Watermaker / Desalinator

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Spectra Newport 400 MK II watermaker

The standard watermaker that Jeanneau installs on this yacht is the Dessalator Duo model made in France. It works on both 24V DC and 230V AC currents and thus can be run either off the batteries or directly off the generator (shore power doesn't apply, since one normally never makes water in a marina due to the contamination of the water and the fact that getting water from the shore is easier and cheaper). Due to manufacturing time constraints the watermaker would have to be put in upon delivery and thus I had the option of choosing another brand and watermaker type. While there are quite a few manufacturers of excellent watermakers out there I opted for one from one of the major players and ordered a Spectra Newport MKII watermaker that runs only on 24V DC and not on 230V. This means that there is one less pump (but no backup) but the Spectra has the distinction of using a very energy-efficient Clark Pump which scavenges some of the energy for re-use and thus can run under battery power at lower speeds without draining the system reserves.

Watermakers, or more correctly “desalinators”, use membranes and reverse-osmosis to filter particulates and salt out of water, the resultant product is so pure that it is close to distilled water. A complex arrangement ensures that the filters are constantly washed and thus are self-cleaning and don't clog. If run correctly, a watermaker just uses lots of energy to produce clean drinking water and needs little to no maintenance. Unlike a lot of machinery, a watermaker should be used often as algae and other growths can grow when the unit isn't used for a lengthy period. The high-tech membranes are robust and impervious to whatever is normally found in the sea but chemicals such as chlorine (found in tap water) and oils or diesel fuel can destroy them in short order. For this reason the system needs a charcoal filter for back-flushing the membranes (in case the water tanks have been filled with tap water) and one needs to be very careful when running the watermaker in potentially soiled waters.

Spectra membrane Replacement Here the two pressure regulators and mountings have been loosened so that the pressure vessel can be removed.
(2011-12-23 13:58:21 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.5, 1/60s] ISO 800 Focus 1.50m)
Spectra membrane Replacement
Waterfilters soaking in bleach The white and blue tops denote 5 and 20 micron and they tend to clog up quite quickly in the waters of Marigot, St. Martin; here I've washed them, scraped the folds with an old toothbrush and they are now soaking in dilute bleach before they get dried in the sun and can hopefully do their duty again.
(2012-02-01 15:20:45 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/4.2, 1/13s] ISO 100 Focus 0.50m)
Waterfilters soaking in bleach
Spectra Newport repair The Spectra Newport main system opened up in order to replace the defective salinity probe. Although it might look busy, most of the work involved was cutting wire ties and replacing the probe itself (plus putting on new wire ties when the job was complete).
(2012-02-18 17:59:07 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.5, 1/60s] ISO 800 Focus 1.50m)
Spectra Newport repair
Spectra membrane Replacement The salinity of the broken membrane prior to replacement continually read ">875 PPM" and this 112 PPM is an excellent value (anything lower than 500 PPM is deemed acceptable for drinking).
(2011-12-23 16:01:56 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/4.8, 1/60s] ISO 800 Focus 0.60m)
Spectra membrane Replacement
De-Pickling the Watermaker 1 The first step in de-pickling the watermaker. This entails making sure that the chemical solution that I put into the watermaker to keep it from going bad while I was gone is completely removed and doesn't get into the drinking water system.
(2013-02-05 10:36:39 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-105.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.8, 1/15s] ISO 250 Focus 1.26m)
De-Pickling the Watermaker 1
De-Pickling the Watermaker 1 Running the Spectra watermaker to get rid of the pickling chemical solution used for storage.
(2013-02-05 10:36:45 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-105.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.8, 1/13s] ISO 250 Focus 1.41m)
De-Pickling the Watermaker 1
Dirty filters for the watermaker These dirty and fouled filters needed to be replaced before putting the watermaker back into service.
(2013-02-05 10:38:27 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-105.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/4.0, 1/60s] ISO 250 Focus 0.60m)
Dirty filters for the watermaker
Coffee, glasses & Instruction manual Reading the Spectra Watermaker instrucation manual to de-pickle the device after it had been in storage for many months on the hard.
(2013-02-05 10:38:10 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-105.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.8, 1/50s] ISO 250 Focus 0.84m)
Coffee, glasses & Instruction manual
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