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Old 15-04-2010, 04:08   #1
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Sorry Again: Small Watermaker ?

Sorry for posting this again, but with the search function I did not get an answer on my question:

We have a 34feet boat, too little water tanks, no possibility to install an additional tank, therefore we are thinking about a water maker,

small (just for drinking water of a couple), preferably hand operated,

the PUR 35 or 40 would be one choice, however the reports about it in European forums are not so good, as complicated and expensive in spare parts.

Has anybody of you an idea of a small watermaker of US production ?

Details of my boat you can see on my website.
Thanks to all a lot for some assistance.

"Keep on sailing"
Joefloki, Vienna-Austria (European Union)
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Old 15-04-2010, 07:25   #2
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I have a very good pdf for you to read which entails how to build your own. The high pressure pump is just basically a "high pressure washer" unit with a reverse osmosis membrane. For a "small" unit that makes around 50 gpd you coulod easily do it for around $1000USD.
Email me and I will send it back in return reply.

anyone else who wants one just ask. it's free.

I've already sent out several and the reply comments are very favorable. I didn't create it but I do have it and will be most happy to send it along for anyone wishing to do their own watermaker or just want to see how they work and how to operate one.

the perfect dive boat is one you're on...
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Old 15-04-2010, 08:28   #3
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Thanks, I have just now sent you my email !
"Keep on sailing"
Joefloki, Vienna-Austria (European Union)
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Old 18-05-2010, 18:35   #4
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Small Watermakers

I only know of one watermaker company that produces a "small" watermaker: Katadyn. Their model PowerSurvivor 40E (which replaced the original model 35 some years ago) is rated at 1.5 gal./hr. at 4 amps (12VDC). The model 80E produces ~3.5 gal./hr. at 8 amps.

Yes, there have been a lot of negative comments about the models 35 & 40E, and some of it was justified. However, virtually all of those complaints were about the watermakers produced by Recovery Engineering almost a decade ago and marketed under the PUR brand name.

Some years ago, the Swiss company Katadyn bought the PUR watermaker division from its then-owner, Proctor & Gamble. Katadyn immediately went to work and corrected the design flaws that plagued the original Recovery Engineering products. Katadyn watermakers (PowerSurvivor 40E and 80E) have since established a very good reputation. Their customer support is now also first-class.

I don't know of any other major watermaker company that offers a unit less than about 5-6 gal./hr. We cruised for almost fifteen years and made ALL of our water with Katadyn 40Es. With our average daily consumption of about 5 gal./day, we were completely satisfied. The 40E is also unique in the marketplace in being able to be manually operated in the event of an emergency or failure of the ship's electrical system.

I should admit that I was the "cruising evangelist" for PUR/Katadyn watermakers for thirteen years. I wrote a book about them and rewrote the user's manuals for Katadyn when they took over. You can find much information about them (as well as my original book and PDF versions of the 40E manual) on a website I've create about them. Visit www(dot)katadyn(dot)ishipaco(dot)com for more info than you probably ever wanted.

The most important thing to consider first is your projected water needs. Keep in mind that watermakers like to be run often; that greatly minimizes routine maintenance. In my opinion, if your needs exceed the capacity of any watermaker producing 10gal./hr. or more, you should be considering something other than a 12VDC-powered unit; the drain on your batteries becomes onerous.

If you have any questions about Katadyn watermakers, feel free to email me at powersurvivorhelp(at)ishipaco(dot)com.
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Old 18-05-2010, 18:52   #5
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Originally Posted by ishipaco View Post

Keep in mind that watermakers like to be run often; that greatly minimizes routine maintenance.


35 years in industrial water treatment here. Large scale (as much as 200 million gallons a day in Saudi).

I will add that. Long runs produce better water. Point is, small unit will run longer than than big. But regardless, run it often.
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Old 18-05-2010, 19:59   #6
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R.O. Watermakers are downright expensive these days primarily because everybody wants one. The oldest and most tried and tested unit is the 12VDC "Little Wonder" by Village Marine Tech in Ft. Lauderdale. You can Google it and find prices all over the map but generally they are in the US$5K range. Other units will work but how often they made need repairs or cease working is highly variable. More powerful 12VDC units are available but the prices rapidly escalate.
- - 10 years ago I bought my R.O.Machine for US$2.5K - now the exact same unit sells for US$8K.
- - It is possible to make your own but it is rather involved. Buying a used unit on eBay or other used marine products seller is also a good option even if you have to buy new membranes or do some repairs.
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Old 19-05-2010, 06:22   #7
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Ishipaco (Gary Albers) is the definitive resource on PowerSurvivor R/O Watertmakers.
Goto Katadyn and PUR Watermakers: Installation, Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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