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Old 16-09-2019, 08:12   #1
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watermakers

Looking to install a water maker on board, I have read and seen displays at shows for most of them even Practical Sailor had an article about the most used water makers but that was from 2005, since then other manufacturers have entered the field. I think that Spectra is the favorite with world racers, but I'm just a cruiser. I have been reading about the Railman/Sea Task water maker, any experiences with the system or recommendations of others.
I intend to do the installation my self as with all the equipment on my boat. Normal crew on the boat is my wife (admiral) myself and the trusted waterdog.
Thanks in advance
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Old 16-09-2019, 08:57   #2
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Re: watermakers

We have a Rainman V2 portable on our Beneteau 423 and a friend bought and installed a Rainman Naked in his FP Lipari catamaran. Both are the 120V high output models. I am very happy with our portable and will be installing this fall after using it in the Keys, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It is a game changer for us.

The Rainman is a manual watermaker. It does not have automated backflush and other complexities. We tend to 100+ gallons at a time at ~37gph and less than 200ppm TDS. I tend to pickle the watermaker after each use as we only use 50 gallons per week. We run ours off of a Honda EU2000i.

We were changing the particulate filter every 6 hours in Boot Key Harbor with lots of sediment. In the Virgin Islands where we had great water flow and clarity it was more like 20 hours. The filters are cheap and I have not tried to clean them.

SeaTask Group is a great company. We get email reminders about changing the pump oil after 50 hours. I have called with a question and had Chris the owner answer after 5PM and answer my question as well ask more detailed questions about how we are using the unit.

Would I buy this again? Yep. Best deal I could find. The manual nature is not a problem for us.

Cheers, RickG
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Old 16-09-2019, 09:33   #3
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watermakers

Generally two schools of thought on a watermaker.
Believe it or not but the decision generally revolves over whether or not you will have a generator, or at least how often you motor.

If you are determined to not have a generator, well then you want an extremely efficient power wise watermaker, that often means a Spectra, and thatís one reason you find them on race boats, cause power is precious and pressurizing water to a high PSI takes a lot of power, a Spectra recovers energy and therefore is extremely energy efficient. However this comes at a cost of course, as itís not just a simple pressure washer type of pump.

Now if your cruising plans include a generator, then you donít so much care about energy efficiency, but as you do want to likely reduce the hours you run the generator, you want a high output watermaker.
You can run a high output watermaker off of an inverter and a large alternator.
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Old 16-09-2019, 14:25   #4
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Re: watermakers

I have decided on a 110V Cruise RO system for our 47 ft. Cat. While we would likely have enough solar installed to go with a 12V unit, since we have a 13KW genset on board, the 110V model makes sense to me. I like that most of the Cruise RO parts are not proprietary and easily ( I know, a very relative term ) sourced. We carry roughly 175 gallons when full, so going with the HP 40 GPH model should more than cover our needs. Run the genset 3 to 4 hours at a time to fill up.
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Old 16-09-2019, 16:21   #5
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Re: watermakers

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Generally two schools of thought on a watermaker.
Believe it or not but the decision generally revolves over whether or not you will have a generator, or at least how often you motor.

If you are determined to not have a generator, well then you want an extremely efficient power wise watermaker, that often means a Spectra, and thatís one reason you find them on race boats, cause power is precious and pressurizing water to a high PSI takes a lot of power, a Spectra recovers energy and therefore is extremely energy efficient. However this comes at a cost of course, as itís not just a simple pressure washer type of pump.

Now if your cruising plans include a generator, then you donít so much care about energy efficiency, but as you do want to likely reduce the hours you run the generator, you want a high output watermaker.
You can run a high output watermaker off of an inverter and a large alternator.
I see this price argument stated fairly often about watermakers and AC vs Spectra units. The cost for the two typical units is not that different.
A 15 gph Spectra Cape Horn will cost you about usd$6,500.
A 20 gph CruiseRO unit will cost you about usd$4,400 plus $1,000 for a Honda 2000, usd$5,400.

That's a boat buck apart.
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Old 16-09-2019, 23:27   #6
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Re: watermakers

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The Rainman is a manual watermaker. It does not have automated backflush and other complexities.
While this is true, we are about to launch an autoflush option for those people that want a weekly flush cycle. It will be out before the 2019 Annapolis boat show in a few weeks and will be backward compatible for any installed Rainman systems.

It consists of a small timer that is one button programmable with a motorised valve. We had our pre-production version at the recent Sydney boat show and it was well received.
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Old 17-09-2019, 04:10   #7
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Re: watermakers

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While this is true, we are about to launch an autoflush option for those people that want a weekly flush cycle. It will be out before the 2019 Annapolis boat show in a few weeks and will be backward compatible for any installed Rainman systems.

It consists of a small timer that is one button programmable with a motorised valve. We had our pre-production version at the recent Sydney boat show and it was well received.
Nice, weíll see you in Annapolis.

Cheers, RickG
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Old 04-01-2020, 07:13   #8
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Re: watermakers

I have a Spectra Ventura 150, runs off my solar. Great product. Energy effecient, in fact reported to be the most energy effecient unit on the market. Regarding purchase price, when faced with running out of water, when faced with running water (often purchased ashore) which may or nor be potable a good water maker is worth every cent.

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Old 04-01-2020, 07:28   #9
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Re: watermakers

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
I see this price argument stated fairly often about watermakers and AC vs Spectra units. The cost for the two typical units is not that different.
A 15 gph Spectra Cape Horn will cost you about usd$6,500.
A 20 gph CruiseRO unit will cost you about usd$4,400 plus $1,000 for a Honda 2000, usd$5,400.

That's a boat buck apart.
Well two things, first almost no one gets the 20 GPH Cruise Ro, because for not much more you get the 30 that makes about 35 GPH.
Then as I said in my post it sort of revolves around whether or not you want to have a generator, if you do, then you already have the generator, so it’s not another $1,000.
But from the money side, don’t forget the cost of additional Solar to run the Spectra either, it’s efficient, very much so, but it does use energy, so significant more Solar or running your motor or a generator.

We cruise in the winter, so that means 1000W of Solar won’t quite make it, it has to be supplemented, long term the best way to do that in my opinion is an inexpensive generator, since you have it anyway, may as well use it to make 35 GPH of water, run the washing machine and make ice.
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Old 04-01-2020, 07:38   #10
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Re: watermakers

Don't leave home without it.

Spectra, needs next to no maintenance, usually just run it for a few minutes to get rid of the smell, then it produces water with fewer free ions than our local city water.

With the watermaker, the boat is totally self-sufficient. We don't have to worry about finding anything ashore other than food, and that only when the gin runs out. The boat is a better refuge after a hurricane than our house. That's a wonderful feeling as you approach a new shore.
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Old 04-01-2020, 07:41   #11
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Re: watermakers

Yes, decide first 12v vs 120v. To give you an idea of power consumption, we had 1000 W of solar and an 900 amp AGM battery bank. In the tropics we could, on a typical day fully charge our battery bank and make around 80 gallons of water via solar (net of the flush which is when you use the pure water you just made to clean the system, about 7 gallons). We were using a Cape Horn Extreme. I really like the two motor option that it has, not only for redundancy purposes but because in the morning when our power generation was just getting going I would start it with one motor and make about 8 gallons an hour and then around 11am or so I would start the second one and make 16 gallons an hour. Then I would step down in the evening back down to one motor. Making 8 gallons an hour again. A critical consideration is how much water you use. You don’t want to make too much that you’re not going to use, because water makers should be used every 5-7 days for longevity purposes. If you’re going longer then 10 days you should pickle it (greatly shortening the life of the membrane in the process. So therefore you want to make an amount of water that you will use in roughly 5 to 7 days. Our family of four would use about 20 gallons/day.
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Old 04-01-2020, 10:24   #12
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Re: watermakers

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Well two things, first almost no one gets the 20 GPH Cruise Ro, because for not much more you get the 30 that makes about 35 GPH.
Then as I said in my post it sort of revolves around whether or not you want to have a generator, if you do, then you already have the generator, so itís not another $1,000.
But from the money side, donít forget the cost of additional Solar to run the Spectra either, itís efficient, very much so, but it does use energy, so significant more Solar or running your motor or a generator.

We cruise in the winter, so that means 1000W of Solar wonít quite make it, it has to be supplemented, long term the best way to do that in my opinion is an inexpensive generator, since you have it anyway, may as well use it to make 35 GPH of water, run the washing machine and make ice.
Sounds like your setup works well for you. We cruise with 500w of solar and really like the Spectra setup. Arguing cost between 12v DC systems and AC systems isn't really very valid, as the total costs are not much different. The output of each is perfectly adequate for typical cruisers, so it comes down to other factors. How you rate these factors is an individual choice. For me overall efficiency and the ability to practically run on solar is a big one.
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Old 04-01-2020, 14:55   #13
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Re: watermakers

we've cruised for over 3 years now and have a spectra 200T. We use between 10 and 15 gallons of water per day and run the spectra every other or every third day. It uses 8 amps per hour and runs a couple of hours each time.

We live exclusively on solar, have no generator and have not had shore power in over three years. We have also not gotten shore water in over three years. The spectra is quiet and runs by itself. Where other cruisers don't want to leave their boat while their watermaker is running, we've never had any problems and do leave to go shopping or whatever.

Our setup is 750W solar, 660AH house bank. WE do sometimes run the engine to top off the batteries if we are in a cloudy location
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Old 04-01-2020, 16:21   #14
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Re: watermakers

I have outboards, 4amp charging! Solar and almost never used Honda 1000.

I've got the single pump Spectra with 21" membrane. I built it myself from a Clark pump I bought on eBay. I'd seen a guy named Bernie in Bahamas that had done the same thing. My pump was supposedly just overhauled by Spectra before I bought it but then it sat in a hall closet 5? Years.

So long story short, if you want to run mostly on solar. Go with the Spectra.

If you want save money you might get lucky on eBay. My total cost was maybe $1800 with custom hoses made by a local shop.

Makes a bit more per hour than a friend's nearly new factory Spectra. Hopefully, will keep chugging along quite a few years. Used it first time this last year and then for 4 months. Also, we never flushed it accept the month we were in Luperon last spring. Used the RV antifreeze over the summer.

I think a DIY 110 would be about the same price. I also bought the membrane housing used for $20. Was a 40" I cut down to 21"
Low pressure pump and spare pump head were also from another forum members spare parts locker. Paid decent money, but maybe 1/3 price of new.

Membrane is only $170
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Old 04-01-2020, 16:33   #15
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Re: watermakers

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we've cruised for over 3 years now and have a spectra 200T. We use between 10 and 15 gallons of water per day and run the spectra every other or every third day. It uses 8 amps per hour and runs a couple of hours each time.

We live exclusively on solar, have no generator and have not had shore power in over three years. We have also not gotten shore water in over three years. The spectra is quiet and runs by itself. Where other cruisers don't want to leave their boat while their watermaker is running, we've never had any problems and do leave to go shopping or whatever.

Our setup is 750W solar, 660AH house bank. WE do sometimes run the engine to top off the batteries if we are in a cloudy location


Do you have/use freezer and autopilot?
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