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Old 10-22-2018, 10:11 AM   #1
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Water Makers - Which to install?

I have the terrible problem of owning two water makers. One is a Katadyn 80e I've had for a number of years on my smaller boat. It runs well and only has a few hundred hours on it. My 36' trawler I'm now using came with a Spectra 150 MPC (long story short, both water makers came from the same person/friend). The Spectra is not installed, it was lightly used and I believe in great shape. For those not familiar with these two units they both draw about the same 8/9 amps (12v) but the Spectra puts out around 6gph vs 3gph for the Katadyn. However, the Katadyn is so much smaller and simpler I'm thinking of installing that on my 36' trawler and storing (or selling) the Spectra. Does anyone have any experience with both of these units such as the double output is worth it for the Spectra? I should note that power is not an issue on my boat with 700 watts of solar, a wind turbine, and a generator.

Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:05 PM   #2
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To me, you can never have too much watermaker output. I would definitely use the higher capacity unit.
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:40 PM   #3
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To me, you can never have too much watermaker output. I would definitely use the higher capacity unit.
Me 2! 40+ is needed for me and my wasteful ways!
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Old 10-22-2018, 01:02 PM   #4
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If either one will work for your purposes, let the cost of expendable parts be a guideline. What do the filters, membranes, pickle juice, etc., cost on both, based on gallons of water filtered, and see which one has a lower cost of operation.
Are both 110vac or is the smaller one 12vdc?
Is one noisier than the other?
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Old 10-22-2018, 01:14 PM   #5
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Me 2! 40+ is needed for me and my wasteful ways!
Me too!

6GPH? I wouldn't survive with that rate. Yeah, Crusty talked me into RO water maker.

My advice: Sell both and get a better water maker.
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Old 10-22-2018, 02:35 PM   #6
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Since power is not the issue, I would install a 30-40 gph unit.

But obviously depends on your needs and usage.

Either unit will get a good price if you ensure it's working well and pickle properly.
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Old 10-22-2018, 02:50 PM   #7
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Since power is not the issue, I would install a 30-40 gph unit.

But obviously depends on your needs and usage.

Either unit will get a good price if you ensure it's working well and pickle properly.

here is what Crusty and I used.

Cruise RO Water & Power: Watermakers for Boats & Yachts
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Old 10-22-2018, 03:31 PM   #8
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For such a small amount of water I think I would just fabricate a catchment system out of a tarp if I didnít have a Bimini or a sunshade readily available. You might be surprised by the amount water you can collect during a 15 minute rain squall. I guess the first question you need to answer is how much water do you think you use per year?
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:17 PM   #9
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Having plenty of fresh water is a luxury afloat. Long hot showers when you're tired, laundry, dishwasher, maybe flush your toilets with fresh so they don't turn green. I go with everybody that recommends Cruise RO. I have a 40gph. Plus I flush mine with fresh water so I don't have to pickle. When my tanks are full, I partially fill a 5 gallon bucket in 5 or 6 minutes and then draw that water back thru the salt water pump and the system, discarding the made water overboard.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:48 PM   #10
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Thanks, and I appreciate that link (they look like nice units) but I already own the two I listed. Selling used stuff isnít all that easy in my experience. Iím looking to choose which of the two I have to go with (or, as some personal friends have said: install both).
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by stubones99 View Post
If either one will work for your purposes, let the cost of expendable parts be a guideline. What do the filters, membranes, pickle juice, etc., cost on both, based on gallons of water filtered, and see which one has a lower cost of operation.
Are both 110vac or is the smaller one 12vdc?
Is one noisier than the other?
Good points, thanks. I think the higher capacity one (Spectra) is supposed to be a bit quieter but the other one wasnít all that loud either (Iíve used that one for years on my 30í power cat). Both are 12v. I would prefer to make water when the solar panels and/or wind turbine are charging batteries. 110v would require generator to be on.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Crusty Chief View Post
Me 2! 40+ is needed for me and my wasteful ways!
Our power cat only holds 36 gallons of fresh water and we shower daily and do rinse the boat off after a salt-water passage. The 3gph unit worked for us fine in both the Chesapeake Bay and the weeks weíve spent in the Abacos. However, we are thinking of spending more time in the Bahamas in the larger trawler (now that the admiral has retired and Iím mobile with my small business). Ugh, these horrible problems to have! :-)
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:56 PM   #13
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Spectra is now owned by Katadyn. Consider contacting their support (support is excellent, in my experience) and asking if parts will be available for both models for the foreseeable future.

I have the larger sized Katadyn PowerSurvivor (160gpd). It's been a good unit, very simple and easy to take care of. The automation on the Spectras is definitely convenient, though, especially automatic back-flushing so you don't have to do it yourself or pickle the watermaker.

The 6-7 gph watermaker works well in my use, where it's mostly one or two people on the boat and I'm underway for 4+ hours most days. Since these are both DC units, it's ideal to run them when underway when there's plenty of power, cleaner water, and other machinery noises to mask the watermaker noise.

If I was the type to spend an hour or two underway then a week at anchor, I think I'd go with a big AC watermaker to crank out a bunch of gallons with the least amount of generator time...
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Old 10-22-2018, 05:00 PM   #14
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I’d sell the Spectra. You have experience with the Kayatyn and it’s worked for you in the past. The Spectra is a good unit but the pumps proprietary I beleave.
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Old 10-22-2018, 05:12 PM   #15
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Iíd sell the Spectra. You have experience with the Kayatyn and itís worked for you in the past. The Spectra is a good unit but the pumps proprietary I beleave.
Yes, I hear the Clark pumps can be an issue. The Katadyn has been rock solid the past 6 or so years which is why I'm leaning towards installing that one (plus it is smaller and much simpler in design).
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Old 10-22-2018, 05:18 PM   #16
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Spectra is now owned by Katadyn. Consider contacting their support (support is excellent, in my experience) and asking if parts will be available for both models for the foreseeable future.
They certainly do have good support. But they also have great products so I've only had to call them about installation questions!

Quote:
I have the larger sized Katadyn PowerSurvivor (160gpd). It's been a good unit, very simple and easy to take care of. The automation on the Spectras is definitely convenient, though, especially automatic back-flushing so you don't have to do it yourself or pickle the watermaker.
Good points, but your 160 is very, very similar to my 80 and you know that to pickle them takes what, 5 minutes? They're so easy to work on! I also manually back-flush my 80 with fresh water if I'm not using it for a week or so. Again, easy!

Quote:
The 6-7 gph watermaker works well in my use, where it's mostly one or two people on the boat and I'm underway for 4+ hours most days. Since these are both DC units, it's ideal to run them when underway when there's plenty of power, cleaner water, and other machinery noises to mask the watermaker noise.

If I was the type to spend an hour or two underway then a week at anchor, I think I'd go with a big AC watermaker to crank out a bunch of gallons with the least amount of generator time...
Our power cat was is an 18 knot boat so trips will be longer on this trawler I have. I like making water when underway and when the power is free from solar during the day. Like you I'd prefer not to have to run a generator to make water. Thanks for your input!
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Old 10-22-2018, 07:04 PM   #17
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Old 10-29-2018, 04:25 PM   #18
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I built my own. First I searched to find a new (2 hours as a test pump @ Cruise RO [Rich is a great source of help, w/o the hard sell]) motor/pump combination for less than half the price of a new one.
Then, knowing the pump capability I purchased the membrane and other parts to assemble a 35 gph system for under 2k.

It really is not hard and there is so much info on the web that any mechanically minded person can do it easily.
As an added benefit, since I built it, I don't need some $125.00 an hour tech to change filters or membranes, etc.
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Old 10-29-2018, 04:56 PM   #19
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Hmmmmm

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Originally Posted by mixman View Post
Yes, I hear the Clark pumps can be an issue. The Katadyn has been rock solid the past 6 or so years which is why I'm leaning towards installing that one (plus it is smaller and much simpler in design).
I have owned and used extensively two spectras. I have never had, nor have i heard of any other owner having a problem with the Clark pump.

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Old 10-29-2018, 08:09 PM   #20
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I have owned and used extensively two spectras. I have never had, nor have i heard of any other owner having a problem with the Clark pump.

Gordon
Good to know, thanks.
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