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Old 07-12-2012, 01:32   #16
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Reminds me of a joke . . . but I'll spare everyone.

We have the Spectra Cape Horn which is completely manual - no electronic solenoids or sensors and it's been flawless after three years and 12,000 miles of cruising with 3 of us on board (my 24-year-old daughter has a difficult time being conservative with water use despite my Water-Nazi threats).

We consistently get 50 liters per hour at 18 amps of 12VDC. Because we have two 235-watt solar panels, we can get by without running the genset or main engine if it's a sunny day. If we're in New Zealand or Australia where the ozone layer is very thin, the solar panels more than keep up.

Recently, I have read many favorable reports of cruisers building their own watermakers from scratch. Apparently there is much detailed information available on line that enables someone to design, build and use a low-cost, efficient watermaker. Very intriguing.

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Old 07-12-2012, 01:46   #17
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Good News that there are Spectra models whiteout sensors. I thought they all had sensors for salinity, backpreassure etc.

Building my own watermaker is my next project.. A good source for parts is www.cruiserowaterandpower.com

It is simple: Seawater-Pump-high pressure- drinking water

If you want to make it complicated add sensors;-)
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:48   #18
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Just to show my ignorance, I'll ask what does "power recovery" mean. I do like the idea of a unit that can be run (mostly) on solar. While I will be increasing our battery capacity, I don't think I'll be able to mount much more than 4 x 140 A due to space limitations.

My concern is during passage making, as adequate amounts of water here is essential. And there will be places where we anchor where water is not readily available.

While coastal cruising, we use about 30, maybe 40 liters per day. But we are actually wasteful, since we know we can fill the tanks anytime we want. I do realize that when cruising, the water usage jumps as water is used for clothes washing, and bathing.

So lets say we use 60 liters per day. With 300 liter tanks that makes for 5 days. So refilling every other day sounds like a plan (refill as soon as a tank is empty - that way we always end up using a new tank every 2-3 day).

AS you all can read - I'm a complete novice regarding water makers.

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Old 07-12-2012, 01:56   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb
Just to show my ignorance, I'll ask what does "power recovery" mean. I do like the idea of a unit that can be run (mostly) on solar. While I will be increasing our battery capacity, I don't think I'll be able to mount much more than 4 x 140 A due to space limitations.

My concern is during passage making, as adequate amounts of water here is essential. And there will be places where we anchor where water is not readily available.

While coastal cruising, we use about 30, maybe 40 liters per day. But we are actually wasteful, since we know we can fill the tanks anytime we want. I do realize that when cruising, the water usage jumps as water is used for clothes washing, and bathing.

So lets say we use 60 liters per day. With 300 liter tanks that makes for 5 days. So refilling every other day sounds like a plan (refill as soon as a tank is empty - that way we always end up using a new tank every 2-3 day).

AS you all can read - I'm a complete novice regarding water makers.

Carstenb.

Energy recovery is a means of recovering the high pressure energy in the brine outflow from the membrane. In most cases with out ER the energy is dissipated across the back pressure valve. ( or needle valve) . energy recovery is big business in industrial RO. In leisure systems Spectra has led the way with the development of the Clarke hydraulic intensifier ( a pump) which they patented. Hence only Spectra and its licensees have this which has limited the market.

Dancoss is working in the area and has released a recovery option, but its still and expensive option. I'm not aware of any marine leisure water makers other the Spectra/ Shenker that have energy energy. Unlike a previous poster there's not much to choose from

Dave
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:00   #20
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Originally Posted by Oceansailor
Good News that there are Spectra models whiteout sensors. I thought they all had sensors for salinity, backpreassure etc.

Building my own watermaker is my next project.. A good source for parts is www.cruiserowaterandpower.com

It is simple: Seawater-Pump-high pressure- drinking water

If you want to make it complicated add sensors;-)
I've built one its not as simple as it seems, but it can be done, the main issue is good high pressure plumbing etc

You can get out without sensors , but at a minimum you need pressure and flow gauges. Otherwise you monitor the system. You can get by without a TDS sensor. You can just buy a standalone unit. Just ensure you can't contaminate every tank.

My design eventually featured all electronic sensors and fully automated flush. But then I am an EE and a bit of an automation nerd.


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Old 07-12-2012, 02:01   #21
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Energy recovery water makers use a special high pressure pump called a Clark pump. This recovers some of the pressure from the cycle and feeds it into the next cycle.
This drastically cuts the power requirements to make a Litre or gallon of water.

Spectra were the first company to produce energy recovery water makers, but there are now several others as well.
If you want to run your watermaker primarily from solar it almost has to be an energy recovery model. A normal watermaker uses too much power.

It's easy to tell if a model is energy recovery or not just look at the L or Gal per AHr. This figure tends to stay about the same for bigger and smaller watermakers but will be much higher for an energy recovery model

Edit: Dave, you type quicker than me
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:19   #22
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

The energy recovery models use something like 1.4AHrs per gal.

To make 60l of water per day you are probably looking at somewhere around 24 AHrs a day (allowing for some rinsing of the watermaker after use) that you must produce from solar, or other sources, to run your watermaker.
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:31   #23
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Lookig at a Spectra Ventura 150 model. I'm getting pricing here in europe of (depending on the dollar exchange rate) roughly USD 6500 (he wrote while gasping for breath!). Seems like a lot.

On the other hand - good clean water is priceless.

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Old 07-12-2012, 07:29   #24
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

In my best Arnold Horshack...Oh, Oh, Oh, Pick me, Pick me, Mr. Kotter.

As exampled above, there are different watermakers for different needs. If I have said it once I have said it a thousand times, there is no one watermaker to fit all wants and needs and capacities. There is a balance of many things to be considered. A Katadyn 40 is a great watermaker. It has no place on a 48' Cat. Echotecs are great, but you won't find them on a million dollar yachts. Spectras are great but a 700gpd unit is pointless on a 32' sailboat. Power, especially on a sailboat is of primary concern. Not everyone has generators, 1500 amp house banks, or a pair of 260 amp Balmars. Not everyone wants to motor sail, not everyone wants to just sail. Some people are quite happy with showers from a spritzer bottle and think anything more is a ghastly waste of water. Some people want to use as much water on-board as they do at home. Fresh water heads, full sized washing machines, fresh water deck wash downs, regular dingy engine flushing, long showers, etc. Some people want to sail around the world and need the right watermaker to fit their's and their boats needs. Some people only go out for two or three weeks a year and want water all the time and lots of it. Some sailors are minimalists while others think creature comforts like all the water they want at their finger tips is part of the experience and the fun part of cruising. Some people are water Nazis while others have three teenage daughters, all with hair down to their backsides, who will make the captains life miserable if they have to stay one more day on board without two showers a day each. Some people have to put their hands on every system on their boat, know it intricately and how to fix it better than factory trained people. Some peoples only tool in their tool box is a check book and they are willing to pay for extreme maintenance on their very large and expensive toy. All they want to do is push a button and expect that it had better work or somebody's going to lose a chuck-a-azz. Some people want to engineer their own while others believe their time is too valuable to waste. Finally some people would rather listen to their dock buddy at the Tiki bar who has the best system ever and no one should have or do anything other than he does. 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. OK another rant over.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:26   #25
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Tellie, so help me out a little here. My wife and are not water nazis, but we do want to be able to wash ourselves and our clothes etc. We won't have a washing machine on board. We don't want to try to survive on 2 liters per day. We do not wqnt to run the engine every day if it can be avoided. A unit that runs off the solar appeals.

I' m fairly handy with tools, but not an expert engineer. I can take our diesel apart, fix it, put it back together and ( usually) it runs. We're a mix of fix it ourselves (preferable) and write a check ( sometimes).

A 24 liter per hour watermaker seems to me to be big enough for two people. And we will only be two most of the time when we RTW. If the unit runs off solar and is quiet ( someone noted spectra was very quiet) then the bloody thing can run all day as far as I'm concerned.

For me, it needs to be big enough, reliable ( not finicky) run off the solar panels and generally just its damn job, without much help from me.

We have a fourty foot boat, so while there is space, it is at a premium. Especially when i consider all the other crap I have to bring with me......





Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
In my best Arnold Horshack...Oh, Oh, Oh, Pick me, Pick me, Mr. Kotter.

As exampled above, there are different watermakers for different needs. If I have said it once I have said it a thousand times, there is no one watermaker to fit all wants and needs and capacities. There is a balance of many things to be considered. A Katadyn 40 is a great watermaker. It has no place on a 48' Cat. Echotecs are great, but you won't find them on a million dollar yachts. Spectras are great but a 700gpd unit is pointless on a 32' sailboat. Power, especially on a sailboat is of primary concern. Not everyone has generators, 1500 amp house banks, or a pair of 260 amp Balmars. Not everyone wants to motor sail, not everyone wants to just sail. Some people are quite happy with showers from a spritzer bottle and think anything more is a ghastly waste of water. Some people want to use as much water on-board as they do at home. Fresh water heads, full sized washing machines, fresh water deck wash downs, regular dingy engine flushing, long showers, etc. Some people want to sail around the world and need the right watermaker to fit their's and their boats needs. Some people only go out for two or three weeks a year and want water all the time and lots of it. Some sailors are minimalists while others think creature comforts like all the water they want at their finger tips is part of the experience and the fun part of cruising. Some people are water Nazis while others have three teenage daughters, all with hair down to their backsides, who will make the captains life miserable if they have to stay one more day on board without two showers a day each. Some people have to put their hands on every system on their boat, know it intricately and how to fix it better than factory trained people. Some peoples only tool in their tool box is a check book and they are willing to pay for extreme maintenance on their very large and expensive toy. All they want to do is push a button and expect that it had better work or somebody's going to lose a chuck-a-azz. Some people want to engineer their own while others believe their time is too valuable to waste. Finally some people would rather listen to their dock buddy at the Tiki bar who has the best system ever and no one should have or do anything other than he does. 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. OK another rant over.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:08   #26
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Getting the right sized watermaker is important, but is less critical if you are planning to run it via solar.
If you do want to run it via solar the limiting factor is generally how much power you have.
How much excess power do you have at the moment?
Can you fit more solar or wind to generate more power? How much excess power will you have following these improvements?

These answers will determine how much water you can make more than the size of the watermaker. It's not just how much water you would like its how much water you can produce with the power you have available.

If you run your main engine often, or a generator and plan to use these times to make significant amounts of water then the size of the watermaker becomes more of a factor.

I will be interested in Tellies answer, he always gives great advice, but with your planned consumption a spectra 150 would be OK, but I think a little on the small side. I would certainly look at the Cape Horn.

The Spectra systems are quite modular so there is usually somewhere you can squeeze the components in, but check before you buy.

Do an energy budget and work out how much water you can make as an important first step.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:17   #27
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

We had a Spectra 150 on our gem. We went out a couple of times for a month or more.

The Gem holds 60 gal in two 30 gal tanks.

We went through one tank every 2 1/2 to 3 days.

We did laundry ashore.

I "shower" with a rag and a gallon or so. Amazing the coverage you get with just a drippy rag!. The wife took "navy" showers. Wet down - soap up - rinse off.

The rest we drank or wasted I guess.

The hardest part we had was finding water clear enough that the filters did not clog up in a couple of hours. All those nice anchorages are in closer where the water is not like offshore. (offshore being a relative term for a coastal cruise)
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:50   #28
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Not sure if Tellie can sell to you over there.... if not, there are always some good used units on eBay. Heres a loaded Specra Newport 1000 as an example. (click here)

I bought my HRO Seafari Escape with the energy recovery system off eBay for $1,000 this spring (it's an $11,000 system) and it looks/works like new. This was a steal, but other deals are out there too. I figure if I have to replace the pump or any of the components, I'm still miles ahead.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:53   #29
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Tellie, so help me out a little here. My wife and are not water nazis, but we do want to be able to wash ourselves and our clothes etc. We won't have a washing machine on board. We don't want to try to survive on 2 liters per day. We do not wqnt to run the engine every day if it can be avoided. A unit that runs off the solar appeals.

I' m fairly handy with tools, but not an expert engineer. I can take our diesel apart, fix it, put it back together and ( usually) it runs. We're a mix of fix it ourselves (preferable) and write a check ( sometimes).

A 24 liter per hour watermaker seems to me to be big enough for two people. And we will only be two most of the time when we RTW. If the unit runs off solar and is quiet ( someone noted spectra was very quiet) then the bloody thing can run all day as far as I'm concerned.

For me, it needs to be big enough, reliable ( not finicky) run off the solar panels and generally just its damn job, without much help from me.

We have a fourty foot boat, so while there is space, it is at a premium. Especially when i consider all the other crap I have to bring with me......

Hi Carstenb,

First my apologies. I did get your PM the other day and I'm sorry I didn't get back to you, but I've been a bit busy the last few weeks with family issues. There are a few things first. There is no watermaker made that does not require regular maintenance if it is expected to last for a long time. But if you can rebuild a diesel and make it run then you certainly have the skills to maintain a watermaker. If you're considering solar and a watermaker then you'll want a 12 Volt powered watermaker that is as energy efficient as possible. Also no 12Volt watermaker really runs off the solar panels. They run off the batteries and the solar panels just put back the amps used. Now if your panels can put back as much energy or a little more than the watermaker uses then you're getting closer to the balance you're looking for. Though 24 liters seems to be a good amount of water for two on a RTW trip the nature of the beast is that once you install a watermaker you will probably at least double the water usage you're normally used to. But that's OK, you do want a little added comfort, after all this trip is not supposed to be to prove how little you can survive on. Your other half will thank you later. A RTW trip is a whole different type of cruising. You need energy efficiency, reliability, redundancy and the ability to to most of any needed repairs yourself without a lot of the fancy electronics added. Now I have to state here that I am a watermaker dealer for several brands. But for RTW cruises for self sufficient sailors The Cape Horn Extreme is probably the best choice. There's good reason all the Volvo race boats have either 200Ts or Cape Horn Extremes. The Cape Horn is the only unit that has two feed pumps. It can make water with both pumps running or just one. With one feed pump running it will make 30 liters an hour, with both feed pumps running it will make 53 liters an hour. Most RTW sailors usually just alternate between one pump or the other. If one fails the other will still continue to give you water. The feed pump heads are easy to change out and you would be carrying a spare one any way. With only one feed pump running your amp consumption would be around 9 amps per hour.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:05   #30
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Re: Which Watermaker To Choose

I'm sure the Spectra is a fine watermaker but for the price and simplicity the Cruise RO SeaMaker 20 is the one I would choose. It's really a no brainer. Compare the specs: 20 GPH Water Maker
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