Choosing the right marine system

If you've visited our Buy Now page you might have been overwhelmed by the number of systems we have on offer so let's break it down to help you with your decision. Don't forget we are only an email or phone call away so don't hesitate to reach out and we'll ensure you don't spend more than you need.

First Decision - How many litres per hour?




There are a number of items to take into account here:

How long do I run my genset each day?

How many people do I have on board?

How large is my water tank?

All of these impact upon whether you need an 80 litre per hour solution, a 160 or a 240. If you only wish to run the genset for the shortest time possible you may wish to consider a 160 or 240 litre (per hour) solution. The pumps use a similar amount of power to run per hour regardless of litres produced. If you run your genset for more than 1-2 hours per day an 80 system may suffice. An average person uses 40 litres per day on a boat. This obviously can fluctuate if you have family that love washing their hair or shower often. The goal is to replenish whatever size tank you have each day or two with the water used. So, if you have 4 people on board you may use 160 litres in a day. Our 80 system will need to run for 2 hours, our 160 system for 1 and our 240 litre per hour system for less than an hour. p.s Our most popular systems are the 160 litres per hour ones.

Second Decision - Which high-pressure pump?




* Basic Karcher K2 pump?

* Karcher K4/5 water-cooled pump?

* Premium Italian Stainless Steel Ceramic Piston Triplex pump?

The K2 is supplied with our lowest price solutions and happily runs an 80 system. It's designed to last for only a few years but is covered by our initial 24 month warranty. If it fails after those 2 years it's only $150 to replace so it will take you about 10 years to spend the same money on the K2 as you would have spent on the Italian Triplex one. Our automated fresh water flush that comes with every system also helps the Karchers last longer as well as protecting the expensive RO membrane. Other companies charge over $500 for a similar 'add-on'. It's essential. The K4/5 Compact is the affordable workhorse of our solutions. It's water-cooled (so great for those hot spaces) and this also reduces the pump noise. It's powerful enough to happily power the 80, 160 and 240 litre systems. Once again, if you replace this pump every 3 years you will take 10 years before you have spent the same amount as the Italian Triplex pump. Speaking of the Italian Triplex pump - the flagship of our fleet! Stainless steel valves. Ceramic pistons. IP56 rated motor (protected from water spray). If you are looking for many years of zero worries - this is the one for you and the best pump for all our systems - 80, 160 and 240. The K2 uses 1200w, K4/5 1500/2100w and Premium 1200w.

Third Decision - What Voltage - 12v or 240v?



* 12v system?

* 240v system?

All of our high pressure pumps are 240v. We've considered 12v motors and have not selected them for two reasons - 1) they are very expensive and 2) they must be located next to the batteries thus limiting where you install the system. For this reason our 12v total systems come with a 12v boost pump and an inverter for the 240v high pressure pump. That way the inverter can be located next to the batteries and a 240v cable can be run to any part of the boat where you have chosen to place the pump. Each litre of water required the same amount of energy to produce whether you use 12, 24, 110 or 240v so it makes no difference. Our systems will also run using a Honda 2.2i small generator. Most of our clients choose a 240v system. It's your choice.


*Please note that the K2 will only run a 12v 80 litres per hour system whilst the Premium pump will run all systems on 12v. Work on just over 0.6 amp per litre with a 2 membrane system. If you have solar, your batteries will be fully charged by about 10am. Run the water maker then and the batteries have the rest of the day to recharge. The motors use 100Ah at 12v.

Forth Decision - Remote Panel or Naked?

As you can see in our system images, there is a needle valve and pressure gauge on one end of the high pressure tube. That's our naked system and to operate the system you must go to wherever you have installed those tubes. If this is hard to get to, we have developed a remote control panel that measures 300mm x 300mm that will bring together all the switches, gauges, meters and controls to a central location. This allows you to have a stylish panel to run the system without having to open a hatch or having to enter a lazarette to turn the system on and off. They come in 3 colours - black, white or timber grain. Of course the systems work perfectly without this option.


Please note that we ship panel systems without their hoses as you will need to situate the components and advise us of required hose lengths that we make for you. We then ship a box of hoses to you for stress free installation. The panel comes fully assembled.

Fifth Decision - Where will I put it?

That requires consideration but all of our systems are modular and connected by John Guest PEX hoses. This means that you can place the boost pump near the seacock - you can place the pre-filters anywhere convenient and run hose to them and you can place the high pressure pump and tubes also wherever you find best. We sometimes think that we have made it too difficult for our clients as they have too many options! Seriously though, we have yet to find a boat where our solutions just couldn't be squeezed in.

Some dimensions for you of the major items (approximate):

  • High Pressure Tube(s) - 1500x100x100 (mm) required (we can get it down to 1200 with 90 degree end fittings - just specify in the note of your purchase)

  • High Pressure Pump - 600x400x400 maximum (The Premium pump needs 600x250x250)

  • Filter Assembly - 1000x400x200 (you can separate it as required)

Once again, we are only a phone call or email away to assist you with your decision. We want to ensure you pick the best solution for your needs and don't spend any more than you have to on your boating lifestyle.

If you are ready to purchase, click 'Price Your System' below and we look forward to welcoming you into the Water Makers' customer club.

Each system on the Buy Now page has a comprehensive list of what's included. If you would like to read further you can find a full list of what's included here.