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Old 26-10-2009, 13:09   #31
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Not to be a hijacker, but there sure does seem to be an abundant affection for the spectra. Noted. So a question to you guys: Any one with an opinion/experience on the SK watermaker??
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Old 26-10-2009, 14:44   #32
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Originally Posted by syoder View Post
Beauty of the Spectra 150 is that, as long as you stick to the basic specs regarding height above waterline, etc, you can mount it pretty much any way you like. The Clark pump can be mounted in any position. I have my control unit (with the feed pump, etc.) mounted under my galley sink and the Clark pump mounted under a settee seat. You can even remove the feed pump from the control unit and mount it separately if you like. Very flexible system which is why we chose it for our 28' space-challenged boat.

-Steve

Steve is correct. The neat thing, as he says, is that you can mount the Clark pump from any unit in any position that fits. Upside down, cattywampus, sideways and at any angle. Try that with a Cat type pump.
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Old 26-10-2009, 15:09   #33
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Watermaker Choices.....

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Originally Posted by Geoff H. View Post
I'm getting ready to shop around for a watermaker; planning on leaving the dock at Christmas. Wondering if anyone wants to help steer my decision. ............
I also have 6 85watt solar panels so could go with 12v. I have just over 100 gals. capacity in tankage......
Geoff,
I need to compliment you.....Since you're still around asking questions, you're doing the right thing!!!!

As for the answer to your questions....

1) Go with a 12v unit.....
No question at all, for your application and your set-up (solar, etc.) a 12 volt watermaker is probably the best choice.....
That's an easy answer....


But, here are two questions/answers that take a bit more time....
2) What size, and how much to spend????
3) What brand / model?????

For the detailed answers, please have a look at an article and photos, that I wrote a couple years ago, regarding my watermaker choice (and reasons) and installation.....
Watermaker


For the short answers:

2) Choose the size of watermaker based on:
a) your water use,
b) the locations that you'll be cruising/sailing in, and
c) so that you will USE it at least every 5 days......(hopefully every 3 days)

3) Go with Spectra....and you'll be happy......


I have a Spectra Ventura MPC-5000......makes about 7 gal / hour, and draws about 8 amps.....
I can make as much water as I need......and no need to an engine nor genset.....


If you have any more questions....please ask....

Fair winds...

John
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Old 26-10-2009, 15:55   #34
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IF you are charging your batteries with the engine, and you buy the right size watermaker, then just run it while the engine is running each day... noise wont be an issue! IF you are all solar....then that may be an issue....
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Old 26-10-2009, 16:10   #35
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i'm still trying to figure out the 12v/vs110. I like the idea of having neither motors running, not making as much in an hr, but so what, letting the unit run whenever its sunny enough and there'd be plenty left over to charge my batteries..... BUT, EVERYONE'S (you know, all the guys on my dock who watch over everything I do like they own the boat), biggest concern/warning is that: if I'm anchored or moored or docked in most harbors in the world I won't want to run it at all poor water quality, and therefore having a maximum output per hr would be advantageous, take advantage of good water quality when I can and just get it done.
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Old 26-10-2009, 16:11   #36
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... was supposed to say because of the poor water quality of so many places, there will be plenty of times when it'd be a real advantage to be able to make water and get it done with.
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Old 26-10-2009, 16:17   #37
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Hey Ka4waja,
Thanks for the nice words. I really want this thing to be a good decision. I'm so excited about getting out there I can hardly stand it. I installed a Isotherm SP fridge/freezer last year, and really worked hard on the design/research/choice of system part of the whole process, and it turned out really well for me, i.e. I resisted my natural tendency to rush everything, so I'm trying for patience with this decision also.... and it's a lot more fun than what I get paid to do at work if you know what I mean.
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Old 26-10-2009, 16:28   #38
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OK, about the water quality issue. The only thing that will kill the membrane in the water maker is oil. If you are in a harbor that has oil then do not make water unless you have an oil separator on the unit. No bacteria is small enough to pass the membrane so it is not a worry. Instead of listening to all the dockside "experts" call Spectra or the watermaker you want to use. The biggest issue I have in dirty harbors is that the 5 micron filter gets very dirty and needs to be replaced more often. And yes I drink the water and no I do not have a third eye.
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Old 26-10-2009, 16:38   #39
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John, (Ka4wja)
Do you find that you feel safe making water while you leave the boat unattended, or do you have to hang close; at 7 gph I'm thinking I'd have to run it quite a bit. No problem when you're sailing, but I imagine that cruising also means a lot of sitting in big city bays, (Sydney, Rio, Hong Kong,) as well as gorgeous far flung coves I've never heard of. I'm going to your link WATERMAKER now. Thanks.
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Old 26-10-2009, 16:42   #40
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John,
Just read your excellent article. Your bringing me back to where I started, the instinct then was to go with 12v, and just run it a lot. I was attracted to the VM Little Wonder, and the Spectra. I don't have any space issues re: mounting. But I am still concerned with access to good quality sea water.
Re: automatic/vs manual, my thinking is that I would prefer to always be in manual mode, will have to flush after every use. If I do this, will I still want/need to have a auto flush, say for when I travel away from the boat for any duration?
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Old 26-10-2009, 16:46   #41
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Scott,
I already have a third eye, I just don't want it to go blind.
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Old 26-10-2009, 16:54   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
But, here are two questions/answers that take a bit more time....
2) What size, and how much to spend????
3) What brand / model?????

For the detailed answers, please have a look at an article and photos, that I wrote a couple years ago, regarding my watermaker choice (and reasons) and installation.....
Watermaker


John
Nice article!
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Old 26-10-2009, 17:54   #43
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Watermaker Use....

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Originally Posted by Geoff H. View Post
John, (Ka4wja)
Do you find that you feel safe making water while you leave the boat unattended, or do you have to hang close; at 7 gph I'm thinking I'd have to run it quite a bit. No problem when you're sailing, but I imagine that cruising also means a lot of sitting in big city bays.
Geoff,

1) If you take away only one thing from all of this, please let it be this:

Watermakers NEED to be used.......and the most common cause of watermaker failure is lack of use.....

The MORE you use them, the BETTER they last (and better they work).....

This is huge point that is almost never talked about when sailors discuss watermakers.....
This is why I make such a big deal about the choice of watermaker (size/model) for YOU, must be based on YOUR application......
NOT based on mine, nor others.....


2) As for do I use the watermaker in port......Yes....
Do I have a concern......No....
If the water is clean enough to swim under and clean the prop, etc. it is more than clean enough for watermaker use.....

But what about those places where I'd NOT go in the water????
If you have the raw water inlet dep enough under the waterline, you're unlikely to pick up much surface oil, which is the only concern for watermaker membrane damage......

And, as others have noted, when in slity (or just dirty / fouled) harbors without much surface oil......the only problem is the pre-filters do require cleaning and/or replacement much more often.....

3) As for "automatic" mode.....On my Ventura MPC-5000, that's the way I always use it....(although the manual mode is there if needed)

I'll press the auto-run button 4 or 5 times, and it'll make water for 4 - 5 hours and do a fresh-water flush and then go into stand-by mode and ready for the next time.....

And, the "auto-flush" cycle works just fine.....as long as I've got enough water on board for the flushes (about 3.5 gal per flush), it will fresh-water flush itself, all on its own, every 5 days (120 hours)...whether anyone is on board or not......
(this is another nice, but pricey feature......you decide if it's worth the $$$ for yourself....)


Good luck....

And, Keegan, thanks for the compliments...

John
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Old 26-10-2009, 19:11   #44
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Everything that John said....

And - I took out a 110v watermaker for a Spectra primarily because of the noise. The old one was louder than the genset - like a jackhammer. I mounted the already quiet Spectra pump in the insulated engine room. I can hardly hear it.

I think of 36 gallons of watermaker water as 45 amp/hrs (12v). This is a small part of my 200 amp/hr battery charger. If I'm really paying attention, I'll start a three hour watermaker run 2 hours before I start the genset. But frankly, the battery draw of the Spectra isn't enough to schedule around. I also run it whenever I'm under power.

I make water in the harbor but prefer to make it underway because there's less filter clogging plankton. Clogged filters are really the only part of watermakers I don't like. In some areas with high plankton levels, filters will clog in four hours in other places they will go a month. Maine was the worst I ever saw.

I have and use the automatic functions on the Spectra just like John (one push for each hour of watermaking). If the automatic control should break (it hasn't), it's fairly easy to wire around it an make water the old fashion way (I carry an inexpensive hand salinity meter for that eventuality)

The biggest surprise with a watermaker is the amount of water you'll use. I used to make 50 gallons last for for over a week with four people aboard, now that's gone in two days. It's wonderful!

Carl
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Old 26-10-2009, 19:28   #45
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Quote:
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Everything that John said....

And - I took out a 110v watermaker for a Spectra primarily because of the noise. The old one was louder than the genset - like a jackhammer. I mounted the already quiet Spectra pump in the insulated engine room. I can hardly hear it.

I think of 36 gallons of watermaker water as 45 amp/hrs (12v). This is a small part of my 200 amp/hr battery charger. If I'm really paying attention, I'll start a three hour watermaker run 2 hours before I start the genset. But frankly, the battery draw of the Spectra isn't enough to schedule around. I also run it whenever I'm under power.

I make water in the harbor but prefer to make it underway because there's less filter clogging plankton. Clogged filters are really the only part of watermakers I don't like. In some areas with high plankton levels, filters will clog in four hours in other places they will go a month. Maine was the worst I ever saw.

I have and use the automatic functions on the Spectra just like John (one push for each hour of watermaking). If the automatic control should break (it hasn't), it's fairly easy to wire around it an make water the old fashion way (I carry an inexpensive hand salinity meter for that eventuality)

The biggest surprise with a watermaker is the amount of water you'll use. I used to make 50 gallons last for for over a week with four people aboard, now that's gone in two days. It's wonderful!

Carl
Just a quick note Carl. On your VT150 there is a toggle switch located on the white bracket right next to your feed pump. On the MPC5000 units the toggle positions should say AUTO/OFF/RUN If your MPC5000 fails for any reason, just flip the toggle to RUN and the unit will automatically bypass the MPC5000. No need to wire around anything. One of the things we designed into our watermakers that use the MPC5000 units is the ability for the owner to bypass the electronics if they fail so you can always make water.
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