Why Amps Matter!

Why AMPS matter!

My name Is Capt Banff Luther and Cruiser Water Makers was created to help cruisers get off the dock and not go back! When you are out cruising, fresh water is never far from your mind. Between the weather and access to fresh water will limit how long you can stay in the out islands like Jumentos, Bahamas.

For 20 years I lived on 3 different sailboats, and cruised the Bahamas for 9 different winters. Water was always a concern and conservation was key! Gone were the days of long endless showers and rinsing off the salt. I had it down to less then a few gallons per shower and for some cruisers that was twice as much as they used! We become misers and may have been known to be a little controlling over water usage when we had guests LOL. Lets get real, we go out there to get away from it all, and water usage should not limit our FUN!

We did what we had to do to get out there and live the life of freedom a boat represents. And the reality is that boats are not cheap and the last thing on the list was always a water maker. The cost was just prohibitive. You can buy a lot of $.50 a gallon water at Green Turtle or Stainel Cay Yacht club for the cost of a $7,000 water maker.

For my trips down this was my solution but over the last 10 years the government of the Bahamas has in their divine wisdom decided to start producing water for each island. Gone are the Marinas with independent water makers or cistern water. Instead of wonderful clean water, I was forced to buy highly chlorinated government water for the same price. In some places it was so high in chlorine that the drinking filters would not clean it up.  

Now with no real clean water solution, having a water maker became top priority. 

There are cheap solutions out there which use super high energy loads or were engine driven. With a high energy load motor you are forced to run a generator or the diesel for power. For me personally, the last thing I want to do at anchor was run the motor when the solar panels were giving me all the amps I needed. 

For years I searched the internet to find an affordable yet energy efficient water maker. And when I say efficient, what im referring to is the amps/gallons per hour ratio. Most water makers are costing you 2-6 amps for every gallon of fresh water made. Those are typically also the cheapest ($3000-6,000)ones on the market. The cheapest ones are mostly using an AC 120 600 watt motors requiring you to run a generator or an large heavy duty inverter while running your diesel. 

Spectra Water makers is known as some of the best ones on the market. They are also one of the most expensive ones on the market. BUT they HAD the best ratio of amps per gallon.

The way they rate them is confusing so lets break it down.

Spectra 150D (no clue why you would rate this in liters per day amount)

$7300 plus shipping

6.3 GPH / 9 amps 12 volt.

Thats amp/gallon per hour ratio of 1.42 amps per gallon.

For years this was the holy grail of water makers! NOT anymore

Aqua Nautica AN25 (thats liters per hour)

$4700 no shipping cost

6.6 GPH / 9 amps 12 volt

Thats a cost of 1.36 amps for every gallon you make!

Not only are you saving amps, you are saving money!!! $2600 boat dollars goes a long ways to buying Rum in the islands!

As you step up in the Aqua Nautica line the efficiency and money savings is even greater!

Personally I installed the AN30 on my boat Zeedraak. It costs me 13 amps for 7.9 GPH. The foot print of the unit is small and its modular so I can fit the parts where they make the most sense.

For my installation it made the most sense since I have 1300 watts of solar. At 45 volts on a sunny day it can put out 90 amps of juice! We all know the rate of charge slows down after a few hours so once the amps get into the 10-20 amp range on the voltmeter I turn on the water maker. The MPPT charge controller continues to put 10-20 amps in the batteries but ramps up the charge providing the extra 13 amps needed for the water maker. Basically it runs on free energy and I can run it as long as the sun is out. Its the brilliance of the MPPT Solar Charge Controller, it will always keep a steady charge on the batteries and ramp up when a need arises, creating what I call free energy.

No more skipping showers! And what I love the most is when I come in from a nasty crossing covered in salt, I can produce enough fresh water to wash the boat off! And the taste, its purity is better than any drinking water you can buy.

Now thats living!

Just know that you are not buying a water maker that is sold by someone that has no clue what its like out there. You are buying a water maker from a fellow cruiser that understands your needs and can talk you through the installation.

Keep an eye out, you just might see me in an anchorage near you! Come on over and lets share some stories. 


Capt Banff