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Old 12-01-2015, 05:37   #31
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Re: Watermaker

When we spent a month in the Exumas, we had 420 watts of solar, it more then kept up with our 15gph spectra, we made water for 3 hours every 3 to 4 days, and never went below half on one of our water tanks, it aso kept up with all of our power needs for a 8cu ft fridge freezer, and all our toys. The only concern was 3 Days of overcast so we motored that day and recharged batteries. Personally, I dont want to have to rely on a genset of any type, to make water. Even hondas have broken down on people and unless your boat is prepared to run a wm off an inverter you will be Sh#t outta luck, To me an effcient 12 or 24v system gives you much better reliability and dependability.

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Old 12-01-2015, 07:46   #32
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Re: Watermaker

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Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
When we spent a month in the Exumas, we had 420 watts of solar, it more then kept up with our 15gph spectra, we made water for 3 hours every 3 to 4 days, and never went below half on one of our water tanks, it aso kept up with all of our power needs for a 8cu ft fridge freezer, and all our toys. The only concern was 3 Days of overcast so we motored that day and recharged batteries. Personally, I dont want to have to rely on a genset of any type, to make water. Even hondas have broken down on people and unless your boat is prepared to run a wm off an inverter you will be Sh#t outta luck, To me an effcient 12 or 24v system gives you much better reliability and dependability.

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There are options to obtaining fresh water (buying water is one), downsides and upsides to each choice. Since, I've yet to buy a WM, it would be nice to see the various choices, the pros and cons, and then of course, the cost associated with each.

So far I've gathered:

Trying to understand the Dulcesuenos system, in a cursory look, it appears to be a $11k+ system making 15gph, before consideration of power source. With the average boat being able to support 400-600w of solar ($1500??), Dulcesuenos gets by with making water from solar as long as the sun shines. This option appears to the include the downsides pointed out my colemj, i.e., budgeting water usage, using diesel/gas to generate WM power on gray days. The upside, make water with "free" power when the sun shines, depending on cruising area selected should be the majority of the time. With proper power/water budgeting, does this option allow foregoing a generator onboard??

The second option is the system colemj installed @ $5.3k+, capable of making 30+gph plus the cost of powering it. For comparison, the strawman is to use the Honda EU2000i which has a street price of ~$1000, but could include a more expensive diesel generator @ $7k-$15k. The major downside being it requires diesel/gas/generator as the average boat solar system simply won't power it. The upside is water availability in seemingly unlimited supply (no budgeting). Want to rinse the deck with fresh water while at anchor after a passage bashing thru waves and covering the boat with salt? No problem. Rinse the anchor chain with fresh water so it doesn't lay in the locker and rot? No problem. The downside, burning fossil fuel and supporting a generator = recurring $$ spent and noise.

What am I missing???

Is the maintenance costs of the 2 WM systems different?
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:05   #33
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Re: Watermaker

I wanted to buy a spectra from Tellie, but was told they won't allow him to sell to me because they limit his customers by region. Hey Tellie, can you sell other non-spectra watermakers to people outside of FL?

Thanks for the great info in this thread, we are leaving this fall and watermaker is coming up on the short list.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:11   #34
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Re: Watermaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
There are options to obtaining fresh water (buying water is one), downsides and upsides to each choice. Since, I've yet to buy a WM, it would be nice to see the various choices, the pros and cons, and then of course, the cost associated with each.

So far I've gathered:

Trying to understand the Dulcesuenos system, in a cursory look, it appears to be a $11k+ system making 15gph, before consideration of power source. With the average boat being able to support 400-600w of solar ($1500??), Dulcesuenos gets by with making water from solar as long as the sun shines. This option appears to the include the downsides pointed out my colemj, i.e., budgeting water usage, using diesel/gas to generate WM power on gray days. The upside, make water with "free" power when the sun shines, depending on cruising area selected should be the majority of the time. With proper power/water budgeting, does this option allow foregoing a generator onboard??

The second option is the system colemj installed @ $5.3k+, capable of making 30+gph plus the cost of powering it. For comparison, the strawman is to use the Honda EU2000i which has a street price of ~$1000, but could include a more expensive diesel generator @ $7k-$15k. The major downside being it requires diesel/gas/generator as the average boat solar system simply won't power it. The upside is water availability in seemingly unlimited supply (no budgeting). Want to rinse the deck with fresh water while at anchor after a passage bashing thru waves and covering the boat with salt? No problem. Rinse the anchor chain with fresh water so it doesn't lay in the locker and rot? No problem. The downside, burning fossil fuel and supporting a generator = recurring $$ spent and noise.

What am I missing???

Is the maintenance costs of the 2 WM systems different?
Our system would be the equivalent of the capehorn extreme by spectra, around 7400.00 give or take, as the option of making 7 to gph w one pump or you can run them both, so you really have some redundancy built in, We originally spent under 1000 on solar. No generator is nice and we rarely hear the unit running.

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Old 12-01-2015, 08:56   #35
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Re: Watermaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
There are options to obtaining fresh water (buying water is one), downsides and upsides to each choice. Since, I've yet to buy a WM, it would be nice to see the various choices, the pros and cons, and then of course, the cost associated with each.

So far I've gathered:

Trying to understand the Dulcesuenos system, in a cursory look, it appears to be a $11k+ system making 15gph, before consideration of power source. With the average boat being able to support 400-600w of solar ($1500??), Dulcesuenos gets by with making water from solar as long as the sun shines. This option appears to the include the downsides pointed out my colemj, i.e., budgeting water usage, using diesel/gas to generate WM power on gray days. The upside, make water with "free" power when the sun shines, depending on cruising area selected should be the majority of the time. With proper power/water budgeting, does this option allow foregoing a generator onboard??

The second option is the system colemj installed @ $5.3k+, capable of making 30+gph plus the cost of powering it. For comparison, the strawman is to use the Honda EU2000i which has a street price of ~$1000, but could include a more expensive diesel generator @ $7k-$15k. The major downside being it requires diesel/gas/generator as the average boat solar system simply won't power it. The upside is water availability in seemingly unlimited supply (no budgeting). Want to rinse the deck with fresh water while at anchor after a passage bashing thru waves and covering the boat with salt? No problem. Rinse the anchor chain with fresh water so it doesn't lay in the locker and rot? No problem. The downside, burning fossil fuel and supporting a generator = recurring $$ spent and noise.

What am I missing???

Is the maintenance costs of the 2 WM systems different?
Good questions. The answer as in most boat related things is compromise. Startiing with "Waters available abundantly". This is true in many places and not true in others. This goes back to your cruising intentions and plans. While you may have non-stop RW intentions with your boat another cruiser with an identical boat may prefer marinas every night, and then there are all those in between from pocket cruisers to mega sailboats.
Dulcesuenos system benefits powering wise from four likely sources, 1) solar 2) generator 3) alternators 4) directly from the batteries. First solar, 400-600w of solar will run his watermaker every 2nd or 3rd day depending on how much water he needs. This leaves the 400-600w of solar to help charge the batteries the rest of the day and on the other days he's not operating his watermaker. This solar cost has to be figured for the boats entire 12V system not just the watermaker. Second the generator, this is a no brainer, run the generator for charging batteries, Air conditioning, cooling plates etc. then make water as well. You'll be making more amps than the watermaker will need. Third the alternators, though we are all pretty much sailors here if we have done extensive sailing you know that the engines are relied upon quite often so making water when you are motor sailing is another no brainier. Again making more ams than needed for making water. Fourth, if it is cloudy and over cast at the anchorage he can still make 30+ gallons at the cost of less than 40amp hours directly from the batteries without the need for an inverter. The other advantage to his system is that it also has a "LOW" power setting so he can save amp hours and still operate his watermaker long enough to make the water needed for the next few days until he either starts the engines, the sun comes out, fires up his generator, or decides he still has enough power in his battery banks to go for another watermaking run. These are some of the big advantages of 12V systems. If you rely on 110 generation alone then if it fails you are also out a watermaker unless you use a inverter which for most AC watermakers is gong to be a huge energy drain and will at the least require your engines to be operating as well.
As far as boat maintenance, wash downs and anchor chains, dive gear, fishing gear etc., this can all be done with a 12V watermaker. Though water is available many places (sometimes questionable) a watermaker frees you up from planning your route to find water. Of course using a dingy to go find water is an option for some, if your on a small boat and only need 30-50 gallons every three weeks hauling will work. But if your fresh water tankage is 200-300 gallons as is found on many modern cruising boats then I promise you, you'll only haul that much water in blue jugs once.
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:04   #36
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Re: Watermaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
Our system would be the equivalent of the capehorn extreme by spectra, around 7400.00 give or take, as the option of making 7 to gph w one pump or you can run them both, so you really have some redundancy built in, We originally spent under 1000 on solar. No generator is nice and we rarely hear the unit running.

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Thanks! I had assumed the Newport. Does the Capehorn include the second pump for that price??
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:11   #37
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Re: Watermaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
Good questions. The answer as in most boat related things is compromise. Startiing with "Waters available abundantly". This is true in many places and not true in others. This goes back to your cruising intentions and plans. While you may have non-stop RW intentions with your boat another cruiser with an identical boat may prefer marinas every night, and then there are all those in between from pocket cruisers to mega sailboats.
Dulcesuenos system benefits powering wise from four likely sources, 1) solar 2) generator 3) alternators 4) directly from the batteries. First solar, 400-600w of solar will run his watermaker every 2nd or 3rd day depending on how much water he needs. This leaves the 400-600w of solar to help charge the batteries the rest of the day and on the other days he's not operating his watermaker. This solar cost has to be figured for the boats entire 12V system not just the watermaker. Second the generator, this is a no brainer, run the generator for charging batteries, Air conditioning, cooling plates etc. then make water as well. You'll be making more amps than the watermaker will need. Third the alternators, though we are all pretty much sailors here if we have done extensive sailing you know that the engines are relied upon quite often so making water when you are motor sailing is another no brainier. Again making more ams than needed for making water. Fourth, if it is cloudy and over cast at the anchorage he can still make 30+ gallons at the cost of less than 40amp hours directly from the batteries without the need for an inverter. The other advantage to his system is that it also has a "LOW" power setting so he can save amp hours and still operate his watermaker long enough to make the water needed for the next few days until he either starts the engines, the sun comes out, fires up his generator, or decides he still has enough power in his battery banks to go for another watermaking run. These are some of the big advantages of 12V systems. If you rely on 110 generation alone then if it fails you are also out a watermaker unless you use a inverter which for most AC watermakers is gong to be a huge energy drain and will at the least require your engines to be operating as well.
As far as boat maintenance, wash downs and anchor chains, dive gear, fishing gear etc., this can all be done with a 12V watermaker. Though water is available many places (sometimes questionable) a watermaker frees you up from planning your route to find water. Of course using a dingy to go find water is an option for some, if your on a small boat and only need 30-50 gallons every three weeks hauling will work. But if your fresh water tankage is 200-300 gallons as is found on many modern cruising boats then I promise you, you'll only haul that much water in blue jugs once.
Thanks Tellie! All good points to consider in evaluating a WM......
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:24   #38
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Re: Watermaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
There are options to obtaining fresh water (buying water is one), downsides and upsides to each choice. Since, I've yet to buy a WM, it would be nice to see the various choices, the pros and cons, and then of course, the cost associated with each.

So far I've gathered:

Trying to understand the Dulcesuenos system, in a cursory look, it appears to be a $11k+ system making 15gph, before consideration of power source. With the average boat being able to support 400-600w of solar ($1500??), Dulcesuenos gets by with making water from solar as long as the sun shines. This option appears to the include the downsides pointed out my colemj, i.e., budgeting water usage, using diesel/gas to generate WM power on gray days. The upside, make water with "free" power when the sun shines, depending on cruising area selected should be the majority of the time. With proper power/water budgeting, does this option allow foregoing a generator onboard??

The second option is the system colemj installed @ $5.3k+, capable of making 30+gph plus the cost of powering it. For comparison, the strawman is to use the Honda EU2000i which has a street price of ~$1000, but could include a more expensive diesel generator @ $7k-$15k. The major downside being it requires diesel/gas/generator as the average boat solar system simply won't power it. The upside is water availability in seemingly unlimited supply (no budgeting). Want to rinse the deck with fresh water while at anchor after a passage bashing thru waves and covering the boat with salt? No problem. Rinse the anchor chain with fresh water so it doesn't lay in the locker and rot? No problem. The downside, burning fossil fuel and supporting a generator = recurring $$ spent and noise.

What am I missing???

Is the maintenance costs of the 2 WM systems different?
The important thing I think people seemed to have missed in my post was that I recommended either an energy-recovery DC watermaker like Spectra or Schenker, or a high-output AC unit.

What I specifically recommended against was a high-amp and/or low output DC watermaker. These make no sense at all, except in very rare cases or for people who really do use very little water. We meet few people of that last category out cruising, and when we do, they either have no watermaker, or an undersized one. We have yet to meet any of those who say they would not like more water - although we have met a couple of them who approach ascetic use of water almost militantly. We have a catamaran just so we can anchor upwind of those type.

I will go a bit further and say that if your needs are greater than ~12-15gph, AC systems are the only way to go - no DC system makes sense here.

If we had a Spectra 15gph like Dulcesuenos, we would not have bought an AC system - we would have been energy/water balanced with that system like they are. But understand - we were NOT energy/water balanced with a 6gph non-energy recovery system.

Think about that - it is the crux of this whole thing. In fact, we have met very few people that are energy/water balanced with a non-energy recovery DC watermaker, and these people usually meet that balance by severely limiting their water usage (relatively). They are the ones washing dishes in salt water, bathing in salt water, running up a river to do laundry, jugging extra water when available, etc. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that - but be very sure this matches your needs and desires.

When it came time to make a change, we considered the two options - Spectra vs HO AC. We have the ability and redundancy to operate an HO AC system and this made the best sense for us. A slight change in our desires and existing equipment would have swung the decision toward a Spectra.

Price should not be the major consideration here. Saving $2k on a system that isn't balanced with your needs or equipment isn't a good savings.

I can't imagine the maintenance costs are different between the two because, despite the opinions of all the non-watermaker owning "experts", we have found there really is almost no maintenance to do with watermakers. Changing a canister filter every couple of months? Changing pump oil every couple of years? Slapping in a new membrane every 5-10 years? These are the only maintenance we have needed to do on two watermakers over the past 8 years - and each of those tasks take between 1-30 minutes.

The most trouble we see out cruising with watermakers are those with a lot of automated features. I don't think we have met a Spectra owner whose automated features have not given them problems. However, these are easily jumped around and don't prevent them from making water. The problems are just a nuisance when they happen - and when they work most of the time, they are very convenient.

Now if you will excuse me, the wind finally stopped screaming here today and the boat is full of salt from the waves crashing over the reef the past two weeks - I'm going out to drown the boat with fresh water.

That always pisses off the others in the anchorage, and I hear about it for days...

Mark
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:39   #39
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Re: Watermaker

I can recommend Spectra and Village Marine.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:45   #40
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Re: Watermaker

My experience with Village Marine is that they became a horror show after Parker bought them. VERY bad experiences with them after that - including voiding all existing warranties and changing VM's lifetime warranty on the pump to a 30 day one.

And they are all proprietary parts - pumps, membranes, etc. You will pay through the nose for replacements/parts.

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Old 12-01-2015, 12:19   #41
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Re: Watermaker

What is driving me toward an AC system is two things.
1. I think the wife and I will like cruising more if things get get unbearably hot, humid and windless and I can run an AC to cool things down for a little especially if the flying teeth are out and they seem to come out on hot, windless nights.
2. Just doing the numbers with the Solar that I have room for, I just can't make the energy budget work, not with washing clothes etc., watermaker takes me into a deficit.

So since I'm going to have a generator anyway, an AC watermaker makes sense to me, maybe more so that running a DC watermaker, but using a generator or the main engine Alternator to charge the batteries, either way I'm burning Diesel. But surely there is no need to make water more than once a week or so, maybe twice if your feeling real wasteful?

Note, I'm Marks armchair non-watermaker owner, but I don't think the numbers lie
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Old 12-01-2015, 13:35   #42
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Re: Watermaker

Dotdun, yes at that price the capehorn extreme includes 2 pumps,
A64pilot not saying AC or DC is right or wrong, but if you go AC id recommend you have a way to run the wm off an inverter, and be able to recharge batteries off the engines just in case the genny gives you issues. As tellie pointed out, I really prefer the 12v as we have 5 ways to run ours, batteries solar, 2 engines w alternators, or a genny if need be.
We like to be off grid when we cut dock lines, and don't plan on being around shore power too often... larger vessels w more dependable gensets etc , an AC system makes sense, but so may a 24volt system also.

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Old 12-01-2015, 14:01   #43
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Re: Watermaker

A64--you have many ways to produce 12 volts; only one way to produce 115 volts. A/C makes no sense.

And you don't wait until your tanks are empty to make water. Whenever you have excess D/C power available (motoring, running the gen set, ...) you make water and top off the tanks.
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Old 12-01-2015, 14:33   #44
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Re: Watermaker

My issue with 12V is I won't have enough Solar, just don't expect any excess, I think I'll be doing good to just keep up, but I do plan conservatevly. Right now I have three generators, two Honda's. I'll be getting rid of one. They just didn't work out as well as I hoped. Nothing wrong with them, just with CO being an issue, plus hauling them both out of the Lazerette, extended run fuel, well it was just more work that I wanted to do repeatedly.
So I'll have three sources of AC power, two Generators and an Invertor, which would take the main engine's alternator to keep up. I'll not add a wind generator, I'd rather listen to a generator during the day than one of those things randomly 24/7.

Plus I'm not getting a watermaker until just before we go, so I have time yet to change my mind and go with a Spectra.
Just from what I gather my best choices are Cruise RO or Spectra.


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Old 12-01-2015, 14:37   #45
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Re: Watermaker

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A64--you have many ways to produce 12 volts; only one way to produce 115 volts. A/C makes no sense.

And you don't wait until your tanks are empty to make water. Whenever you have excess D/C power available (motoring, running the gen set, ...) you make water and top off the tanks.
You can use an AC WM during these activities also.

The major difference I see is the 12v power recovery systems are considerably more effcient than the AC based systems. Does an extra pint of diesel per XX gal. of water generation make a difference?
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