I had planned to write this review a while ago but the lightening strike seriously delayed it. On the upside, I’m able to speak with more experience with the product. For some background on the Rainman and why I picked it, please read the following post.
Before reviewing the actual watermaker I want to comment on Seatask (http://www.seataskgroup.com/rainman), the dealer I ordered it from. They are truly one of the best companies I have dealt with, EVER. Their pre, during and follow up service is absolutely fantastic. In the above post, I commented that I would be on my own once I purchased. I no longer feel that is true. Seatask has e-mailed me every month to ensure I’m still happy with the product and that I’m not having any issues. I’m absolutely sure that if I had issues and needed parts, they would go out of their way to ensure I got them anywhere! An honest to goodness first class company.
Now on to the watermaker itself. As I mentioned in the previous post we originally intended to use the watermaker in its portable configuration. While the maker performed flawlessly in this configuration, we quickly realized it wouldn’t work long term on our boat. The compartments/lockers on our boat were too small to store the power unit and the locker that could store the membranes was very awkward to access. Add the fact that the components are quite heavy so Rhonda was not able to get them out of the compartments and it just didn’t work. This is not a fault of the watermaker itself, but it was something I wanted to write about in case another cruiser is thinking the same as I was. You really need to plan and ensure you have the compartments to store the components. Its best if the components don’t need to be removed from the compartments and you can simply pull the hoses out any plug things in.
So we bit the bullet and installed the components in permanent locations using some of the original (to our boat) watermaker’s components (delivery hoses, sea strainer, ect). It has almost been 6 months since we completed that install. I’m very happy to report that the watermaker has EXCEEDED our expectations in every way. Its simple to operate/maintain and puts out huge volumes of water. We average between 30-32 gal/hour depending on where we are and the salinity of the water. This equates to us running the maker 4-5 hours/week to make enough water for our needs. Best of all, it takes just over a gallon of petrol in our Honda 2000 to produce that amount of water. Based on the petrol prices in Grenada, its costs about $4.65USD to make water per week. Cheaper than the local delivery service here, by far!
I mentioned maintenance above so I thought I would expand on that. The first bit of maintenance we do is to “back flush” the unit every time we make water. This simply means turning one valve on, then one valve off and waiting 3 minutes, then reverse the valves. The next bit of maintenance is to change the pre-filter “when needed”. “When needed” is the tough part as its very dependent on the quality of the input water. Since the Rainman has a clear filter housing located at the back of the unit, its very easy to see when the filter becomes discolored and should be changed. The final bit of maintenance was to change the oil in the pressure pump after the prescribed number of hours. This job is a bit more involved but not terribly difficult. Rainman has done a good job of providing access to the drain bolt and oil fill location and the job is not done very often!
So I can now say with %100 certainty that we made the right choice for a watermaker. The Rainman saved us money initially and continues to save us money every time we fill our tanks. I would not hesitate to recommend the Rainman to any cruiser as we are completely satisfied. If you are in the market for a watermaker, I encourage you to contact Chris Burton over at Seatask and see what they have to offer.