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Old 11-06-2017, 17:26   #1
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Life expectancy of watermaker and genset?

Imagine you are buying a 5-year-old boat with a factory installed watermaker and a Genset.

Assume the Genset is something like the ONAN 11Kva 220V / 50Hz

and the water maker is a DESSALATOR 63L (17 US Gal)/H

What life expectancy can you expect? Assuming they still work properly, how long before they would need to be replaced?

Thanks! Nestor.
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Old 11-06-2017, 17:54   #2
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Re: Life expectancy of watermaker and genset?

On the generator; we purchased a Moorings model year 2009 power cat in 2015, that had 13,000 hours on the generator (9KW Northern Lights). The oil pressure was right at the minimum for automatic shutdown but we swapped the oil for straight 40 weight and ran it for another year. We did eventually swap the generator for a new one, just because we were planning to go far afield and were concerned about the reliability issue. The old generator had ran faultlessly, including the night before it was replaced.

We had purchased a 2001 Amel Super Maramu in 2003 and ran the water maker (Dessalator 160L) every couple of days for the next six years. We lost a control panel in 2007 and it sat in the Red Sea for six months without having been flushed, run or “pickled”. I called Dessalator to enquire about replacement membranes and the engineer I spoke to, told me to just run raw seawater through the membranes, without pressure and for at least an hour. This we did and the unit came back on line with no noticeable reduction in output. We visited the “old” 2001 Amel this year, now with its third owner and the desalinator was still the original.

You never know when you might lose a pump, control board etc. but the membranes are a lot more rugged than I expected.
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Old 11-06-2017, 18:00   #3
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Re: Life expectancy of watermaker and genset?

Regarding the water maker, you have two things to consider.
First the typical life of RO Membranes is 5-7yrs, so those are longer term consumable parts.
Second will be the mechanical parts. If they are taken well care of then you are looking at the typical wear and tear breakage and rebuild of parts. There are plenty of 10-15 even 20yr old piston pumps and motors (the heart of the water maker) running fine with just routine maintenance and a periodic rebuild kit. I don't think there will be a point where a water maker will need to be pulled off the boat and tossed in total. It's usually just a replacement of broken and aged out parts.
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Old 11-06-2017, 18:03   #4
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Re: Life expectancy of watermaker and genset?

I have an Onan MDL-3, 14kw, made in the late 80s and seems to work fine. Many generator ends have one bearing that needs to be replaced every 5 years because the lube is used up or evaporates. The other bearing is the engine. If you run with a very light load for long hours, the cylinders will become glazed and need rehoning and new rings. My engine is a Cummings. They don't want to sell engine parts, just a new engine. They really don't want to sell a new engine but a new generating set.
If you do proper maintenance on a watermaker, the membranes last a very long time. Flush after salt water use and pickle the membranes when not in use. Drain before any chance of freezing. The pump life depends on who made them. If the watermaker has proprietary filters, it's better to change to standard housings. The cost of housing change is usually recovered in the 1st changing. Same with the membranes.
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Old 11-06-2017, 18:41   #5
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Re: Life expectancy of watermaker and genset?

Thank you all. This is exactly the info I needed. Best, Nestor.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:44   #6
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Re: Life expectancy of watermaker and genset?

Sounds like you are interested in Amel OEM equipment, Nestor. You could also check out Bill Rouse's Amel school for more info and training. Google him, he is in Texas now.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:13   #7
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Re: Life expectancy of watermaker and genset?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Symphony View Post
Sounds like you are interested in Amel OEM equipment, Nestor. You could also check out Bill Rouse's Amel school for more info and training. Google him, he is in Texas now.
Actually, the equipment I noted are the factory-installed options available for the Lagoon 42. A question about their life expectancy came up as I was running some numbers for a charter-bound boat.
Best. n.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:20   #8
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Re: Life expectancy of watermaker and genset?

I have never sailed a lagoon, but now I am rather impressed to hear they use this equipment. Good luck with your boat.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:03   #9
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Re: Life expectancy of watermaker and genset?

Interesting. I too bought an ex-Moorings power cat, a 2011 474PC, with over 12,000 on the genset and 3,000 on the engines. Mine is in charter with Virgin Motor Yachts in the BVI and they change oil and filters on the genset after every charter. Don't know the weight of the oil but I will find out. No auto shut-downs so far.


But I'm interest in your costs to swap it out and the location where this work was done if you don't mind. I'm also interest in any other info you would care to share on the power cats. I don't know anyone else who owns one. Please PM me, I'd like to chat. Or email me at jmschmidtjr@yahoo.com. Thanks. Jack
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