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Old 13-02-2016, 18:15   #1
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Spectra water maker models

Hello,

Looking at the eventual instal of a watermaker. Would like feed back from people who have cruised in the tropics with various smaller Spectra models. I am fairly set on their product but not on the particular model or options. Ventura vs. catalina etc. The unit will be supplying two adults male and female and one child female, with a additional possible two guest/crew for periods. All livaboards accustom to normal water conservation. Looking for specific feedback on runtime vs. power consumption maint etc. Ease of use. Did you feel the model you had was overkill and not really nessessary? Did you feel it was undersized and never really met your needs? Was it the most perfect no maintinace piece of equipment ever?

Thanks
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Old 13-02-2016, 19:07   #2
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Re: Spectra water maker models

Ive been running a Catalina (12 GPH) since 2004 in the tropics...wow, 12 years now!

Very energy efficient (which is one significant reason to consider Spectra), about 1 amp hour at nominal 12V per gallon.

Have had maintenance issues over the years: failed feed pump, seals, sensors. In all cases Spectra's excellent support helped me get them resolved.

Did a factory refurb exchange of the Clark pump a couple of seasons ago. Good program. Net cost to me for a refurbed and updated Clark pump was about $500. Coordinated with Spectra to minimize downtime by getting the refurb unit shipped in first then replacing and returning my (still working) old unit.

12 GPH is sufficient for us, cruising couple, but a bit more would be useful with guests aboard. In retrospect, I would have gone for 20 GPH.

Spectra is a good product, with great support, but the up front cost is high.
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Old 13-02-2016, 20:34   #3
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Re: Spectra water maker models

I installed a Ventura 200T in Panama around 3 years ago. It has performed flawlessly since. Power consumption is as advertised. I installed the model with the MPC controller and am very happy I did this. It flushes every 5 days whether in the water or on the hard. When in use the automatic changeover from salt to fresh is makes use so much easier.
Highly recommended.



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Old 13-02-2016, 22:04   #4
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Re: Spectra water maker models

We've had a Cape Horn for five years. 16 gals/60 Liters per hour 12 volts at 18 amps. No computer, no electronics and redundant feed water pumps. If one stops working you still can get 8 gal/s hour at 9 amps. With two water wasting adults I run it once every five days for about five hours. I've got 1250 watts of solar panels so I usually am running on electricity which wouldn't have been harvested as the batteries are already at their limiting voltage.
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Old 13-02-2016, 22:49   #5
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Re: Spectra water maker models

Get bigger than you think you need and get lots of spare parts...

If it is bigger, you'll run it for less time. If you can run it off solar, it's even better.
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Old 14-02-2016, 08:59   #6
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Re: Spectra water maker models

Can't speak to the question, but Big Ups to Spectra for donating a unit at the Miami International Boat Show Cruisers Outpost Party charity fundraiser! Some lucky guy will have plenty water in the islands!
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Old 14-02-2016, 09:16   #7
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Re: Spectra water maker models

In the Spectra line you're probably picking between the Catalina, Cape Horn and Newport 400. On a previous boat I owned a Catalina but moved up to the Newport because I wanted the 50% extra capacity.

But Spectra has now improved the Catalina with a "high" mode switch that lets it run at 14gph. That makes it a tougher choice.

In 10 years of Spectra use the only non-routine replacement was a $50 salinity probe (and Spectra tech support told me how to bypass that to make water until they could send me a new one). Just about every other system on the boat with a circuit board has had more troubles (chargers, inverters, nav gear, bow thruster, voltage regulator -- even the head controls)
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Old 14-02-2016, 17:48   #8
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Re: Spectra water maker models

I've owned a Spectra Catalina for roughly 10 years. My advise: If you're living aboard, you almost have to have a water maker, but if you're not living aboard - don't get a water maker. Too much hassle and constant maintenance.

I bought the Spectra, because of the automatic flush, since we don't live on our boat. Once you put a membrane in it - you're pregnant!! You're either pickling it or maintaining enough water in the tanks to continually flush it (maybe 5 gallons every 120 hours).

I have 2 - 75 gallon water tanks, so I could have lived without a water maker. However, sailing our cat with the water tanks empty, (150 gallons X albs = 1200 lbs) is a big improvement regarding speed and smoother ride.
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Old 15-02-2016, 02:44   #9
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Re: Spectra water maker models

50 litres an hour for 15 amps, go the Catalina, ours is three years old and going strong.
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Old 15-02-2016, 04:06   #10
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Re: Spectra water maker models

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay Breeze View Post
Can't speak to the question, but Big Ups to Spectra for donating a unit at the Miami International Boat Show Cruisers Outpost Party charity fundraiser! Some lucky guy will have plenty water in the islands!

Thank you, Halden Marine Service does this every year at the Miami show.

It seems every year I do this there is an interesting side story to the give away. This year the couple who won this watermaker at the show were walking back to my booth with me to pick up their new Spectra watermaker and the man begins to tell me the story. He and his wife were sitting there just watching the goings on at the party. He and his wife were seriously looking at closing a deal in a week or two on a new boat and were still a bit unsure about it and they said to each other half jokingly "If we win this watermaker, it's a sign that we should sign the papers and buy the boat we are looking at" Then a man walks up to them about tens minutes before the drawing and says" I'm leaving, here are my tickets if you want them" Ya gotta love the Force.

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Old 15-02-2016, 04:21   #11
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Re: Spectra water maker models

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingscotts View Post
Hello,

Looking at the eventual instal of a watermaker. Would like feed back from people who have cruised in the tropics with various smaller Spectra models. I am fairly set on their product but not on the particular model or options. Ventura vs. catalina etc. The unit will be supplying two adults male and female and one child female, with a additional possible two guest/crew for periods. All livaboards accustom to normal water conservation. Looking for specific feedback on runtime vs. power consumption maint etc. Ease of use. Did you feel the model you had was overkill and not really nessessary? Did you feel it was undersized and never really met your needs? Was it the most perfect no maintinace piece of equipment ever?

Thanks

Good input from those above. But if you'd like you can call me any time and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you have and also help you make sure you are choosing the right Spectra model to meet your needs and importantly meet your boats capabilities. CF members are close to my heart and always get special attention.

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Old 15-02-2016, 04:25   #12
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Re: Spectra water maker models

PS, I went to your family album Cruisingscotts, that is a gorgeous boat. Nice work.

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Old 16-02-2016, 19:20   #13
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Re: Spectra water maker models

I took an existing Spectre and made my own model...thank Tellie. I call it the "Marquesas". I use 2 feed pumps with a 40" membrane. WSith 1 feed pump on...8gph. With the 2nd feed pump on, 16gph. Also that creates redundancy in the system if I ever loose a pump.
Mentioned previously about carrying lots of parts. Not really sure what you mean by that. If it was filters and a pickling kit...fine. But as far as rebuilding...you are going to sit on those parts a long time. I went to Spectre's tech school in Ca. to become a roving technician. These units are bullet proof!
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