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Old 10-30-2018, 10:12 AM   #21
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In your situation I would install both units. I have one of the katadyn 160s. It is robust and dependable but I’m shopping for a second one for my boat now. I want the redundancy. Copious fresh water, enough to waste a little, may not be essential but it sure is nice.
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:43 PM   #22
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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 didn’t 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?
Good point. In my old offshore sailing days fresh water was for drinking, rain water or an ocean dunk for dishes and showering.

Fortunately we have tankage for 400 gallons of fresh water. In our cruising grounds we've never yet had a need for an RO unit. Lots of good shore based refill sites. Even plenty of water with guests on board. That said, this past summer we cruised with a vessel that could not get by on 400 gallons for even a few days. Their RO was really working.

So the bottom line seems with high usage and small tanks, follow the RO suggestions above. BTW, we have a unit picked out (Village Marine) and the boat locale if the need arises.
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Old 11-20-2018, 05:09 PM   #23
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After a few weeks of thinking about this I am leaning towards installing both 12v units as suggested above. I have no desire to catch rain water, nor to take salt water baths (not my preferences). The AC/110v units sound great, but one must have AC to run them. What happens if ones generator decides to not behave? What about making water while underway and no other need to run a generator? Sure, 3-6 gph doesn't sound like a lot, but 12v RO units cycle their pumps so that's what one gets. I'd rather have 3gph off solar or alternators than depend on a running a generator just to make water.
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Old 11-20-2018, 05:22 PM   #24
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After a few weeks of thinking about this I am leaning towards installing both 12v units as suggested above. I have no desire to catch rain water, nor to take salt water baths (not my preferences). The AC/110v units sound great, but one must have AC to run them. What happens if ones generator decides to not behave? What about making water while underway and no other need to run a generator? Sure, 3-6 gph doesn't sound like a lot, but 12v RO units cycle their pumps so that's what one gets. I'd rather have 3gph off solar or alternators than depend on a running a generator just to make water.
Geez are you anti-generator? If it breaks you fix it.
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Old 11-20-2018, 06:00 PM   #25
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Everybody has different needs and a different budget. I need or want 30 gph and the 3 gallons a day in diesel would never be noticed.
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Old 11-20-2018, 06:56 PM   #26
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I'm not anti-generator (both boats I own have them) nor am I on some sort of low budget. I've used the smaller water maker I have for years now and run it off solar most of the time. Parts for generators (and other mechanical items) aren't always that easy to come by, especially in the Bahamas. The sun there is strong enough that decent solar will easily make plenty of water per day with a 12v system. This may be more of a regional preference. It seems the 110v comments may be coming from people further north than I am. That would certainly make sense with the lower sun angle. For me, MD and south it just doesn't make sense to rack up hours on a generator for only making water when alternatives are available.
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Old 11-20-2018, 07:08 PM   #27
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Me, I'd also prefer 12V, but would forget the battery/solar and size my alternator(s) to support a 30-40gph unit.
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:09 PM   #28
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Me, I'd also prefer 12V, but would forget the battery/solar and size my alternator(s) to support a 30-40gph unit.
My real-world experience on my smaller boat was that the 235-watt solar panel with about a 300ah battery bank ran the 80e unit for hours per day to make plenty of water. On boat #2 I've got 650 watts of solar and 700ah of batteries (plus a wind turbine). 12v power shouldn't be an issue. I don't think one can get anywhere near 30gph from a 12v water maker. The high pressure pump requires nearly 800psi for most membranes. 110v can do that constantly (think "pressure washer") but 12v motors can't. Thus they cycle on and off and give that lower output of potable water.
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:49 PM   #29
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But you can get 14 - 16 gallons per hour from a 12 volt spectra unit.
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Old 11-20-2018, 09:29 PM   #30
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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.

I agree with Larry and Retriever.
I too have the Kataydn 160 and love its simplicity.
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Old 11-20-2018, 09:35 PM   #31
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But you can get 14 - 16 gallons per hour from a 12 volt spectra unit.
Which model? I have a 150 (not installed) and specs say 6 GPH. 14-16 would be awesome of course.
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Old 11-20-2018, 09:41 PM   #32
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I agree with Larry and Retriever.
I too have the Kataydn 160 and love its simplicity.
The 3 of you have me motivated to uninstall my 80e tomorrow from my smaller boat. I pickled it about 2 months ago and I'd rather not have the lines freeze with that boat hauled out. With you 3 loving your units I will without doubt install my 80e on my second boat. I agree the simplicity is fantastic. I may install the Spectra 150 too as I have room. Twin engines, twin water makers. What could possibly go wrong? :-)
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Old 11-20-2018, 09:44 PM   #33
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the 235-watt solar panel with about a 300ah battery bank ran the 80e unit for hours per day
Exactly why I don't want a low-power unit.

My goal is to only run it an hour or two at a time, and ideally less than a few times a week.

> I don't think one can get anywhere near 30gph from a 12v water maker.

Maybe looking at OTS packaged units.

Rich @ CruiseRO reckons he's set up a few customers this way, e.g his SM30 powered by a 1HP 12v motor probably uses about 80A.

Since I'm not drawing from the bank, nor using solar, I'm not interested in AH/gal efficiency, just gph efficiency.
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Old 11-20-2018, 09:55 PM   #34
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Exactly why I don't want a low-power unit.
Point noted. But if you were in my situation what would you do?

I have a 12v Katadyn 80e.
I have a 12v Spectra 150 MPC.
650 watts of solar.
Wind turbine (in garage, came with boat, not yet installed).
6kW generator.

Such problems to have? :-)
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Old 11-20-2018, 10:26 PM   #35
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Lose the wind.

Install the Spectra.

Plan to keep the Katadyn on standby,

unless you want to post it at a crazy high price and get an offer you can't refuse.
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Old 11-20-2018, 10:34 PM   #36
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Lose the wind.
Why? Free power is free power (and selling used stuff isn't easy). I'm planning to upgrade to the quiet blades for it.


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Install the Spectra.
Why not both? Either in storage is a pain as it isn't easy to maintain a membrane that isn't hooked up.
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Old 11-21-2018, 07:58 AM   #37
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I'm not anti-generator (both boats I own have them) nor am I on some sort of low budget. I've used the smaller water maker I have for years now and run it off solar most of the time. Parts for generators (and other mechanical items) aren't always that easy to come by, especially in the Bahamas. The sun there is strong enough that decent solar will easily make plenty of water per day with a 12v system. This may be more of a regional preference. It seems the 110v comments may be coming from people further north than I am. That would certainly make sense with the lower sun angle. For me, MD and south it just doesn't make sense to rack up hours on a generator for only making water when alternatives are available.
I don't see how you do it. We're a lot farther south and there's no way we can get by on solar and wind alone. We make a good solid 20 amps of 12 volt DC when the sun is strong and more or less overhead, but that isn't all the time nor consistent for days at a time. Quite honestly, without a genset, we would be in serious trouble, power wise and we don't even have 12 VDC refrigeration.

For us, much of our power consumption is after dark and until we can get LI batteries, I don't see any way most of us can survive w/o auxiliary power from a genset, as full time (rarely or never in marinas) anchored out liveaboards.
Never mind that we like our air conditioning when it's really hot and sticky.
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Old 11-21-2018, 08:44 AM   #38
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If it is hot and sticky I'm likely to be at a marina with a pool! My genset has no problems running AC, and I like comfort too (how do you live without refrigeration or do you have 110v refrigeration? ). I like ice too and make plenty of it. I have a friend who's solar wasn't keeping up to his liking so he (being a retired engineer) investigated where all the power was going. I forget what he found specifically but he was able to improve and greatly reduce generator usage.

My genset will run at times for sure. I like hot water for showers, satellite TV and music. I just don't want to run it more than necessary. I also like the redundancy of not being totally reliant on only a generator for everything.

The replies are typical. Those with "X" recommend "X". Those with "Y" recommend "Y".
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:04 AM   #39
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We had a 24 volt unit already on the boat which I scrapped and replaced with a 120v unit that can run off of our inverter. With our 6kw genset we are able to sleep in an air conditioned cabin fully charge our batteries and make 9 hours worth of water on less than 3 gallons of diesel. In addition we have 240v unit we can turn on but for that we need to turn off the air conditioner. On the plus side we can cut the genny run time in half if we really need to make up a bunch of water.
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:14 AM   #40
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Why? Free power is free power (and selling used stuff isn't easy). I'm planning to upgrade to the quiet blades for it.

Why not both? Either in storage is a pain as it isn't easy to maintain a membrane that isn't hooked up.
I personally am very irritated by noise like that.

Sure redundant wm is great if you have space, then why ask?
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