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GNWFast 07-30-2010 10:23 AM

Katadyn Water Makers ?
I would appreciate any one with experience to comment on your personal experiences with desalinization while cruising. I have read that the Katadyn products are efficient and reliable.
If you have any pro/con comments I would like to hear them as well as some of your recommendations from your own experiences for long term potable water issues for extended cruising.

It's better to have and not need, than need and not have!

soulofmine 07-30-2010 11:27 PM

Sorry, don't know about how they are with desalinization at all, but as far as the brand goes....I have had a Katadyn water filter for years, for when I go hiking. It's fantastic. No problems. Well made. Would buy again. I will have to check out their applications for cruising.

Funsail 07-31-2010 10:47 PM

We had a 40E, we purchased it back when it was Pur brand, about 1998.
We used it in California and Mexico for six years, it made All our drinking water at about 1 gal an hour, on average. We rebuilt it once, changed the prefilter after ever use and cleaned them. A set of prefilters lasted about six months. We were very happy with it and it was reliable. After Katadyn bought them out I believe the quality and performance were the same. If I was to do it over I'd get the 160. The 40E was just to slow.

Take Care,

crazyfish 08-02-2010 05:02 PM

I have an 80E installed on the boat and used it quite a bit when cruising the Pacific coast of Mexico.

They require a bit of maintenance to insure the membrane stays viable. If they are not going to be used for a period of time they need to be pickled and the pickling needs to renewed from time to time.

One concern is that you do not want the membrane exposed to any oil/gas/diesel that might be picked up on the intake so tended not to use it when anchored in a populated harbor.

80E makes 80 gallons/day which sounds like a lot but its just over 3 gallons/hour. You probably don't want to listen to it making water all day and evening. So something that makes water a bit faster would be a benefit.
These also use quite a bit of energy. I had enough solar installed to meet all of the draws on the energy budget (refrigeration, radios, lighting, etc) except when running the water maker. Would typically run it when I knew I would be running the engine and the alternator would be recharging the batteries the next day and/or while motoring from anchorage to anchorage.

An alternative that I would look it at would be the Spectra line. My understanding is that they produce more water and they are more energy efficient.

Marc Hall
Crazy Fish, Crealock 37, Hull 207, San Diego

GNWFast 08-06-2010 09:12 AM

Hey all,
Thanks for your input. I will check out the Spectra website. We have a binder with ideas and thoughts about the needs of cruising. We read as much as we can, but really appreciate input from people with first hand experience.
Crazyfish, just how loud is the unit? Can you sleep with it running?
Funsail, how much water can you realistically expect to get from the maker vs what the manufacture says?
Soulofmine , thanks for your contribution.

Thanks again , Dave & Anne

sailingdog 08-06-2010 10:23 AM

I've used the Katadyn/Pur watermakers and they're pretty good. I'd point out that any watermaker installation should have a separate tank for the RO water and that the RO membrane will be damaged/destroyed if it is exposed to chlorine bleach of any kind, so back flushing the RO membrane should only be done with distilled, spring or RO water.

The tank should have a check valve and transfer pump that allows you to move the RO water to the other freshwater tanks aboard the boat. Having the transfer pump hooked up to a hose is useful for filling jerry cans and bottles.

Also, getting a larger watermaker and running it every few days instead of a smaller one that is run every day makes a lot more sense and the amount of water you use/discard for back flushing the RO membrane will be a smaller percentage of what you make.

Try and get a watermaker that uses industry standard water filters to help keep the cost of maintaining it down.

donradclife 08-06-2010 11:36 AM

I've had two PUR (now Katadyn) watermakers, and my next one will be something else. They do require significant maintenance, and since Katydyne took over, the prices, especially for spares have increased significantly.

Example--the main bearing in the drive went out, and I asked Katadyn for a replacement. Their response was that I wasn't supposed to be able to take the drive apart, they didn't carry the new bearings, and I needed to buy a new drive for 2000 euro. It took quite a bit of internet surfing, but I eventually found the bearing for $20.

Example--the pump piston rod, which is a 4 inch piece of stainless about 3/8 inch in diameter--over $100.

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