Originally Posted by Active Transport
I had the ECHOTec watermakers on my short list. I ended up buying
the village marine because so many friends were happy with them and with the company's service
The ECHOTec line as a very attractive feature that lets you install two different high pressure pumps. One can be installed on the engine and is belt driven. The other is electric
(DC or AC). You can choose either pump to run the water
maker. This provides efficiency and redundancy.
I think two high pressure pumps, though redundancy is nice, would put the cost out of the range of most who are looking for a basic reliable unit on the cheaper end of watermakers. New custom engine brackets, new PTO pulleys, belts valves, extra hoses and fittings get expensive fast. As Paul said, "there is no size fits all" when it comes to watermakers. If you are looking for watermakers that put out loads of water fast and amps are not a consideration then plunger pump systems are the way to go. If like many here, where every amp counts, a 12V driven plunger pump is going to be amp expensive and you are going to have to figure out how to replace those amps or how to generate them and that's where the high additional costs come in to play, bigger battery
banks, bigger alternators, generators and the extra wiring
that goes with it. Most people really don't need a high producing watermaker
. Six gallons an hour on a low energy system should be able to serve most cruseirs well and meet their needs. Since all watermakers are somewhat higher maintenace than most other systems they have repair issues, more from lack of maintenace than actually wearing out. When I install any expensive piece of equipment
on my boat I try to price
out repair costs, it gives me a better idea I believe on what the system will actually cost me to operate on the long term. I find long term costs on the smaller energy recovery units are going to cost less in the long run and as reliable and easier to repair than plunger systems. A couple of solar panels
can more than keep up with a Spectra 150 unit , can't do that with a 3/4 -1hp electric drive. Plus when you aren't running your watermaker
, which is most of the time, your panels
will be charging
your batteries for other uses. Big is not always better and more is not always the answer.