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Old 04-18-2020, 08:27 AM   #1
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Water Maker recommendation

I have a GB 59 Aleutian and want to add a water maker. A contractor offered me a sea recovery water maker AWPC 450-1 220/60/1 PLNGR for $7,000. Seems like too much money. Anyone have a suggestion or an opinion? Thank you.
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Old 04-18-2020, 08:36 AM   #2
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Is that the installed price? If it is, it’s not that bad. It takes a day plus to install one.
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Old 04-18-2020, 09:00 AM   #3
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No. He said a day install. Plumbing, through hull and electric are all there. Just needs a unit. Do you know anything about the make or model? Thanks
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Old 04-18-2020, 09:03 AM   #4
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No first hand knowledge but I know Sea Recovery has been around for a long time.
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Old 04-18-2020, 09:26 AM   #5
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I suggest you get the right water maker for your intended use, and also for the boat’s intended mission. We all sell our boats someday. Sure the price is important, but more important - does it fit where you can maintain it, is the water production sufficient, are parts and service available, does tech support answer the phone when you call? I don’t think the complexity of the installation is high, but there is a lot to do.

We have been happy with a Spectra 12VDC unit. 12VDC allows us to make water while running in cleaner water, drastically reducing filter service. Ours was probably a 2-3 day installation. As we typically don’t run the generator at anchor, I am happy we don’t have to make more 120VAC power to make water. The previous owner gets the credit for this.

If we were on a “generator” boat, then 120VAC for the water maker would be fine. I would still be making water in open waters.

I’m sure others with more experience will be along shortly...

Good Luck
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Old 04-18-2020, 09:26 AM   #6
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Water makers are not rocket science. Basically just a high pressure pump, a pressure regulator, and a membrane. After that, it just gets to how much automation you want. Parker purchased a number of water maker companies, Village Marine, Sea Recovery etc. The downside IMO is that the membranes can be proprietary (Parker) and a replacement can cost 4-5 times what a standard size would cost. There are a number of companies that use off the shelf membranes. My $.02
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Old 04-18-2020, 09:58 AM   #7
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Water makers are not rocket science. Basically just a high pressure pump, a pressure regulator, and a membrane. After that, it just gets to how much automation you want. Parker purchased a number of water maker companies, Village Marine, Sea Recovery etc. The downside IMO is that the membranes can be proprietary (Parker) and a replacement can cost 4-5 times what a standard size would cost. There are a number of companies that use off the shelf membranes. My $.02
Agree with your comments. I have a Village modular unit mounted on a bulkhead. All the components are easily accessible and there's no automation. In 10 years of use, it has operated fine, with one membrane change at 8 years. But the membrane, proprietary from Parker, was really expensive, I think around $300 which is abusive. If I I installed another WM, I'd build it from generic parts. There are plans available to do this and several TF members at this site are knowledgeable and could probably provide some pointers.
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Old 04-18-2020, 10:15 AM   #8
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Take a look at Cruise RO. They don’t make a fully automated unit but there’s less to fail then. Theirs have no proprietary parts. Keep it simple!

Cruise RO Water & Power: Watermakers for Boats & Yachts
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Old 04-18-2020, 10:21 AM   #9
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I had a cruise RO and it worked well. Model I had could produce up to 40 gph. As said nothing proprietary==get filters from Amazon, Ebay or local stores.
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Old 04-18-2020, 10:22 AM   #10
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At 20 gallons per hour, even a simple watermaker will cost $2500 in parts. $7,000 installed for a fully automatic water maker sounds reasonable. However, I didn’t look at the model. Is it fully automatic this means you just hit the on and off button, the unit adjusts pressure and does a fresh water flush each week on its own. So, ask the question, is it fully auto or do I need to dial in the pressure, will it do auto flushes on its own?

The next thing I would advise you to do is google the membrane replacement costs. I would love to pay $300 for a new membrane, my replacements from Parker cost $1,000. Know ahead of time what the future maintenance is going to be.

Is this an AC or DC system? Do you care? My system is 25GPH, luckily this has been adequate but my next one will be 40GPH. I hate running the Genny for 4 hours making water.
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Old 04-18-2020, 10:32 AM   #11
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Parker watermaker membranes have come way down in price since they bought Village Marine. My first replacement membrane for our VM unit was over $700. The same membrane can be had for $265.

2.5" x 38" Replacement Membrane for Village Marine Watermaker | Seawater Desalination Reverse Osmosis Membrane | Replaces AquaPro 33-0238

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BMAP0W0..._fZXMEb58RN2T1
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Old 04-18-2020, 10:34 AM   #12
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Water makers are not rocket science. Basically just a high pressure pump, a pressure regulator, and a membrane. After that, it just gets to how much automation you want. Parker purchased a number of water maker companies, Village Marine, Sea Recovery etc. The downside IMO is that the membranes can be proprietary (Parker) and a replacement can cost 4-5 times what a standard size would cost. There are a number of companies that use off the shelf membranes. My $.02
Sea Recovery membranes are available from the aftermarket. They can be a generic item, mine was.
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Old 04-18-2020, 10:51 AM   #13
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The downside IMO is that the membranes can be proprietary (Parker) and a replacement can cost 4-5 times what a standard size would cost. There are a number of companies that use off the shelf membranes. My $.02
That is my experience too - the proprietary membranes are hugely marked up, as are many of the parts. Check out Cruise RO. The membranes and most parts are generic.

Also, the $7K price sounds good for a unit that produces 30+ gph and includes automatic flush, etc.
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Old 04-18-2020, 11:45 AM   #14
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Lots of threads on this subject and again Cruise RO has worked great for us!
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Old 04-18-2020, 12:00 PM   #15
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I recently replaced my Dow 40” X 2.5” membranes at around $700 for TWO of them, including new o rings, and a tube of i think silicone grease after several years of extensive service.

I chose Cruise RO to supply my watermaker components because the components are all off the shelf items. Rich at Cruise RO put the right parts together to work properly, and he has GREAT tech support so he gets my business.

I chose a modular watermaker because I use it every day, and wanted the control panel where I can get to it without moving stuff around, and going into the lazarette, or engine spaces, just to desalinate water. So my control panel is in the salon, easily accessible.

Here is a Great trick... Take your “test” water line and route it to a spigot that goes into your sink. That way you can fill up drinking water jugs easy peasy.
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Old 04-18-2020, 01:28 PM   #16
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Lots of threads on this subject and again Cruise RO has worked great for us!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
Take a look at Cruise RO. They donít make a fully automated unit but thereís less to fail then. Theirs have no proprietary parts. Keep it simple!

Cruise RO Water & Power: Watermakers for Boats & Yachts
I agree. Cruise RO is the way to go. I have a 40gph unit.
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Old 04-18-2020, 02:00 PM   #17
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I had ksanders old 160gpd 12v Katadyn on my last boat. It worked well for how I used the boat, since when I needed to make water I was usually also traveling relatively long distances every day (4+ hours) so there was plenty of time with the engine running to make water. This watermaker was dead simple...no computers or fancy controls; just flip a breaker, test the water after a few minutes, and send it to the tank.

My current boat has a nearly new FCI Max-Q with automatic pressure control. Pretty slick, just press start and it takes care of the rest! And it makes ~50 gallons an hour. But it needs the generator to run. Because it's 240v, auto flush is a little problematic since the boat may be left with only 120v shore power. And I'm not sure if the auto flush timer restarts at the beginning every time the power cycles...if it does, it's kind of useless I think.

I recently called FCI with a question and they were prompt and helpful over the phone.

The whole thing, installed, cost over $20k...and this watermaker replaced an older, similarly sized unit, so I imagine some of the plumbing and wiring was reused.

I think I'd prefer a 700gpd DC Spectra watermaker. I've used one on a friends boat. Very efficient, no need for a generator or inverter, great support in my experience...
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Old 04-18-2020, 02:16 PM   #18
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Yacht & Boat Water Maker by Cruise RO Water & Power
Another vote for CruiseRO. I built my own 40gph, but it's very similar to what they sell. I spent too much buying wrong stuff and things that failed too early. If I had it to do over, I'd buy one of theirs.
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Old 04-18-2020, 02:37 PM   #19
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I have an older Sea Recovery. Old membranes were installed in 2004. Still working in 2019. Then I ran chlorinated water through them. Don't ask. Ruined them. New from Parker they were $330 and I needed three of them. Then two of the three vessels were pitted and going bad. Bought three new ones from Parker. $313 each. Then one of the new vessels was bad. Replaced under warranty. Ours is rated at 600 gals. per day. We have a remote control panel in the galley. No other automated features. I also purchased new intake filters, one for gross filtration, the other an oil separator. Add two charcoal filters, one for flushing and one for finish. Total rebuild cost from the manufacturers rep including seals, filters, and final installation = $3,800. That was a painful mistake. I need to run the genset to make water. We are in salt water. The water purity is about 175 conductivity. Incoming dock water is about 250 so it makes really good water.
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Old 04-18-2020, 02:56 PM   #20
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I put in a Blue Water Desalination Legend 475 last spring and used it extensively in the Bahamas last year.

Loved it.

It is fully automatic with a remote at the helm. I have it set to flush every seven days year round. I am advised that if I keep to that I will never need to replace the membrane.

I wanted the automatic because I just know I will not be diligent in going into the lazarette and running it when I should.

It wasn't inexpensive, and I will never make it back by not paying for water in the island's, but having the convenience and allowing guests to have long showers, flush, do laundry whenever and as often as they want, is priceless.
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