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Old 07-08-2009, 13:56   #1
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My New-to-Me Spectra Watermaker

MY SPECTRA WATERMAKER

I bought the boat in April and brought it home in May.

One of the things I wanted was a water maker and in particular, a Spectra. It is an opinion I know. I have read a lot about water makers in the last few years. In my opinion, for my boat and my uses a 12V Spectra was my top pick and this boat had one along with other things that made me decide to make an offer. I can’t believe I actually bought a boat!!!

Right after the survey (I think) I came in contact with Tellie here on CF who is a Spectra dealer/rep and he offered to meet me at the boat and go over the system with me and check it out. You are kidding, right? How could I pass that up? He came aboard and spent a couple of hours going over all the basics and some of the particulars since I had so many questions. That is a lot of time given up by him since I already owned it. My hat was off to him for that day. I know it was not just the “couple of hours” since he had to travel also. Been there, have the dirty T-shirt.

The next time my hat was off was on an overnight when we were making water and the salinity probe failed. I called him on the phone (still afternoon) and he walked me through the steps to disable the probe and continue making water. Problem for me was that the manual does not address this particular failure in the section that it should. It can be found out by combining info from two other sections I found out later. But at the time we wanted water and not an evening of reading. We got that with no problem with the help of Tellie again. He knows about the manual but since he is not asked when writing them……………well…….it’s not his job anyway.

You all don't really know me but my luck has it that things that almost never happen to others, do seem to happen to me. This time a part hardly ever known to fail, failed. Now that the boat is on the west coast I am no longer in Tellie’s territory and should use another dealer/rep. I did that but with less confidence and still talked/emailed, over time, the diagnosis and cure with Tellie who had either more or better information. This helped a lot and was something he did not have to do.

I have called several times to just ask questions and even though I caught him out sailing with his family he gave me minutes to alleviate a fear and/or provide information.

For the latest transducer problem I was referred to the company in California where Kyle took the time to walk me through diagnostic tests to determine, for sure, what was wrong. This over the phone of course. This over-the-phone diagnosis and the time it took, I think was so I would not be buying a part I do not need. I appreciate that.

As it turns out Spectra is sending me both parts free of charge even though as a second owner I do not have a warranty.

This type of service is more than I expected and I sure do appreciate it all. It is making this new-to-me boat and all it’s “modern stuff” easier to handle.

Between the end line dealers/reps and the company contacts and help, I am glad I have a Spectra.

My hat has been off many times this last few months.

Oh yea, the water is great.

http://www.spectrawatermakers.com/

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Old 07-08-2009, 21:02   #2
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Wow, you just bought it and already had 3 failures and spent lots of time talking/emailing/calling to deal with it. It seems that the service is the only good thing in your posting!

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 09-08-2009, 17:01   #3
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Thanks Therapy, It's always been my pleasure to help out a Spectra owner and even better to make a new friend.
Best of Luck,
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Old 09-08-2009, 17:21   #4
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Spectra Power

Personally, I prefer to build things when I can, contray to popular beliefs, it's not always cheaper and quite often the quality is not inferior but there is a sense of accomplishment.

As for the Spectra, my hat is off to the rep that went out of his way to make a new owner a happy boater. As for quality, I think it's out of line to beat up on the watermaker when you have no idea how the previous owner treated it. Did he run it on low batteries, surging generator or what. Regardless of why the parts failed, I think it's grand that Spectra stood behind their product for the sucessive owner.

And no, I don't own a Spectra Watermaker or work for them. I own the Ebay plan model and am very happy with what I built. I would like to know what model Marathon DC motor they use that only draws 24 amps?
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Old 09-08-2009, 17:29   #5
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sounds like the watermaker had problems that were possibly from lack of use. we had issues with our watermaker that were the result of purchasing a used boat with an stored watermaker. you should have better luck now that it is up and running. frequent use is the ticket. (and Nick, are you off your meds? just kidding)
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Old 09-08-2009, 17:36   #6
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(and Nick, are you off your meds? just kidding)
Nope, it seems I am the only one that sees the world is upside down.... where are my pills??!

;-)

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 09-08-2009, 18:57   #7
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Originally Posted by 04 Marine View Post
Personally, I prefer to build things when I can, contray to popular beliefs, it's not always cheaper and quite often the quality is not inferior but there is a sense of accomplishment.

As for the Spectra, my hat is off to the rep that went out of his way to make a new owner a happy boater. As for quality, I think it's out of line to beat up on the watermaker when you have no idea how the previous owner treated it. Did he run it on low batteries, surging generator or what. Regardless of why the parts failed, I think it's grand that Spectra stood behind their product for the sucessive owner.

And no, I don't own a Spectra Watermaker or work for them. I own the Ebay plan model and am very happy with what I built. I would like to know what model Marathon DC motor they use that only draws 24 amps?

I sure would like to see some pics of the one you built Marine04.
When I first started with watermakers I built two of my own as well. Therapys Spectra for all intents and purposes is a new unit and there were no signs that it was misused by the previous owner. It's true they like to be used and sitting idle for long periods of time is not the ideal situation for any watermaker. As all things marine there are those things that can fail on any boat system. The real test is if the company not only stands behind it and makes it right, but that they make sure you understand how to properly operate and maintain your unit. There is a certain amount of learning about a watermaker that needs to be undertaken. The vast majority of repair issues I deal with is from lack of understanding on how to maintain the unit, though not in Therapys case. It serves me better in the long run to take the time it takes to teach the owner as much as possible about his watermaker and to always be available, pretty much 24/7.
I'm not sure of the question "I would like to know what model Marathon DC motor they use that only draws 24 amps?" Are you referring to the DC motors Spectra uses?
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Old 09-08-2009, 19:57   #8
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Hats off to you Tellie for supporting a fellow sailor.
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Old 09-08-2009, 20:26   #9
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Hats off to you Tellie for supporting a fellow sailor.
Yep.
.........
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Old 09-08-2009, 23:16   #10
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Hi Telle
Im thinking about buying a spectra, it seems like all of the water makers have there problms, with Spectra being the best of the bunch, (from the SSCA poll)
Can you give ma a price on the 2-- & 300 gal per day uinit?
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:38   #11
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Hi Telle
Im thinking about buying a spectra, it seems like all of the water makers have there problms, with Spectra being the best of the bunch, (from the SSCA poll)
Can you give ma a price on the 2-- & 300 gal per day uinit?

Hi Ram, you have a Private Message.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:15   #12
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...It's true they like to be used and sitting idle for long periods of time is not the ideal situation for any watermaker.
Is there a point where it is better, from the standpoint of the watermaker, to go up to a higher volume model to reduce the run time usage?

I've been thinking about getting a 6 gal/hr model and expect my average use would be about 5 hrs per day. From a power usage perspective I prefer to smooth out usage as much as possible so, for me, long run times at low kw/hr is preferable to shorter run times at higher kw/hr. Therefore, if it doesn't shorten the watermaker's total gals of water processed over lifetime I would prefer a 6 gal/hr model running 5 hrs per day to, say, a 12 gal/hr model running 5 hrs every other day at twice the kw/hr.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:17   #13
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Originally Posted by gosstyla View Post
Is there a point where it is better, from the standpoint of the watermaker, to go up to a higher volume model to reduce the run time usage?

I've been thinking about getting a 6 gal/hr model and expect my average use would be about 5 hrs per day. From a power usage perspective I prefer to smooth out usage as much as possible so, for me, long run times at low kw/hr is preferable to shorter run times at higher kw/hr. Therefore, if it doesn't shorten the watermaker's total gals of water processed over lifetime I would prefer a 6 gal/hr model running 5 hrs per day to, say, a 12 gal/hr model running 5 hrs every other day at twice the kw/hr.
This is what I also thought but I was told a watermaker prefers to run more or less constantly rather than in spells.
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Old 10-08-2009, 14:24   #14
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Is there a point where it is better, from the standpoint of the watermaker, to go up to a higher volume model to reduce the run time usage?

I've been thinking about getting a 6 gal/hr model and expect my average use would be about 5 hrs per day. From a power usage perspective I prefer to smooth out usage as much as possible so, for me, long run times at low kw/hr is preferable to shorter run times at higher kw/hr. Therefore, if it doesn't shorten the watermaker's total gals of water processed over lifetime I would prefer a 6 gal/hr model running 5 hrs per day to, say, a 12 gal/hr model running 5 hrs every other day at twice the kw/hr.

Bigger is not always better, neither is too small much good. Running very short periods of time is not good for a watermaker, so you have to have a balance. That balance is determined by several factors. First is your real needs. Those needs need to be balanced as well. You don't want to size your watermaker on what you think you can "just get by on" and you don't want one that makes so much water that you end up dumping a good part of it overboard. Second is your boats capabilities to either generate the power or replace the amps used from your batteries. Thirdly, what size water tankage does you boat have? Are you a real hands on kind of boater or do you only want to push buttons and sip Rum?
To address the above in red..That's 35 gallons a day everyday? That's a lot of water for most cruisers, not all but most. Or do you mean 35 gallons each time you run the unit say every three or five days? Like you state power usage is also where you need to find a balance. Personally regardless of my boats powering capabilities I like to use as little as possible. So something that is going to run for a few hours at a time needs to be as efficient as possible just in case I run into powering problems. I really believe that there is no "One size fits all" watermaker. These things aren't cheap and you want to make an informed decision. Buy the wrong one and you'll hate it for as long as you own it. Buy one that best fits your needs and you'll have a new outlook on life the next time a dingy full of blue jugs motors past you in the morning..... for the third time.
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Old 10-08-2009, 16:26   #15
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Telle, good points.
I figured on building my own using a Stainless steel cat pump powered off the main engine, OR using a AC pump.
But with so many projects they are building up.
I would like to see a quote from you for a spectra system.
I have 140 gal of fresh water capacity. We use a lot of water these days, cause most of our time is spent ashore, so the habits are not ingrained yet.
Soon most of our needs power wise should be via solar and wind. We currently have 220 amps of solar and will double that in the next year or so, plus a KISS wind generator.
I figure we would need to fill the tanks every 3-4 days.
So roughly 130 gals/3 days and would want to fill them while the sun is up so say
8-12 gph.
The Newport mk2 or the Catalina 300 look right to me, what would you recomend for my needs?
Thanks, bob
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