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Old 14-12-2012, 13:54   #196
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

So are you saying the same recovery will be there but the membrane will be worked harder?
And/Or does it mean pressures rise as it's being pushed harder?

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Old 14-12-2012, 13:55   #197
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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Sorry i don't follow the logic, surely if the membrane it was designed for had a certain surface area or whatever and i put a smaller one on i'll get less product?
That would be true for a watermaker without an ETD and you adjusted the membrane pressure manually. With an ETD the pressure is adjusted automatically to arrive at the predetermined recovery rate.

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Old 15-12-2012, 22:07   #198
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Hello to everyone in this very interesting forum thread. This is Michael from ECHOTec Watermakers. “Pelagic” e-mailed me with a few questions and invited me to join this conversation as a manufacturer. After taking some time to get up to speed by reading the posts, I feel that we should clarify a few distorted points. For anyone interested in continuing this conversation please PM me.

The "black magic game", as Rich calls it does in fact not exist. Since the very early days of yacht desalination, there have been detailed do-it-yourself plans available. Nevertheless, few cruisers have built their own watermakers, the same as only few build their own refrigeration systems, replace their own rigging and sew their own canvas. Manufacturers generally have no objection to supporting builders with advice and happily will supply some other-wise difficult to source components.


As an example, our complete stainless control panel with spring-loaded automatic pressure regulator, flow- and pressure gauge, breakers and diverter valve is a steal of a deal and has for many years found its way into owners and commercial custom-made systems. So, ECHOTec likes to assist cruisers, and will help in any way we can. On the other hand, no one likes to give free engineering lessons to new mirror-engineering, copy-cat manufacturers. It is a niche market as Tellie says and it's difficult to survive.

Our sales staff can usually differentiate an authentic friendly cruiser's email inquiry from a competitor's 'fishing expedition'. Commercial 'espionage' is pretty common as everybody wants to know what their competitors are doing and how they are doing it. That includes some of the companies mentioned previously in this thread! If someone has a better idea, we all want to find out what it is.

Again, we are not thrilled to share our work with our competitors but if you use our design, please give us some credit: ECHOTec was the first company to design a new range of desalination systems exactly around one, two and three standard size membrane elements for better energy efficiency. By using software like IMSDesign, ROSA etc., and also through extensive bench and real life testing, the ideal seawater flow / pressure for each configuration was determined. Rather than downgrading large, power-hungry standard equipment, we began engineering each model for its particular output.

In some cases we had to ask pump manufacturers to build proprietary crankshafts to our specs to make this possible. These same shafts are now available to everyone. This new approach is a great success because ECHOTec’s high output AC systems can, as a backup, run off the inverter at the same efficiency rate as our conventional 12/24 VDC systems.

Due to extensive real-world experience and countless modifications, ECHOTec was the first ever watermaker manufacturer able to offer a 3 year warranty on all components and a warranty for life on the high pressure pump head and the custom pressure vessels. Many have followed this example but this was way before CruiseRo offered their first watermaker. Rich, please give ECHOTec the credit, we all sit in the same boat!

Last but not least; A watermaker built from low cost, off-the-shelf components is obviously cheaper. Once the builder works with low overhead and without the cost of an international dealer network, it should be even cheaper. My question is why does such a product cost only $1200.00 less than an ECHOTec?
On the ECHOTec FAQ page, under “Why chose an ECHOTec Watermaker” you find a listing of innovative system components and features that were developed during more than 15 years of designing, manufacturing and maintaining our own systems. It is also a documentation of what a difference you can achieve by spending a few extra bucks.

I agree with Tellie that apart from building a good machine, the time one is willing to spend with a customer is the crucial key to the success of any product. ECHOTec supports customers with a determined group of mostly RTW cruisers in all parts of the world. ECHOTec USA in Clearwater is run by Lori and Erik, passionate boaters since their childhood. Australian Peter Colman of Blue Sea Machine has an excellent reputation for speedy replies and always has the right solution on hand. He sails presently the Australian west cost. Will Curry from Hydrovane International cruises Mexico. He and his offices in the UK and Canada assist cruisers whenever there is a question about ECHOTec. European distributor Tom Logisch just returned from the ARC start in Las Palmas where he insured that all ECHOTec’s are well installed and ready for the crossing. There are many more factory trained dealers in all parts of the world listed on our website.

Both ECHOTec founders are RTW sailers with plenty hands-on watermaker experience; Peter Spinn cruises a Privilege cat and assists customers from our factory in Trinidad. As I am writing this post, I am sitting in the cockpit of our Morgan 461 in Shelter Bay Marina, Panama as my family and I joined the 2013 Pacific Paddle Jumpers crossing to French Polynesia. If you happen to be around and like to talk about watermakers, my boat is “Voyageur” on dock D42. I have always time to spare.
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Old 15-12-2012, 23:51   #199
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Thanks Michael for contributing.

Just watched your pump service video. V Good.

Looks like CruiseRO is using same HP pump as you are??

Cheers
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Old 16-12-2012, 05:51   #200
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Michael from ECHOTec.

Thanks for contributing!
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Old 19-12-2012, 12:41   #201
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeB2012 View Post
Rich, please give ECHOTec the credit, we all sit in the same boat!
Absolutely,
As I've told clients in their decision making process many times in person, at the boat shows or over email, you won't go wrong in the Echotec/Cruise RO Water decision by selecting Echotec, it will just cost you more. The client can then make the determination if the extra boat bucks are worth the feature differences along with Echotec having been around selling water makers for much longer! Some go with Echotec while some go with Cruise RO water. The market is plenty big from my perspective to support more than one quality water maker company without any need for fake negatives comparisons or bad mouthing, that's something I would never do.

Maybe you missed the point I was making about our 3 Yr warranty, because unless someone in the industry has changed the terms of their warranty, we are the only water maker company to offer a full non-prorated 3 warranty on the RO Membrane. As I mentioned, some have upgraded their preveous 1yr warranty to better compete with our 3yr warranty, that's the basis of the free market system, which I think is great for the cruising fleet as a whole. I wasn't trying to knock Echotec or belittle your good reputation. Our entering the market back in 2010 with a 20 and 30 gallon per hour water makers specifically designed to run off of the Honda 2000 generator, shook up the water maker market, and that's actually a good thing for Cruisers and the water maker companies alike.

We have different opinions on the "Black Magic Factor" in the water maker industry and maybe it is just the way I look at things, which is A-ok. I view the removing of manufacturer part numbers and leaving the part numbers out of the manual for major system parts as playing the "black Magic game". Having an RO Membrane made out of the Dow Filmtec membrane material that will only fit in a special sized Pressure Vessel and calling it "special", pisses me off as a Cruiser and I call BS on that and the water maker companies that do that to then justify $800 for their "special" membranes. Sure in the early days of Marine RO, maybe that was justified when the off the shelf parts were not as affordable and reliable but not today when RO Parts should be Commodity priced rather than "black magic" prices. After 5yrs of living aboard and cruising, I Just have a personal dislike of marketing hype and granted I sometimes get too harsh on Companies that I view as hyping things, but everyone has to recover their R&D and product development costs. Heck, we spent tens of thousands of dollars in designing and testing our SeaMaker water makers, so even we (Kings of Low Overhead) have R&D and product start-up and ongoing marketing costs to recoup. It's the nature of being in Business...let's not even start talking about Product Liability Insurance...Ouch!

If I couldn't have a Cruise RO Water water maker in my personal boat that I live aboard and cruise with my family of 4 on, I would have an Echotec, simple as that. Well unless I could have 1000W of Solar and had a pocket full of money...then I could even go for a Spectra and I'd be calling Tellie~
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Old 22-12-2012, 12:39   #202
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Very useful discussion. Having read most all of this, the question I was still left with is what type of consumables and their costs for these RO watermakers?

If they have high purchase prices, but last decades, the cost to keep them working is then more significant. How often must you replace filters, seals, pumps, etc?
I've seen the membrane costs discussed, if they last 10 years, $200 vs $600 isn't such a big deal, but if they need replaced every year..

JackB
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Old 22-12-2012, 13:22   #203
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

The luxury of having fresh, clean water of known quality is well worth the cost.

To pull up at a Marina to refill tanks through a supply system that may lack good potable water is dodgy at best.

Other than energy the yearly cost comes back to cost of 'Pre-filters' and the quantity of filters used is a direct result of the quality of the raw water.

Once we have converted our system to use commonly available membranes instead of the 3" proprietry units the cost of replacing the membrane over say 4 years (at worst) amounts to a dollar a week, i think our water bill at our last house WAY exceeded that!

And on that point if a full-time cruiser costed in all outgoings over 4 years including initial purchase he'd probably find it was far less than paying a household water bill and household water supply is crap compared to product from our de-sal.

Cheers Frank
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Old 26-12-2012, 12:36   #204
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
We have similar requirements to you and purchased a Spectra 150 3 years ago and could not be happier with it, but this may not suit you.

When deciding on a watermaker the first step is t consider how you are going to power it. They use a lot energy.

For a primarily solar powered boat an energy efficient watermaker like a Spectra is a must. It can be quite small and run for two to three hours every second day like we do.
If you get most of your energy from generator or main engine power you need a much larger watermaker that will make enough water during the generator / engine time to make all your water. Energy efficiency is less important.

The cost of a small energy recovery watermaker and a large energy inefficient watermaker is reasonably similar.

The watermaker needs to run at least every 5 days, or it needs pickling, or a freshwater flush.
Hello,

How many batteries do you keep?
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Old 26-12-2012, 12:48   #205
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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Hello,

How many batteries do you keep?
400AHrs.
I live at anchor so I only get to plug into shore power every couple of years or so. Battery capacity is less important as only helps to even out production, which is 95% solar (330w).
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Old 26-12-2012, 13:21   #206
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
I've built a dozen or so watermakers for myself and others and I sell and service several brands as well. I have a soft spot for sailors because I are one. But deciding on which watermaker is the right one for you and your boat takes a bit of consideration and knowing the right questions to ask. Watermakers are expensive and you want to make the right choice that fits your needs and your boats capabilities along with your cruising style. Choose the right one and they are worth their weight in gold. Choose the wrong one and you'll curse them at every Tiki bar you'll stop at. I'm always available and my advice is free, all you have to do is ask.
What are the right questions?
I have a 37' sloop single hand but maybe a partner and think a watermaker is a wise choice. I have two solar panels and am considering a wind turbine, besides the 24HP deisel - 3 cyl , to recoup energy. Planning Key West trip for next winter to experience it. 67 years old now. Not a lot of sailing experience but want necessities/ priorities I can afford.
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Old 27-12-2012, 14:41   #207
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Thanks Micheal (I am the type of sailor that does his own rigging, refrigeration, cabinetry, etc so will be getting in touch with you). Alot of "boat stuff" is easy to do, but have a cloud of mystery hanging around them. This culture makes people think they need a premade solution, as deemed by the marketing industry. What keeps the marine industry alive is people that have more money than time. Boating is not a rich man's sport, anyone who is willing to do for them self can.
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Old 31-12-2012, 05:37   #208
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjgmt1 View Post
What are the right questions?
I have a 37' sloop single hand but maybe a partner and think a watermaker is a wise choice. I have two solar panels and am considering a wind turbine, besides the 24HP deisel - 3 cyl , to recoup energy. Planning Key West trip for next winter to experience it. 67 years old now. Not a lot of sailing experience but want necessities/ priorities I can afford.
I would simply go for a Power-Survivor 40-E (5,5 l/hour and 4 Amps)
Small,light,easy to install ,reliable,affordable.(and can be operated manually)
Power-Survivor 80 (12,5 LPH - 8 Amps) is far more expensible,Amp draw is less compatible with your available power supply.
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Old 31-12-2012, 06:34   #209
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

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What are the right questions?
I have a 37' sloop single hand but maybe a partner and think a watermaker is a wise choice. I have two solar panels and am considering a wind turbine, besides the 24HP deisel - 3 cyl , to recoup energy. Planning Key West trip for next winter to experience it. 67 years old now. Not a lot of sailing experience but want necessities/ priorities I can afford.
How about go sailing and see if you find water to be an issue? You can always add one later. There's nothing like some experience to make clear to you what your own priorities really are instead of what you think they might be and what others tell you.
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Old 31-12-2012, 06:46   #210
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Cruising is one thing passagemaking qnother. A contemplated atlantic crossing takes 3 weeks, figure 4 to be safe. Two persons at low usage figure 20 liters per day ( that is very low) so 500 liters for the crossing. My tanks hold 140 liters each, two tanks, toal 280 liters. Ain't gonna make it. Need to have an alternative water source.

In addition, my wife and i aren't trying to set a record for an RTW with the least resources. We want a wtermaker.
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