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We did it. We ordered a watermaker. I would like to thank everyone who helped us with this decision which for us, was quite a big one. The comments here on the blog and the private emails we received, both for and against the idea of adding this piece of kit, were very, very helpful. Ultimately what tipped the scale towards us buying one was the incredible deal we secured on a brand new unit. I am 100% sure that we would not have been able to get this low of a price on a similar new watermaker in the future. True or not, the decision was made and the money has left the bank account.

The unit we decided on is a Katadyn Powersurvivor 80E.

The specs on it are as follows:

  • Power requirements: 12 volts DC (draws 8 amps)
  • Water production (+/- 15%): 3.4 gallons/hour (13 liters/hr)
  • Weight: 34 lbs (11.33 kg)
  • Dimensions – Pump : 6″ (15 cm) by 16″ (41 cm) by 14″ (36 cm) (HxLxW)
  • Dimensions – Membrane Module: 31″ (79 cm) length, 2.5″ (6 cm) diameter
  • Feedwater flow rate: 24 gallons/hour (129 liters/hour)
  • Salt rejection: 98.4 percent average (96 percent minimum)

I read through the installation manuals and it seems simple enough that even I should be able to do it! How is that for confidence? We’ll see how it turns out.


  1. Helen A. Spalding

    Mike, is it a coincidence that your watermaker has the same name as your boat, or did you plan it that way?

    • Katana… Katadyn

      Very close, aren’t they?

      We are actually trying to come up with a new name that suits us, and suits our boat, as the name Katana is already registered in Canada.

  2. You could just add “eh?” to the name and then you wouldn’t have to fly a Canadian flag, eh?


  3. So cross it off your list on the right hand side of the page then!

    I love crossing stuff of lists. 🙂

  4. Just finished our watermaker installation last year. Recommend you (although I suspect you already have :-)) research outside of the mfg. instructions for installation tips, ie. best location for intake thru hull, best location for brine discharge thru hull, extra valves that allow servicing without loosing prime, valve the brine discharge thru hull even though it is above waterline, avoid perforated band clamps on vinyl hose, etc. With respect to the brine discharge, remember that cruising trim may be substantially lower once you load he boat with all of your worldly possessions. There are a lot of little tricks out there that payoff later in operation. Also be careful with plastic, threaded fittings, they tend to leak even with excess teflon tape. We had to use 3M 5200 on some. And the installation took about 4 times longer than I estimated. No experience with the Katadyn specifically, however.
    Oh, and keep the bandaids handy.

    • Hmmm… feel like coming to Kingston for a “vacation?” 😉 There is beautiful sailing up here!

      Seriously, it sounds like you have gained a fair amount of experience with this. Any tips you can throw my way, by comment here or by email, will be happily accepted!!!

      • I’ll try to work up a list. And while I certainly would love to help out, I have one of those Jack Sparrow type compasses…
        it only points South. 😉

        • Does it stop when you near Antarctica?

          • Will let you know when I get there.

            • Mike,
              Things got little busy and I lost track of your email address. I wanted to send you a note and suggest that you pay particular attention to the instructions for flushing the membrane and the requirement that non chlorinated water be used for that purpose. This may mean that product water from your tank may not be useable for this purpose without running it through a carbon filter first and I do not know what the design of you model is. Distilled water is not always available.

              • Hi Kirk

                Thanks. For future reference the email is zerotocruising at gmail dot com 🙂

                I see your point and will give that some thought.


  5. Helen A. Spalding

    Sailing in Kingston in March????

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