed the membrains after 10 years! It makes 50 gal/hr and I use it at the dock in the Bahamas. The website is: Watermakers, Inc. This company makes big self contained units for small island in the Bahamas and their engineering is flawless, yet simple. I really think this is the best unit on the market.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:39   #26
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

When you run your watermaker will depend on several things. Again, and most importantly, you have to establish your average daily water needs. This will give you a much better idea on how often and for how long you'll run your watermaker. You can't go on what other people find is adequate for them. Figure a 2-3 hour run time is a good figure to start with. As far as noise, this unit does not use the plunger type high pressure pump like the last unit he had and the rest of the watermaker manufacturers use. Chances are very good that in a 60' Cat this watermaker will be located in one of the engine compartments. With the compartment closed and even without the engines running you'd have to ask everybody aboard to be quite and still strain very hard to hear it running. Other high pressure plunger pumps are just loud and vibrate. Noise IS a big issue for owners on larger yachts.
No two membranes are alike, period. Normal membrane life on properly taken care of units is between 5-8 years. There are a few I've seen like waterworldlys that last longer. But I assure you, it is the exception rather than the rule. Part of the automated system is that it will monitor the TDS readings of the membranes so you will see over time when they are starting to get old and tired. The pre-filters on any watermaker are the consumable items. You will keep a good stock aboard but you can gently rinse them off rotate and reuse them usually about 5-8 times before they are discarded. Again the automated system will monitor the condition of the pre-filters and tell you when they are ready to be changed.
The NPMKII 1000 is the largest watermaker in the industry that will still operate on low voltage at 24Volts. Again, your stated needs are for something that will take care of it self while the boat is left unattended for weeks at a time away from dockside power. At 250+ gallons capacity this is a pretty good sized watermaker. If you wanted to go to a higher output watermaker you have to go with at least 110V. But then again we run into the AC problem when the boat sits for weeks unattended and their is no AC available. The next sized unit is the Farallon 1800 at 75gph. This is another class altogether. It is extremely energy efficient at 7.5amps when running full mode. When combined with an inverter you are still capable of leaving it for weeks unattended with the automated system in low mode using even less amps while taking care of the frsh water flush every 120 hours just as with the NPMKII 1000. But you will have to run your generator to power this unit under normal circumstances.
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Old 06-07-2012, 20:18   #27
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I would also vote for Cruisero system, I am in process of installing a 40gal per hour unit. They seem to be the most reliable and serviceable of the units out there. I should know more once I am back in the water and using it.
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Old 08-07-2012, 18:58   #28
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Hi Tellie,

Once again thanks for your detailed reply which is really assisting me. I probably have enough information to digest at this point. After I fully determined the average daily requirements for water usage, which I have a fair idea of now, I may call on your expertise again with some more questions.

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Old 13-07-2012, 07:52   #29
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Hi Tellie,

Taking into account the minimum & maximum passenger numbers on board I would estimate a daily usage ranging from a minimum of say 300 to a maximum of 600 liters per day, so an average figure of approx 450 liters per day should cover all situations. Even the lower usage should fit well with your suggested minimum 2 hour runtime.

As you have already mentioned you are a Spectra Dealer and I noticed on your profile that you also deal in other brands as well like the Sea Recovery. So, is it an unfair question to ask you about a comparison of the Spectra NPMKII 1000 & say the Sea Recovery Aqua Matic which also does weekly fresh water flushing.

The Sea Recovery 900-1 & 900-2 have a similar output to the NPMKII 1000. What is the difference between the -1 & -2 by the way as they have the same output & I could not see any difference in their specs?

As you would understand a watermaker of the capacity that we are looking at is something that we want to get right & install the best & quietest unit for our needs so we are looking at the different choices available. As mentioned we have a 13Kva Genset & also an Inverter but if it ran through an inverter would this put too much load on the batteries doing the fresh water flushing when the boat was unattended on a mooring.

Your wealth of knowledge in this field is so helpfull and I would appreciate any pros & cons that you could provide on the Sea Recovery unit mentioned or any other models or brands that you feel fit our requirements when compared to the Spectra NPMKII 1000.

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 16-07-2012, 08:18   #30
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Tellie,

One other thing further to my last post. If we added a Spectra Z- Brane to the Spectra NPMKII 1000 system does this "add on" eliminate the need to run the auto 5 day fresh water flushing process? Can you tell me a bit more about this?

Thanks,
Steve
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