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.