Internet research and talking with friends in 2014 lead me to Rich Boren and Charlie Hammel at Cruise RO Water and Technautics. I was looking for a watermaker to use on our boat during a year long trip that would take my family and I from Portsmouth RI as far south as Grenada and back.
A close friend of mine had just completed the same trip with his family and they felt the watermaker was a pretty nice piece to have. Unfortunately for him, he did not have anywhere near the prep time I had to pull his trip together and ended up purchasing his watermaker a month before he was due to leave. Sadly he had a really rough experience with another company, and long story short he received the watermaker the day before they left for the BVI’s. Three frustrating months later he had it up and running. After hearing his tales of woe, I was hell bent on getting mine well ahead of time and having the time to get comfortable with it before heading South.
Around November of 2014 I purchased my SMS 30 from Rich and Charlie. Right from the get go these guys were a pleasure to deal with. Rich walked me through the various options until I was completely comfortable with what I was purchasing.
We have the luxury of an 8kw Westerbeke Genset onboard, and this gave us plenty of power to run the SM30 unit. I toyed with the idea of going to the larger unit, but Rich convinced me that the 30 would be just fine….and obviously it was cheaper also…bonus!!!
Its 1 hp high pressure motor only draws 9.3 amps, so there was the potential to run it without the generator, thru the inverter with the engine running should something go amiss with the generator.
I diligently read the manual over the winter months and planned out my installation. The nice part about this system is that it is completely modular and you have the ability to install some of the larger parts in different places to optimize the use of space…which always seems hard to come by on a cruising boat.
With my initial plan in place, I set about prefabbing some backing boards to mount the boost pump and pre-filters. I decided that I would place these in the AFT STB Lazarette tucked up under the cockpit coaming, hopefully out of harm’s way.