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    3988 Watermaker Install

    I recently finished a new watermaker install in our 3988 -- the 100 gallon water capacity is just too limiting, especially with guests that have limited boating experience :-).

    I choose to purchase a component system, as it was cheaper, uses standard readily available parts/components, I could install the various components in different places, and I would also know the system better for future maintenance. I really did not have a single place I could completely install a stand alone system. I purchased the system from Seawater Pro ( in Florida). For my system (which produces around 35-38 GPH) -- the total installed cost was around $4300 .. and of course a lot of my time.

    I installed the HP and Boost pumps under the aft port cockpit, the pressure vessels on the aft port hull and the control panel and prefilters behind the port cockpit hatch ( for easy access) -- lots of placement planning to make sure I could access the fittings/connections for service and easily change out the consumables ( i.e. the prefilters).

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    Attached Files
    Althea -- 2000 3988 270 Cummins, Hull Extension
    Semiahmoo, WA

    #2
    Nice thought about putting the filters and control panel in a easy to get to place!

    I’m curious...

    I have probably almost the same system, just packaged by a different vendor (Cruise RO).

    What make and model of boost pump are you using?

    What I have found is that the boost pump seems to be the weak link in my RO system. Over the years I have transitioned to a Jabsco variable speed, constant pressure pump, and this works pretty well but it is not a continuous duty pump. Although it has a good strong fan blowing on it it does occasionally thermal shut down requiring a cool down time and power cycle.

    What I would really like to do long term is to move to a 120V boost pump. I know why Rich uses a 12V boost pump but I do not agree with him. He uses a 12V boost pump in order to allow auto flushing on boats without a inverter.


    KEVIN SANDERS
    4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
    www.transferswitch4less.com

    Whats the weather like on our boat
    https://www.weatherlink.com/embeddab...59665f4e4/wide


    Where are we right now? https://maps.findmespot.com/s/36S4

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by ksanders View Post
      Nice thought about putting the filters and control panel in a easy to get to place!

      I have probably almost the same system, just packaged by a different vendor (Cruise RO).

      What make and model of boost pump are you using?

      What I have found is that the boost pump seems to be the weak link in my RO system. Over the years I have transitioned to a Jabsco variable speed, constant pressure pump, and this works pretty well but it is not a continuous duty pump. Although it has a good strong fan blowing on it it does occasionally thermal shut down requiring a cool down time and power cycle.

      What I would really like to do long term is to move to a 120V boost pump. I know why Rich uses a 12V boost pump but I do not agree with him. He uses a 12V boost pump in order to allow auto flushing on boats without a inverter.
      HI Kevin -- I am sure the one supplied with my system is a weak link as well ( time will tell) -- its an 12V Everflow EF3000 Bypass bump -- easy to find and pretty inexpensive. I have read that the best and most reliable to use are 120V aquarium pumps. I'll need to dig up the reference and link .. I think they were around $250-300?. For fresh water flush -- this system just uses your vessel fresh water pressure ( on a timer with appropriate backflow device ) .

      The philosophy of Seawater Pro seems to be is provide as many of the components as possible that can be purchased easily via Amazon -- he really only offers multiple options for the High Pressure motors and Pumps.

      Jim
      Althea -- 2000 3988 270 Cummins, Hull Extension
      Semiahmoo, WA

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jimbo88 View Post

        HI Kevin -- I am sure the one supplied with my system is a weak link as well ( time will tell) -- its an 12V Everflow EF3000 Bypass bump -- easy to find and pretty inexpensive. I have read that the best and most reliable to use are 120V aquarium pumps. I'll need to dig up the reference and link .. I think they were around $250-300?. For fresh water flush -- this system just uses your vessel fresh water pressure ( on a timer with appropriate backflow device ) .

        The philosophy of Seawater Pro seems to be is provide as many of the components as possible that can be purchased easily via Amazon -- he really only offers multiple options for the High Pressure motors and Pumps.

        Jim
        Thanks, Do you have a bypass valve to adjust the pressure of the boost pump?


        KEVIN SANDERS
        4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
        www.transferswitch4less.com

        Whats the weather like on our boat
        https://www.weatherlink.com/embeddab...59665f4e4/wide


        Where are we right now? https://maps.findmespot.com/s/36S4

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by ksanders View Post

          Thanks, Do you have a bypass valve to adjust the pressure of the boost pump?
          Yes I do. However I am not really sure what the optimum pressure is or how to determine it.
          Althea -- 2000 3988 270 Cummins, Hull Extension
          Semiahmoo, WA

          Comment


            #6
            Jimbo - Great install pics.

            I'm looking to move into a 3988 this spring and a water maker is on the immediate upgrade list. Seen the Seawater Pro systems and others. Now that you've installed and used the system, any things you'd do different?
            Sea Venture
            2000 3055, 5.7/B2, 18x23" props
            Cruising the PNW and beyond.
            DIYC, Riverhouse Marina
            MMSI 316029971

            Kirk
            Drinks well with others.

            Comment


              #7
              That’s a nice looking installation. Finished projects always look simple. A lotta work went into that.
              "Impasse". 2001 3988
              Cummins 330's
              Puget Sound

              "You don't want to be the richest guy in the nursing home..."

              Comment


                #8
                Wow...Excellent work. Between this, the drop down TV, hull extension, pulpit nose job, hot and cold water in that anchor locker, and all the other update/upgrades, you probably have the most outfitted 3988 out there.
                Guntar
                1999 3988
                Cummins 270s

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by SprinterX View Post
                  Jimbo - Great install pics.

                  I'm looking to move into a 3988 this spring and a water maker is on the immediate upgrade list. Seen the Seawater Pro systems and others. Now that you've installed and used the system, any things you'd do different?
                  Thanks!
                  There are definitely a few things I would have approached differently. The 2 that gave me the most install headaches and as well might create me some ease of maintenance issue later:
                  1. Prior to install, I wish I did a better job of creating a more complete "to scale" mock up of the components so you can really see both install and service access issue for all parts of the system. Sometimes a 1/2 inch can make your life miserable 😉
                  2. I also wish I had done better research on the "plumbing" side of the project. I (wrongly) assumed the high pressure side of the system might be the challenge. Turned out that was the easy part. The low pressure side is susceptible to both water leaks and air (input) leaks, and you kind of have to mix a bunch of different connector types. .. unfortunately some don't play as well with others but at first seemed appropriate. Less is More -- best to minimize potential leak points, and buy better brands when possible too.

                  Good luck on your search for a 3988! We really enjoy ours.

                  Jim
                  Althea -- 2000 3988 270 Cummins, Hull Extension
                  Semiahmoo, WA

                  Comment


                    #10
                    That is a super nice installation- thank you for sharing! I don't have a port hatch in the cockpit of my 1999 3988 - is that something you added?

                    I am researching watermakers for my 3988 right now and can't decide between Seawater Pro and CruiseRO. Seawater Pro is less expensive, but CruiseRO seems to use higher quality components, although several key components seem identical. The Seawater Pro has less valves on the seawater low pressure side and doesn't have a standard way to sample product water before it goes to your tank. Is this a practical concern at all? It's hard for me to know what is worth the money and what is not.

                    I'm also struggling on location for everything, I was leaning towards the starboard lazarette for most items but considering putting the control panel in the shallow cabinet of the aft starboard saloon area. Although maybe it's easier to just put it in the lazarette. It seems you have to access valves and the seacock every time you make water so I'll be in the lazarette anyway.

                    Finally I'm leaning towards a 20gph unit, not only to save money, but it seems like it is kind of a hassle to make water, so when I do I'll probably run it for a long time anyway. If I run the generator 3 hours a day to charge batteries, etc. I can make 60 gallons, which will easily provide adequate water for several days beyond the next battery charging time if we are on the hook. In other words if I'm running the generator for 3 hours anyway, there is no need to make all the water I need in 90 minutes. (I hope this makes sense.)

                    MV Dreams - 1999 3988
                    330 Cummins
                    Seattle

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Renilyab View Post
                      That is a super nice installation- thank you for sharing! I don't have a port hatch in the cockpit of my 1999 3988 - is that something you added?

                      I am researching watermakers for my 3988 right now and can't decide between Seawater Pro and CruiseRO. Seawater Pro is less expensive, but CruiseRO seems to use higher quality components, although several key components seem identical. The Seawater Pro has less valves on the seawater low pressure side and doesn't have a standard way to sample product water before it goes to your tank. Is this a practical concern at all? It's hard for me to know what is worth the money and what is not.

                      I'm also struggling on location for everything, I was leaning towards the starboard lazarette for most items but considering putting the control panel in the shallow cabinet of the aft starboard saloon area. Although maybe it's easier to just put it in the lazarette. It seems you have to access valves and the seacock every time you make water so I'll be in the lazarette anyway.

                      Finally I'm leaning towards a 20gph unit, not only to save money, but it seems like it is kind of a hassle to make water, so when I do I'll probably run it for a long time anyway. If I run the generator 3 hours a day to charge batteries, etc. I can make 60 gallons, which will easily provide adequate water for several days beyond the next battery charging time if we are on the hook. In other words if I'm running the generator for 3 hours anyway, there is no need to make all the water I need in 90 minutes. (I hope this makes sense.)
                      You NEED a sample valve.

                      The reason is that upon startup a watermaker puts out a high concentrate of salt in the product stream. This settles out in a few minutes to the nominal TDS value depending on the salinity of the water you are processing.

                      KEVIN SANDERS
                      4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
                      www.transferswitch4less.com

                      Whats the weather like on our boat
                      https://www.weatherlink.com/embeddab...59665f4e4/wide


                      Where are we right now? https://maps.findmespot.com/s/36S4

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Renilyab View Post
                        That is a super nice installation- thank you for sharing! I don't have a port hatch in the cockpit of my 1999 3988 - is that something you added?

                        I am researching watermakers for my 3988 right now and can't decide between Seawater Pro and CruiseRO. Seawater Pro is less expensive, but CruiseRO seems to use higher quality components, although several key components seem identical. The Seawater Pro has less valves on the seawater low pressure side and doesn't have a standard way to sample product water before it goes to your tank. Is this a practical concern at all? It's hard for me to know what is worth the money and what is not.

                        I'm also struggling on location for everything, I was leaning towards the starboard lazarette for most items but considering putting the control panel in the shallow cabinet of the aft starboard saloon area. Although maybe it's easier to just put it in the lazarette. It seems you have to access valves and the seacock every time you make water so I'll be in the lazarette anyway.

                        Finally I'm leaning towards a 20gph unit, not only to save money, but it seems like it is kind of a hassle to make water, so when I do I'll probably run it for a long time anyway. If I run the generator 3 hours a day to charge batteries, etc. I can make 60 gallons, which will easily provide adequate water for several days beyond the next battery charging time if we are on the hook. In other words if I'm running the generator for 3 hours anyway, there is no need to make all the water I need in 90 minutes. (I hope this makes sense.)
                        Thank you. The cockpit hatches are something I added -- there is a lot of wasted space in there. These are custom star-board hatches that Boaters Discount in La Conner used to sell. I received them directly from Steve who used to make them for Boaters Discount, however he is now retired and in AZ. I don't think he makes them anymore, but if you can find an OEM hatch that fits you could use them. Added benefit on the starboard hatch is you get easy access to the shore power port backsides for service.

                        If you only start with a single tube .. plan your install location with space for easy install of a second one in case you decide to add one later -- after you become water pigs and don't want to run the genny that long .

                        I have the pumps down in the lazerette, however having the controls and filters there would be a pain -- at least the way we use the cockpit ( always stuff in the way). I share the same seacock with the washdown pump and added a diverter valve that I access from the area where I have the filters. Make sure you balance your AC loads so you can run other demanding AC loads while you make water from the genny.

                        As for sampling water output -- that's easy -- just make a simple manifold on the output side with valves and stackable tees with ports for 1. overboard discard, 2. Sampling and 3. output to the tank. I also added some extra valves, drain points etc to make seasonal pickling and winterizing easier. I am thinking of adding a low pressure audible alarm (on the input side) I can hear throughout the boat so I don't have to visually babysit the system as much. You might want to consider that if you are planning on running it for 3 hours.

                        Seawater Pro was easy to work with and seems to give good advice and stands behind his product. The benefit of of these component systems you will end up understanding the whole system and can selectively improve or change out certain components as you see fit or require.

                        Jim

                        Althea -- 2000 3988 270 Cummins, Hull Extension
                        Semiahmoo, WA

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Kevin and Jim - Thank you for the responses - very helpful - especially the hint that I'm probably under sizing for my use! I've sent a bunch of questions off to Rich at CruiseRO, hoping to make a decision soon. I'm leaning towards 30GPH Cruise RO, perhaps with an AC boost pump.
                          MV Dreams - 1999 3988
                          330 Cummins
                          Seattle

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Jim, your system looks great, and as others have said, it clear that it was very well thought out.

                            We installed a watermaker in our 5788 in 2016, which turned out to be one of the best things we have ever added to a boat. We didn’t have the same space constraints that you have, and opted for a ‘pre-packaged’ system built by US Watermaker. I was surprised at the overall cost of your unit, particularly as it is so complete. The pre-packaged units from any manufacturer would cost at least double for what you have achieved.

                            Running on 110V, our unit is rated at 400 GPD, which really means 17 - 20 GPH depending on water temperature, but we do need to run the generator to make water. Oddly enough, the Watermaker gets lots of use during the Winter months, as our marina has the water turned off to all of the slips and boathouses from mid November to March/April depending on temperatures.

                            After 5 full seasons, we have found the production to be adequate, but as you commented, we too have become water hogs, so we will soon be increasing the size of our membranes to handle that. Other than that, the system (inc. pumps etc.) needs no other modifications to literally double the production to 800 GPD, provided I can find a nice spot for the longer membranes.
                            Rob
                            Bayliner 5788
                            'Merlin V'
                            Vancouver BC

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by ksanders View Post

                              I’m curious...

                              What I would really like to do long term is to move to a 120V boost pump. I know why Rich uses a 12V boost pump but I do not agree with him. He uses a 12V boost pump in order to allow auto flushing on boats without a inverter.
                              Kevin — take a look at this one:
                              https://www.amazon.com/Aqua-Air-AQPM.../dp/B008EKXSNO

                              I saw that it was referenced in another Crusing forum. I believe that pump company (March) also makes some decent 12V magnetic drive pumps too. The 12V pumps also come from the sailboat cruising perspective. I am still looking for the other Aquarium pump reference, but I recall its price was similar. Those pumps were design to operate continuously.

                              Jim
                              Althea -- 2000 3988 270 Cummins, Hull Extension
                              Semiahmoo, WA

                              Comment

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