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Old 18-09-2016, 14:41   #61
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Let's not confuse terms.

A water maker uses filters, usually called prefilters to remove the suspended solids from the sea water. Now some companies use standard off the shelf filter housings that accept a standard $9 filter, while others Force you into their $20 or even $35 filter either because they use a proprietary size or use of any type but their own will void your warranty.

Filters have a relative short life span and are consumable parts.

Now RO membranes are different than filters, they actually separate out the fresh water from sea water and have a realistic life span of 5-7yrs. Here again we have the standard off the shelf approach of a $200 membrane vs a $499, $600 or even $1200 proprietaty "screw you membrane".

So it's important to find out before buying a water maker what type of filters and Membranes they use. Off the shelf or "screw you" brand.

And another important note:
If a water maker company tries to tell you their membranes are more expensive because they are "better or Special"...run from that sales guy as fast as you can, because he is telling you a lie. There is no RO membrane on the market that is "better" than the off the shelf DOW Filmtec SW30-2540, it's the gold standard. The only thing the other "better" membranes are better at is separating you from your cruising kitty dollars!!
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Old 18-09-2016, 16:07   #62
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Just to add one other unknown fact about Filmtec membranes. They are the standard because of a patent that Dow has on how the membrane "leaves" are connected to the permeate tube (center tube). Filmtec uses a mechanical attachment device while other membrane manufacturers glue their leaves to the tube before rolling. Mechanical failure is usually the issue with other membranes such as To ray, Hydonautics, Koch, and others. This is why you always hear the same thing from Filmtec competitors. "Our membranes are just as good as filmtecs". NanoH20 even have a membrane that they call "the Dow Killer". Filmtec membranes are the industry standard that all others try and emulate.
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Old 19-09-2016, 06:54   #63
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

I pulled the trigger and bought a Spectra Ventura 150 at the Newport boat show on Sat. Why...

I'm powering off solar and don't carry a generator and I don't want to run the engine to make water. So how much water I can make has more to do with the power consumption/efficiency than the amount of water a unit can make per hour. My 6.3gph @ 9amp spectra can make me more water than an 11gph drawing 27Amp echo tech b/c I can run the former for 3+ hours a day, while the later only 1 hour. The Spectra unit also can use standard off-the-shelf filters and membranes, though they do state it "may" void the warranty.

I had considered a DIY 1/3hp, WM0515 SS pump, 20"membrane that would have probably done 7gph at 25Amp. (i would not have had a boost pump as my install well below the waterline). While the DIY unit would have saved me $2,500 It also would have limited me to about 10 gallons a day on a nice sunny day due to my power available. While 10gal may be enough for my family, w/ Spectra I can make double that if we find we use more water than predicted. Buying the unit also saves me the time to source all the parts, but costs me design/source details....

Thanks to "Tellie", Bryan Cooney from Headsync and Ray for helping me get a good deal.

zach
p.s. on warranties.... I personally have found every warranty I've ever used worthless, so I don't see that as an advantage to buy from a particular company. You typically have to pay for a 'certified technician' to say 'yup, that cracked part is bad' who then charges as much or more for labor as the part would have cost to just order straight away.. no time or money savings with most warranties. I'm not sure if Spectra covers labor or requires a certified tech diagnosis, so this is not a direct comment on them, just my experience/feelings on warranties in general. and that warranty really didn't sway my decision.
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Old 19-09-2016, 07:04   #64
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Without a generator, you made the right call in going with the Spectra!
That 27A load would have killed you out in the real world.


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p.s. on warranties.... I personally have found every warranty I've ever used worthless, so I don't see that as an advantage to buy from a particular company. You typically have to pay for a 'certified technician' to say 'yup, that cracked part is bad' who then charges as much or more for labor as the part would have cost to just order straight away.. no time or money savings with most warranties..
That's not how our warranty works.

We diagnose the problem over the phone, email, text, skype, or smoke signals and if the part that failed is still under the 3yr warranty we get a shipping address and off it goes. No need for a "certified tech" or the game of sending the part back for "inspection". That's the advantage of having the owner handle tech support and warranty calls, I don't need to get authorization from any corporate bean counter to fix someone's problem.
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Old 19-09-2016, 07:15   #65
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

I think you did exactly the right thing going with a Spectra, there to my knowledge just isn't a more efficient WM than a Spectra and with you going without a generator that efficiency will pay huge dividends.
I see the Spectra and the Cruise RO as being so different, that they aren't really competitors
Just for some of us that bought into having to have a generator, we don't need the efficiency, we want KISS and easy to diagnose and repair and are willing to sacrifice efficiency to gain that and we want it for the least money that we can and still get quality parts.
But to think your going to run an ordinary inefficient WM on 12V your fooling yourself.
Just as I believe some who have a goal of running an AC off of their battery bank are.
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Old 19-09-2016, 15:24   #66
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Not trying to hijack the thread and will start another one if asked.

Since I am stuck on land at least for the rest of the hurricane season I intend to waste some of my time trying to get up to speed on the details of water makers. So far one thing I have noticed is that is almost impossible to easily get a price for a water maker. I was looking at the Rainman unit, which I can sorta find a price for. Also some of the Spectra units that seem to be portable line the Rainman. First I did a google search on "Spectra Passport" (seem to remember Boaty mentioning that unit with no luck, but I did find out that Spectra makes something called the PowerSurvivor which can run on both power and hand pumping. The Spectra Aquifer seems to be a portable device but I get the feeling it is somewhat land based.

Part of my attraction to the above units is I tend to not use a lot of water (around 50 gallons on my last three month cruise, not including the rain water I caught) and that I also do what I will call extended land camping during hurricane season in areas where water is not available.

Currently I have enough power in my battery bank to use an electric rice cooker (or other electric devices) in a 110 volt outlet and charge all my toys when I start dumping power about 10:30AM or so and also have a Honda 2000. If necessary I could double my battery bank but have not so far out of sheer laziness.

In any case can some of you smart guys comment on the pros and cons of a portable verses installed water maker.
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Old 19-09-2016, 15:40   #67
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfl View Post
Not trying to hijack the thread and will start another one if asked.

Since I am stuck on land at least for the rest of the hurricane season I intend to waste some of my time trying to get up to speed on the details of water makers. So far one thing I have noticed is that is almost impossible to easily get a price for a water maker. I was looking at the Rainman unit, which I can sorta find a price for. Also some of the Spectra units that seem to be portable line the Rainman. First I did a google search on "Spectra Passport" (seem to remember Boaty mentioning that unit with no luck, but I did find out that Spectra makes something called the PowerSurvivor which can run on both power and hand pumping. The Spectra Aquifer seems to be a portable device but I get the feeling it is somewhat land based.

Part of my attraction to the above units is I tend to not use a lot of water (around 50 gallons on my last three month cruise, not including the rain water I caught) and that I also do what I will call extended land camping during hurricane season in areas where water is not available.

Currently I have enough power in my battery bank to use an electric rice cooker (or other electric devices) in a 110 volt outlet and charge all my toys when I start dumping power about 10:30AM or so and also have a Honda 2000. If necessary I could double my battery bank but have not so far out of sheer laziness.

In any case can some of you smart guys comment on the pros and cons of a portable verses installed water maker.
I have the portable version of the Rainman (120V version). I left it portable for 1 month before installing it in permanent locations. The reasons for doing this are as follows.

1. Locker size. I didn't have a locker big enough to store the pump unit.
2. Weight, the components are HEAVY and AWKWARD. My wife could not move the membrane unit from the locker it was stored.
3. Convenience. I went from a 15 minute setup time to a 2 min setup time. Instead of pulling everything out, setting it in locations, running hoses and cords, I now just turn everything on!

While I originally loved the idea of portable, I realized it so much better now that its built in.
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Old 19-09-2016, 15:52   #68
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
I have the portable version of the Rainman (120V version). I left it portable for 1 month before installing it in permanent locations. The reasons for doing this are as follows.

1. Locker size. I didn't have a locker big enough to store the pump unit.
2. Weight, the components are HEAVY and AWKWARD. My wife could not move the membrane unit from the locker it was stored.
3. Convenience. I went from a 15 minute setup time to a 2 min setup time. Instead of pulling everything out, setting it in locations, running hoses and cords, I now just turn everything on!

While I originally loved the idea of portable, I realized it so much better now that its built in.
That seems to match up to my thinking.
I see the portable units (there are two: Rainman and Spectra) as more short term cruisers and for Spectra at least I know as rental units for racers. If you know you will only be out for a season or a few months, the though is to use it and then sell it. That's even a sales point on their website. But for normal cruisers anything you can do to minimize your "Boat Chore Time" and make your life easier seems to win out in the end. For example, my partner wanted to make an Automatic Fresh Water Flush for years, but I didn't need one myself so "why would anyone else" was my thinking...keep it simple and save money. Well he won out and now 80% of the water makers we sell are sold with the optional AutoFlush...why...to make their life easier.
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Old 19-09-2016, 16:08   #69
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
I have the portable version of the Rainman (120V version). I left it portable for 1 month before installing it in permanent locations. The reasons for doing this are as follows.



1. Locker size. I didn't have a locker big enough to store the pump unit.

2. Weight, the components are HEAVY and AWKWARD. My wife could not move the membrane unit from the locker it was stored.

3. Convenience. I went from a 15 minute setup time to a 2 min setup time. Instead of pulling everything out, setting it in locations, running hoses and cords, I now just turn everything on!



While I originally loved the idea of portable, I realized it so much better now that its built in.

Sounds exactly what my experience was with the Honda generators


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Old 19-09-2016, 16:50   #70
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfl View Post
First I did a google search on "Spectra Passport" (seem to remember Boaty mentioning that unit with no luck, but I did find out that Spectra makes something called the PowerSurvivor which can run on both power and hand pumping. .
Pur bought Spectra. The spectra passport is not the same as as a Pur 35 powersurivor. Spectra is a much better and quieter unit than the pur. Both just happen to be now the same company. But they are diffrent animals.
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Old 19-09-2016, 16:57   #71
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Good on you with the spectra. They are great and quiet, efficient and reliable. When we crossed the Atlantic with 4 of us. The spectra 150 ran more than the diesels did. it must have seen 4-6 hours a day, sometimes non stop for 1 or 2 days. We used a lot of water!!! That would have sucked noise and fuel wise with an AC powered unit.

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Old 19-09-2016, 17:07   #72
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

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Sounds exactly what my experience was with the Honda generators


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Really.. I didn't want my Honda generator in a locker. I'm not a fan of a device with gasoline being down in a locker. Ours rides on deck while chained up. I wouldn't be with out a Honda generator. We are even removing our loud stinky diesel that we never run. I will be able to carry 200lbs more beer!

Like Rich said earlier, we make water with it and then use the "left over" to put amps in the boat (we have a second 25A charger). Water making days are good days as we have a ton of excess power. Every device on the boat gets charged on those days!
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Old 19-09-2016, 17:16   #73
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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 on you with the spectra. They are great and quiet, efficient and reliable. When we crossed the Atlantic with 4 of us. The spectra 150 ran more than the diesels did. it must have seen 4-6 hours a day, sometimes non stop for 1 or 2 days. We used a lot of water!!! That would have sucked noise and fuel wise with an AC powered unit.

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Hhmm not really... A Ventura 150 running 4-6 hours (lets round to 5) would make 120 liters of water. My Rainman will make that in 1 hour. So with an AC unit you could have ran it 5 hours 1 day and then not ran it for 5 days. It would use about 3L of petrol.

All the Spectras I have seen running make a bunch of racket in the boat. I would rather have racket in and out for 1 day than racket inside every day. However, each to their own.
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Old 20-09-2016, 03:32   #74
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

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Hhmm not really... A Ventura 150 running 4-6 hours (lets round to 5) would make 120 liters of water. My Rainman will make that in 1 hour. So with an AC unit you could have ran it 5 hours 1 day and then not ran it for 5 days. It would use about 3L of petrol.

All the Spectras I have seen running make a bunch of racket in the boat. I would rather have racket in and out for 1 day than racket inside every day. However, each to their own.

The spectra was silent, had to look at the gauge to see it was on. Our own spectras 1x380c and a newer cape horn you barely hear either run unlike your Honda driven rainman. We used solar / battery power to run the 150.
4 of us with dishes shower and laundry probably used 35 gal a day over a 2 month period.
Hmm lets do the math. 35galx60 days is 2100 gallons +/- ,, so your rainman would have to run let's 175+/- hours to make that much water burning lets say 1 gal of gas per 4.5 hours of run time. So just to be safe let's say wed burn 45 gallons of gas using a gas powered rain man or gasoline/ Honda driven watermaker
We used none.
Tell me again how yours is a smarter decision for long range cruising ?

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Old 20-09-2016, 05:15   #75
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

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The spectra was silent, had to look at the gauge to see it was on. Our own spectras 1x380c and a newer cape horn you barely hear either run unlike your Honda driven rainman. We used solar / battery power to run the 150.
4 of us with dishes shower and laundry probably used 35 gal a day over a 2 month period.
Hmm lets do the math. 35galx60 days is 2100 gallons +/- ,, so your rainman would have to run let's 175+/- hours to make that much water burning lets say 1 gal of gas per 4.5 hours of run time. So just to be safe let's say wed burn 45 gallons of gas using a gas powered rain man or gasoline/ Honda driven watermaker
We used none.
Tell me again how yours is a smarter decision for long range cruising ?

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Not sure why the Spectras you are using are so much quieter. The 4 Spectras I have seen running clunk and woosh and would definitely not be described as quiet.

Now since you like math, lets do some. First our family of 5 uses 22gal/day for cooking, showers, laundry, ect. (not sure how you were using so much, we don't really conserve)

Rainman cost = $4700
Ventura cost = $6200 (best price I could get a year ago)
Difference = $1500

I run my Rainman for 5 hours per week using 3.5L of petrol. The average cost of petrol where I'm cruising (Caribbean) is $1.12/L. Thats $3.92 per week. So...

$1500/$3.92 = 382 weeks
382/52 = 7.34 years before break even

Since I will need to return to land life for my children before that, I would never see the return on investment. Of course this is assuming fuel costs remain the same, however there is still a lot of buffer as I will need to return to life in 4 years.

I can also hear you asking about the cost of the Honda as I have not factored it. Well, I would have a Honda no matter what water maker I bought. No, not buying that argument.. Ok well I'm also not factoring in the increased battery bank and solar I would have needed for the Spectra, so lets just call that a wash.

Finally.. the $3.82/week is more than worth the fact that I do not need to be on the boat babysitting my watermaker every day. Instead I need to be on the boat 1 whole day and have the other 6 free to enjoy the islands with my kids. Even if the Ventura was exactly the same price, this fact alone would make the $3.82/week worth it.

So for "MY" long range cruising (did 2000nm this year) an AC watermaker was the perfect choice.
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