View Poll Results: Watermaker usage on your boat
We have a watermaker and love it 13 35.14%
No watermaker but plan on getting one 6 16.22%
No watermaker because we carry enough water 10 27.03%
No watermaker because the expense does not justify the benefit 7 18.92%
No watermaker because they are a hassle to maintain 1 2.70%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-15-2015, 10:43 PM   #1
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Watermaker usage poll

I'm curious about water maker usage among TF members. So here's a poll asking about your watermaker usage.

Do you:

Have a watermaker and love it
Don't have a watermaker, but plan on getting one.
Don't have a watermaker because you carry enough water for your cruising style without big lifestyle compromises.
Don't have a watermaker because they are expensive and the benefit does not justify the expense.
Don't have a watermaker because they are a hassle to maintain
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:48 PM   #2
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Have water makers and love them.

But for the cost you can buy a lot of water. Even at .50 a gallon as in the Bahamas. So you really need to take stock of whether you really need one or not before you buy.
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:53 PM   #3
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We realize we could buy water where ever we are but then we're at the mercy of the quality of the their water. I like having water when I need it and clean.

Next boat will have two of them!
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:58 PM   #4
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We have a watermaker and would not be as happy without it.
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Old 07-16-2015, 12:38 AM   #5
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I had planned on putting one on Beachcomber when I bought it in 2010 until I found out they're not feasible for fresh water boaters.

Looking back on the decision not to install one, I'm glad I didn't. The $$$$ it would have taken to install and maintain it would buy a LOT of large jugs of water or cases of 12 ounce bottles when we're cruising.
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Old 07-16-2015, 02:06 AM   #6
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The one option you didn't list...

How about -

"Have a watermaker, don't use it"

Might remove and sell while it still works and has some value.
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Old 07-16-2015, 06:40 AM   #7
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Cruising the lower 48 states, there doesn't seem to be much need for a water maker since I have a large storage capacity. If I planned to extensively cruise out of the USA, I might reconsider it. Hard to justify spending thousands plus maintenance plus operating expenses for something that is free and readily available.

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Old 07-16-2015, 06:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phyrcooler View Post
How about -

"Have a watermaker, don't use it"

Might remove and sell while it still works and has some value.
Ditto

I have a 3 year old one works great with my cruising I do not use it much
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:46 AM   #9
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I have a water maker and love it.
Can't get water out at sea.
Best thing I ever put on the boat.
Cut down my water tanks size, more beer/wine space , win/win.
Just wish I had more fuel tankage so I could stay away longer.
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Old 07-16-2015, 08:13 AM   #10
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. . . . I found out they're not feasible for fresh water boaters.
Not strictly true. An RO water maker can process "fresh" water - just keep the high pressure/product flow rate down to what the membrane can handle.
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Old 07-16-2015, 09:25 AM   #11
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Have a spectra. Can't use it when cruising locally due to filters clogging up immediately - mobile Bay Area with a lot of sediment etc in the water. Did use it on our trip last winter to key west and back. It's a peace of mind thing for us allowing for doing laundry and long showers while anchoring instead of relying on marinas for fill ups. Glad I have it with the loop coming up in our plans and more time in the keys.
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Old 07-16-2015, 09:40 AM   #12
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We have one and love it. We left in March, returned in June and never took on land based water, plus we gave water to a boat. Maintenance is minimal. I changed the pre-filters once and then pickled the membrane when we returned. The water maker's 7.5 years old. Membrane has been changed twice.
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:08 AM   #13
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Actually no water maker and not that much capacity, but an over abundance of sources to top off at.
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:42 AM   #14
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Love our Spectra Ventura 150 (150 gpd). Installed in 2005. Still using the original membrane, which we pickle with propylene glycol (as recommended by Spectra). Have never had a bit of trouble with it. We use it every few days during the cruising season, for us March through June, and October-November, in the Sea of Cortez.
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:59 AM   #15
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I used to have one on my 54 sport fisher but hardly ever used it. When used, it worked well but really wasn't needed for the type of boating we did. (Day trips) I don't have one on my present boat as she carries 150 gallons which is plenty for us.

If I were a "die hard cruiser" I definitely would have one. (They can be a royal PITA, however, if not maintained properly.)
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Codger2 View Post
...(They can be a royal PITA, however, if not maintained properly.)
We hear a lot of complaints when we are out. It seems most of the complaints come from boats that have the more sophisticated, automated water makers. The push-one-bottom systems have an attraction but more failure points. The unit Kevin installed and the one on Hobo have a booster pump, a high pressure pump with manual controls. Pretty simple, with off the shelf parts pretty much. kiss.
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
We hear a lot of complaints when we are out. It seems most of the complaints come from boats that have the more sophisticated, automated water makers. The push-one-bottom systems have an attraction but more failure points. The unit Kevin installed and the one on Hobo have a booster pump, a high pressure pump with manual controls. Pretty simple, with off the shelf parts pretty much. kiss.
Yes, nothing electronic.

The panel consists of two switches, two pressure gauges, a pressure adjustment valve and a flow meter, all mechanical. The unit itself consists of a jabsco pump, a high pressure pump that looks like it came from a pressure washer, and two membrane housings.

The katadyne that is coming out was even simpler. Turn it on and it makes water. One switch no knobs. I installed a flow meter myself in the produced water stream so I could see what it was producing. That uniit is even simpler. A High pressure pump, and a membrane, and some plumbing. Super simple, super reliable.
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Old 07-16-2015, 02:59 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
Yes, nothing electronic.

The panel consists of two switches, two pressure gauges, a pressure adjustment valve and a flow meter, all mechanical. The unit itself consists of a jabsco pump, a high pressure pump that looks like it came from a pressure washer, and two membrane housings.

The katadyne that is coming out was even simpler. Turn it on and it makes water. One switch no knobs. I installed a flow meter myself in the produced water stream so I could see what it was producing. That uniit is even simpler. A High pressure pump, and a membrane, and some plumbing. Super simple, super reliable.
If they are so simple and use off the shelf components, why are they so darn expensive?
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Old 07-16-2015, 03:12 PM   #19
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If they are so simple and use off the shelf components, why are they so darn expensive?
You can buy one complete, from the manufacturer, 20 GPH water maker for less than $5K. I know people how have built them for less than 3K. An equivalent output, Spectra, but they aren't that simple, pushing 13K. Now that's expensive.
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Old 07-16-2015, 04:44 PM   #20
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If they are so simple and use off the shelf components, why are they so darn expensive?
Well, the individual components do add up.

Membranes and housings
High pressure pump and motor
boost pump
and a bunch of smaller stuff

I started this process thinking I was going to just figure it out and build one myself.

Then I started adding up all the components and the total cost was not much cheaper than the complete kit with tech support.

If you couple that with the fact that if I figure it out myself I'm bound to make some misatakes and have to re-buy components the price becomes even more competitive.

When you add to this the fact that the owner of the company e-mail'd me back at 8:30 PM answering my questions, and when he gave me honest answers to them, knowing he was giving out info that I might use to go around him...
That made me realize that buying the kit was a GREAT value.
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