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Watermaker Decision–Spectra Cape Horn Extreme

Posted on Sun 23 January 2011 in articles

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good that with the options I had narrowed myself down to that ultimately none of them would be “the wrong decision”. By that I mean, I felt pretty confident they’d all work reliably and I really what I needed to focus on was how I wanted to run the boat and her systems. I decided I want to run on DC augmented when needed by the generator, not rely exclusively on the generator. I’m sure others would be fine relying on the generator though. My main concern was figuring out a way to mount and run the Honda EU2000 while on an ocean passage. I’m sure it could be done, but I just decided I didn’t want to be doing that and that eliminated the AC option for me.

Once I had narrowed my choices down to the DC options, I decided to go with Spectra based on their wide spread usage and claims of great support when issues arise. It also helps that Jack on s/v Whoosh (another P424) did some excellent research on this topic. In order to enhance the high-end output which we could utilize when we are running the generator we decided to go with the Spectra Cape Horn Extreme (CHE).

The Spectra CHE (or Ché as I think we’ll call it) is similar to the Ventura 150200T series. but it has a larger \~40” membrane and two feed pumps which can be run individually or together. Individually they can operate as a lower-amp solution and redundant backups if one is having a problem. Together they can be run to double the fresh water production but at the cost of more power. This high power option will be perfect for when we are running the generator, whereas the single pump will be ideal for passages and when we want to rely only on solar, wind, etc. Ché is designed for the racing circuit and it’s pumps are a tad more resilient and can deal with running dry. On a race boat this might happen when the boat heels over and lifts the thru hull from the water for instance. On a cruising boat its more likely to happen if you suck something up into the strainer or you do something stupid like forget to open a seacock or something.

I’m very happy with our decision, the guys from Emerald Harbor Marine at the Seattle Boat Show were very helpful, I believe we got a fair price and I look forward to working with them further as we do the install.

One less decision to make, whew…