Are Watermakers worth the cost,
and do you need one?
There is an important factor to consider before you say no: TECHNOLOGY. Watermakers might seem to be the same as they were 20 years ago, but that is far from reality.
New technology has changed the way people look at these systems, and how much I think I need one..
Just 10 years ago, things were different. Most of the people I knew with watermakers on board then had a long list of problems every season, and the watermaker was a piece of equipment many boat owners had a love/hate relationship to.
The truth is, most of the problems boaters had with the older models was mostly due to a lack of knowledge about the system. Not the product itself.
A watermaker that is only used a few times every year and sitting still for long periods of time will quickly become an issue onboard. Simply turning it on when you need it, and forget about it when you don’t is a recipe for failure. Leaving the system with saltwater inside will cause bacteria growth and membrane failures quickly. Parts also needs to be disassembled and cleaned on a regular basis. Service intervals and accessibility are the main improvements in the new and updated models.
New technology is one thing. But the manufacturers eventually saw the need for more easily maintained watermakers that could be used by recreational boaters with less technical knowledge.
On a commercial vessel or any vessel that is being used more often, the equipment will be in constant use, so no saltwater will be sitting in the filters and grow bacteria over time. To compensate for the lack of use, there are now more freshwater flush options on the system, so you can flush the saltwater out and leave the filters with clean freshwater inside when you leave the boat. That doesn’t mean it can stay like this for months at a time, but new watermakers also have timers now. So you can set the timer to flush the system every week or whatever your needs are, and simply leave the system to take care of it self for longer periods of time.