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Old 29-02-2016, 16:41   #1
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Size of water maker needed/recommended for 2 living cruising full time.

We are purchasing a Helia 44 Catamaran with 3 cabins / showers and clothes washer. The manufacturer has 60L or 180L / hour water makers. I have heard that if you don't use them enough they can run foul. I also don't want to skimp water. I also don't want to draw unnecessary power. I lived aboard a long time ago and hated running back/forth carrying water, and being extremely frugal. I will have a fresh water hose for the deck and outside shower. I would love to hear peoples opinions. Is "bigger better" or smaller more efficient and less chance of going "foul"? Thanks.
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Old 29-02-2016, 16:49   #2
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Re: Size of water maker needed/recommended for 2 living cruising full time.

We are two adults living full time aboard for the last six years. We have a 60 l/hr water maker (Spectra Cape Horn Extreme) and it works for us. We use about 50 liters per day and so run it for about five hours once every five days. We are solar powered and usually run it when the solar controllers are limiting the power harvested from the sun. Free water!!
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Old 29-02-2016, 16:55   #3
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Size of water maker needed/recommended for 2 living cruising full time.

Better if you tell us the manufacturer and or type of power required to operate the watermaker.
One I plan on take AC power to run it, so that means a generator is running. Since I'm running a generator it makes since to make water quickly as I will have excess power and want to cut down on gen run time.

Now if I had a DC watermaker, then I would be real concerned with power efficiency, meaning how many AH per liter of water?

Realize too of course if you want to run the generator only three hours, you won't get three hours of water, because there is set up and stop time with a watermaker. Lots of other thoughts too, like if the bigger one has two membranes, then if you had a failure in one, depending on how it's made, you may get by with one until the replacement arrives.
Back to post manufacturer and model of watermakers and people can better advise.
For me, I'm no manufacturer, service tech or even owner at this point, but there are manufacturers and service techs on the forum.


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Old 29-02-2016, 17:01   #4
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Re: Size of water maker needed/recommended for 2 living cruising full time.

I am purchasing it through Fountaine Pajot. It is a 60L / hour 12 V at low consumption or 180L 60HZ. So I think I have to go with the 12V vs the generator. We will have wind powered D400 and Solar panels. I think you have helped me answer the question. Save the generator go ECO. Thanks so very much.
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Old 29-02-2016, 17:49   #5
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Re: Size of water maker needed/recommended for 2 living cruising full time.

Tellie Is one of our resident water maker gurus. I'm sure he has lots of info for you or search threads.

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Old 29-02-2016, 18:19   #6
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Re: Size of water maker needed/recommended for 2 living cruising full time.

BIGGER!

By Jingo if I had a watermaker...

I would love the 180l/h


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Old 29-02-2016, 18:46   #7
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Re: Size of water maker needed/recommended for 2 living cruising full time.

We have a little wonder RO it gives us 26 ltrs per hour,its plenty for us and we run it when we have to motor or charge the batteries. It draws 13 amps, and is at least 10years old without a problem. We love it but having said that if we were not living aboard we wouldn't bother, ours produces beautiful water because it is run regularly. Before we bought Nereid the po had not used it for 18 months and it was a task to get it to produce usable water, having said that we changed no parts other than filter's, 3 years later still honky dory.
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Old 29-02-2016, 19:00   #8
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Re: Size of water maker needed/recommended for 2 living cruising full time.

You will never want less water or electricity go as big as you can afford. More water and power equates to more comfort.

Our 180 / hr makes more noise than the generator to run it, so consider the noise levels as well, if it is going to take longer to fill it is longer with the noise. I run the Gen and water maker when we are sailing, can not hear them up on the fly bridge. 2 hours and the 350 lt tank is full again.

I would max out the solar first before going to wind gen. 2kW solar serves us well as full time live aboards. Regularly see 30 amps charging when completely overcast and even raining. Only run gen to make water or when sun has not shone for a few days.

As to the fouling up we do a 3 min fresh water flush every 7 days when not being used. Would be same for a big or small unit, needs to be used regularly or a flush every 7 days.
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Old 29-02-2016, 22:54   #9
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Re: Size of water maker needed/recommended for 2 living cruising full time.

I have a Katadyn 80e 13-14liters/hr. .I would prefer bigger although it has served my need for years. Bigger is better.

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Old 01-03-2016, 08:36   #10
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Re: Size of water maker needed/recommended for 2 living cruising full time.

The Spectra Catalina will be perfect for your needs. Very low power consumption and it can run off solar, 14-17 gallons per hour. We have two Spectra 380c units which produce a total of around 30 gallons per hour and run them every day for two hours. The 380c is basically a manual version of the Catalina.

The Spectra 380c also has the advantage of actually being two smaller units, where if one pump fails, the other continues on making water at half the rate. So we essentially have four separate small watermakers onboard. Redundancy is a good thing.
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Old 01-03-2016, 08:52   #11
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Re: Size of water maker needed/recommended for 2 living cruising full time.

I lived aboard a Salina for 5y.
I had a 60lt/h 240V watermaker and I needed to run the genset to make water.
I wished I had a 180l watermaker, as I always had excess power.

Don't skimp on the watermaker, there is nothing like being able to have a longer shower, rinse the windows or the deck whenever you want.
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:01   #12
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Re: Size of water maker needed/recommended for 2 living cruising full time.

There are other aspects not mentioned. The make is pretty critical as you shall want manufacturers support at some time and access to spare parts. I would suggest waiying for Tellie to comment. Our water maker is run most days and is very reliable and easy to get parts for - we also carry a rebuild kit for the pump and the suggested spare parts. Ours is 12v and runs from solar power augmented by wind when at anchor (we never run our D400's when sailing). Thankfully, we do not have power issues..........
We also use a washing machine that makes demands on fresh water and also wash down both the deck and fittings with fresh water fairly regularly. Kenomacs philosophy is a good one in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOKKIE View Post
We are purchasing a Helia 44 Catamaran with 3 cabins / showers and clothes washer. The manufacturer has 60L or 180L / hour water makers. I have heard that if you don't use them enough they can run foul. I also don't want to skimp water. I also don't want to draw unnecessary power. I lived aboard a long time ago and hated running back/forth carrying water, and being extremely frugal. I will have a fresh water hose for the deck and outside shower. I would love to hear peoples opinions. Is "bigger better" or smaller more efficient and less chance of going "foul"? Thanks.
Cheers.
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:08   #13
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Re: Size of water maker needed/recommended for 2 living cruising full time.

Power choice depends on how you chose to operate your boat. My wife does NOT like gas cookers....so we installed an electric stove(14 years ago!). And that dictates we need to run the genset at least 1/day to cook. We(only 2 of us onboard) just bought and installed a CruiseRO watermaker-powered by an electric motor. We lived in Asia for alot of years, so the boat is built around Asia power-230v,50Hz. Our watermakere is rated at 30g/hr, but we changed the electric motor to be compatible with our power....bottom line, our 30g/hr machine produces about 38g/hr. We make water every 4-5 days, to refill our 1/2-empty tanks. We shower at least 1/day, and are not frugal nor over the top with water use, and it seems to work well. CruiseRO recommends running or Fresh water wash at 5 days intervals, so our scheme of making water every 4 days (on average) negates the need to do the extra wash, and the system works well. Sure beats the heck out of the jerry jug dance!
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:42   #14
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Re: Size of water maker needed/recommended for 2 living cruising full time.

Lived on a 40' boat in the Sea of Cortez for three years with a 15 gph (actual average output) 56l/hr Spectra (380c a 1st generation modular design, which I installed in spring 2000). We spent fewer than 60-days of those 3-years connected to shore power.

Our Spectra produced way more water than we could possibly use/waste.

My wife washes clothes by hand almost every day. I washed the boat off at least once a week. We each took several showers a day (three very hot summers in the north Sea of Cortez) and never lacked for water. We gave away ten to 20 gallons of fresh water a week to other boaters.

We had 500 watts of solar panels and 450 amp hours of battery capacity and an 83 gallon water tank. We never, in three years, had to run the Yanmar diesel to charge the batteries. The two feed pump system produced 8 GPH at 9 amps with one feed pump and 15 - 16 GPH 250 ppm product at 16-amps (14.0V) with two feed pumps.

Spectra always told us (we were close friends with the local Spectra factory trained repair guy and he and I worked on a lot of Spectra systems) that the Spectra wants to run as much as possible for as long as possible. We would run it for several hours a day - every day. When we motored we ran the Spectra almost all the time. If our water tank was full we just ran product water over the side or did not pressurize the membrane.

We are still using the original membrane 16-years later.
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Old 01-03-2016, 15:35   #15
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Re: Size of water maker needed/recommended for 2 living cruising full time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOKKIE View Post
We are purchasing a Helia 44 Catamaran with 3 cabins / showers and clothes washer. The manufacturer has 60L or 180L / hour water makers. I have heard that if you don't use them enough they can run foul. I also don't want to skimp water. I also don't want to draw unnecessary power. I lived aboard a long time ago and hated running back/forth carrying water, and being extremely frugal. I will have a fresh water hose for the deck and outside shower. I would love to hear peoples opinions. Is "bigger better" or smaller more efficient and less chance of going "foul"? Thanks.
Cheers.
We have a 55 litre 12v Echotec watermaker which we run off solar or engine if motoring. More than enough when 2 of us living on board and copes with 6 on board when we have visitors although have to run it more frequently. Main water consumption seems to be rinsing off after swims. We hand wash clothes in buckets although just bought a little hand cranked washing machine from Aldi - not tried it yet.

BTW we found that the heating element in the FP supplied water heater only draws 750w at 240v so when we have excess solar power we heat water via the inverter. We also use a 240v electric kettle when we have full batteries to save on gas. Love that solar power (780 watts).

Enjoy your Helia they are a lovely boat.

TwT
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