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Old 11-01-2011, 03:43   #1
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Cape Horn Extreme - Watermaker

Help .....
I need some advice here please ....
We want to install a watermaker on our Cat Lagoon 440 in preparation for our world cruise. We like the Spectra Cape Horn Extreme and have been advised differently by experts in the field.
The Cape Horn Extremeis 12V system with 2 feed pumps meaning we can use one or both pumps and if one fails the other is useable. I REALLY like that idea.
On low mode one pump produces 31 liters/hr for a 9 amp draw (12v) and with both pumps 53 Liters/hr for a 22 amp draw.
When I asked my supplier to get me a price, he suggested I was crazy to be looking at a Cape Horn Extreme, since they are VERY mechanical, meaning I have to go under bunk beds etc. and manually engage or disengage valves etc. etc.

Can anyone please advise if the management of this is painful or if it can be rigged in such a way that it is functional but easy?
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:14   #2
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My Spectra is older, but similar to the Cape Horn Extreme. I like the fact that it is so mechanical. I don't find the automation to be worth the risk of failure. Once you're used to it, it is easy to use.

Don't mount it under a bunk, though. Like everything else, you'll want good access to it sooner or later.

I generally only use one feed pump and it is easily supplied by my solar panels. The higher pressures of two pumps tears up the pump heads faster. So my second pump is mostly backup (and I have spares on top of that).
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:29   #3
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Help .....
I need some advice here please ....
We want to install a watermaker on our Cat Lagoon 440 in preparation for our world cruise. We like the Spectra Cape Horn Extreme and have been advised differently by experts in the field.
The Cape Horn Extremeis 12V system with 2 feed pumps meaning we can use one or both pumps and if one fails the other is useable. I REALLY like that idea.
On low mode one pump produces 31 liters/hr for a 9 amp draw (12v) and with both pumps 53 Liters/hr for a 22 amp draw.
When I asked my supplier to get me a price, he suggested I was crazy to be looking at a Cape Horn Extreme, since they are VERY mechanical, meaning I have to go under bunk beds etc. and manually engage or disengage valves etc. etc.

Can anyone please advise if the management of this is painful or if it can be rigged in such a way that it is functional but easy?
I don't believe we've ever spoken. But everyone knows what I do. In my opinion the Cape Horn extreme is probably the best watermaker for long term sailors. I could chose any watermaker I want but the Cape Horn is the one I have on my boat. It is about the easiest to use, fix and repair at sea. The port side under the bunk location on the lagoon 440 is the area most watermakers are best installed. If you load up that bunk it can be a pain to access. But for leaks it drains right into the bilge and has the best access to the electrical panel keeping the feed the shortest possible which is very important for 12Volt watermakers. The Cape Horn is simple to operate once you get used to it. If you find that it would be too inconvenient to operate manually an electronic model would be better in the long run. Since the Miami show is next month is there any possibility you are going?
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:50   #4
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Go with your gut. When I bought my Spectra Ventura, the dealer treated me like I was some kind of cheap nut since I didn't want the automatic control panel. I have not regretted going manual, though. The folks I know who have the same unit and have had problems, guess which piece is usually the source of their problems. That's right, the piece I don't have. Have to remember that the suppliers are geared towards selling stuff. The more it costs you, the more money they make. They're usually not overly concerned with your life beyond the point of sale.

-Steve
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:24   #5
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I'd stay away from as much electronics aboard as possible. I have a 12 volt watermaker that I run without a PWM motor control to improve reliability, although with the controller I could optimize it for the best output. What do you do 1000 miles from land when the chip dies? I've lived aboard over 20 years and have found All Electrics Fail eventually... Cheers!
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:08   #6
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Go with your gut. When I bought my Spectra Ventura, the dealer treated me like I was some kind of cheap nut since I didn't want the automatic control panel. I have not regretted going manual, though. The folks I know who have the same unit and have had problems, guess which piece is usually the source of their problems. That's right, the piece I don't have. Have to remember that the suppliers are geared towards selling stuff. The more it costs you, the more money they make. They're usually not overly concerned with your life beyond the point of sale.

-Steve
I'll apologize for any Spectra dealer that treated you that way. It is not Spectras policy AT ALL. In fact you can always contact me any time you need any advice concerning your 150. I know there are plenty of marine companies out there that treat customers as a quick source of income. My business is mostly word of mouth. I can not afford nor is it in me to treat customers that way. I am always overly concerned with my customers after sale service. I've always been available 24/7 by phone or E-mail for the past four years. There are members here on CF that will attest to that. Sure it bothers me a bit when I don't get the sale and the install but have to field dozens of long distance calls and E-mails from customers all over the world that bought from some one else and knowing I will make nothing other than the satisfaction that they now have a better understanding their unit. But it's easy to say do not go with electronic watermakers. But some people do have a real need for one. This is why I always say that there is no one watermaker that fits all. It just doesn't exist. Also the point waterworldrob makes "What do you do 1000 miles from land when then chip dies?" Quite simple really. Just flip the toggle switch from "AUTO" to "MANUAL"
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:16   #7
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OK - so I'm realising this was not a stupid thread to post .... so far I've done a lot of research before putting anything onto my boat and thankfully most with the advice of JUST CATAMARANS based in Fort Lauderdale which has turned out to be fantastic!
What concerns me, without always calling Kent, is that I'm not sure of the process in making water - obviously the more automated the less buttons to push, but then - How manual is the Cape Horn Extreme?
What is the process to making water with it? ....... I need water, the unit is installed under a bunk bed which is a mission to get to ...... can I rig up a button or valve without having to get to the unit that is easily accessible and how many valves need to be switched on/off each time I make water?
Your comments very much appreciated ....
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Old 11-01-2011, 16:27   #8
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...How manual is the Cape Horn Extreme?
What is the process to making water with it? ....... I need water, the unit is installed under a bunk bed which is a mission to get to ...... can I rig up a button or valve without having to get to the unit that is easily accessible and how many valves need to be switched on/off each time I make water?
Your comments very much appreciated ....
It's really, really hard. You probably need a PhD to do it:Make sure the intake and brine outlet thru-hulls are empty.
  1. Make sure the yellow service valve handle on the primary feed pump module is in the "run" position.
  2. Turn on power to the feed pump(s), and flip the power switch on the feed pump module(s).
  3. When tanks are full, turn the service valve to the off/closed position, and open the flush valve. Let it flush for about 2.5 minutes.
  4. Close the flush valve and shut down the power.
See? Now you can defend your thesis in Watermaker-ology and graduate with honors!
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Old 11-01-2011, 17:13   #9
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It's really, really hard. You probably need a PhD to do it:Make sure the intake and brine outlet thru-hulls are empty.
  1. Make sure the yellow service valve handle on the primary feed pump module is in the "run" position.
  2. Turn on power to the feed pump(s), and flip the power switch on the feed pump module(s).
  3. When tanks are full, turn the service valve to the off/closed position, and open the flush valve. Let it flush for about 2.5 minutes.
  4. Close the flush valve and shut down the power.
See? Now you can defend your thesis in Watermaker-ology and graduate with honors!

Hey Jon, I haven't heard from you in awhile. I hope that means everything is working well. Say Hi to the wife for me.
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