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Water maker recommendations

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Hi all, I have a friend who is trying to choose a watermaker for his yacht and is having a hard time deciding which is the best option.  Would be great to hear if anyone has any experience/thoughts on the below please.


Friend has narrowed what he's after down to two choices, either


Open Ocean's 12v offering http://www.openoceanwatermakers.co.nz/12-volt-systems.html




Spectra ventura 200t



both are a similar price, and from the marketing material it seems like the OO produces slightly more per hour than the Spectra, but uses a fair chunk more power to do so.  


Would love to hear if anyone knows more about a comparison between these two or any specific details on one or the other, in particular


- is the power consumption of the spectra really that good?

- are parts available for the NZ made open ocean outside of NZ?

- is one known to be more reliable than the other?

- if the boat were to be left and not used for a season, do either/both these units need special treatment or looking after to still work afterwards?



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Personally I'd not use an electric watermarked by choice. I'd put in a 160ltr/hour engine driven system. Gives you enough in a short time to fill tanks and even hose the boat with fresh water. normally no additional engine running over what you'd do anyway is needed. No conversion of mechanical energy to electrical, back to mechanical for the pressure pump. Both systems will need the membrane pickled for storage. Membranes are expensive. Open ocean make a good engine driven system.

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Thanks Matt, at this stage an engine driven system has been ruled out for various reasons around complexity of fitting etc and open ocean themselves have recommended the 12v option.  So am interested in hearing anything anyone knows about the two mentioned above.

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Yep a +1 for IT on that.

A watermaker revolves around two key points. The Motor driving the pump, as discussed above, and the Filter. The filter determines that capacity. Nothing else. No maker of these things can make a unit more "efficient" than anothers, without there being some difference in the quality of the water produced. The Filter works simply by producing x volume of fresh water multiplied by the surface area and the speed of producing x summed by the quality of the end product. So if you want more end product, you need more filter area.
The rest is the amount of automation in controlling the system. You can go fully monitored and automatic where the water is tested and the flows then regulated to produce a specific product quality, or a fully manual unit where you have to physically test the the product and turn valves to ensure the quality.
     What many do not realise, and me included when I first looked at a Watermaker, is that they have to be regularly used. As in every couple of days. Which then comes at a cost of the Pre filters, because they will get dirty faster(dependent on intake water quality). If you are going to leave for longer than a Week, you have to look at Pickling the main Osmosis Filter. It's not hard, but then, it is slightly annoying to have to do so often. Pickling is only good for 6 months. So f you are intending on leaving the Boat for an extended period, like most of the year, you have a problem. The Osmosis filters are frighteningly expensive.

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Wheels bit more to it really than the pump and filter.  There are membranes and membranes, some are not as good as others.  Comes down to surface area they can get into the membrane and type of material and design.  Also the hydraulic profile of the plant makes a huge difference, back pressure, reject to permeate ratio and the ability to adjust this are all important.  


Note also their is some difference in power usage if you for instance compare the Spektra vs the Schenker 30-35 litre an hour models.  Many watermakers actually use more power than stated due to the pump motor being nearly stuffed also.  We see this all the time.  Also guys run their water makers off low voltage batteries which affects performance. 


Of course i'm a bit bias to the Schenker range as we sell them!  Open Ocean - all you say is you get what you pay for.  Look at the quality of components used.  Saying that some of the home brew models are pretty good, simple and easy to work on.  


PM me if you want a good deal on a Schenker.  

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The Spectra has an auto flush so you can leave it on and it willclean itself every 24hours. But its a prick of a thing to setup. I did that for 2 years until I tirned it off in error and wasnt able to easily set up the auto flush again.

But in saying that, I pickled mine as it was a pain in the arse and I wasnt even using it... and when I did turn it on, I managed to root the membrane.

A water maker guru told me the Spectra was the worst product on the market that he services/repairs. I didnt ask him why though, I just wanted it fixed and shut down.

Instead Ive plumped the roof to collect water...which is eactly the reason why it didnt rain at the barrier the whole 3 weeks I was there

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I have an Echo-Tec electric, manual flush, 50l/hr. Water tastes great as long as you remember to do the flushing weekly and change pre-filters periodically. We ran it constantly in Fiji last year and over Xmas with no issues. These things sure spoil you when you don't have to worry about where to fill up! I don't find the fact that's it electric an issue.

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