Originally Posted by Capt. Aubrey
We have recently purchased a 2008 Leopard 46
for long-term cruising. I would like to install a water-maker myself. Any suggestions on installation and model would be greatly appreciated.
Only choose an energy-saving machine (as in Spectra or Sea Recovery) if you will run it off 12 volts. If you will run it off a genset then there is no reason to save energy at the watermaker
, which is very expensive (initial cost, expensive proprietary maintenance parts
and black-box technology). After all, in most cases when you run a genset with an energy-saving watermaker you need to waste some electricity (as in heating
water) just to save the genset engine from sooting up because of underload.
If you do follow the energy-saving route
consider carefully Spectra vs Sea Recovery, at least until Sea Recovery solves the engineering issues they have (ie 5/8" hoses connected to 1/2" barbs, prefilter housings that are subject to 600 psi but not rated for that, over- and under-pressure switches that are not located where the manual says and that do not trip the system when the ETD gets stuck, unreliable depressurization solenoid valves, unnecesary 60-minute delay in Fresh Water Flus, and another half a dozen reasons why why hoses blow up in their systems). I am happy to deal with black box technology when the owners of the black box seem to understand their stuff and assume responsibility. IMHO SR is not there yet.
If you buy a Sea Recovery unit anyway:
a) Buy it from Fixx and his team in France
. They are the one SR dealer that will help you out when you are in the middle of the ocean, the damn thing breaks again and you find one more thing that does not match the drawings.
b) Make sure you learn how to "unlock the ETD" before you leave. Also make sure the ETD is installed in such a way that you can easily unlock the ETD.
c) Make sure you understand if your model requires an optional kit for pickling or winterizing (as in the UW 600) and install it before you need it.
If you follow the traditional (not energy saving) route
consider one CF regular who gives very good support for DIYers and also consider EchoTec in Trinidad.