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Old 25-01-2011, 08:16   #61
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When I built my first three watermakers I made a ton of mistakes that could have been avoided had I talked to the right people who really knew watermakers because they sold, installed and serviced them. But I do have a stubborn streak, so says the Missus. Even though I'd love for you to buy a watermaker from me I always help people with their builds and try to guide them in the right direction by making them ask the right questions.
AAHHhhhh Tellie---- Are you hinting that people who purchase the DIY watermaker book cannot build a 60gal/hour watermaker for less than $700???

Next, you're going to proclaim "THERE IS NO EASTER BUNNY!!!"

Yes, I am having a great time in this project started back in October, not a full time effort, but time spent anyway. I for one do not begrudge watermaker companies from making a profit while they make fine machines. And yes, building a maker is not rocket science, nor for that matter is building most things today.

Most people are ill prepared to take on one of these projects, I have never recommended anyone do so, I would not be willing to hold his hand through his design and component purchase phase. They still require in depth research at least from my perspective. Even sizing the needed motor, matching it to a pump requires knowledge of fluid dynamics. And in my particular case, I elected to purchase a brass pump that absoutely will require a good flush after every use. This is so important, I want that to be automatic and not trust to my forgetting to do it. All the commercial units that I saw had SS pump heads.

I hope many learn things from my semitechnical thread by gaining an understanding, limited though it may be, of what goes into a project of this magnitude. Even though I am well along in both component selection/purchase and design, the design is still in flux as you can tell be just reading my rescent posts. Gordie's post sometime ago still echos ----- "you need great plumbing skills!" My plumbing challenge is still in the future.

Anybody building a watermaker or for that matter anything, should be doing it for the right reason, not to save a couple of bucks.

Foggy
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Old 25-01-2011, 14:00   #62
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Anybody building a watermaker or for that matter anything, should be doing it for the right reason, not to save a couple of bucks.

Foggy[/QUOTE]


Great line Foggy, one of the best lines on DIY projects I've read.


Oh, and while the Easter Bunny's existance may be debatable. My sister still sends me every year a package of yellow and pink Peeps. Love those damned things.
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Old 25-01-2011, 20:28   #63
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Saving 9,000 dollars is the right reason, if it means getting off the treadmill, and getting out there, much sooner. Cruising plans die the deth of a thousand cuts , and $9,000 is not a small cut by any means .
A water maker is a pump, a few fittings and valves, a primary filtre, a membrane in a housing, a pressure gauge, new hydraulic hoses, and a few valves. Engine driven greatly simplifies things. I didn't find building mine complicated by any means. The main learning curve was to keep air bubbles out of the sytem.
I wouldn't consider paying someone $9K to have such fun for me. That is what makes some people' cruising so expensive
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Old 26-01-2011, 06:24   #64
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I don't argue your points Brent. I've followed you for a few years. I've always admired your skills and obvious self dependency rarely seen in these times. But few people can do what you do. I've always been impressed with your abilities and thought I would enjoy nothing more than to sit in your shop and watch you work. I have recommended many people to both buy your book and read your writings. Many have and learned much, I know I have.
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Old 26-01-2011, 18:03   #65
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Too many people underestimate themselves, and their capabilities.
Nothing complicated about it.
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Old 04-02-2011, 13:01   #66
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I see my last post in this thread was almost a year ago. I can now report that our membranes are still doing good and 2 months shy of being 8 years old. Never pickled, just fresh water flush after every use. For periods we don't use it, I flush them every 2-4 weeks. I have sometimes forgotten to flush for 2 months with no ill effects.

So, what is the record for membrane life here at cruisers forum? Telly? :-)
I have a feeling I'm gonna need new pressure vessels when I need new membranes!

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 04-02-2011, 14:10   #67
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I cannot think of a better way to KILL your diesel engine than to set up your boat such that your engine ends up spending the bulk of its run time at low load and rpm either making water, power or both.

Running your diesel at 1200 rpm or so frequently is horrible for it. I know. My previous Yanmar 4JH2-HTE died an ugly death at 3800 hours because the majority of its running was done at anchor at 1200 rpms generating electricity. The replacement engine ran over $17K by the time it was all done.

Save $9K????? I purchased a Cape Horn Extreme model Spectra watermaker from Tellie for FAR FAR less than this... under $6K (though that was some time back). It is DC powered, uses surprising low amounts of power (solar panels ran it no sweat) put out 14 GPH and was incredibly reliable, plus it had the Spectra warranties.

Lets say that building your own watermaker (something I seriously considered and I did buy plans and all) saves you $3500 or more. When it comes time to sell the boat, whats worth more? Billy-Bobs homemade watermaker or the Spectra unit with a lifetime warranty on the Clark pump? I believe that whatever up front savings you may get (and if you put any value on your time at all your really not saving anything anyway) is lost when you sell the boat.

YMMV


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Old 04-02-2011, 16:28   #68
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I have my DIY watermaker up and running, works great.

I used the Leo Litchfield plans and general advise from Brent Swain.
I used a petrol pressure washer (6.5 Hp) with a brass pump, 2 x 2 .5 X 40 inch Filmtec membranes a shurflo feed pump and primary filter 5 micron (washable)
I get 1/3 fresh water and 2/3 brine water.
I used a gate valve as a pressure regulator but I will swap for a needle valve.
All up under $2,000 in Australia.
With two 40inch membrane I get very good flow, and I will run it for an hour or so once a week, I guess.
I agree with Brent Swain, once you understand the technology involved it is really quite simple, and having made the system it will be easy to repair if necessary.
If you understand the concept you don't need all the bells and whistles, and you save a bundle.
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Old 10-02-2011, 16:52   #69
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I cannot think of a better way to KILL your diesel engine than to set up your boat such that your engine ends up spending the bulk of its run time at low load and rpm either making water, power or both.

Running your diesel at 1200 rpm or so frequently is horrible for it. I know. My previous Yanmar 4JH2-HTE died an ugly death at 3800 hours because the majority of its running was done at anchor at 1200 rpms generating electricity. The replacement engine ran over $17K by the time it was all done.

Save $9K????? I purchased a Cape Horn Extreme model Spectra watermaker from Tellie for FAR FAR less than this... under $6K (though that was some time back). It is DC powered, uses surprising low amounts of power (solar panels ran it no sweat) put out 14 GPH and was incredibly reliable, plus it had the Spectra warranties.

Lets say that building your own watermaker (something I seriously considered and I did buy plans and all) saves you $3500 or more. When it comes time to sell the boat, whats worth more? Billy-Bobs homemade watermaker or the Spectra unit with a lifetime warranty on the Clark pump? I believe that whatever up front savings you may get (and if you put any value on your time at all your really not saving anything anyway) is lost when you sell the boat.

YMMV


Terry
It's not all that uncommon for people to spend an extra $40 K on a boat, to increase the resale price by $20K, a net loss of $20K
The problem , as I point out in my book, is people too often fail to differentiate between resale price and resale value.Resale price is what you can get for a boat. Resale value is the difference between what you can get for her, and what she cost you in the first place.
With the used boat market so glutted at the moment, it can be self delusional to believe you will get out of an expensive boat what you put into her. The more expensive the boat, the greater the loss.
Best keep it simple, and minimize your losses, or possibly even turn a profit. My last boat sold for more than 5 times what she cost me. The first 31 I built sold for more than 3 times what the owner had in her.
The higher the initial price, the smaller the gap, until it becomes a money losing proposition.
An engine driven watermaker can be pulleyed to run at the cruising speed of the engine. Most prefer to leave the harbour, for cleaner water outside, before making water, anyway.
My 540 gallon per day watermaker cost me around $700.
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Old 10-02-2011, 17:32   #70
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I had a Pur 40-E and ran it with solar panels. Made enough for me. It was a labor intensive little thing though. I suppose they all are. I'd buy another if the time comes that I need one. Small dependable, simple. Who needs all the gauges and computers that you see in the others anyway
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Old 10-02-2011, 18:59   #71
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Too many people underestimate themselves, and their capabilities.
Nothing complicated about it.

There are a lot of people that simply cannot understand some things.

Don't underestimate the abilities you have Brent.
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Old 10-02-2011, 20:46   #72
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I had a Pur 40-E and ran it with solar panels. Made enough for me. It was a labor intensive little thing though. I suppose they all are. I'd buy another if the time comes that I need one. Small dependable, simple. Who needs all the gauges and computers that you see in the others anyway

Nobody "needs" them at all. But then nobody "needs" a sailboat either.
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Old 10-02-2011, 22:32   #73
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It is your own task to choose whatever you want.
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Old 23-09-2015, 10:23   #74
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Re: Watermaker Opinions ?

Exactly, it's not a need at all. But it is nice to have one. I like the Little Wonder watermakers. Small, energy efficient. Have had it for a number of years. Here's a cool article on the Little Wonder and it's strong points, and the reverse osmosis science behind watermakers: Little Wonder Watermakers (Desalinizadores) & Parts
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Old 23-09-2015, 14:06   #75
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Re: Watermaker Opinions ?

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,

Rubber ring is known as the brine seal and should at the upstream end of the membrane facing the incoming water.

Is this comment correct.?
The brine seal goes on the side of Pressure Vessel that has the Hp sea water flow entering the vessel. It's purpose/function is to make sure the sea water flows through the RO Membrane (and over the active RO surface area) rather than around the outside of the membrane.
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