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Old 23-09-2018, 17:37   #16
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Re: Advice of Buying Water Maker for Long Trip

On our 34 sloop we use a 3.5 kw Next Gen diesel that sips fuel along with two Sterling 50 amp chargers and a 2000 w pure sine wave inverter and 2-360w PV panels charging the 800 ah battery bank thru two Victron 100/30 controllers to power our 20 gph Seawater Pro water maker, a fridge and freezer, instruments, etc.
When the sun is out the inverter easily powers the water maker as well as bringing the battery bank up to float by early afternoon each day.
The Seawater Pro sells for under $2000 and has.been reliable and quiet. It is made from off the shelf parts available world wide.
We replaced our Pur Powersurvivor 35 as we have become spoiled with a minimum of 2 showers each daily
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Old 23-09-2018, 21:03   #17
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Re: Advice of Buying Water Maker for Long Trip

Both manufactures will be able to help you choose the correct model.
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Old 24-09-2018, 00:59   #18
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Re: Advice of Buying Water Maker for Long Trip

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Rainman water maker...no new through hulls
If you wish to use a Rainman watermaker while underway, there are four main options that customers successfully utilise:

1. Down pole behind the stern to hold intake hose under water.

2. Weight on intake hose to hold it under water.

3. T off of a deck wash, or other existing through hull.

4. Install it the same as a traditional watermaker.

While there is the very rare Filmtec warranty claim for other reasons, no Rainman system has ruptured a membrane.
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Old 24-09-2018, 04:37   #19
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Re: Advice of Buying Water Maker for Long Trip

We have a Spectra 200T x 24 volts that makes about 6.5 g/hr. This runs entirely on the 660 watt solar farm. We are in the eastern Caribbean. We saved over $1000 by buying at the Annapolis sail boat show last year. (October 4 this year)
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Old 24-09-2018, 16:27   #20
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Re: Advice of Buying Water Maker for Long Trip

Quadrille, about your Seawater Pro, which pump did u order from them? How long have you had it on board. You can get the Karcher power sprayer pump... but I can’t imagine it would last for more than a season. Who would care if you had to sh%t can it every season. The top quality pump they sell puts it up to 1000 extra for the unit. Please explain a little more about your details. Do you use a thru-hull or a weighted intake? Respects.
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Old 24-09-2018, 18:04   #21
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Re: Advice of Buying Water Maker for Long Trip

I have a dedicated 1/2 through hull for the watermaker. I chose the optional water cooled pump and the better boost pump. Weve used it for a season with zero problems. I think the secret of the Karcher pump is that it is of composite construction with epdm seals. Not pot metal like many of the cheap pressure cleaners. The included fresh water pump flush timer also helps extend the pumps life.
We are currently cruising and use ~20 gpd which we replace in about 40-50 minutes.
Earlier this year while traveling in Norway I walked into a hardware store and there sat the Karcher pump for about the equivalent of $200. You can purchase the pump in any Walmart for around $200.
Before purchasing my WM I talked to the companies owner about the pumps longevity. He stated that in over 2 years with 200+ units sold he had zero failures reported.
Needless to say, Im happy with my Seawater Pro watermaker
I have no affiliation with the company.
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Old 25-09-2018, 12:04   #22
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Re: Advice of Buying Water Maker for Long Trip

Quadrille, thanks for posting up about your experience. Next question. How noisy is it? On YouTube they are using the cheap power sprayer. It is very loud. What is your experience with noise level with the upgraded unit?
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Old 25-09-2018, 12:20   #23
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Re: Advice of Buying Water Maker for Long Trip

I'd look at Cruise RO. I have a similar system and make 50 gallons/hour in warm water. I often run it on the inverter. Not an issue. If I'm running the mains, an alternator keeps up the house banks. Now I only run a generator when doing long stays on the hook.
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Old 25-09-2018, 17:37   #24
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Re: Advice of Buying Water Maker for Long Trip

Alan Smith,
The units sound level is nothing like on the video. I was going to upgrade to the stand alone pump but Mike, my contact at SWPro talked me out of it and into the $100 upgrade for the Karcher with the water cooled motor. This unit runs cooler, quieter, and Karcher claims it has 2x the longevity.
The noise level is a moderate humming sound. You can easily carry on a conversation with it running. The sound is not loud or objectionable at all.
I removed the wheels, handle, and rear storage container which greatly reduces the units size.
And the best thing about it is that the this upgraded unit costs less than $2,000 USD including tax and shipping.
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Old 08-10-2018, 15:03   #25
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Re: Advice of Buying Water Maker for Long Trip

Water makers can be quite simple or very complicated. I have been cruising for 15 years. Caribbean and W coast Us . Did a sail ti OZ for a couple of years. The water maker that I felt had the most problems seemed to be spectra. By problems I mean when cruisers pull into the anchorage the only water maker I ever heard needed help was a spectra. I think the electronics were the issue 90% of the time. Think sensors for brine fresh and so forth.

I have a Village Marine that is a 110V unit 25gph. It has worked very well for ten years. That said I like the no frills water maker but hate the company. Everything is proprietary. Membranes are stupid expensive as well as parts.
I helped install a unit from California that Rich Boran sells. He is a technautics dealer. I found the unit to simple in design and a good value for the price. We ran this unit off a Honda generator 2000 watt and it performed well.

The bottom line....if you are mechanical and good about maintenance and properly flush like the manuals call for almost any no frills type unit will work well for years. If you cannot be trusted to properly flush go with a spectra that has been idiot proofed. It will save you lots of headaches down the road.
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Old 08-10-2018, 15:20   #26
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Re: Advice of Buying Water Maker for Long Trip

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Water makers can be quite simple or very complicated. I have been cruising for 15 years. Caribbean and W coast Us . Did a sail ti OZ for a couple of years. The water maker that I felt had the most problems seemed to be spectra. By problems I mean when cruisers pull into the anchorage the only water maker I ever heard needed help was a spectra. I think the electronics were the issue 90% of the time. Think sensors for brine fresh and so forth.

....
I agree with you that the electronic sensor units just cause problems. Most of the Spectra units installed on cruising boats do not have electronics, like the Cape Horn or the 200T.
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Old 08-10-2018, 16:02   #27
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Re: Advice of Buying Water Maker for Long Trip

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Originally Posted by le chat beaute View Post
Water makers can be quite simple or very complicated. I have been cruising for 15 years. Caribbean and W coast Us . Did a sail ti OZ for a couple of years. The water maker that I felt had the most problems seemed to be spectra. By problems I mean when cruisers pull into the anchorage the only water maker I ever heard needed help was a spectra. I think the electronics were the issue 90% of the time. Think sensors for brine fresh and so forth.

I have a Village Marine that is a 110V unit 25gph. It has worked very well for ten years. That said I like the no frills water maker but hate the company. Everything is proprietary. Membranes are stupid expensive as well as parts.
I helped install a unit from California that Rich Boran sells. He is a technautics dealer. I found the unit to simple in design and a good value for the price. We ran this unit off a Honda generator 2000 watt and it performed well.

The bottom line....if you are mechanical and good about maintenance and properly flush like the manuals call for almost any no frills type unit will work well for years. If you cannot be trusted to properly flush go with a spectra that has been idiot proofed. It will save you lots of headaches down the road.
Excellent summary! It seems that Spectra owners love their watermakers, maybe with good reason, but like you, I think I've heard about problems with them more frequently than all other watermakers combined - maybe they've sold more units, I don't know, or maybe it's just that when they have problems, fixing them is more complicated or requires more difficult to source parts. But, owners sing their praises so they must be decent watermakers.

I'm very much in the keep it simple category. I put my watermaker together from components using my air conditioner pump for a boost pump, two off the shelf water filter housings and hardware store cartridges for pre-filters, a Little Giant high pressure pump run by a 3 hp ac motor, two standard Dow Film-Tec membranes, a high pressure hose and some common plumbing fittings, valves, etc. No sensors, no electronics. I turn a knob on a stainless steel steam rated pressure valve to adjust pressure to 800 psi via a gauge, test product water with a hand held tester, switch over to my tanks via a 3-way valve, flush the entire system from my tanks with another 3-way valve, etc. It's been on the boat for 18 years and has made thousands of gallons of excellent water. Maintenance has consisted of flushing after every use, changing pre-filters when output starts dropping, fixing one leak and pickling with pink stuff when not in use for more than 2 weeks. I believe anybody that will take the time to understand how a watermaker works and has any plumbing skills at all (or is willing to learn) can put together and maintain a simple, non-automatic watermaker. Maybe not as simple to operate or even as efficient as a Spectra, but mine runs off the genset, makes 33 gph and we run it 2-3 hrs per week. Full tanks make for a happy boat!
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Old 22-10-2018, 14:22   #28
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Re: Advice of Buying Water Maker for Long Trip

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Excellent summary! It seems that Spectra owners love their watermakers, maybe with good reason, but like you, I think I've heard about problems with them more frequently than all other watermakers combined - maybe they've sold more units, I don't know, or maybe it's just that when they have problems, fixing them is more complicated or requires more difficult to source parts. But, owners sing their praises so they must be decent watermakers.

I'm very much in the keep it simple category. I put my watermaker together from components using my air conditioner pump for a boost pump, two off the shelf water filter housings and hardware store cartridges for pre-filters, a Little Giant high pressure pump run by a 3 hp ac motor, two standard Dow Film-Tec membranes, a high pressure hose and some common plumbing fittings, valves, etc. No sensors, no electronics. I turn a knob on a stainless steel steam rated pressure valve to adjust pressure to 800 psi via a gauge, test product water with a hand held tester, switch over to my tanks via a 3-way valve, flush the entire system from my tanks with another 3-way valve, etc. It's been on the boat for 18 years and has made thousands of gallons of excellent water. Maintenance has consisted of flushing after every use, changing pre-filters when output starts dropping, fixing one leak and pickling with pink stuff when not in use for more than 2 weeks. I believe anybody that will take the time to understand how a watermaker works and has any plumbing skills at all (or is willing to learn) can put together and maintain a simple, non-automatic watermaker. Maybe not as simple to operate or even as efficient as a Spectra, but mine runs off the genset, makes 33 gph and we run it 2-3 hrs per week. Full tanks make for a happy boat!

Which pump did you use ? Thanks. I'm just costing things up and would like to try and make reasonable cost estimates.
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Old 22-10-2018, 14:41   #29
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Re: Advice of Buying Water Maker for Long Trip

We've left the boat for the winter so I can't give you a model number, but you want a pump with a capacity of at least 10 times the volume of product water you plan to make, i.e., a 25 gph membrane needs at least a 250 gph pump at >800 psi. Higher is better. Ideally, your product water should be 6-8% of your input water. We make 33 gph and the pump can deliver about 500 gph (8.3 gpm). A high flow rate insures that you are keeping the salt from building up on the membrane. You should be able to Google around and find a stainless steel pressure washer pump (like a Cat pump) that will meet your needs. Most will bolt directly to a 110v/220v ac motor.
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Old 22-10-2018, 14:55   #30
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Re: Advice of Buying Water Maker for Long Trip

This sounds a lot like the Rainman Watermaker I bought. Same idea: keep it simple and use off the shelf parts. This is just in a nice case all tested and ready to plug in. Probably more expensive than your home built but half the price of most that I see.
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