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Old 04-07-2012, 19:53   #1
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Higher Capacity Watermakers

Hi guys,

Looking for general information regarding higher capacity watermakers.

Here is some info to set the scene.

Boat is a 60 foot cat.

Has 13.5 Kva genset so power is not an issue.

Water tank capacity 850L

Parts need to be readily available in Australia & the Pacific region.

Owner is thinking of a watermaker with a capacity around 180 litres per hour. I think this is too big & would not only be quite a large unit to install but also mean more weight & as the tank is only 850L this watermaker capacity would far exceed the maximum water you SHOULD use per day. But, then again, you know how some of the ladies, especially guests onboard, can go through the water with their long showers & hair washing.

His previous experience is that water makers are noisy so he wants to do the watermaking as fast as possible to reduce this noise which differs from my somewhat limited exposure to them. Alteratively, do not want to need to run the genset for say 8 hours if the watermaker was a lower capacity unit (say 50 lph) if the watertank was say half full. Are they noisy? I would think that the genset noise would be more noticeable.

I have been having a look at the Spectra watermakers online which I believe are good reliable brands. Other suggested makes???

So, let the suggestions begin, preferably from those who have actual experience with watermakers with higher outputs.

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 04-07-2012, 21:14   #2
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

I don't have any experience with high output water makers, but I do have experience with low output ones and I have this advice. BUY THE HIGH OUTPUT WATER MAKER!!!!!! Unless one enjoys babysitting the genset/water maker combination for hours at a time it is much better to get the task of making water over and done with. I did not buy my boat to baby sit the water maker, but if I make water every day I blow at least 3 hours of my day. If I do it every 3 days I esentially blow one day in 3. If I buy one that I only have to run for 2 hours every 3 or 4 days that is practically heaven.
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Old 04-07-2012, 21:20   #3
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Might want to check these out.
PRO 500/900/1200 GPD Modular Watermaker System - PRO Watermaker
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Old 04-07-2012, 21:32   #4
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Guys, thanks for your replies so far.

I just found the name of the brand of watermaker which was on a large flybridge power boat I skippered on a delivery trip.

It was a Sea Recovery Watermaker & this was the one that was virtually silent.

I have seen some negative posts about Sea Recovery but some are many years old and are outdated. So does anyone have any current info on Sea Recovery or Eco Tech units?
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Old 04-07-2012, 22:04   #5
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Steve, we have a 60 gal/hr (225 L/hr) DIY engine drive water-maker and we love it.
Bigger is better.

sv hold fast
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Old 04-07-2012, 22:14   #6
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Thanks hold fast, that one certainly pumps it out. What make did you get and how long have you had it in operation for?
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Old 04-07-2012, 22:17   #7
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

A lot to be said for two units allowing you redundancy????
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Old 04-07-2012, 22:44   #8
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

I've heard some good things about this company if 30/40 GPH would work for you.

Cruise RO Water and Power
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Old 04-07-2012, 23:18   #9
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Been doing a bit more research & ECHO Tec units seem to get good reports.

Who has one of these who can supply some current info?

Are they quiet when running - I could not open the answer to this question on their website in the FAQ section.
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Old 05-07-2012, 00:12   #10
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozbullwinkle View Post
I have been having a look at the Spectra watermakers online which I believe are good reliable brands. Other suggested makes???
I love my Spectra watrermaker, but I don't think it's the right choice in this case.
The advantage of the spectra units is that they use an energy recovery pump so the power consumption is very low.
We make our water entirely from solar power. If you are doing this the capacity of unit can be small because it can ( and is more efficient) to run it for resonably long periods, just on the output of the panels.

If you plan to run the Watermaker from a genset the energy recovery system is not needed. You need a large capacity Watermaker that will make all the water you need during the generator run time.

Be careful though. Generators are very unreliable. I see a lot of boats sitting in harbour waiting for generator parts / spares. Their boat will not function without a working generator.

If you can put enough solar on the cat for the boat to work if the generator breaks ( or forget the generator completely) you be far more reliable and self sufficient. The energy recovery watermakers like Spectra are much better (almost essential) for this sort of operation
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:09   #11
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Thanks for your info Noelex 77 which gives me some good info about the Spectra that I was not aware of. BTW - how much noise does yours make & what capacity is it?
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:08   #12
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

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Originally Posted by Ozbullwinkle View Post
Thanks for your info Noelex 77 which gives me some good info about the Spectra that I was not aware of. BTW - how much noise does yours make & what capacity is it?
The only noise is the sould of the feed pump. This pump is very similar to the freshwater pumps often used on boats, but it's running continuously.
It's a lot quieter than generator, but there is some noise depending on where it's installed and how it's insulated. It would be possible to make it in audible with some care and there is no vibration.
Our unit is the smallest one 25 l an hour, it's run for 2-3 hours every second day and supplies all our water for 2 people. It only consumes about 9A so our 330w solar array can run the Watermaker fridge and still put power into the batteries even when the Watermaker is running.
If we have guests or have a lot of washing to do we will run it every day for a couple of hours, or whatever is needed.
For a 60 foot cat you have room for lots of solar and could upscale my system with 3-4 times the solar and a correspondingly larger Watermaker. That is how I would design a cat.
The energy recovery watermakers are more expensive so if you will be running a generator there is no need, but once you do this it's very hard to get enough power from solar to power the Watermaker. In many ways the power source needs to sorted out first
Generator = large capacity water maker that will make all the water in time it takes the generator to recharge the batteries.
If going this way I would have 2smaller generators to provide redundancy.
Solar=smaller energy recovery Watermaker that can run for several hours a day if needed.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:17   #13
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

As has been alluded to, the first most basic decisions is whether you want a lower capacity, low power system that runs longer, or a higher capacity, high power system that runs shorter. The low capacity system can (and probably should) be DC, where the high capacity system will likely be AC.

Related to this is when you expect to make water. The best place is out in open water where there is a minimum of silt and other crud in the water, which implies that you are making water while underway. While underway, do you normally run your genset? Is this a power cat, or sailing cat? If it's power, then you might already have ample DC available while underway, and noise is unlikely to be an issue. If you have to run the genset to run the watermaker, then I agree that the genset noise will be greater than the watermaker noise.

We opted to make water while underway when water quality is best. I've subsequently learned how important this is because the filters will otherwise plug up after just a couple of hours if you are not in very clear water. Our cruise time is typically 3-6 hrs, so we sized to make water in that windows. Unlike a lot of power boats, we do not run a generator all the time, so we went with a DC watermaker. The final selection was a Spectra Catalina which makes 12 GPH (about 50 lPH).

The other thing that was important to us was a system who's operation is automated. Some people prefer the simplicity of a manually operated system and don't mind attending to it. We wanted something that we could just turn on and turn off, and that could be left unused for weeks at a time without pickling. The Spectra automatically monitors pressures and salinity levels, diverts water as needed, does a freshwater flush when done, and will automatically re-flush weekly when unused. I'm sure other systems offer this too, and I think it's an important thing to have thought out as part of your selection process.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:12   #14
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

Thanks Noelex 77 & Twistedtree for the information that you have provided. The water quality will be good in the majority of the areas that we will be making water.

The boat is a sailing cat with 2 x 100HP diesel engines as well as the 13.5 Kva genset as mentioned initially.

From the comments so far I agree with Noelex 77 that the Spectra system does not seem the best match for this boat.

As power is no problem a higher capacity high output system running on AC sounds like the best match & at this point of my research the Echo Tec units sound good. Hoping to get some up to date feedback from owners who have one.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:35   #15
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Re: Higher Capacity Watermakers

I recently installed a CruiseRO Watermaker and am very pleased with it. It is simple and affordable. I especially like that there are no proprietary components. When something eventually dies, I am not tied exclusively to the original manufacturer for replacement parts. I can use common off the shelf parts to keep the system running. Their customer service is first rate also.
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