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Old 09-09-2016, 18:11   #31
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

I have katadyn 80e and still not enough water - e.g i need to run it for 10h/day... I think the only katadyn worth to go with is 160e
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Old 09-09-2016, 18:31   #32
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

I have been experimenting with watermakers for some time and I would like to second Rich (and Tellie) and suggest to follow their advice on either a DC Spectra on solar (1.2 amps/gallon) or a generator driven AC watermaker combo (around 6-9 amps/gallon). This works for most traditional cruisers who spend time at anchor . It is pretty much settled.

The more interesting question is for those of us (I would say the vast majority) who sail occasionally, motor for at least a couple of hours and want to have plenty of water for showers. In this case, a DC driven watermaker makes sense. The key data is as follows (rounded, including boost pump):

6 gph, 1/3 hp motor, 30 amps, 21" membrane, 5 amp/gallon
11 gph, 1/2 hp motor, 40 amps, 21" membrane, 4 amp/gallon
20 gph, 1.0 hp motor, 70 amps, 40" membrane, 3.5 amp/gallon

The cost for the motor, pump, membrane and pressure vessels is nearly identical and runs around $1,000 total. The most questionable item is using a brass pump ($214 from ebay.com), vs. a stainless steel pump ($900). It is your choice whether to use brass or steel and one can always upgrade to a SS pump at a later stage. The fittings, gauges, etc. can add to the cost but are typically sourced locally or from Amazon.

On my boat, I am totally comfortable drawing 40 amps for a couple of hours every other day to make water since we move constantly while cruising the islands. I like the convenience of not having to set-up a generator and worry about the fumes. I also like having hot water from the engine for showers and cleaning. Another way to look at the benefit is water per diesel cost (works out to 20 cents/gallon of water). I also enjoy an uncluttered deck free of solar panels. However, it is very specific to the style of cruising and it may not work for all sailors. If I were to go on an extended cruising/ocean crossing, I would replace the brass pump with stainless and add solar.

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Old 09-09-2016, 20:02   #33
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
...
You may want to check your data because a 1/2Hp motor needed to drive the 0.8gpm pump will use 40A DC not 27A...that's a mucho grande difference.

Maybe you are confusing the Amp usage of a 1/3 Hp motor which is 27-30Amps? But that can only drive a 0.5GPM Hp Pump and is on the low side for a 40" RO Membrane to keep the membrane healthy and unplugged due to scale build up. I would recommend staying with a 21" membrane if you only have a 0.5gpm Hp pump.
.
https://smile.amazon.com/MOTOR-1800R...2C+56C%2C+TEFC

Rich, in the above link the seller answers the amp load in a question and states the full load amp draw is 27Amp for this 1/2hp motor. Perhaps he is full of it....?? but that's my source anyway. Maybe I can do the 1/3hp and .5gpm pump with 21" membrane. I don't know what the gph output is for the 2 options? I would be looking to make 8-10gph. what would the 1/2hp, .8gpm make in fresh water compared to the 1/3hp, .5gpm system?

So, for me it sounds like the spectra or cruise RO is similar priced if you include the Honda gen. Certainly having the gen adds function, but also adds to the size/stowage and the need for gasoline. I'll have to ponder this one...
Thanks!
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Old 10-09-2016, 02:22   #34
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Also, do not over look your cruising grounds / future plans. The majority of our time is in the Indian Ocean. We have never had a diesel gen set and have tried various portable generators. The only portable gen set that has never failed us is the Honda - easy to work on, easy to maintain, quiet and fuel efficient and ......well, its just super reliable. Ours is presently six or seven years old, EU20i, and despite irregular use always starts easily, on just a diet of regular oil changes and irregular spark plugs. Previous makes of gen sets, Yamaha, Kawasaki etc, have all suffered the same issue of the electronics failing. The Honda just keeps going. I do lament the passing of the old 350 watt (DC, open style, not suitcase) Honda - and for which I hunted to try and find for ages but they have just vanished.
However, I am not so sure that if I were reliant on the Honda for water that I would be so complacent. I would also be concerned at having to carry even larger quantities of gas/petrol to fuel it.
Redundancy could be critical, dependent upon future plans. If you ever intend being off the beaten track there could be an issue if you lost your power source for whatever reason. Of course you could have an invertor and just run your engine which would secure you until you reached somewhere that could resolve your failed power situation. As long as you aware of this.
We have two Spectre units, the identical second unit was bought second hand, but we have not yet had to resort to using it but we are very comfortable knowing we have it.
Of course we could also carry a second generator. Our water maker is run every other day for a family of six (now reducing to four as our twins are off to 'varsity) and operates courtesy of our solar array. We are pretty economical with water and power, but we do operate a washing machine, and we fresh water shower after every swim, shower every day, wash the boat down regularly, and also flush our outboard engines regularly. We only have a 400 litre water tank but our regime works well enough for us.







Quote:
Originally Posted by zstine View Post
https://smile.amazon.com/MOTOR-1800R...2C+56C%2C+TEFC

Rich, in the above link the seller answers the amp load in a question and states the full load amp draw is 27Amp for this 1/2hp motor. Perhaps he is full of it....?? but that's my source anyway. Maybe I can do the 1/3hp and .5gpm pump with 21" membrane. I don't know what the gph output is for the 2 options? I would be looking to make 8-10gph. what would the 1/2hp, .8gpm make in fresh water compared to the 1/3hp, .5gpm system?

So, for me it sounds like the spectra or cruise RO is similar priced if you include the Honda gen. Certainly having the gen adds function, but also adds to the size/stowage and the need for gasoline. I'll have to ponder this one...
Thanks!
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:11   #35
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

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Originally Posted by TheOffice View Post
Great thread guys!
What is a realistic rate of consumption for 2 people with no washer/dryer? I keep telling the Admiral she can't just run the faucet while doing dishes!
For me when there's two of us onboard its approx 40l/day. I have a katadyn 80e (14l/hr) , it just meets my needs.
Next boat I'll be looking at one of Rich's units.
Although I live mainly of solar I've come to the conclusion batteries are very difficult to completely recharge on solar alone without a quite large array, although my Xantrex amp counter would suggest im wrong. Therefore a blast with a generator for a short time every second morning or so is what I now do, so I might as well make water ,and a ac system fits the bill.
Just my opinion based on my experience.

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Old 10-09-2016, 03:17   #36
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

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Originally Posted by vtomanov View Post
I have katadyn 80e and still not enough water - e.g i need to run it for 10h/day... I think the only katadyn worth to go with is 160e
Thats 140/ liters per day on a 34 ft boat....you do live well.

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Old 10-09-2016, 03:36   #37
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Quote:
Originally Posted by daletournier View Post
For me when there's two of us onboard its approx 40l/day. I have a katadyn 80e (14l/hr) , it just meets my needs.
Next boat I'll be looking at one of Rich's units.
Although I live mainly of solar I've come to the conclusion batteries are very difficult to completely recharge on solar alone without a quite large array, although my Xantrex amp counter would suggest im wrong. Therefore a blast with a generator for a short time every second morning or so is what I now do, so I might as well make water ,and a ac system fits the bill.
Just my opinion based on my experience.

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5 gallons a day is reasonable, but do you have a smaller water tank or spend more than a month at sea?
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:37   #38
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

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Originally Posted by daletournier View Post
Thats 140/ liters per day on a 34 ft boat....you do live well.

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Maybe he generate once per 3 days.
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Old 10-09-2016, 05:03   #39
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Quote:
Originally Posted by daletournier View Post
Although I live mainly of solar I've come to the conclusion batteries are very difficult to completely recharge on solar alone without a quite large array, although my Xantrex amp counter would suggest im wrong. Therefore a blast with a generator for a short time every second morning or so is what I now do,
To get the batteries close to 100% very long charge times are needed. So solar is much better at getting batteries close to full than using a generator.

Of course if you are consuming more power than the solar array is producing then this has to be supplemented. I suspect this is where the generator is coming into play.

If not, it would be worth looking at your solar regulator's charge parameters. These may be incorrectly set preventing the battery from charging as well as it should be.
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Old 10-09-2016, 05:23   #40
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

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To get the batteries close to 100% very long charge times are needed. So solar is much better at getting batteries close to full than using a generator.

Of course if you are consuming more power than the solar array is producing then this has to be supplemented. I suspect this is where the generator is coming into play.

If not, it would be worth looking at your solar regulator's charge parameters. These may be incorrectly set preventing the battery from charging as well as it should be.
Hi Noelex, i agree. I must not of expressed my self clearly. What I was trying to say is you need quite a large array to get enough bulk charge into batteries early enough in the day so that there is still enough sunshine for the batteries to get fully charged ( or as close as possible). ie if I can whack 40 or 50 amps in first thing in the morning via my little honda then the panels have plenty of day light to get the batteries as close to full as possible.

Ive adjusted my regulator so it stays in absorption mode all day.
Also, having a 12v watermaker I can put that on for a couple of hours after lunch to use excess solar power. First thing in the morning the batteries will accept all my generator will put out.

Now of course if I could fit 700w- 1000w of panels my solar would be pumping in approx 20amps at 8am instead of 7-8amps, that gives me most of the day for the solar to work on the last 20% of battery capacity.

Reality is my 300w of panels generally surfice but batteries slowly head sth , particularly when using watermaker.



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Old 10-09-2016, 07:49   #41
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

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Originally Posted by vtomanov View Post
I have katadyn 80e and still not enough water - e.g i need to run it for 10h/day... I think the only katadyn worth to go with is 160e

Just a bit of new info.; They are no longer called Katadyn units. They are now all Spectras. The 160E has been dropped, though there are still a few available left. The 80e and 160e just can't compete with the Spectra 150/200 model. The price difference to power required doesn't make the small savings worth it in my opinion.


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Old 10-09-2016, 07:57   #42
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

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Good post and your final thoughts matched our analysis exactly. More water the better, ALWAYS.

Like another poster above, I'm really surprised you originally narrowed it down to 2 very dissimilar units. I know many people choose between the Spectra or the CruiseRO, but those 2 units are much closer in output.

I'm glad you got the right unit in the end and I'm sure you will be happy with the product and service from Rich!

I'm so glad you you said that because I'll be more than happy to sell you one of our Spectra Cabo10000 units at 420 gallons per hour. Can I put you down for two?

I'm just being a smart Azz. The fiction of you can never have too much water is just that. There really is a balance as Rich has mentioned. No two cruisers are alike even if they have identical boats and are going to all the same places.

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Old 10-09-2016, 08:43   #43
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

A few thoughts. A "Spectra" Power Survivor 40e is just to anemic for the vast majority of today's modern cruisers. Yes there are minimalists out there, I was once one myself many moons ago, but they are more and more a thing of the past. Sizing a watermaker is an individual thing. I call it the Goldilocks approach. You can take ten cruisers with ten identical boats and you are going to have a hundred different opinions on what watermaker is the best fit for for all because there is no one size fits all. There is a lot of misinformation out there on watermakers. There are several good options. The one option I agree totally with Rich on is the DIY watermaker. Both the now thankfully defunct DIY company and the true DIYer. I started in this business building watermakers a long time ago. Ummmm, yeah, good luck with that on your own trying to save a few dollars. Some have done it. I did it on my fourth try. But don't value your time, and there will be lots of it, and you might make it in under the wire financially. Make a few beginner mistakes (Again, I've built many starting in this business and I am intimately familiar with them) and you'll wonder where all that great savings went if you complete the job. Sure building your own you will be more familiar with your watermaker than most. But make no mistake, you will be on your own. My best advice for those wanting to go it on their own, and I offer it as humbly as I can. If you have the cash for all the parts for a DIY watermaker, take the time you will spend sourcing the parts, ordering the parts, sending the wrong ones back, building special brackets, and doing much of this twice because the first idea you had wasn't as great as you first thought it was and instead spend these hours working at a part time job. Between the money you start with and the money you'll earn investing the same hours into a part time job and you can buy the water maker you need with the full support and warranties implied. Powering a watermaker, again is going to vary cruiser to cruiser because even alike boats are going to be different in their powering capabilities and power usage based on personal tastes and personal needs for power. Where I do vary somewhat is with the common "You can never have too much water making capabilities" You can certainly have too little as I believe the Spectra 40e is for most, and you can certainly have too much. Again, this all depends upon your boat. Does a 30 gallon an hour watermaker make sense on Gemini with two 20 gallon fresh water tanks? No, it does not. Does a 30 gallon per hour watermaker make sense on a 60' sailing vessel? Eh, maybe, most likely not. I will say this, talk to us, especially Rich and myself. If you absolutely insist on a 40e for your 40' boat with four people aboard you will drag me kicking and screaming to the CC machine. Yes we sell watermakers, but this is a niche business where word of mouth is crucial and service is not just a word. If we sell you the wrong watermaker we know all too well what happens next and it's not good for our business.

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Old 10-09-2016, 13:19   #44
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

I've met Tellie in person and attended one of his informative watermaker classes, top notch guy. I've never met Rich but have read his posts with great interest and come to respect his opinion.

Someone on another thread blasted me for sitting at my computer and spending other people's money, which was so far off base I didn't honor it with a response.

So, at the expense of spending others money.. Consult with either of these guys, lay out your method/style of cruising, honestly identify your needs and let them help you make a good decision. In the long run, as the original OP found out, you will save money!

We hope to be on the water soon and as others have said, the Admiral has laid out her expectations. Tellie and/or Rich will help me meet those expectations in the most economical way possible.
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Old 10-09-2016, 19:21   #45
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

One additional point to consider is noise, and the duration of the noise. We had limited options for mounting our Spectra 150, and that involved placing the feed pump on a bulkhead that happily acts as a sounding board. Certainly not noticeable underway, but an irritant at anchor, especially when we need to run for 3+ hours... This is indeed when we wish we had a higher output unit!

Note that since we have to Honda or Genset, we do very nicely rely on our 250w solar for nearly all our electrical services while in the Sea of Cortez (including refrigeration), and try hard to not run the engine, we felt the 12v unit best meets our needs. Were we to have had a good 120v generator, we probably would have gone Rich's route.
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