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Old 30-07-2007, 21:19   #1
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What brand and size/type of watermaker do you have?

Why did you choose the brand you own and would you choose it again?

How did you hook your watermaker up - 12VDC, AC, Belt Driven? Do you wish that you had a different way to power your watermaker than what you currently have?

How reliable is your watermaker? What has broken on your watermaker and how much of a hassle was it to fix? Did the manufacturer help you figure it out?

How much water does your watermaker make? Is that enough for your consumption level? Do you wish you had a bigger watermaker? How many people do you usually keep hydrated with your watermaker.

If your watermaker is running on DC power what is your set up to make sure the batteries keep it running- solar, wind, run generator/engines etc.?


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Old 30-07-2007, 22:43   #2
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Spectra Ventura 150. 12v; installed it myself (6 hours) and recommend it highly. Produces easy 6gph which works for us (a couple) with plenty to spare. We used it on the 2006 Baja-Ha-Ha with a crew of 4 and arrived with full tanks.

We have 2 - 130w solar panels that reduce the time we need to run our engines to a minimum; usually we're going somewhere anyway and run the engines enough to keep all the toys happy.

I've recommended this unit to others and would buy it again. I bought and installed it in San Diego and would be happy to share the details with you.

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Old 31-07-2007, 02:45   #3
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I had a PowerSurvivor35 which I used for passages between the NE and Caribe. It was 12v, a bit noisy, produce fine water, but we have access to water now and are not making passages so I sold it. I would get another similar, but would do some research as there may be advances.

sv shiva
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Old 31-07-2007, 07:32   #4
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We have a Village Marine Tec LW160. It's a 12V unit that produces 7 GPH. I also have two 130W solar panels and an AirX wind generator. It was very nice not having to lug water at .30/gal back to the boat. I mounted it under the V berth next to the bow thruster we just had installed. Love that too.
I wish I'd done this sooner!
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Old 31-07-2007, 08:00   #5
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We have a 40gph that the PO made, more or less like the directions on this website: watermakerintro

Works great, the only complaint i would have is the noise of the high volume raw water pump, it's a water puppy and it's actually louder then the motor when we're running it.

We used it quite a bit this last trip to the bahamas and definetely beat haulling jugs or paying 40 cents a gallon.
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Old 31-07-2007, 08:42   #6
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Spectra 180. Came with the boat. I installed a PowerSurvivor 35 and later on, a PUR 80 on a previous boat, but IMHO the Spectra is in a whole different league. No problems except freeze damage (my fault) which I fixed by installing a new piston rod. It wasn't particularly hard nor expensive.

It puts out to spec after ten years, 6.5 gph while drawing 8 amps @ 12 volts on batteries and nearly ten gph when motoring.

I highly recommend it.

Steve B.
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Old 31-07-2007, 09:18   #7
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SK water maker 6gph. Awesome, inexpensive, works well. it is a 12 volt dc modular and our solar panels run it. It was better than a grand less than the next one (at the time). It doesn't use any propiertiry parts and is simple to maintain. If a failure occurs parts can be bought almost anywhere in the world inexpensively.

We ran ours for almost 3 years straight without an repairs, decline in output or quality. The worst water test was 032PPM at 600PPM ish it is recommended for a full flush and inspection.
Captain Bil formerly of sv Makai -- KI4TMM
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Old 31-07-2007, 09:24   #8
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400 gpd Aquamarine. Has a small diesel that also runs the refer and has a high output alternator. Lots of work getting it installed but once everything is functioning it is a great addition.
Fair Winds
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Old 31-07-2007, 09:39   #9
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Aquamarine 25 gph, engine driven. It usually puts out a real 18-22 gph.
This is a modular unit that I installed myself.
I've got over 600 operating hours on it with minimal problems.
A low pressure switch on the input line failed. The raw water boost pump failed (waterpuppy). I've currently got a drip from the high pressure valve.

I make water every 2-3 days either while underway or during battery charging which I would need anyway.

Bob Stewart
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Old 31-07-2007, 11:37   #10
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These are nice posts on watermakers. This thread can serve as a valuable reference for all looking into watermakers if several more people post on their watermaker.

It is certainly helping me in my decisions on the subject.

Thank you!
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Old 31-07-2007, 12:08   #11
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I have had a power survivor 80 for the last 12 years, but would probably buy something else to replace it. Their product service has not been good.

It has required 2 new sets of membranes at $750/set--the first set was replaced within 2 years of purchase because I pickled the unit with tank water which had some dock water in it. The new manual now cautions against this. The interesting part was that when I called up to get a new membrane, they said it would take 6 weeks to deliver it--like they didn't have any stock for their manufacturing line??

The bearing in the pump drive unit got rusty from a water leak after about 8 years, and the power consumption doubled. I asked for a new bearing, and they said that the drive was not repairable, and wanted $2500 for a new drive. I found the bearing (its called a cam follower) on the internet for $25, and got it installed with a little help from the engine room crew on the Ozan, a Turkish ship.

I bought the unit with the idea of running it off the solar panels and wind/water generators, but it seems like the boat electrical loads suck up everything they put out, so ended up running the watermaker when we had the motor on. The two of us use about 5-7 gal/day, so a higher capacity unit would be more likely to keep the engine hours down.
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Old 31-07-2007, 12:42   #12
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Owned two Spectra 380 12v watermakers....each was sold with the boats. Not cheap, but loved them.

First one developed a crack in the spool with Spectra promptly replaced at their cost. Ran fine otherwise.

Second one did develope some minor leaks on the SS compression fittings after five years. We opted to exchange out the Clark Pump with Spectra for a new one for around $400usd, give or take. Can't remember the exact anount. There were noticeable visual upgrades to the newer Clark Pump.

Neither unit had a feed pressure pump go out. Ran both watermakers every day or every other day except when stored a few times.

Output was at or near what's advertised. The voltage level makes a difference, of course. The 380 came with two pumps, but we only ever ran one at a time and treated the second as a back-up.

First boat had heaps of power...never an issue. Second boat was 4 55w panles and one Rutland 913...that's it. Four Trojan 105ah batts. Best to run it mid-day with that set-up.

Looking at buying another Spectra, but would go for something else cheaper if others say it's reliable.

best - Jay
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Old 31-07-2007, 13:07   #13
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The Village Marine Tec company has an excellent track record for support. I've called the CA factory several times during and since the install and they have been very helpful.. I bought the modular unit and took it apart and made it "more modular". I called Katadyne a couple of times when I found a few of their WM's on EBay. They wouldn't help at all.

The VMT units are far less expensive than several of the other mfg's, but I wouldn't mind having more output, but they only make the LW 160 and LW200. At the time, the power draw caused me to opt for the 160. I'm not sure that for just 1/gal per hour more, I still probably do the 160.
I wish I'd done this sooner!
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Old 31-07-2007, 14:13   #14
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We have a Spectra too. The key is making the water consumption and the power required to make water become balanced. It needs to be part of your overall electrical budget. How you get there can vary and not eveyone uses the same amount of fresh water or has the same ability to make amps.
Paul Blais
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37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 31-07-2007, 14:33   #15
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I recently researched this for long-term survivability, and I would choose the Spectra for the greatest power efficiency. However, I ended up buying a Katadyn 40E due to the "ultimate backup" of manual pumping ability. It gobbles about 50% more amp-hours per gallon than the Spectra 150, but will still work after complete power failure. Actually, I'd prefer both...


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