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oysterbay2 01-13-2008 05:53 AM

Hi All,

We are going to sail creece and turkey and are looking to buy a watermaker, is ther anyone who has experience in ahving one that is easy on energie and easy to maintane??



svsirius 01-13-2008 07:55 AM

We have a Sea Recovery Ultrawhisper. Fits both of those requirements. they are available between 200 - 400 gal per day driven by 12v or larger driven by 110/220v. General Maintenance is changing filters, everything else is automatic. Very happy with performance.

sailingdog 01-13-2008 08:38 AM


Most of them area about the same when it comes to maintenance. Getting one that uses off-the-shelf parts is a much better idea than one that is all proprietary parts. I've installed and worked on one brand that is specifically designed to use off-the-shelf parts, to minimize maintenance costs.

Also, get a larger watermaker than you think you need, since they're generally far more energy efficient. For instance, if you need 20 gallons a day, it is often better to get a larger one and run it every two to three days, rather than running a smaller one every day. One reason for this is most watermakers need to be backflushed with water to clear the RO membrane. Running a larger one every other day means you waste less water backflushing the membrane.

BTW, if you do get a watermaker, make sure that the tank it is connected to is never filled with tap water. The chlorine in tap water will destroy the RO membrane in the watermaker.

Freesail99 01-13-2008 09:07 AM

Sk watermakers use off-the-shelf parts and it is a nice unit.

sailingdog 01-13-2008 09:17 AM


I think SK was the brand of the one I installed... just couldn't remember the name. :)

Tenaya 01-14-2008 12:06 PM

We have a Spectra watermaker and it works fine. In warm water it seems we need to clean the filters often. We have started to wash them each time we use the watermaker (about every 3rd day or so) and never if we are in a marina).
Sailingdog is correct about the effect of chlorine on the membrane, but ours is connected to our tank and we do fill it with tap water, but we have a charcoal filter (as recommended by Spectra) in the line for the flushing water.

speciald 01-14-2008 12:33 PM

Cosider the cost. You can buy alot of water for what the watermaker costs. The membranes have a finite life and will need to be replaced, the frequency determined primarily on hours of use. Having said that I have a Village Marine that runs on 110v. and makes 20g./hr. It has been maintenence free over 4 years. I can keep the water tank full with generator time needed to charge batteries and chill the fridge/freezer so their is no measurable fuel use to make water. In a survey done by Bluewater Sailing, the watermaker was the system that was mostlikely to give a cruiser a problem. I run any water going into my tank not from the watermaker through a carbon filter to guard against chlorine and use hydrogen peroxide as a sterilizing agent. One advantage of a watermaker not often considered is that it allows you to carry less water and more fuel on long passages as surplus water tank capacity can be turned into fuel tankage.

chucklesR 01-14-2008 12:59 PM

Hard to buy water 786 miles off the coast of paradise. Boat boys don't come out that far.

I disagree on the size issue; don't have one yet but spec'd out one - Katadyn 80E because:
a) I need a modular unit.

b) I want to run it off DC, not the motor (I like quiet, and have solar).

c) I only need 8 amps to make roughly 4 gallons - I can make that off solar alone and never touch my batteries (don't bring out your calculators solarstik fans, 2 X100 watt panels will make 8 amps for at least a hour per day.

If I need more than 4 gals a day to drink, cook, wash with, I'll let it run for more than one hour, if not I'll play with my laptop a little more :)

chucklesR 01-14-2008 01:01 PM

BTW my 2x30 gal FW tanks lasted me 36 days of cruising and overnighting this past season, not the same as liveaboard, but doable.

chucklesR 01-14-2008 01:13 PM

Sorry, just rechecked - the Katadyn Powersurvivor 80E puts out 12.9L or 3 gph, not the 4 I previously stated (misremembered is better than misrepresented).
It does use 8 amps per hour to make that 3 gal, and is modular.

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