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Old 15-10-2014, 13:47   #31
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Re: When do you Make Water?

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Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
How large a crew do you have requiring that amount
We sell 30GPH water makers to cruising couples weekly. So the old standards of planning on using 1 gallon per person per day seems to be out with Sextant use, the lead line and canning butter. Can they minimize their water use, I guess they could if they had to. But do they go into their cruise setting up their boat to do it? Not so much anymore.

I know it drives the old salts crazy and I can see them grit their teeth while standing in the boat show booths asking if I make a 1.5 or 4 or 7GPH water maker because they say they don't need 20GPH, which is our smallest unit. It's almost like they think any cruiser taking 2 showers a day and installing a fresh water deck and anchor rinse down isn't a "real cruiser". Call me guilty but my nick name in hot Mexico was "two Shower Rich".

Do you Need a water maker to go cruising? No, but once you decide to have one aboard, I've never heard anyone say "Hey Rich, my water maker makes too much water per hour". The more typical emails I get are like the one I got last night. After accidentally dumping their 200Gal water tanks, how long would it take their 6GPH unit to refill their tanks?

*******************************************
From: Mike Bradford
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 7:45 PM
To: info@cruiserowater.com
Subject: Love our watermaker


Rich,

I'm sorry we missed you when we recently sailed into in Morro Bay. We sailed south from Portland, Oregon and arrived at Morro Bay while you were at the boat show">Annapolis Boat Show. We have just started using our SM30 in salt water. I had installed it in Portland and tested it on the river. A few days ago, while crossing from Morro Bay to San Miguel Island, a water hose came off the water heater and dumped all our 200 gallons of fresh water into the bilge. We couldn't do anything about it as we passed Pt. Conception but fixed the hose once we arrived at San Miguel. At anchor, the watermaker fired right up and started filling our empty tank with 36 gallons per hour! It saved our trip to the Channel Islands. There is no water at a dock here in San Miguel or Santa Cruz Island. Without the watermaker we would of had to abort our channel island visit and divert to Santa Barbara for water.

Thanks,

Mike Bradford
S/V Pelagic
************************************************** **

Yes....you read right. 36GPH from our 30GPH water maker. I believe in under promising and over delivering that way you have very happy clients when they get bonus production more than some low output 12v units even promise..
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Old 15-10-2014, 17:10   #32
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Re: When do you Make Water?

We have a power boat so power is not a problem. We use a lot of water because we are usually
of the grid and dive a lot. After 8 years using a spectra 12v 45L per hour unit ( it has had major surgery several times) --I would advice anyone in a similar situation to go with a more robust 240 V unit. What ever you have you need to be able to use it in a fully manual mode if necessary. cheers rob.
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Old 23-10-2014, 15:56   #33
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Re: When do you Make Water?

Hi everyone, I'm Dave, the engineer behind Rainman. I live on my yacht in Sydney, Australia.

It's great to see the interest in our machine. We've been developing our products for a couple of years now, and we're about to take them to the world market.

What we've tried to do is simplify desalination.

Polls of cruisers regularly rate watermakers as some of the most expensive and high maintenance systems on a boat. Similarly, the installation of a watermaker is not a small project.

We believe we've addressed many of these issues by offering a product that arrives ready to make water, requires no installation and if and when service is required, the machine can be serviced in a workshop, rather than in the bowels of your boat.
A few posters mentioned they already have Honda generators, so they wouldn't want a 4 stroke powered machine. For those customers we're debuting a portable AC electric powered watermaker that plugs into your generator at the METS boat show next month.

Another questioned whether it's a good idea to use our pressure unit for washing as well as watermaking. Both the Honda Engine and the General Pump stainless pump are best in class, and are rated for thousands of hours of operation. Why not use it for both?

Regarding price: Tellie, I think you might have gotten the exchange rate mixed up or something, our systems start at about US$4500 and go to about US$6200.

We hope prospective customers factor in total cost of ownership. Yes, there are cheaper machines available, and machines the same price that make a fraction of the gallons per hour of our portable watermakers. At least here in Sydney, the several days required to install a watermaker is charged at $90 an hour, with a haul-out required to fit the through-hull.

Similarly, a common cause of watermaker malfunction is lack of use. You can take a Rainman watermaker home with you at the end of a cruise, away from the corrosion and neglect that causes so many watermaker headaches.


And Robyjeff, yes we agree about needing a manual mode. By making our units portable, we've been able to do away with the need for electronics, solenoids and other high-maintenance components. We feel our fully manual machines are more in keeping with seaworthy design. Simple, robust, less to go wrong.

Tellie and Rich, great to hear your thoughts. I've been reading your posts for years, and in fact your views on watermaker issues have definitely influenced the design of our machines. I look forward to you both joining our dealer network some time down the track!

We'll be at the METS trade show in Amsterdam next month. If anyone wants to drop by for a chat, come and say hi.
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Old 23-10-2014, 16:41   #34
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Re: When do you Make Water?

FWIW, installing a watermaker is not necessarily a hard job. Most folks are intimidated by it, but it's pretty straightforward and a good basis for understanding your unit for future maintenance. I own a 400 GPD Spectra unit (also a Katadyn 40) and have been in charge of an industrial 45,000 GPD unit. My main complaint with Spectra and others is that some things are very hard to get at "in the field" in the interest of assembling an attractive and compact package. I actually took some of the modules apart, and then mounted all the separate parts on a vertical panel so that each and every bit is easily dismounted for maintenance or replacement. Sort of like having remote filters or heat exchangers on engines and generators. Not as pretty as when purchased, but oh, so practical.

Cheers,
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Old 23-10-2014, 18:22   #35
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Re: When do you Make Water?

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Originally Posted by dejgoldie View Post
Hi everyone, I'm Dave, the engineer behind Rainman. I live on my yacht in Sydney, Australia.

It's great to see the interest in our machine. We've been developing our products for a couple of years now, and we're about to take them to the world market.

What we've tried to do is simplify desalination.

Polls of cruisers regularly rate watermakers as some of the most expensive and high maintenance systems on a boat. Similarly, the installation of a watermaker is not a small project.

We believe we've addressed many of these issues by offering a product that arrives ready to make water, requires no installation and if and when service is required, the machine can be serviced in a workshop, rather than in the bowels of your boat.
A few posters mentioned they already have Honda generators, so they wouldn't want a 4 stroke powered machine. For those customers we're debuting a portable AC electric powered watermaker that plugs into your generator at the METS boat show next month.

Another questioned whether it's a good idea to use our pressure unit for washing as well as watermaking. Both the Honda Engine and the General Pump stainless pump are best in class, and are rated for thousands of hours of operation. Why not use it for both?

Regarding price: Tellie, I think you might have gotten the exchange rate mixed up or something, our systems start at about US$4500 and go to about US$6200.

We hope prospective customers factor in total cost of ownership. Yes, there are cheaper machines available, and machines the same price that make a fraction of the gallons per hour of our portable watermakers. At least here in Sydney, the several days required to install a watermaker is charged at $90 an hour, with a haul-out required to fit the through-hull.

Similarly, a common cause of watermaker malfunction is lack of use. You can take a Rainman watermaker home with you at the end of a cruise, away from the corrosion and neglect that causes so many watermaker headaches.


And Robyjeff, yes we agree about needing a manual mode. By making our units portable, we've been able to do away with the need for electronics, solenoids and other high-maintenance components. We feel our fully manual machines are more in keeping with seaworthy design. Simple, robust, less to go wrong.

Tellie and Rich, great to hear your thoughts. I've been reading your posts for years, and in fact your views on watermaker issues have definitely influenced the design of our machines. I look forward to you both joining our dealer network some time down the track!

We'll be at the METS trade show in Amsterdam next month. If anyone wants to drop by for a chat, come and say hi.

My apologies if I got the exchange rate wrong. I was using an online calculator and just trusted it's results. But good luck with your new launching. Send me some detailed information by PM to look at and maybe I can help you out over here.
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Old 23-10-2014, 18:43   #36
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Re: When do you Make Water?

No worries Tellie, our business manager will PM you shortly!
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Old 23-10-2014, 22:08   #37
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Re: When do you Make Water?

We purchased a Rainmandesal in July for the cruising season so may be able to answer a few real world questions.
First up, the company support was excellent in replacing a membrane damaged in transit and immediately responsive to a few dumb questions we had at the start.
Second, we purchased the single 40" membrane version and happy to report it delivers about 62 litres per hour in our sub tropical waters, which exceeds expectations
Simple to use ? Absolutely.
We keep the engine/pump unit in a lazarette and have mounted the membrane vertically in an aft locker, leaving the three hoses permanently connected. To use it takes about a minute to remove the unit from the locker, connect the high pressure hose, add fuel, dangle the pickup overboard, start the engine, taste test the water after about 30 seconds then fill the tank
Intake water filter is easily visible so any contaminant is easily seen. A quick removal and rinse off has cleared it back to normal, so despite having spares we are yet to need one
We normally draw off the first 10 litres to a bucket to be used later to back flush the system, then fill the tank. Back flush takes a minute or two the power off and put away.
We have used it whilst sailing, and again despite expectations, it worked just fine when sailing at 7.5 knots
Don't know what prices are like elsewhere in the world but in terms of water produced per dollar spent this was way ahead in Australia, and if you wanted 120 l/hr all it needs is another membrane in the system. Same engine and pump, same amount of fuel, twice the water. Seems to use about 750ml of fuel per hour so very efficient
Would I recommend it. No guessing there. I sure would, and I don't even get a kickback (nor am I in any way associated with the company, other than by being a very satisfied customer)
Happy to answer any other queries you may have, if I can

Dave L on SV Cautella
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Old 24-10-2014, 06:51   #38
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Re: When do you Make Water?

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Originally Posted by davel42 View Post
We have used it whilst sailing, and again despite expectations, it worked just fine when sailing at 7.5 knots
How do you keep the intake hose in the water while sailing?

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Old 24-10-2014, 07:33   #39
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Re: When do you Make Water?

The question in the title is "When do you make water?" -- I'll respond to that before responding to the water maker in question.

We have a 900gpd (about 39gph, 150liters per hour) system, runs off 220V50Hz. We have two 120gallon (450 liter) fresh water tanks. We run the watermaker whenever either tank is below half and we are running the generator anyways in order to charge up the batteries (or run the dishwasher or washing machine, which is less frequent)

As to why we would need a 900GPD watermaker -- I would be happy with a LARGER system for a two reasons. First, AC power is not an issue. We cannot run the watermaker unless we run the generator, and when I run the generator (10kVA) we have abundant AC power. Second, I would like to minimize not the peak power that the watermaker uses, but rather the amount of time required to fill the tanks.

I will also note that although the system is rated for 39gph, I usually see output in the 37-39gph range.

Now, with respect to the watermaker in question, I would suggest trying to avoid gasoline powered anything aboard a cruising sailboat, and carrying large quantities of two different types of fuel would just be a hassle. It is one thing to keep a few gallons for the dinghy outboatrd in a jerry can in a locker that vents overboard, but if you're going out for a while, the amount of fuel you'll want for a watermaker will quickly eclipse what you easily store that way. I wouldn't want to sacrifice diesel tankage for gasoline for a watermaker.

With respect to installation, I haven't done a watermaker installation, but I've redone enough of ours to have a good handle on it. It isn't all that difficult, the issue is that there are many components. One of the advantages to our system is that all the components break down (a booster pump here, a charcoal filter there, etc.) such that everything can be tucked neatly into different parts of the boat. I would find it much more difficult to accommodate a monolithic water-maker. As it is, there is very little otherwise-usable space that is occupied by the watermaker components.

Aside from only 900gpd capacity (I understand some will see this as plenty big enough), my only complaints about our watermaker -- a Sea Recovery -- are as follows:

* the prefilters are proprietary and expensive. yes, they're big and last a long time, but to replace the oil-filter and sediment filter runs about $250. the oil filter doesn't get clogged often, but the sediment filter life depends on how clean/clear the water is. in new england, it lasts about one season.

* i understand there's an add-on that can do this, but I don't have it. the system must remain powered in order for it to automatically flush every week. i had to rig a bypass in the AC circuitry so that we could leave the inverter on and connected to the watermaker so it would flush while we're away from the boat in order to keep the membrane alive.

i've talked to and met many cruisers who questioned the need for a water-maker. they found that their water tankage lasted for any passage they had made, and that water was abundantly available anywhere they went. we prefer not having to ration water -- with ten people on the boat we will often go through 120gallons in 1-2 days. also, not having to pull up to a dock, except to refuel a couple of times a year, is big bonus. in many parts of the world, water is available, but for a charge. we convert about one gallon of diesel to about 60 gallons of fresh water so we can compare the prices of fuel/water and make a decision on that basis (and if i need to run the genset anyways for other reasons, the water is "free")
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Old 25-10-2014, 03:57   #40
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Re: When do you Make Water?

We don't do anything to keep the intake in the water. It just trails us and sits about 6" (150mm) below the waterline. Has not been affected by waves so far, but limited experience. Thought we may need to weight it a bit but has not been necessary

Been a bit smug as we wander around marinas and hear others bemoaning the various failures of the more complex systems. Maybe our day will come but with no electronics it's so simple that there seems to be very little to fail, which apart from the price was a major influence on our choice
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Old 25-10-2014, 06:48   #41
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Re: When do you Make Water?

I bet that trailing the intake will not be a normal working mode for you without weighting it quite a bit or going really slow. At 7-8kts in typical seas, we can drag anchor chain and have it bouncing on the surface. I am surprised it stays under for you at 7.5kts. You might want to look into a way of fixing the intake below water for underway. Maybe tying it to a length of PVC pipe that can be clamped to a stanchion or something similar?

Don't be too smug - other than the lack of electronics (which is not unique to yours), there is no complexity or physical difference between yours and others. Yours has an attached motor that actually adds complexity. But I do find that almost everyone I meet with watermaker issues have units with a lot of automation and electronic control.

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Old 26-10-2014, 18:38   #42
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Re: When do you Make Water?

I have no problem at all making water at 7-8 knots with the Rainman, the key is to put the intake hose over the transom, so that it sinks into the eddy and turbulence behind the boat. We made the intake hose and the fittings on the end negatively buoyant, but as Colemj, points out, if you put it over the side, it will still skip along the surface and suck air.
I made about 100L yesterday as I headed around to Shelly Beach (a beautiful day in Sydney yesterday!). Here's some photos showing the Rainman on the swim step of my Beneteau 411 with the intake hose trailing in the wake, and the RO case on the cockpit bench. Total setup time: 2 mins. I was doing 7-8 knots.
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Old 26-10-2014, 18:57   #43
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Re: When do you Make Water?

Those photos of air bubbles behind the boat with the water maker inlet line in the middle of it scare the hell out of me as someone who gives a non-prorated full replacement 3 year warranty on not just the water maker, but on the RO Membranes! I would not be able to do that if that photo is indicative of how clients would be using my water maker...why...because experience is a hard teacher my friends and air bubbles are bad bad bad.

It's nothing against the Rainmaker or the concept because the more I look at it and think about the possible uses, the more I like it. They have put together a very well executed and nice portable system and I wish them all the success the marine world can give (oh god...did I just curse them..ha ha)

The problem will come with the boost pump, high pressure pump and RO Membrane warranty issues that they will have down the road by not addressing this issue right from the start. Air bubbles getting into the inlet of a water maker cause problems and premature failure of parts. That's not a cruising myth or chat room fable, that is an engineering fact you ignore at your own risk and warranty costs. The air bubbles cause pump cavitation and then they compress and expand while exiting the membrane potentially tearing the membrane. Is it something that will kill you on day one? How about week 4, or even month 5? Well not unless you get a big gulp or air, but it will take life off of your equipment. So why risk it when it would be so easy to rig a system to ensure that the inlet line is safely below the water and out of the stern rapids, why not do it?

I'll admit I've been busy and not had the time to read through the Rainmaker water maker manual, but they will regret not addressing this issue and giving the impression that dragging your water maker inlet hose behind the boat at 7kts is anything but a disaster waiting to happen. A good product design and manual instructions keep the client out of trouble and I can see an awful lot of trouble behind that boat's wake. I'd rather you keep being smug with a great working system than have your TDS go from 130ppm to 3500ppm due to a ruptured membrane, smugness flavored with salt tastes bitter.
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Old 26-10-2014, 19:40   #44
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Re: When do you Make Water?

Following the previous comments I've been a bit more observant of the performance of the intake while moving. I have observed that it does sit quite nicely beneath the surface at 7 to 8 knots in the boil of water directly behind, and it is not in water that is bubbling at all. Tried a photo but in it there is sun reflection which makes it useless. Appreciate the comments about pump damage and will be watching like a hawk to make sure I don't get caught. It's not my usual mode of operation, but now and then (in fact right now) it is convenient
One question puzzles me from an earlier post. How did you come to find that your anchor chain skips when trailed. Mine has a lot of trouble staying near the surface


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Old 27-10-2014, 04:51   #45
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Re: When do you Make Water?

Regarding bubbles:
It's straightforward to see when the Rainman is sucking air, because it appears in the top of the filter housing. When I trail the pickup hose as in the above photos, I dont see any air there. Certainly we recommend that if you see your Rainman sucking air through the intake hose, you should remedy the situation by immersing the intake further, possibly by mounting the hose on some hard point below the waterline. Obviously not all vessels are suitable for trailing the intake hose while under way.

One of our customers has connected his Rainman to the deckwash fitting on his boat. This is a solution that we recommend.
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