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Old 17-07-2014, 14:38   #1
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Opinions on a lesser-known watermaker

I just got off the phone with a local rep for the "Aquamaax" water maker, a product offshoot of the folks who make the "Electromaax" alternators. It seems to be no-nonsense product using off-the-shelf elements and membranes, etc.

13 G.P.H. 12/24V DC Watermaker




The price is comparable with "bigger names", like Little Wonder, Spectra and Pur.

Any thoughts or experiences? A guy from my club has one in his Catalina 42 that he's using in the Bahamas and is apparently very pleased with its output and quality.

So I'm asking around for other viewpoints or comments. Thanks. Please assume I have more than sufficient space, tankage and charging sources and capacity to spare to properly use this size of watermaker.
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Old 17-07-2014, 16:14   #2
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Re: Opinions on a lesser-known watermaker

If it's not cheaper, then why?
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Old 17-07-2014, 17:44   #3
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Re: Opinions on a lesser-known watermaker

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
If it's not cheaper, then why?
1) The recommendation from a fellow sailor.
2) It's made locally.
3) There are dealers in the Maritimes, which is where we are going on our shakedown cruise.
4) The parts are non-proprietary.
5) The output matches (with a generous excess) our anticipated needs.

But I like to hear more opinions, if more opinions exist.
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Old 17-07-2014, 18:32   #4
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Re: Opinions on a lesser-known watermaker

Run away as fast as you can. Those guys are crooks. Search the threads here and on the SSCA boards if you want an eye-opener about how you will be bent over and used by these guys.

About the worst bunch of crooks in this industry.

And I am being nice.

If you want the exact same thing (as in they were working with him, stole everything from him and put him on his way), contact Rich Boren at http://cruiserowaterandpower.com . He will support you much better with better equipment and equal pricing.

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Old 18-07-2014, 09:28   #5
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Re: Opinions on a lesser-known watermaker

Do yourself a big favor and read this review thread over on the SSCA.ORG
It's only two pages and it just may save you from a disaster!

SSCA Forum € View topic - Request for information on Aquamaax Water makers

Part of his scam is that he always wants to talk to you over the phone and not put things in writing in emails: manuals, technical questions, etc. Then it is a "He Said, She Said" type of disagreement when the relationship goes over the cliff!

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
a product offshoot of the folks who make the "Electromaax" alternators..
Ask old smooth talking John Stevens just how a alternator company got into the water maker business in the first place? That will be an interesting story, then when you want to hear the truth, give me call!

Hopefully by now I would think he fixed my spelling and gramatical errors in the manual he copied word for word from us, but with John, you just can't let yourself be surprised by what he will do.
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Old 18-07-2014, 11:23   #6
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Re: Opinions on a lesser-known watermaker

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
Hopefully by now I would think he fixed my spelling and gramatical errors in the manual he copied word for word from us, but with John, you just can't let yourself be surprised by what he will do.
When he copied Balmar's alternator manual, he didn't even bother to change the wire colors to match his, or even let the fact that Balmar had an isolated ground stud while his did not bother him. Or the fact that the connector on the Balmar was different than the one on his.

Then when you call him to ask "none of the manual reflects what I see on your equipment - wtf?", he launches into berating you for being stupider than sand.

Might also want to check out this thread for the alternator side of their business: SSCA Forum • View topic - any experience with electromaax alternators?

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Old 18-07-2014, 11:41   #7
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Re: Opinions on a lesser-known watermaker

A customer of mine had a very unpleasant experience with Electromaxx. We worked hard to resolve it. I spent a good bit of my money calibrating instruments to be sure we had good data. The folks at Electromaxx talked a good game but did not follow through.

I have no personal experience with their watermakers. I defer to Rich Boren and others for that.

I would not do business with them.
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Old 18-07-2014, 11:54   #8
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Re: Opinions on a lesser-known watermaker

They may be similar price but really a cat pump is going to use 3x the energy of a spectra. I'd go for a small spectra unit personally on 12v or the other mentioned above on 120v
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Old 18-07-2014, 14:12   #9
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Spectra all the way!!! Where are you located?
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Old 18-07-2014, 19:33   #10
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Re: Opinions on a lesser-known watermaker

Wow. Those are fairly intense statements. Thank you for the SSCA link.

I spent an hour on the phone with John Stevens today. Thanks to all for giving me something to think about.

Two other sailors at my club, it must be said, are using both the Electromaax alternators along with the Aquamaax water maker with no complaints as far as I can tell.

I am reading their manuals this weekend as part of the process of educating myself.
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Old 18-07-2014, 19:46   #11
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Re: Opinions on a lesser-known watermaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
I am reading their manuals this weekend as part of the process of educating myself.
While reading this weekend, here's a link to download our water maker manual. It's pretty interesting to see the entire copied sections.

30GPH Water Maker Manual Download Link

From a technical standpoint, be very cautious about going with a water maker with a 4" x 21" or 4" x 40" RO membrane. Dow has a minimum flow rate of 4GPM for the 40" membrane. The Hp pump flow rate they paired with the membrane doesn't give enough brine flow and the membranes are plugging up early. There is a reason they are the only water maker company using those 4" membranes on low flow Hp pumps with no energy/brine recovery, they just don't have the experience to know any better.
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Old 18-07-2014, 20:37   #12
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Re: Opinions on a lesser-known watermaker

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
While reading this weekend, here's a link to download our water maker manual. It's pretty interesting to see the entire copied sections.

30GPH Water Maker Manual Download Link

From a technical standpoint, be very cautious about going with a water maker with a 4" x 21" or 4" x 40" RO membrane. Dow has a minimum flow rate of 4GPM for the 40" membrane. The Hp pump flow rate they paired with the membrane doesn't give enough brine flow and the membranes are plugging up early. There is a reason they are the only water maker company using those 4" membranes on low flow Hp pumps with no energy/brine recovery, they just don't have the experience to know any better.
Just a note to anyone in this thread: I've just gotten off the phone with S/V Third Day (Rick) and he was very helpful in explaining some of the pros and cons of various RO watermaker strategies. His willingness to spend time with "some random guy from the Internet" has made a strong and positive impression.

I can't address at this point any of the assertions made here about the Electromaax/Aquamaax products (or rather, the service attitudes reported) without further investigation, but rest assured that I am very grateful for the replies and I'm very glad I posed the question.
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Old 18-07-2014, 21:10   #13
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Re: Opinions on a lesser-known watermaker

I beleive that Katadyne is probably the largest manufacturer of watermakers in the world. At least thats what I've read.

If you want simple, you might consider one of their units. I have a powersurvivor 160. it consumes 18 amps DC and produces 7 gph.

Cost was in the 4K range from Defender.com

The thing just works. No fiddling with it. No fancy anything. Turn it on and it produces fresh water.
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Old 19-07-2014, 11:55   #14
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Re: Opinions on a lesser-known watermaker

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I beleive that Katadyne is probably the largest manufacturer of watermakers in the world. At least thats what I've read.

If you want simple, you might consider one of their units. I have a powersurvivor 160. it consumes 18 amps DC and produces 7 gph.

Cost was in the 4K range from Defender.com

The thing just works. No fiddling with it. No fancy anything. Turn it on and it produces fresh water.
Thank you for the suggestion. Are the various filter elements non-proprietory? When prepping for offshore, the price of spares and their ubiquity is always a factor. It's why I bought a Beta/Kubota: where they have tractors, I can find spares.
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Old 19-07-2014, 13:25   #15
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Re: Opinions on a lesser-known watermaker

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Thank you for the suggestion. Are the various filter elements non-proprietory? When prepping for offshore, the price of spares and their ubiquity is always a factor. It's why I bought a Beta/Kubota: where they have tractors, I can find spares.

The Power-survivor 160 is a good machine but it doesn't make sense when you can get a complete Spectra VT150 for basically the same amount of money and make the same amount of water at half the amps used, 18 amps for the Power-survivor compared to 9 amps for the Spectra is a huge difference. Spectras membranes and filters can be found practically anywhere in the world, have a world wide distributorship and dealer network. The PS membrane is proprietary, Spectra's are not. Spectra's Clark pump has a lifetime warranty PS does not. Again the PS is a good machine but it really doesn't make much sense.
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