More water for more guests!
When outfitting ZTC, a huge decision for us was whether or not to install a watermaker on board. The decision to ultimately do so was based upon two things:
- the fact that ZTC only carries 47 gallons of water in her main tank
- our desire to explore out-of-the-way islands and avoid visiting marinas
When shopping for systems, we opted to purchase a DC powered Katadyn 80E, largely because of how robust and simple to use it was reported to be. I will go on record to say that we have been very happy with our decisions, both to install a watermaker in the first place and with our choice of units. We have had very little difficulty with the Katadyn system and we have never had to jerry jug water to and from a shoreside source.
All that said, if I was going to do it all over again, I probably would choose another system. The 80E specs say that it has a capacity of 4 gallons per hour and that it draws 8 amps. While it can run off our batteries, an 8 amp draw is a fair amount. Unless we run it when the sun is unobstructed and high in the sky, we frequently find ourselves running our Honda generator to keep the voltage up (watermaker motors, or motors in general, don’t like running in low-voltage situations). Of course, if we had more solar panels, perhaps that situation would be different but given our current setup, that is how we operate. It’s OK, but my current thoughts are that if I’m going to run a generator, I might as well invest in a higher-output model. Which leads us to the systems made by CruiseRO.
Note: We are in no way sponsored by CruiseRO nor have we received any discount on the purchase of our watermaker described below.
With potentially 8 people on board the Leopard, 3/4 of whom will likely not have the water discipline that Rebecca and I do, we definitely will need a system that produces more than 4 gallons per hour. During my research, I stumbled across CruiseRO’s 40GPH system which is designed to run off a Honda 2000 generator, not the ship’s batteries (see bottom of post for clarification from CruiseRO). Some might consider that a disadvantage but as I said, much of the time we ended up running the generator while our 12V model was on anyway. This unit is spec’d to produce 40 gallons per hour though, not four, and with charter guests on board, being able to quickly replenish our water tanks will not just be a luxury, it will be a requirement!
There are three other big pluses:
- the price is right
- the units get great reviews
- the manufacturer, a cruiser himself, reportedly gives incredible service
While I have not yet got my hands on the watermaker, it has been delivered to our freight forwarder in Miami and is presently awaiting transport to St. Maarten where we will pick it up. Having installed a watermaker before, I’m pretty confident that I’ll be able install the system on the 4600 in a professional manner, just as I did on ZTC. While we will still not encourage our guests to take Hollywood showers 3 times per day, I’m pretty confident that we’ll be able to keep up with demand. A clean guest is a happy guest! 🙂
A minor correction from Rich of CruiseRO:
I just wanted to drop you a quick note after seeing hundreds of people coming to my watermaker site from your recent blog post (holy smokes… thanks for that by the way). I noticed something on the blog post that I wanted to mention to keep confusion from getting out there.
The SM40 water maker wasn’t made to run from the Honda 2000 generator, the SM20 and SM30 were the two that were. Now this doesn’t mean it won’t, but the 1.5Hp motor used by the SM40 uses 13A and the steady state Honda 2000 rated output is 13.3Amps. So it CAN do it but it’s not something we encourage or promote. Folks wanting to use the Honda 2000 should plan on using the SM20 or SM30.