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Old 09-11-2014, 18:56   #16
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Re: My Quest for Water - Engineering build on a RO system

I would have no problem betting a bottle of rum that you will see a competitive product (with chinese manufactured parts) on the market by January 2016 at a much lower price.[/QUOTE]


I would actually be willing to take that bet and up the ante.
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Old 09-11-2014, 19:29   #17
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Re: My Quest for Water - Engineering build on a RO system

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I would have no problem betting a bottle of rum that you will see a competitive product (with chinese manufactured parts) on the market by January 2016 at a much lower price.

I would actually be willing to take that bet and up the ante.[/QUOTE]

My balls are big enough.... I don't need to bet more than a bottle of rum..

Maybe you know something I don't... but I made part of my living designing and patenting products.. Anyone with a competitive product line in the industry will know that those patents are about to expire. They would be very poor business men if they weren't already designing a competitive product based on those expired patents. It only makes sense to have it manufactured in China. Watermakers are stupid simple and I'm pretty sure I could spec 80% of the parts today out of China (except the Clark pump). Another %10 (the membrane housing) I could contract manufacture in China. The final %10 (the membranes) can be bought out of USA. All at a fraction the cost.

I also will not be surprised if Spectra has some "Next Generation" technology that they will bring out once that occurs. That is the purpose of the patent system, it allows them to corner the market (far a period of time) and use the profits to innovate new things. Then we all benefit, which was the point of patents.

One thing I will say.. A competitor really missed out a few years back when Spectra and Clark Permar got into a disagreement over royalties. Pretty sure Permar would have sold the rights to the highest bidder.
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Old 09-11-2014, 19:57   #18
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Re: My Quest for Water - Engineering build on a RO system

I don't think a patent is holding back cheap watermakers.
The OP clearly has not done his research, others have built cheap watermakers already, and btw, anytime 'Aurduino' is mentioned the project has got amateur and fail written all over it.
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Old 09-11-2014, 20:26   #19
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Re: My Quest for Water - Engineering build on a RO system

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Personally I think a better option than the Arduino is the HB 1.0... Instead of using a controller, simply install valves and do everything manually (human brain 1.0). Much more reliable and cheaper..
The Cruise RO series already is built this way. No dingdang electrogizmos to fail. It's in the simpler is better category.
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Old 09-11-2014, 20:38   #20
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Re: My Quest for Water - Engineering build on a RO system

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I would actually be willing to take that bet and up the ante.
My balls are big enough.... I don't need to bet more than a bottle of rum..

Maybe you know something I don't... but I made part of my living designing and patenting products.. Anyone with a competitive product line in the industry will know that those patents are about to expire. They would be very poor business men if they weren't already designing a competitive product based on those expired patents. It only makes sense to have it manufactured in China. Watermakers are stupid simple and I'm pretty sure I could spec 80% of the parts today out of China (except the Clark pump). Another %10 (the membrane housing) I could contract manufacture in China. The final %10 (the membranes) can be bought out of USA. All at a fraction the cost.

I also will not be surprised if Spectra has some "Next Generation" technology that they will bring out once that occurs. That is the purpose of the patent system, it allows them to corner the market (far a period of time) and use the profits to innovate new things. Then we all benefit, which was the point of patents.

One thing I will say.. A competitor really missed out a few years back when Spectra and Clark Permar got into a disagreement over royalties. Pretty sure Permar would have sold the rights to the highest bidder.[/QUOTE]


I'd be willing to stick to the original bet. The anatomical concept is more than I need to know. It's not so much as to the patent as it is to business scale. New ideas or rehashing of old ones are not always good enough as they seem on the surface to invest in. The difference between what a patent design is and what a model has become over the years and what the ROI would be for a company that would certainly play years of catch up needs to make sense. I'm not an engineer, but business I do know. Forgetting the fact as you stated "Next Generation" the odds would be too great for a sensible investor to roll the financial dice. Maybe you could convince Mark Cuban on Shark Tank to invest, even at the appropriate consternation of Mr. Wonderful. Watermakers are a niche business in which there are hundreds of companies all competing for the same very small market. The investment you suggest is too far out of proportion to any return that someone with large sums of investment money would ever see or certainly be happy with. Re-engineering a known mouse trap or even a better one sounds like a good idea until you factor in that only one out of 500,000 people might even have a mouse problem and there are still hundreds of other mouse trap businesses out there to compete against. I would suggest even if you could find the monied investors to go down this path with you, and that even if they could re-produce accuratly the first time the pump they would also have to take into account the real investing of large sums of money in the marketing to even be known they are here. I would be very comfortable in the belief that they would be sitting on a mountain of pumps they would be desperate to unload because the handful of small sailors looking for a cheap watermaker were far too few to begin with. But a small silver lining might be that I would be more than happy to take twenty or so off their hands for pennies on the dollar for spares.

PS, my taste in Rum is very expensive
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Old 09-11-2014, 21:28   #21
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Re: My Quest for Water - Engineering build on a RO system

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My balls are big enough.... I don't need to bet more than a bottle of rum..

Maybe you know something I don't... but I made part of my living designing and patenting products.. Anyone with a competitive product line in the industry will know that those patents are about to expire. They would be very poor business men if they weren't already designing a competitive product based on those expired patents. It only makes sense to have it manufactured in China. Watermakers are stupid simple and I'm pretty sure I could spec 80% of the parts today out of China (except the Clark pump). Another %10 (the membrane housing) I could contract manufacture in China. The final %10 (the membranes) can be bought out of USA. All at a fraction the cost.

I also will not be surprised if Spectra has some "Next Generation" technology that they will bring out once that occurs. That is the purpose of the patent system, it allows them to corner the market (far a period of time) and use the profits to innovate new things. Then we all benefit, which was the point of patents.

One thing I will say.. A competitor really missed out a few years back when Spectra and Clark Permar got into a disagreement over royalties. Pretty sure Permar would have sold the rights to the highest bidder.

I'd be willing to stick to the original bet. The anatomical concept is more than I need to know. It's not so much as to the patent as it is to business scale. New ideas or rehashing of old ones are not always good enough as they seem on the surface to invest in. The difference between what a patent design is and what a model has become over the years and what the ROI would be for a company that would certainly play years of catch up needs to make sense. I'm not an engineer, but business I do know. Forgetting the fact as you stated "Next Generation" the odds would be too great for a sensible investor to roll the financial dice. Maybe you could convince Mark Cuban on Shark Tank to invest, even at the appropriate consternation of Mr. Wonderful. Watermakers are a niche business in which there are hundreds of companies all competing for the same very small market. The investment you suggest is too far out of proportion to any return that someone with large sums of investment money would ever see or certainly be happy with. Re-engineering a known mouse trap or even a better one sounds like a good idea until you factor in that only one out of 500,000 people might even have a mouse problem and there are still hundreds of other mouse trap businesses out there to compete against. I would suggest even if you could find the monied investors to go down this path with you, and that even if they could re-produce accuratly the first time the pump they would also have to take into account the real investing of large sums of money in the marketing to even be known they are here. I would be very comfortable in the belief that they would be sitting on a mountain of pumps they would be desperate to unload because the handful of small sailors looking for a cheap watermaker were far too few to begin with. But a small silver lining might be that I would be more than happy to take twenty or so off their hands for pennies on the dollar for spares.

PS, my taste in Rum is very expensive[/QUOTE]

Wow... I seriously think you overestimate the complexity and investment to copy a Spectra watermaker...

Now I'm speaking from experience here, trust me.. I could have a Spectra watermaker copied in China for under 50K... Most likely under 30K... With plans and code (cnc paths) to enter production. Believe me or not, but its fact. We have imported much more complex things that had been copied. We have also had much more complex items copied. I encourage you to dig up the Clark Permar patents and really look at them. There is nothing in that system that can't be made with a CNC lathe or a CNC milling machine. Every one of my suppliers has more than 10 of each of those in their facilities. They offer "one off" prototype manufacturing for almost nothing in hopes of getting end contract.

We also not anything special. We own a small import company and are microscopic compared to the "big guys". There are 100s of companies with that have access to the same resources we do.

I also think you underestimate the niche market... A sub $1500 water maker that runs on 12V changes the landscape. At that price point, many weekend cruisers would start to consider one. Not to mention the emerging markets as solar panels (12V) continue to drop in price. There are many people around the world that would love access to clean drinking water. Ask Microsoft how a niche market worked out for them!

One further thing... The pump has already been successfully copied in another watermaker that is sold in Europe where the patent has no enforcement.

That fact is... If I hadn't already eaten enough pac-man dots I would be all over this. Maybe I will pass the idea to the new owners of our company.

If I'm wrong.. Then I would love to drink a bottle of rum with you (one each, I don't share well).
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Old 09-11-2014, 21:52   #22
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Re: My Quest for Water - Engineering build on a RO system

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
I'd be willing to stick to the original bet. The anatomical concept is more than I need to know. It's not so much as to the patent as it is to business scale. New ideas or rehashing of old ones are not always good enough as they seem on the surface to invest in. The difference between what a patent design is and what a model has become over the years and what the ROI would be for a company that would certainly play years of catch up needs to make sense. I'm not an engineer, but business I do know. Forgetting the fact as you stated "Next Generation" the odds would be too great for a sensible investor to roll the financial dice. Maybe you could convince Mark Cuban on Shark Tank to invest, even at the appropriate consternation of Mr. Wonderful. Watermakers are a niche business in which there are hundreds of companies all competing for the same very small market. The investment you suggest is too far out of proportion to any return that someone with large sums of investment money would ever see or certainly be happy with. Re-engineering a known mouse trap or even a better one sounds like a good idea until you factor in that only one out of 500,000 people might even have a mouse problem and there are still hundreds of other mouse trap businesses out there to compete against. I would suggest even if you could find the monied investors to go down this path with you, and that even if they could re-produce accuratly the first time the pump they would also have to take into account the real investing of large sums of money in the marketing to even be known they are here. I would be very comfortable in the belief that they would be sitting on a mountain of pumps they would be desperate to unload because the handful of small sailors looking for a cheap watermaker were far too few to begin with. But a small silver lining might be that I would be more than happy to take twenty or so off their hands for pennies on the dollar for spares.

PS, my taste in Rum is very expensive
Wow... I seriously think you overestimate the complexity and investment to copy a Spectra watermaker...

Now I'm speaking from experience here, trust me.. I could have a Spectra watermaker copied in China for under 50K... Most likely under 30K... With plans and code (cnc paths) to enter production. Believe me or not, but its fact. We have imported much more complex things that had been copied. We have also had much more complex items copied. I encourage you to dig up the Clark Permar patents and really look at them. There is nothing in that system that can't be made with a CNC lathe or a CNC milling machine. Every one of my suppliers has more than 10 of each of those in their facilities. They offer "one off" prototype manufacturing for almost nothing in hopes of getting end contract.

We also not anything special. We own a small import company and are microscopic compared to the "big guys". There are 100s of companies with that have access to the same resources we do.

I also think you underestimate the niche market... A sub $1500 water maker that runs on 12V changes the landscape. At that price point, many weekend cruisers would start to consider one. Not to mention the emerging markets as solar panels (12V) continue to drop in price. There are many people around the world that would love access to clean drinking water. Ask Microsoft how a niche market worked out for them!

One further thing... The pump has already been successfully copied in another watermaker that is sold in Europe where the patent has no enforcement.

That fact is... If I hadn't already eaten enough pac-man dots I would be all over this. Maybe I will pass the idea to the new owners of our company.

If I'm wrong.. Then I would love to drink a bottle of rum with you (one each, I don't share well).[/QUOTE]


I wish you/them the best of luck. I still like my odds as I usually rarely underestimate these things but I have been known to be wrong, in fact there was that time I thought I was wrong, but I was wrong. The success of the pump you refer to has been mostly in their estimation and real world repairs speak otherwise. They also are not the only ones who have gone over seas to bypass this patent. Many of them sit in a junk pile in my shop. Yet the Clark pump is still the benchmark they and other have yet to match. It may seem as bluster, but after working in real world applications on all of these clone pumps over the years they are pretty lack luster next to the Clark pump. If there was/is/or could be a real sub $1,500 priced 12Volt Clark pump based watermaker that could flood the market at a profit, others with far more experience in this area would be all over it before China could answer the phone and eat the unknowns up. But again as a man that covers all his bases, if you can do this, I am the first person you would want to contact right away because buildng a thing of beauty and having the know how to move a thing of beauty are two entirely different things.
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Old 09-11-2014, 21:55   #23
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Re: My Quest for Water - Engineering build on a RO system

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Nope... Like I said, I'm done chasing the "American Dream".. Just went into contract on my cruising boat and am unloading and untying from land life.. I will leave this venture to some one else (again... Ahem.. SV Third Day)...
The truth is even if someone paddled over to my boat with cargo container of cloned spectra Clark pumps and offored them to me for $100 each I would have to pass. Setting aside the moral/ethical problems I would have (the name SV Third Day does stand for something after all) my intent when starting Cruise RO wasn't to compete in the same market space with Spectra, but to carve out a nitche for cruisers that wanted a higher output 120v AC non electronic controlled unit. Spectra is a damn good company and I don't intend this comment to be a knock on them...but I personally couldn't get by with a lower production 12v water maker. So it would be hard for me to "sell" them. And quite honestly I'm also in a similar situation to TravellerW, I technically retired back in 2008 and went cruising and the amount of ass busting work it would take to just "copy" Specta is unimaginable. As Tellie suggests it is much easier to say than do.

This thread was started with the fantasy of a real company developing and selling a water maker for less than my raw material costs, far less. But you see these type of numbers thrown around on the internet all the time. The oil companies have bought a new high efficiency carburetor and hidden it on a shelf somewhere just like the water maker companies could sell water makers for 1/2 or 2/3 the costs. But let me tell you folks, we have no "dealers" involved when we sell a water maker straight to the client so we are operating as lean as possible. But if I lowered our water maker prices by $500 then I don't have a business, close the doors and shut it down, so just how much cheaper is this new company going to be able to sell water makers for, and warranty them, and service them, and buy product liability insurance, and answer the phones 7 days a week for technical support, and...well you get what I'm trying to say. Remember the DIY Watermaker company fiasco? Their clients thought they were getting a deal also, right before they went out of business and the units started failing left and right.

Look, our company ethos from day one was to acknowledge that water makers are not rocket science and price them accordingly, and sure you can save a bit by building your own, which is one of the reasons we sell raw parts in addition to compete ready to go units. You can also save money by building your own boat, making your own soap, and cutting your own firewood. Life isn't about having enough money, its about having enough time to enjoy the money you have, so sometimes the balance sheet of time vs money works out better to build something yourself while other times paying to have an expert take care of it for you makes sense. There is no "right way"...just what works for you.
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Old 09-11-2014, 22:31   #24
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Re: My Quest for Water - Engineering build on a RO system

Rich, I just had a "Ding Dong" moment. Now after all these years I know what Third Day is. I can be pretty dense at times. It suits the type of person you are very well.
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Old 10-11-2014, 03:54   #25
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Re: My Quest for Water - Engineering build on a RO system

Not sure about anyone else, I can't trust China to build an outboard or generator that lasts, I'm sure as hell not going to trust my life to a chinese watermaker.

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Old 10-11-2014, 05:15   #26
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Re: My Quest for Water - Engineering build on a RO system

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Yup. The monitoring is the key which is why my iPhone works perfectly. Still a watermaker is so crucial that most cruisers would be hesitant I think. I'm not bashing China because I/we already by lots of stuff from there but I do try to get goods made elsewhere. where possible. I want to spread my wealth around the globe. LOL. But good luck in your new venture.
PS I like Myers rum.
MTCrabby....

Just how much wealth..... DO you have to spread around the globe??? Is there any excess that you are simply tired of keeping track of???

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Rich, I just had a "Ding Dong" moment. Now after all these years I know what Third Day is. I can be pretty dense at times. It suits the type of person you are very well.
OK Tellie... Tellus other idjits what third day is...
Maybe we can decide for ourselves whether or not Rich is worthy... or even deserves his rockstar lifestyle...
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Old 10-11-2014, 06:19   #27
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Re: My Quest for Water - Engineering build on a RO system

Whenever I'm trying to make something I always go to youtube. If you search how to build your own water maker, a couple of the videos will give you links to websites
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Old 10-11-2014, 06:22   #28
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Re: My Quest for Water - Engineering build on a RO system

Cmon guy's I'm the one dense as a rock, but even I knew what Third Day meant.
On the third day God created dry land and the seas

Book of Genesis
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Old 10-11-2014, 06:40   #29
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Re: My Quest for Water - Engineering build on a RO system

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Cmon guy's I'm the one dense as a rock, but even I knew what Third Day meant.
On the third day God created dry land and the seas

Book of Genesis
OK OK OK....

I have some manner of excuse, as I was brought up Catholic...

I see the genius man who knows just about everything whirring, thumping and humming... was finally able to upload an avatar... Did your kid do it for you???
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Old 10-11-2014, 07:11   #30
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Re: My Quest for Water - Engineering build on a RO system

On the YouTube video making cruising affordable voyage of emerald steel you are shown a high output water maker that was made for $2300 and has a six year track record of zero problems
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