Rainman Watermakers unveiled two new watermaker fashions on January 16, 2019. I used to be honored to be a part of the occasion — and very curious to see them.
I had liked the moveable Rainman system we have been allowed to make use of for six weeks final summer time for assessment functions (learn my preliminary impressions and remaining assessment) nevertheless it was just a bit too giant for us to put in the place we’d like in Barefoot Gal. The brand new methods have been promised as being smaller however with the identical output, with one nonetheless being a transportable unit and the opposite designed for set up.
In case you are fascinated with a Rainman system, there’s a particular supply for TBG readers (free delivery through 2/18/19 and $100 credit score in the direction of consumables) for those who use this hyperlink to buy.
- 1 Rainman Techniques in Common
- 2 Rainman’s Subsequent Era
- 3 Rainman Bare
- 4 Pairing a Rainman with Lithium Batteries
- 5 Particular Supply
- 6 Extra Information
Rainman Techniques in Common
Older watermakers, similar to Pur, Village Marine, Katadyn and Spectra have been designed to be two issues: (1) extraordinarily power environment friendly and (2) as self-tending as attainable.
Simply ten years in the past, giant photo voltaic arrays and/or turbines weren’t that widespread on cruising boats. Battery charging was not almost as environment friendly and battery banks have been, on common, smaller. Consequently, each electrical system on a ship needed to be designed for the least energy required. And the older watermakers have been no exception.
To make them as power environment friendly as attainable, engineers designed proprietary pumps, membranes and digital controls. Initially, they labored nicely. Spectra was maybe probably the most power environment friendly of all, promoting that their methods used only one 12-volt amp-hour per gallon of water made.
On the similar time, individuals needed techniques that they didn’t should pay a lot consideration to. That may be kind of self-tending. Extra electronics have been added to mechanically increase the pump strain to make water and to flush the membrane with recent water as wanted.
Sadly, over time these methods had six issues:
- Proprietary elements have been costly to exchange
- Proprietary elements needed to be ordered from the producer when wanted and this wasn’t all the time handy (or attainable) if cruising outdoors the producer’s residence nation
- Methods weren’t designed to be repaired within the area by house owners
- Methods have been complicated, with many elements that would fail
- Low output — sometimes three to eight gallons per hour — meant that the majority watermakers needed to be run day by day, tying cruisers to their boats for 1 to 2 or extra hours they usually’d nonetheless need to preserve water significantly
- Methods have been noisy whereas operating.
Rainman, and another watermaker corporations, got here at watermaker design a bit of in a different way. With battery know-how and charging sources significantly enhancing, they realized that power effectivity was not the promoting level that it had as soon as been. Now, with years of watermaker utilization on small boats, cruisers had a special set of necessities:
- HIgher output
- Fewer breakdowns
- Decrease value over the lifetime of the watermaker
- Elements that could possibly be present in most cities with over 100,000 individuals
- Techniques designed to be repaired by house owners, with numerous technical help from the producer
- Larger capability techniques in order that they didn’t should run almost so many hours and will present a greater high quality of life with extra water for cleansing and showering in addition to consuming and meals preparation.
- Quieter operation
They usually have been prepared to be extra lively in turning knobs and taking good care of routine upkeep as they realized that, as boat upkeep goes, it was fairly easy to show a knob to convey the unit as much as strain and to run a bucket of water to freshwater flush or pickle the system.
In 2014, Rainman got here out with their inaugural line of watermakers. Not solely did they meet the above necessities, however they have been additionally moveable. Simply moved from boat to boat so you possibly can take yours with you in the event you modified boats. The preferred mannequin would run on a Honda 2000 generator and made 30 to 37 gallons per hour.
Rainman’s Subsequent Era
Rainman launched their subsequent era of watermakers to the world right here in Marathon, Florida (US) two weeks in the past and I’m blown away by how they’ve stayed true to their unique imaginative and prescient whereas enhancing their product.
As with their earlier watermakers, every unit is comprised of a strain provide unit and a membrane meeting. There are three strain provide models: 110/220 volt AC, 12 volt DC or gas-powered moveable models; the AC and DC models additionally are available a “bare” configuration, designed to be put in. The gas-powered unit is unchanged; the 12-volt DC and the AC models (each moveable and bare) are the brand new fashions. These might be paired with numerous membrane assemblies (totally different sizes and costs) to supply anyplace from 7 to 37 gallons per hour.
Measurement and Weight Financial savings
The brand new strain provide models are smaller and lighter than their predecessors, with fewer elements, but nonetheless producing the identical quantity of recent consuming water. They’re nonetheless powered by a really dependable Basic Pump, with a redesigned manifold that gives a lot of the load and area financial savings. Whereas it’s distinctive to the Rainman watermaker, it may nonetheless be bought anyplace that Common Pump elements are bought ought to one ever have an issue (Rainman stories that in 5 years, solely two manifolds have ever had an issue so it’s unlikely). They take commonplace Common Pump seal kits.
Different weight and area financial savings occurred by redesigning how some elements connect to one another, principally mating items to at least one one other as an alternative of getting connecting items. Fewer elements means not simply much less weight, however fewer potential failure factors.
The 2019 Rainman fashions are 30% smaller than the earlier fashions, but produce the identical quantity of recent water.
Extra necessary is the dimensions distinction. The moveable unit is 30% smaller than the earlier one, being each shorter in size and narrower. An added bonus is that the hose basket on the aspect of the unit is now detachable. Many homeowners semi-install the moveable models and don’t have to retailer the hoses proper on the aspect of the unit. Eradicating the basket makes the unit about two inches narrower.
General, the brand new strain provide unit weighs 9 kilos lower than its predecessor. The moveable AC unit has gone from 63 kilos to 54. Whereas establishing for the present, I needed to transfer each the previous and new models one after the opposite, lifting them from the ground to a desk. Consider me, the distinction is noticeable and can be much more so if I used to be getting the unit out of a lazarette or sail locker.
Comparability of the previous (left) and new (proper) Rainman AC models.
Repairs and Upkeep
On the similar time, the reconfiguration provides complete entry to the unit’s inner elements, making proprietor repairs even simpler. The engine oil sight is simpler to examine and your complete housing is far more simply eliminated.
All elements are nonetheless off the shelf, together with the membranes. Each of our earlier watermakers have used all proprietary elements and the prices actually mount up over the lifetime of a watermaker, particularly if it’s a must to pay delivery to get one thing to an out-of-the-way overseas location.
I don’t need it to sound like repairs are frequent on the Rainman models. However anybody dwelling on a ship is aware of that any methods can want restore. Availability and price of elements are crucial issues when buying something, as are strong methods designed to have fewer potential failure factors.
Rainman included two different vital enhancements into the 2019 fashions. First is improved vibration dampening, which means that it runs quieter than ever. A number of individuals in attendance on the launch celebration commented on the way it was by far the quietest watermaker they’d ever heard operating. Sure, you’re in all probability going to be operating a generator concurrently you’re operating the watermaker however even a quiet Honda 2000i goes to be louder than the Rainman.
After the launch social gathering, we have been taking further footage with the unit operating. And because it occurred, I acquired a telephone name. I had no drawback by any means speaking on the telephone whereas standing solely a pair ft from the watermaker. I definitely couldn’t do this with the Katadyn 80E that got here with Barefoot Gal!
The second enchancment is a non-slip deal with on the moveable fashions. Together with the lighter weight, this makes it simpler to select up and transfer round with out worry of dropping — all the time a priority on a shifting boat.
No Set up; No Through-Hull Wanted
The moveable Rainman models want completely NO set up. Inside 10 minutes of bringing the borrowed unit to the boat final summer time, we have been making water. And this is likely one of the major points of interest of the models: no have to haul out and set up a thru-hull. Getting a watermaker gained’t interrupt your cruising plans.
Moreover, it cuts down significantly on the price of a watermaker. Most different manufacturers require a haul out until you have already got a thru-hull that can be utilized, and are meant to be professionally put in. Not needing a haul out or skilled set up sometimes saves $1,000 to $2,000.
Lastly, because the case can simply be faraway from the moveable unit, it’s attainable to completely set up it at a later date in the event you determine you need to. Or you possibly can depart it within the case however connect it to a thru-hull for those who determine that’s what you need (having a thru-hull makes it simpler to make use of the watermaker underway).
It’s all the time been attainable to put in a Rainman unit. You would both mount the strain provide unit proper within the case, or you may take away it from the case. And ditto for the membranes, with the strain controls with the ability to be mounted remotely.
Nonetheless, there was all the time the notion that Rainman was solely a transportable system. And there was additionally the issue that the previous unit was just a bit giant for some boats — similar to ours.
The Rainman Bare was designed to deal with each issues. The elements are similar to the AC and DC moveable models however are simply put in. Every of the elements — prefilter, pump unit, membranes and management valve/gauge — may be individually put in. All you want is a thru-hull to provide the salt water. All of the sudden, a Rainman will match the place our previous watermaker (which is on its final legs) did.
The techniques are designed to be owner-installed, once more providing a price financial savings over these designed for skilled set up. They are often hard-wired to the boat’s AC energy system or generator, or you need to use an extension twine. No DC wiring is required. Mounting will differ by boat, however there are solely 4 elements: the prefilter, pump meeting, the membranes and the controls. Truly, it’s elective to remotely mount the controls however 99% of customers will need to.
I used to be already bought on all of the options of the Rainman system. I had so needed the one we used final summer time. Now, an improved mannequin that may match the place we need to put it? Signal me up! Sure, we’re shopping for a brand new Rainman Bare unit with the excessive capability membranes.
Sadly we couldn’t take it again to the boat from the launch get together. Manufacture was simply barely delayed and we should always have our unit by the top of February, probably just a little earlier. Proper now, Rainman and its sellers are taking pre-orders for the brand new methods.
Pairing a Rainman with Lithium Batteries
Thus far, I’ve talked about utilizing a Rainman AC unit with a generator. However guess what? It’s attainable to run it from solar energy when you’ve got a large photo voltaic array, lithium batteries and a superb 2000 watt inverter. After the launch get together and demonstration, Alex Miller of Sea Tek (our native photo voltaic and lithium battery guru) introduced by a 400 AH lithium financial institution with a Victron inverter/charger. We attached the Rainman unit and simply made 5 gallons of water. Neither the batteries nor the watermaker confirmed any signal of pressure.
In case you are considering of a system like this, you may need to seek the advice of Alex (contact him) to just remember to’ll have a sufficiently strong system: the dimensions of the battery financial institution and photo voltaic set up, the photo voltaic charger and the inverter. However know that it will possibly work.
SeaTask is one in every of two US supplier/distributors for Rainman. I’ve been working with Chris Burton, the president, on a particular supply for The Boat Galley readers. He’s providing free delivery within the US (40% off for financed methods and 20% off non-US shipments) by means of February 18, 2019 plus $100 credit score in the direction of consumables (additional prefilters, oil, and so forth.) bought concurrently the watermaker. The free delivery alone is value as much as $330.
Use this hyperlink to order to get the particular deal.
Further useful information:
Received questions? Chris is very happy to reply. Name him at 305 965 8775 (or textual content to that very same quantity) or e-mail him at [email protected].
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