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Old 11-12-2012, 08:18   #136
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
If I may, the one thing I'd like to correct on the months long thread I believe you are referring to where a Spectra was installed on a large yacht, with a large generator, a watermaker by the way I did not sell to him, is the fact that this boat is going to be sitting at anchor, unattended, quite often for long periods of time. This means that the generator will not be run every day so it would not see fresh water flush on a regular bases and an AC unit would not serve them well."

"As far as the Volvo boats, your assumptions are wrong. Every Volvo boat, and I have been aboard and inside them all, have a crew of International engineers (with degrees) on their support teams, pretty sharp fellows all of them. These boats all have a Spectra on them for weight and simplicity of offshore repair, weight of spares, and a system that is designed not from off the shelf parts but a system designed (again by engineers with degrees) to take a very rough pounding that these boats dish out. You might not even recognize a Spectra watermaker on a Volvo boat. These guys remove any non essential parts that adds weight, brackets etc. and build custom carbon fiber parts to replace them. But yet the basic system is the same anyone will get with a Spectra. It is not about money or marketing for them, it is about weight, power usage, and the ability to be thrown around upside down and still perform as rated. If A VM, Sea Recovery, HRO, etc could perform like these, or even weighed one ounce less, there would not be any Spectras aboard a Volvo boat.
Thanks Tellie, I am convinced you genuinely enjoy assisting cruisers. This is profoundly documented in the many members’ replies to my previous post. I just felt it is not needed for you to comment on almost every post that is not supporting Spectra and I hope my contribution has motivated others to discuss different brands equally in this thread. Good to know we can talk about watermakers again, I guess this is why we are here.

Installing a DC recovery system on a boat with AC generator, only because she anchors unattended and the Spectra flush needs DC still raises many questions. Occasionally preserving a simpler and much higher capacity AC watermaker (less running times, less wear and tear, less system complexity) may involve less overall maintenance than a recovery system with automated flush?! For those with AC generators insisting on auto flush, I suggest plumbing a low tech, highly reliable off-the-shelf water timer (e.g: Gardena T 1030 Plus) below $100 to the pressurized freshwater line and a T-connector between the high pressure pump and pre-filters (or pre-filters and booster pump if you wish to flush your pre-filters also). You will need an inline check valve between the T-connector and booster pump to avoid pumping the flush water into the sea. Just press the button, the controller will do an automatic flush at user selectable interval and duration, e.g.: every 7 days for 4 minutes. Manual flush is also possible by simply pressing a button. This works for all conventional belt driven, AC and DC powered watermakers. An inbuilt 9 Volt alkaline battery powers the flush for a year. There is an LED indication showing when the battery needs changing. No AC or DC onboard power needed. Amazon.com: Gardena 1860 Classic 3-Cycle Water Timer T 1030 Plus: Patio, Lawn & Garden However, I would feel more relaxed not to leave the freshwater plumbing system pressurized when leaving the boat and do the long term flush (trust me, it works) for a month+ or pickle for extended sitting times.

One more comment about Spectra and the Volvo race. In order to supply any equipment to Volvo race boats, the supplier must be a sponsor or partner. The entire Volvo race boat fleet is financed 100% through marketing. This means that Spectra invests large amounts of money to supply the fleet in exchange for media exposure. It is also not correct that every individual crew of international engineers decides on their preferred watermaker for their boat. The new One-Design Rule means that each of the 8+ boats is exactly the same. Either the committee negotiates to install Spectra for all boats or it may be another brand. This rule was created mainly for Marketing/Sponsoring without the risk of losing.”Winning the marketing race without winning the race”. If you are interested you can read more about this: Volvo Ocean Race One-Design Sponsorship Opportunties | Yacht Sponsorship
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 | Sponsorship Opportunities

Tom
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:27   #137
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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Hi Carstenb, having lived on yachts most of my life I agree with Mark:
The only cruisers we have ever met who didn't want more watermaking capacity already had higher output watermakers (>20gal/hr).
That is for a boat with 2 while I am sizing for 5 or more on board, making water only 2-3 hrs. a day

Cruising in the Tropics, shore water is not that safe and the heat and humidity tends to increase the freshwater use. Also marinas are few and far between in Asia.

Having bare-boated out of Kolding, I am impressed that you jump into the pond. Brrrr.!~
Oh I'm happy to admit that perhaps there is no dew in the mornings, and then you do wash the boat. But 20 gals per hour? Tellie noted many in usa use 400 gals per day. I lived in the us for 22 years, thinking back, i can't imagine we used 400 gals per day.

My wife and I live in a 3000 sq.ft. Condo. We use 25000 liters of water ( that's both hot and cold) per year. That' something 18 gallons per day. And we have a washing machine, dishwasher etc. Etc. We have wooden floors that we wash weekly etc. We do our own cooking etc. The house has two toilets and two showers.

While conservation conscious, we are not fanatics, nor do we do anything extraordinary to save water.


By the way Palagic- yeah the water is a mite nippy, but you get used to it. Wakes you up in the morning. If you bare boated out of kolding, you probably sailed around all our wonderful island in that part of denmark. Some of the finest cruing in europe if not the world. Did you enjoy it? More to the point, was it sunny or raining when you were here. LOL
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:42   #138
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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Then there are those who will ask the people who do this for a living their thoughts on what unit is best for their wants and needs and get the right watermaker.
After years in the commercial RO Industry and selling 535 of our SeaMaker water makers since Oct 2010, I'm not sure that makes me an "expert", but I will tip my toe into the waters discussion.

In my humble opinion, and with all due respect to the resident water maker experts, if you have a generator (Honda or Diesel) aboard your boat, the 12v higher priced and complexity units had better come with a girl in a Bikini to run it in order to justify the low/slow output, complexity and extra cruising kitty dollars cost.

20GPH or 30GPH vs 6GPH or 12GPH for thousands less? Well on average 19.8 cruisers a month have been making that decision in favor of the 120v option provided by Cruise RO Water's simple non-proprietary water makers. The marine world is now more than ever full of choices and what works well for some, may not work well for others, because there is no right answer other than what works for you, your boat and your budget.

[[In full disclosure: I am the owner of Cruise RO Water, by no means an expert and I don't even play one on TV or internet chat rooms.]]

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Old 11-12-2012, 13:07   #139
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
After years in the commercial RO Industry and selling 535 of our SeaMaker water makers since Oct 2010, I'm not sure that makes me an "expert", but I will tip my toe into the waters discussion.

In my humble opinion, and with all due respect to the resident water maker experts, if you have a generator (Honda or Diesel) aboard your boat, the 12v higher priced and complexity units had better come with a girl in a Bikini to run it in order to justify the low/slow output, complexity and extra cruising kitty dollars cost.

20GPH or 30GPH vs 6GPH or 12GPH for thousands less? Well on average 19.8 cruisers a month have been making that decision in favor of the 120v option provided by Cruise RO Water's simple non-proprietary water makers. The marine world is now more than ever full of choices and what works well for some, may not work well for others, because there is no right answer other than what works for you, your boat and your budget.

[[In full disclosure: I am the owner of Cruise RO Water, by no means an expert and I don't even play one on TV or internet chat rooms.]]

Rich
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At the risk of getting involved in too many watermaker threads, I just wanted to say Hi to Rich. He is correct, with so many choices it's sometimes hard to decide. I always encourage everyone to shop around and ask questions of all manufacturers. That being said Rich, of those 535 units a few of those sales I sent your way over the past few years. So where's my commision? Jus kiddin. Are you going to be at the Miami show this year? If you are I'll buy you a few raffle tickets for the Spectra being raffled off. Now that would be a hoot if you won.
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Old 11-12-2012, 15:49   #140
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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After over 4 years of full time cruising, our next watermaker will be an AC powered larger capacity one. We will probably be replacing our perfectly good 6gal/hr DC one next year for the above.

This is only our experience and preference, but when full-time cruising, you use more power and water than you think. Or you wish you could. We have been cruising where obtaining shoreside water is cumbersome and difficult, although it is always possible with enough effort and going out of ones way.

It is certainly easy to economize and conserve both water and energy, but then you are camping and this becomes old.

Regularly washing salt off the boat, doing laundry often and at will, showering frequently with fresh water after swimming (or just because it is hot and feels good), etc becomes more important the longer we are cruising.

The only cruisers we have ever met who didn't want more watermaking capacity already had higher output watermakers (>20gal/hr).

Particularly since the equipment that allows this is available and costs no more, and often less, than smaller capacity DC powered units.

Here is a dirty little secret about DC powered units: they only produce their rated output and quality when the voltage at the unit is 13.8V. That means you will have a charging source going anyway when running these units, and that charging source will be running longer to bring the batteries up to charge due to the simultaneous battery drain from the watermaker.

Almost everyone we know with DC units plan their use during motoring or running a generator. We have 480W of solar and that is enough to run the watermaker or charge the batteries, but not both unless we limit the watermaker to just an hour or the batteries are mostly full anyway. And we have a full sunny day.

So, if getting a DC unit, definitely go with an energy recovery type - you will either get the same output with half the energy input, or double the output with the same input. Particularly if you plan to run it off solar, as that will leave more power to recharge the batteries and you will have a fighting chance of running without needing a generator or engine run.

In contrast to much of what Tellie's experiences are, most of the people we meet with watermaker problems have Spectra units. However, and I want to be very clear on this, we don't meet many people whose watermakers have any problems at all (despite what everyone says about the fragility of these things) and for all we know, the majority of people out here may have Spectra units, which would make the few with problems actually rare, percentage-wise. And the Spectra problems are always the same ones: feed pump bad and automation controls messed up - both either easily fixed (carry spare pump) or avoided (I'm not a fan of automation here).

If getting an AC unit, my preference is to size it so that it is possible to run it off our inverter if the genset fails. This is ~30gal/day, drawing ~120 DC amps. This allows us to run it while motoring or charging using the engines (180A from the alternators).

Another consideration is to size it to run off a portable generator like the Honda 2000 (BTW, these Hondas are available EVERYWHERE - I would not be concerned about being without one). The size is about the same ~30gal/day because of the limited output of these generators. Keep in mind that if you go this route, the generator will be dedicated to running the watermaker - you will not be able to charge batteries or do anything else at the same time as you make water.

Above all - before purchasing a watermaker, make sure you have maximized your ability to catch and process rainwater. There is nothing like a high-capacity, zero-energy source of water! If you cruise where it rains hard once/week and you have a good rainwater catchment system (one that doesn't require you to sit pans all around the deck), you will not need a watermaker. During a strong rain, our hardtop bimini collects over 100gal/hr and it isn't even optimized for rain collection (I estimate only ~1/3 of the rain is collected).

Again, these are only my thoughts and preferences and what works best for us. Every boat, cruising style and needs are different.

Mark
Great post Mark with particular reference to living in the tropics .
But also many thanks to Tellie, Schaumburg and others for this ongoing discussion.
I have been scanning CF and other forums for some time now seeking advise on watermaker selection and this thread seems to be bringing it all together.

Cheers
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Old 11-12-2012, 17:04   #141
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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By the way Palagic- yeah the water is a mite nippy, but you get used to it. Wakes you up in the morning. If you bare boated out of kolding, you probably sailed around all our wonderful island in that part of denmark. Some of the finest cruing in europe if not the world. Did you enjoy it? More to the point, was it sunny or raining when you were here. LOL
I loved Cruising in Denmark and did it 3 summers while living in Holland. So beautiful and civilized! I especially liked the little colored flags at marina berths indicating if a private berth was available for the night. Both sun, rain and good winds!

Your condo consumption of 18 gals/day is conservative but still correct for 2 people with no garden, no lawn to water, or Jacuzzi/pool to fill.

Adjust that for 5 or 6 people on a boat and that is about 54 gals a day to your calculation.

On my post 129… The 780-DML I am considering would probably only make about 28 gallons/hr. given system inefficiencies like Sea Temp.
So in 2 hours of operation a day that is only about 56 gallons per day
ECHOTec. Marine Watermakers*- DC Watermakers for Yachts*12 or 24 Volt*(Modular)

The reality of cruising the tropics is that you only trust your own tap water and sometimes in busy harbors, it is too polluted to make water, so many cruisers will take off for a few days sail to replenish their tank and their souls.

That is why I am curious if others with a large AC Gen would consider using a DC motor to drive a plunger type HP Pump, so as to avoid Invertor hassles?
OR…
Is a DC motor driving same pump, inherently less efficient?

For my application, that, i think, is the key question!
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Old 11-12-2012, 19:46   #142
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
On my post 129… The 780-DML I am considering would probably only make about 28 gallons/hr. given system inefficiencies like Sea Temp.
So in 2 hours of operation a day that is only about 56 gallons per day
ECHOTec. Marine Watermakers*- DC Watermakers for Yachts*12 or 24 Volt*(Modular)

The reality of cruising the tropics is that you only trust your own tap water and sometimes in busy harbors, it is too polluted to make water, so many cruisers will take off for a few days sail to replenish their tank and their souls.

That is why I am curious if others with a large AC Gen would consider using a DC motor to drive a plunger type HP Pump, so as to avoid Invertor hassles?
OR…
Is a DC motor driving same pump, inherently less efficient?

For my application, that, i think, is the key question!

Properly designed AC system are slightly more power efficient than conventional DC system. However, the DC to AC conversion creates losses and finally, both end up having the same output/power ratio. If you have a 6 KW+ generator on board, I would opt for a larger 3 x 40" membrane AC system.

Only in case you sail in regions where a rare but possible generator failure would cause you to run in serious water problems, I would go down in system size and chose an AC system that can be started with your inverter. You will have to run your engine longer, save a bit power here and there but you will have water. The good thing about the 2 membrane AC system is that you can run it during DC surplus times via the inverter and save on generator running times if all other equipment is satisfied (holding plates, hot water etc.) or simply convert temporarily available extra charge in freshwater.

The DC system is a fine choice if you run all other equipment on DC and the power generation is laid out for this purpose.

Tom
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:06   #143
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Palagic, Glad you enjoyed the cruising here. As I said, it is amongst the finest cruising in Europe, 400 islands all within a a couple of days sail from each other.

I have an inverter on my boat, albeit a small one. I am going to go with a DC unit, simply because, the rest of my electrical demands will be DC. I will not carry a genset, but a gang of solar panels instead.

So far this thread has been very enlightening for me.

Thanks guys (and gals)

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Old 12-12-2012, 01:48   #144
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

The unit is a Sea-Recovery 600UWC, This is a 600 gallon per day Energy transfer device fitted.

I asked for a price for a new membrane, these proprietary units have a 3 inch membrane 40 inches long and are available no where else than the original supplier in this case 'Sea-Recovery'......

Rich from Cruise RO Water offer complete housings ready to fit for less than the quoted price from Sea-recovery for just the membrane..

The 600 UW membrane RRP is $ 1627.00 however we can offer you 17.5% discount
on this so your cost will be $ 1342.00
That was their price!!!!!!!

So i await Rich's advice on how the membrane and housing will perform plumbed to our system and as to whether a twin unit might be best....

This is what can happen when an owner doesn't maintain his unit.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:01   #145
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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Properly designed AC system are slightly more power efficient than conventional DC system. However, the DC to AC conversion creates losses and finally, both end up having the same output/power ratio.

The DC system is a fine choice if you run all other equipment on DC and the power generation is laid out for this purpose.

Tom
Thanks Tom that is what I thought, it more or less evens out.
So I am leaning towards a 24v DC Motor, mainly because I have 3 strong mechanical means of charging my large House Bank (8 x 260AH AGM’s) and no need to stress the Invertor.

I sized my house bank so that only 10% is consumed in 24hrs and to only replenish up to 80% at anchor when chargers stop producing at Bulk rate
Stargazer is set up so that everything runs on 24v DC and my 2 battery chargers produce 120 Amps @ 24 volts.

Since the 780-DML-2 consumes only 39Amps at 25V there is plenty charging capacity to get the most out of my Generator time.

Model Rated Performance Pressure Vessels Amps@ 12.5V/25 V * Prices US$ **
200 - DML - 1 8.5 gallons - 32 ltr./hour one 40" vessel 19.8 / 9.5 $4,980
240 - DML - 1 11 gallons - 42 ltr./hour one 40" vessel 27 / 13.5 $4,980
260 - DML - 1 * 13 gallons - 50 ltr./hour one 40" vessel 38 / 18 $4,980
780 - DML - 2 * 32 gallons - 120 ltr./hour two 40" vessels 80 / 39 $5,990
1300 - DML - 3 * 50 gallons - 200 ltr./hour three 40" vessels -- / 60 $6,980
1800 - DML - 4 * 70 gallons - 265 ltr./hour four 40" vessels -- / 80 $7,960

Just need to check the maintenance issues of a modern DC Motor vs. AC Motor for the HP pump before deciding.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:08   #146
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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I have an inverter on my boat, albeit a small one. I am going to go with a DC unit, simply because, the rest of my electrical demands will be DC. I will not carry a genset, but a gang of solar panels instead.
I was kind of thinking this also (I have a large inverter). But the more I have thought about it the more I am thinking larger capacity AC unit instead. Since I plan on having a Honda type generator for other things (like hot water and to make up for times where the solar doesn't keep up) it just seems to be less trouble overall to just get the water making done when needed.

Far as back-up, I have 150 gals of water capacity in 2 tanks that will last a long time if the watermaker were to have a problem..
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:17   #147
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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I was kind of thinking this also (I have a large inverter). But the more I have thought about it the more I am thinking larger capacity AC unit instead. Since I plan on having a Honda type generator for other things (like hot water and to make up for times where the solar doesn't keep up) it just seems to be less trouble overall to just get the water making done when needed.

Far as back-up, I have 150 gals of water capacity in 2 tanks that will last a long time if the watermaker were to have a problem..
Don,

I've looked and looked at the genset issue. I just can't find the rationale. It takes up space, the cans of fuels take up even more space, there's noise etc etc etc.

So a quiet DC unit makes more sense to me (I'll be RTW so will be sailing in the tropics - lots of sun). If I early run out of electricity, then I'll start the main engine. A couple of hours and my batteries will be fully charged, my water tanks will be full and I'll have hot water.

I'm also planning on buying a small solar hot water heater and a solar pump. This will ensure I always have hot water without having to use electricity.

We only have a 40 footer and almost 600 AH in the batteries. EVerything is LED, so I just can't imagine why I should ever run out of juice.

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Old 12-12-2012, 05:48   #148
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My little Spectra runs off the batteries just fine. No significant change in quality or quantity. As I wrote before I would rather have an even smaller WM. One that runs quietly for 8 hours every day would be perfect.

Compare that to a large capacity unit. I would then need to add a generator. Gasoline maybe. Cost. Space and weight.

A big reason I am out cruising is to leave the spend and waste culture behind. I have don't a good job of it. We lack nothing important. Plenty of showers and laundry.

Flushing heads with fresh water? Wow. Get a condo. There is something wrong with your boat or lifestyle if the head water stinks.

Get a small WM. do something else more fun with your money, space and time.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:38   #149
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Anyone out there tried to DIY a energy recovery RO. Theres a few methods.

Dave
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:02   #150
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Just finished scanning this interesting thread. Couple of comments-- first regarding flushing. Sometimes it can be very important to flush as it will be in my situation next spring after I install my home brewed machine. I could not afford a SS pump or for that matter even a bronze pump; mine is brass. I doubt it would last a season without flushing.

Inverter powered -- be sure you fully understand just how much locked rotor current your motor will command during the start. I had to build a surge control for my 2HP single phase motor to prevent immediate tripping on a standard 20 ampere breaker normally used in a home AC load center. I did not bother to research the trip curve.
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