After way too many hours comparing watermakers, reading every post and going back and forth on PowerSurvivor, Spectra, Little Wonder, Cruise
RO....., I finally decided to buy the Spectra Ventura 200T. Our plans are to spend 3 or 4 months sailing the Sea of Cortez
. Since this is a trip we've been planning for several years, I want the boat
to be ready and I don't want to schedule around water
to this post: 1) my reasons for the Spectra Ventura 200T and 2) my thoughts on installation
. Comments are most welcome!
Why the Spectra Ventura 200T? For us, it came down to wanting to run the watermaker
on 12 VDC while at anchor
. We have 260 watts solar
EU2000i, and there's a lot of motoring around Baja
. With the 12 volt units, I can run off solar
(couple hours each day), Honda generator
or diesel/alternator (while motoring). This gives us power redundancy and flexibility. The Ventura 200T makes 8 gallons / hour at 10 amps. I can budget
around 10 amps -- I can't see drawing 20+ amps with our batteries
for other brands of watermakers.
Assuming 2 people, 5 gallons/day water
use, we'll need to run this a couple hours / day. Looking at the PowerSurvivor 40e, 1.5 GPH at 4 Amps, the 80e 3 GPH at 8 Amps, I'd be looking at running the 40e 5x longer, and the 80e 3x longer. These would be running most of the day. As mentioned numerous times on the forum, the Spectra units have a cost premium; I think this is offset by the higher water output, efficiency, convenience and time, and potential resale value. I probably could have gotten by with the Spectra Ventura 150; for the couple hundred dollars difference in price
, the 200T produces more water and is more suitable for warmer waters. Anyway, I'm looking forward to having the watermaker
on the boat!
Where to install the Ventura 200T on a 35' sailboat? My options are pretty limited. I don't think the Clark pump
will fit under the aft bunk. The hull
tapers rapidly and gets very narrow and short. One option would be to install under the forward v-berth -- there's lots of unused space; however, I don't want the weight that far forward or the noise
in the master cabin
. That leaves the aft cockpit
locker or under the settee. I also don't want to give up the cockpit
locker, where we store the stern anchor
, and it seems everything else. That leaves under the starboard settee. Will it fit? I think so. I have 12" on the front side and 9 1/2" on the backside, with the bottom hull
slopping. I think this is the best location, for convenience, use and operations. Yes, we give up a convenient storage
, but as my wife pointed out, we won't be carrying around extra cases of water!
Point 1 - Clark pump
installed under the starboard settee. Thoughts?
Until I see the Clark pump, I can't tell how to securely mount to the curved hull. I'm thinking about building a level platform along the inside of the hull and screwing the Clark pump to these supports. I may just 5200 wood blocks or glass-in wood blocks. How does one secure this to the inside of the hull?
Where to install the feed pump? My options are even more limited. At 15" wide and 12" tall, the only option is under the galley
sink or aft cockpit locker. As mentioned before, I don't want to sacrifice the aft locker, so I think the galley
sink is my best option. This is not as simple as it sounds - I have to relocate the sink hot/cold plumbing
and diverter valves. Again, there's a lot of wasted space with the angle of the sink, counter top and refrigerator
, with a dummy board holding the fresh water valves. Fortunately this is all Pex, so I think I can reroute without too much trouble. This would be pretty convenient location for use.
Thru-hull -- Everything I've read indicates I should install a new thruhull for the watermaker. I'm keep thinking about tee'ing off the head
intake, but think I'll be better of with a dedicated thruhull closer to the centerline. What do you think about a new thruhull, mid-ship, just to the starboard side of the keel
, right under the galley sink? Would I be better off more forward or back, where the engine
intake and sink-discharge are located?
I have a spare Forespar Maralon 3/4" thruhull. Oddly enough, the thruhull is labeled 3/4", but the size of the intake is slightly larger than 1/2" diameter. The barbed fitting is slightly less than 3/4". The 200T instructions state either 1/2" or 3/4" dedicated thruhull -- I guess I'm ok with the Maralon thruhull. 5/8" hose will probably fit nicely on the barbed fitting.
Brine discharge -- I'm not prepared to drill another hole in the boat
for the brine discharge. I'm debating between 1) running temporary discharge hose to the galley sink, 2) tee'ing to the galley sink discharge or 3) tee'ing to the deck
scupper/bilge pump drains. Note, on the Tartan 3500, all the deck
drains, bilge pump
and sump-pump combine together to a junction box, above the waterline, center, aft, under the swim-step. I could tee into either the galley sink or the drains. The only difference is the deck hose drains are about 12" higher than the sink hose. Any preference?
Product water output -- I haven't decided whether I want to connect to the water tank, or use a jerry can. I'm leaning towards tee'ing into either the port or bow water tank. The port tank is 35 gallons stainless; the bow tank is 40 gallons plastic. The bow tank might be easier to tee into, since the port tank plumbing
is all under the settee or behind cabinets.
-- I'm not worried about running 10 amps. I have a 'spare' circuit on the electrical
panel. It is only a few feet from the electrical panel to galley sink.
That's where I'm at -- waiting for the Ventura 200T to arrive so I can double-check the size and finalize the fit. Any comments on installation
are most welcome.