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Old 09-10-2018, 11:02   #1
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Spectra vs. Schenker Watermakers

About to pull the trigger, most likely on s Spectra unit. Due diligence (as if I ever pay attention to that!) has me curious about Schenker units, specifically the 60. FWIW, two people, occasionally four if they bring alcohol.

Thanks.
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:47   #2
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Spectra vs. Schenker Watermakers

Where are you, and where will you cruise?
Parts availability is as big to me as initial quality, no matter how good, everything breaks.
That and support, do you have a contact with them, like we do with Tellie, where you can pick up the phone and talk to THE expert?

Being able to call the no kidding person that can actually make warranty decisions and or get me a part shipped TODAY is worth more than money to me, that and having the knowledge to troubleshoot and maybe even suggest a temporary work around.
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:51   #3
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Re: Spectra vs. Schenker Watermakers

I went through this same process. Take a look at the owner's manuals. Specifically, look at what's included vs. accessories. It seemed to me the Schenker was more expensive compared to the Spectra. I could barely read Schenker's "Google translate" sentences, no pictures..... Having said that, the Schenker unit looks amazing - high-tech, carbon-fiber, more efficient, more output. Claims it is an improvement on the Clark pump.

I ultimately decided on the Spectra mostly due to our sailing plans - the Spectra units are more popular and I believe parts and service are more readily available. The only US Schenker distributor is in Miami. There are good "boat-show" prices now on the Spectra.

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Old 10-10-2018, 04:49   #4
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Re: Spectra vs. Schenker Watermakers

I realize itís neither of the brands you mentioned, but SeaWater Pro R/O units are rather affordable and use no proprietary parts, making for less expensive maintenance. Also adjustable pressure to accommodate brackish or fresh water. Not as energy efficient as your first choices.

No affiliation, just stuff I learned doing my research.
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Old 10-10-2018, 05:08   #5
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Re: Spectra vs. Schenker Watermakers

Actually Schenker's USA distributor, the only one I know of is in For Lauderdale.

  • Titan Marine Air
  • Address: 280 SW 33rd Ct, Fort Lauderdale
WARNING Cheap plug ahead.


But look at that! Literally one block away at 293 SW 33rd St. Fort Lauderdale there is a really good looking guy who knows a thing or two about Spectras. I've known him all my life and he will be more than happy to spend all the time in the world with you. It might be worth visiting him to compare the two units before you decide to buy.
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Old 10-10-2018, 05:21   #6
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Re: Spectra vs. Schenker Watermakers

Our last boat had a Spectra Ventura 150. It made about 70,000L. The only parts needed other than filters was a new low pressure feed pump, which is a standard wear item.

I think Spectra have produced the technology long enough to iron out the bugs.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:38   #7
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Re: Spectra vs. Schenker Watermakers

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Where are you, and where will you cruise?
Parts availability is as big to me as initial quality, no matter how good, everything breaks.
That and support, do you have a contact with them, like we do with Tellie, where you can pick up the phone and talk to THE expert?

Being able to call the no kidding person that can actually make warranty decisions and or get me a part shipped TODAY is worth more than money to me, that and having the knowledge to troubleshoot and maybe even suggest a temporary work around.

That's why I am favouring Rich Boren, a vendor here. The guy makes straightforward units and he answers the phone. For the record, so does the owner of Newfound Metals, who will talk your ear off about boat stuff even on his own 1-800 dime.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:45   #8
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Re: Spectra vs. Schenker Watermakers

Thanks, kids. I can successfully check the “Did I go through the steps necessary to decide on the unit I already selected in my head?” Box.

I know Rich through the forum and SSCA and appreciate his knowledge and and gear, but we’re looking at DC systems (my fault for not clarifying in the OP).
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:05   #9
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Re: Spectra vs. Schenker Watermakers

We originally had a Schenker that had been neglected. We tried to recommision it, but that proved very difficult in the USA. Parts were not easily available.

In the end we removed the Schenker and ended up with a Rainman. Was a great descision as our Rainman has been fantastic for the last three years. Anytime we have needed support, Seatask answered within minutes..

However, if you are looking at DC units, then Spectra and Tellie would be a great choice.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:05   #10
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Re: Spectra vs. Schenker Watermakers

We've used our Spectra Catalina 300 pretty hard for 10 years. Had to replace one flow sensor, and then part of the clark pump that developed a crack. Zero problem finding technicians and parts in the Eastern Caribbean and also in the ABCs. Still on the original membrane, and making 14 gal/hr at 200 ppm salinity or less.
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Old 10-10-2018, 14:33   #11
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Re: Spectra vs. Schenker Watermakers

I have a Spectra Catalina 300 watermaker, now 13 years old. In 2009 when the boat and watermaker were 3 years old, the clark pump failed about 3 days before I was planning to leave Las Palmas to sail across the Atlantic. The watermaker was no longer in warranty, but Spectra got a new clark pump from California to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria in time for me to depart as scheduled. They only charged me for the shipping. I've had other times when I needed tech support, which I have always been able to get without a long wait from knowledgeable staff. I'm a Spectra believer.
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Old 10-10-2018, 14:52   #12
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Re: Spectra vs. Schenker Watermakers

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
That's why I am favouring Rich Boren, a vendor here. The guy makes straightforward units and he answers the phone. For the record, so does the owner of Newfound Metals, who will talk your ear off about boat stuff even on his own 1-800 dime.


I have a cruise RO myself.
However itís not really comparable to a Spectra, really very different use case, in my opinion, the Cruise RO only makes sense with a generator, you canít realistically run one from Solar. I decided I wanted a generator, so a Cruise RO was for me a good fit.
A Spectra you can run from Solar, you donít need a generator
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Old 10-10-2018, 16:37   #13
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Re: Spectra vs. Schenker Watermakers

If you are ever close to the So FL area you can PM Tellie (here) or give him a call and see if he has any classes coming up. I did that and my wife and I attended a 'most' all day Saturday class. You come away with a really good understanding of the units and a feel for Tellie as an individual.

Worth the trip and the time.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:00   #14
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Re: Spectra vs. Schenker Watermakers

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Where are you, and where will you cruise?
Parts availability is as big to me as initial quality, no matter how good, everything breaks.
That and support, do you have a contact with them, like we do with Tellie, where you can pick up the phone and talk to THE expert?

Being able to call the no kidding person that can actually make warranty decisions and or get me a part shipped TODAY is worth more than money to me, that and having the knowledge to troubleshoot and maybe even suggest a temporary work around.
I am busy with a new semi custom build ..... comes standard with a Schenker ..... based on my research and the service and info i got from Tellie I went with the Spectra Newport 400. Boat splashes next year so cant comment on the unit yet as it has not yet been fitted
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Old 22-10-2018, 19:01   #15
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Re: Spectra vs. Schenker Watermakers

The decision to purchase, which started this thread may have been made already, but for any body else doing the research. I have been using a Schenker 60 l/hr DC unit for 2.5 years now. We use it for cruising seasonally and it gets 4-5 hours use in season and is lightly used the rest of the time. The Schenker unit has been a continual project keeping it running. The top block needs a dissemble clean and lube approx every 3 months and the lower unit about every 6 months. It does about 50 l/hr in reality. I have replaced one pump, repaired the electrics and replaced the entire 0-ring set to keep it running and prevent trips. The technical back up is slow or not al all. When one does get a reply its not helpful and denial and no liability is the common thread. This unit is certainly not low maintenance as claimed. Our unit is well looked after and the unit is used in accordance with its design intension and maintenance schedules. I would never purchase a Schenker unit again. As it stands I have been chasing a reply for about 4 months now. Don't be fooled by the cool look, its what inside that counts.
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